The Science Nerdist: Old Timey Science, The End of Technology & Superhero Flies!
By A Real Person on June 2, 2010
Old Timey Science: The Pure and Germless Kiss!
The gift that says, “I find your mouth revolting!” The ad, from an issue of Popular Science Monthly in 1920, opens by quoting Webster’s (already off to a great start) and promises the user a germ-free kiss by holding a tiny screen (or racket, as they call it) between your lips and the lips of your special lover – who, based on your purchase of such a device, is that 12 year old you’ve got tied up in your basement. The screen isn’t the only thing that will keep the demon germs away – a small vial of antiseptic solution (made from shame tears, I presume) is also provided to rinse the screen between kisses. And while it might get rid of the germs, it will not get rid of your mental illness (or the ghosts that live in your teeth).
[via Popular Science]
Space Junk Collision Could Wipe Out Technology
Hey, remember how you haven’t shit your pants lately? Well stop reading if you’d like to keep it that way. NASA scientists warn that the build up of space junk orbiting Earth is at an all time high and could wipe out the most precious thing in the world….our technology. A single collision could trigger a chain reaction and send us all hurling back into the dark ages making certain areas on Earth “technological deadzones” (which is when the Roombas will rise up and revolt against humanity, right? I assume that’s what mine is planning when I’m not at home).
Genetically Modified Flies Can “Smell” Light
No – you didn’t just take a handful of mushrooms. Scientists in Germany have developed a genetically modified fruit fly that can “smell” blue light. The flies’ olfactory neurons were rewired to produce a protein that is activated by light (which they normally avoid). They used several favorable scents like banana, marzipan, and glue (Glue? They also tested on preschoolers, apparently). Fruit flies have incredibly simple nervous systems compared to humans so don’t get too excited about being able to become voluntarily synesthetic (people who experience overlapping sensations and perceptions, i.e. hearing color, tasting numbers, etc). Or to quote Fry on Futurama after being neuralized, “Did everything just taste purple for a second?”
[via Popular Science]
TV Doctors Recommend “Urine Facial”
I know – and it’s exactly what it sounds like. This segment/publicity stunt was featured on the TV show, “The Doctors” which exists, apparently. You can watch the video of it here (although I really don’t recommend it – it’s one of those things you can’t forget once it’s entered your brain). The over-tanned, hairsprayed doctor puppets refer to the potential benefits of urea and creatinine (both of which are found in human urine) but there is no elaboration beyond just the sentence stating the possibility for benefits. Also, an Internet search for scientific literature supporting those claims turns up next to nothing and the websites that did mention benefits look very Geocities-homepage-circa-1996, lots of un-clickable links and distracting animated .gifs everywhere. So congrats young-doctor host, you can now pay off your medical school loans after creating the Urine Facial. Might I suggest a marketing idea? Urine Facials, brought to you by “Axe Body Spray – Now fortified with bull semen!”
[via TV Squad]
Also, a quick note: Sorry to disappoint the commenters/emailers/Twitter-ers that referred to me as male, but I am in fact female – have been for the last 23 years (that is in reference to my birth, not an elective surgery)