Impact Protection

An orange goo that looks like the children’s toy silly putty seems an unlikely material to protect valuable technology products.

Yet this strange  gel, also known as D3O, behaves very differently under sudden impact, as the molecules of this ‘non-Newtonian polymer’ lock together, immediately dissipating the force of a blow.

These characteristics make the goo an ideal product for a variety of protective purposes and it is now being used by a  British company in protecting cell phones and computers.

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Magic goo: When the material is touched gently it is soft and malleableMagic goo: When the material is touched gently it is  soft and malleable
Shock absorber: When the slime is hit violently with a mallet it dissipates the impact and protects the man's handShock absorber: When the slime is hit violently with a  mallet it dissipates the impact and protects the man’s hand

Popsci  encountered the product at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show  (CES), a four-day event which finished on Friday in Las Vegas.

A representative from London-based  company Tech  21 toyed with and then wrapped his hand in the slimy gel.

The man then whacked his fingers several  times with a large mallet with no ill-effect, proving the incredible properties  of D3O.

The patented gel was invented by British scientist Richard Palmer after a skiing accident in 1999.

Gloop: When not under stress, D3O is stretchy and slimyGloop: When not under stress, D3O is stretchy and  slimy
The unique properties of the material mean it has been used in many types of shock protectionThe unique properties of the material mean it has been  used in many types of shock protection

It is a non-Newtonian fluid – one whose viscosity differs from the Newtonian model that is  followed by liquids such as water and gasoline.

Since Palmer and his team completed development of D3O in 2005, it has been used in a number of wyas impact protection, from winter sports clothing to use on the battlefield.

Tech 21 describe their field as ‘impactology’ – the ‘science of protection’ and they are now using the intelligent gloop in  protective cases for technology products, such as phones and  computers.

In 2009, a different company company won a £100,000 contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to develop the shock-absorbing gel in helmets for British troops fighting on the frontline in Afghanistan.

Now the material is used in motorcycle and sports equipment, personal protection, footwear and safeguarding  electronics.

Silly putty is also a non-Newtonian fluid, but not as useful in a combat situation Silly putty is also a non-Newtonian fluid, but not as  useful in a combat situation

Attribution: Daily Mail

A Quick Nap

We spend around 10% of our waking hours with our eyes shut.

And while it’s commonly thought that we blink to keep our eyes lubricated, it seems a lot of the time it’s because our brains need a little nap.

New research suggests that the human brain uses that tiny moment of shut-eye to power down.

Blink and you'll miss it: Scientists find that blinking is a chance for our brains to power down
Blink and you’ll miss it: Scientists find that blinking is a chance for our brains to power down

Researchers from Japan’s Osaka University found that the mental break can last  anywhere from a split second to a few seconds before attention is fully  restored.

Scans that track the ebb and flow of blood within the brain revealed that regions associated with paying close attention momentarily go offline.

The brain then goes into a ‘default mode  network’, or idle setting.

The same setting is engaged when our attention is not required by a cognitive task such as reading or speaking and our thoughts wander freely.

Mini nap: blinking allows the brain to go into idle mode
Mini nap: blinking allows the brain to go into idle  mode

During this mode we tend to contemplate our feelings; we wonder what a friend meant by a recent comment; we consider something we did last week, or imagine what we’ll do tomorrow.

While listening to another person or reading, that usually comes at the end of a sentence and while watching a film, we’re most likely to blink when an actor leaves the scene or when the camera shifts.

Most of us take between 15 and 20 such moments of downtime per minute.

The new research, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, studied 20 healthy young subjects in a brain scanner as they watched snippets from the British comedy Mr. Bean.

When subjects blinked, the researchers detected a momentary stand-down within the brain’s visual cortex and somatosensory cortex — both involved with processing visual stimuli – and in areas that govern attention.

Separate studies on blinking have shown  that  while telling a lie, people have been found to blink less.

In the seconds after telling a lie, however,  the liar will blink far more frequently than a truth-teller.

Attribution: Mail Online

Cure for Deafness

Drug could reverse ‘permanent’ deafness by regenerating hair cells in inner ear

A potential cure for permanent deafness has  been found by scientists using a drug that stimulates the inner  ear.

The drug, codenamed LY411575, triggers the regeneration of sensory hair cells.

Until now it has not been possible to restore the cells once they have been lost due to factors such as loud noise exposure,  infection and toxic drugs.

This type of deafness, often suffered by rock  musicians and DJs, is generally assumed to be irreversible.

Too loud? Scientists are developing a drug to reverse damage caused by loud noises
Too loud? Scientists are developing a drug to reverse  damage caused by loud noises

Scientists succeeded in partially restoring hearing to mice that had been deafened by loud noise.

Although the research is at an early stage,  they believe it could lead to effective treatments for acute noise-induced deafness in humans.

The tiny sensory hairs in the cochlea are vital to hearing. Sound vibrations transferred from the eardrum shake the hairs, causing nerve messages to be fired to the brain.

Without the hairs, the hearing pathway is  blocked and no signals are received by the brain’s auditory  centre.

While birds and fish are capable of regenerating sound-sensing hair cells, mammals are not.

Close-up: Tiny inner ear hairs are essential for hearing
Close-up: Tiny inner ear hairs are essential for  hearing

The new approach involves reprogramming inner  ear cells by inhibiting a protein called Notch.

Previous laboratory research had shown that  Notch signals help prevent stem cells in the cochlea transforming themselves  into new sensory hair cells.

The drug LY411575 suppresses Notch. Mice with noise-induced hearing loss generated functioning sensory hair cells after the  drug was injected into their damaged cochleas.

Lead researcher Dr Albert Edge, from Harvard  Medical School in the US, said: ‘We show that hair cells can be regenerated from the surrounding cells in the cochlea.

‘These cells, called supporting cells,  transdifferentiate into hair cells after inhibition of the Notch signalling  pathway, and the new hair cell generation results in a recovery of hearing in  the region of the cochlea where the new hair cells appear.

‘The significance of this study is that  hearing loss is a huge problem affecting 250 million worldwide.’

Hearing loss is a problem affecting 250 million worldwide
Hearing loss is a problem affecting 250 million  worldwide

Details of the study are reported in the journal Neuron.

A green fluorescent protein was used to label  the newly generated hair cells.

Electronic measurements of auditory brainstem responses confirmed that three months after treatment, lost hair cells had been replaced and were working.

Improvement in hearing was seen over a wide range of frequencies.

Dr Edge added: ‘The missing hair cells had been replaced by new hair cells after the drug treatment, and analysis of their location allowed us to correlate the improvement in hearing to the areas where the hair cells were replaced.

‘We’re excited about these results because  they are a step forward in the biology of regeneration and prove that mammalian  hair cells have the capacity to regenerate.

‘With more research, we think that regeneration of hair cells opens the door to potential therapeutic applications  in deafness.’

Vivienne Michael, chief executive of the charity Deafness Research UK, said: ‘As always, we have to be cautious about new research findings but this US research is extremely encouraging.

‘At the moment there is no way of reversing eight in 10 cases of hearing loss, including noise-induced deafness and the progressive deafness so many of us experience as we age – hearing aids are the only answer.

Attribution: Mail Online

Killer T Cell

No, it’s not the name of a rap artist.

Scientists have created cells capable of killing cancer for the first time.

The dramatic breakthrough was made by researchers in Japan who created cancer-specific killer T cells.

They say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapy.

Scientists have created cells capable of killing cancer for the first time. Pictured: microscopic cells being cultured to kill cancerScientists have created cells capable of killing cancer  for the first time. Pictured: microscopic cells being cultured to kill  cancer

The cells naturally occur in small numbers,  but it is hoped injecting huge quantities back into a patient could turbo-charge the immune system.

Researchers at the RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology revealed they have succeeded for the first time in creating cancer-specific, immune system cells called killer T lymphocytes.

To create these, the team first had to reprogram T lymphocytes specialized in killing a certain type of cancer, into another type of cell called induced pluripotent stem cells  (iPS cells).

These iPS cells then generated fully active, cancer-specific T lymphocytes.killer-t-cell

These lymphocytes regenerated from iPS cells  could potentially serve as cancer therapy in the future.

Previous research has shown that killer T  lymphocytes produced in the lab using conventional methods are inefficient in  killing cancer cells mainly because they have a very short life-span, which  limits their use as treatment for cancer.

To overcome the problems, the Japanese researchers, led by Hiroshi Kawamoto reprogrammed mature human killer T lymphocytes into iPS cells and investigated how these cells differentiate.

The team induced killer T lymphocytes  specific for a certain type of skin cancer to reprogram into iPS cells by exposing the lymphocytes to the ‘Yamanaka factors’ – a group of  compounds that induce cells to revert back to a non-specialized, stage.

Japanese researchers who created cancer-specific killer T cells (pictured) say the development paves the way for the cells being directly injected into cancer patients for therapyJapanese researchers who created cancer-specific killer  T cells (pictured) say the development paves the way for the cells being  directly injected into cancer patients for therapy

The iPS cells obtained were then grown in the lab and induced to differentiate into killer T lymphocytes again. This new batch of T lymphocytes was shown to be specific for the same type of skin cancer as the original lymphocytes.

They maintained the genetic reorganisation, enabling them to express the cancer-specific receptor on their surface. The new T lymphocytes were also shown to be active and to produce an anti-tumor compound.

Doctor Kawamoto said: ‘We have succeeded in the expansion of antigen-specific T cells by making iPS cells and differentiating them back into functional T cells.

‘The next step will be to test whether these T cells can selectively kill tumor cells but not other cells in the body. If  they do, these cells might be directly injected into patients for therapy. This could be realized in the not-so-distant future.’

The findings were published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

Dr Dusko Ilic, Senior Lecturer in Stem Cell Science, King’s College London, said: ‘The study tackled a novel, quite interesting approach to cell based therapy, something that we do not usually hear about.

‘Although this approach requires further verification and a lot of work needs to be done before we can think about clinical trials, the initial data are promising.

‘This pioneering work definitely provides a strong foundation to build and expand our knowledge about new opportunities in cell based therapy and personalized medicine.’

Attribution: Daily Mail

Golden Apple

For $30,000, you could be the proud owner of a 24-carat gold covered MacBook Pro with an Apple logo that features multi-color diamonds.

Computer Choppers, a company that personalizes high-tech gadgets, also offers the  chance to cover your favorite Apple product in white, rose and yellow gold, as well as copper, black and silver chrome.

The company’s founder, Alex Wiley, explained  to CNNMoney: ‘We’ll take an iMac, an  iPad, a tablet of some sort and we’ll strip it down to bare metal, we’ll engrave or  personalize it for a customer and then go ahead and plate that with 24-karat gold.’

Golden apple: For $30,000, Computer Choppers will cover your laptop in 24-carat gold with an Apple logo that features multi-color diamonds

For $30,000, Computer Choppers will cover your laptop in 24-carat gold with an Apple logo that features multi-color  diamonds

Computer Choppers provides custom engravings, custom logos and  ‘diamond accents on the unibody chassis,’ so it reassembles the product and sends it off to the customer.

And if price is right, the company will coat just about anything, from Nintendo game controllers to iPhones and Blackberries.

The website says: ‘Though we are known for our customized Apple products, we provide our services on most any computer or electronic item.

Gold dipped: Computer Choppers personalizes high-tech gadgets and offers to cover your favorite Apple product in white, rose and yellow gold, as well as copper, black and silver chromeComputer Choppers personalizes high-tech  gadgets and offers to cover your favorite Apple product in white, rose and  yellow gold, as well as copper, black and silver chrome
Customized engravings: 'Exotic graphic plating' is also available, and the designs are created from scratch ‘Exotic graphic plating’ is also  available, and the designs are created from scratch
Printed pattern: The website says: 'There is no limit to the intricacy of the drawing and we are happy to create any type of artwork you request'The website says: ‘There is no limit to  the intricacy of the drawing and we are happy to create any type of artwork you  request’

‘Other specialty plating such as: silver, old english gold, chamagne gold, almond gold, honey gold, rose copper, bronze, and pewter can be requested.’

And ‘exotic graphic plating’ is also  available, which are created from scratch.

‘There is no limit to the intricacy of the drawing and we are happy to create any type of artwork you request,’ the website says.

Cashed up customers: Although Computer Choppers is based in the U.S., Mr Wiley said that 90per cent of the company's orders are shipped internationally Although Computer Choppers is based  in the U.S., Mr Wiley said that 90per cent of the company’s orders are shipped  internationally
Midas touch: The company will coat just about anything, from Nintendo game controllers to iPhones and Blackberries The company will coat just about anything,  from Nintendo game controllers to iPhones and Blackberries
Precious metals: Other specialty plating such as silver, old english gold, chamagne gold, almond gold, honey gold, rose copper, bronze, and pewter can be requestedOther specialty plating such as silver,  old english gold, chamagne gold, almond gold, honey gold, rose copper, bronze,  and pewter can be requested

Although Computer Choppers is based in the  U.S., Mr Wiley said that 90% of the company’s orders are shipped internationally.

He told Business Insider he recently sold a $30,000 13-inch MacBook Pro, a $14,500 Rose Gold Plated iMac with a 24-inch screen, and a $20,000 platinum MacBook Pro with a customized, multi-color diamond logo, to a customer in Azerbaijan.

Attribution: Mail Online

Another Reason to be Pro-Israel

by: the Common Constitutionalist

We all know the saying, “You don’t discuss politics or religion with acquaintances or colleagues”. Well, I’ll go you one better. You also don’t discuss the state of Israel.

It seems there is no gray area regarding Israel. One is either profoundly pro or con. It is one of a very few nations that virtually everyone has an opinion.

If you are a regular reader, you will know that I am pro-Israel, so I will not be discussing nor debating the anti-Israel stance.

Pro-Israel advocates cite it to be the sole civilized democratic society in the Middle East, just trying to survive since its formation. It is the only bastion of freedom in that region, surrounded by radical Israel_MapIslamist states hell-bent on destruction. This is true.

There is however another reason to support Israel. One, it seems, very few know.

Take heed all you techie liberals for Israel is fast becoming a high-tech mecca (pardon the regional pun).

Despite its small size, this country has managed to become a leader in the world of high-tech innovation. In fact, it has the second highest concentration of high-tech companies in the world, topped only by Silicon Valley in California.

And as California continues to collapse under the weight of massive tax increases and entitlement debt, it is quite possible Israel may eventually overtake Silicon Valley.

Most don’t know of the close relationship between Israel and Intel, but the depth of that relationship may be surprising to even those who do. Intel Israel has been responsible for many, if not most, of the processor breakthroughs for Intel, and the Intel Sandy Bridge processor, developed in Israel, was responsible for 40% of Intel’s sales worldwide in 2011.

2012 was an important year for Intel Israel, as the company refit its Kiryat Gat facility to manufacture the 22-nanometer Ivy Bridge processor. The Kiryat Gat facility makes Intel’s 45-nanometer Sandy Bridge processor and the company invested $3 billion in the facility Kiryat Gatfor the Ivy Bridge.

Intel Israel is also indirectly responsible, through suppliers and subsidiaries, for the employment of 23,000 heads of household, and altogether employs 10% of all workers in the electronics and software industry in Israel.

Intel Israel totaled $2.2 billion in exports in 2011 alone. The country is the third largest investment target for Intel outside the US – after China and India – and over the past 15 years the company has invested in 64 different Israeli companies.

Apple Computer, the manufacturers the iPhone and iPad, is opening a new research and development center in Haifa Israel. It is expanding to Israel with its first technology research and development center outside of its Cupertino California headquarters.

Microsoft Corp. is opening the first startup accelerator in the company’s history to increase the success of young companies. The accelerator will take place at the Microsoft Research and Development Center and is part of the Israel R&D center ThinkNext and Microsoft BizSpark programs for startups.

Israel was chosen by Microsoft to lead the accelerator initiative due to the wide-ranging activity of startups in the area and the experience and know-how to propel startups into the global marketplace.

Microsoft Israel

A number of Microsoft technologies are made in Israel. These include Microsoft Gateway VPN technology, Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus suite and the recommendation system for Xbox.

Israel was the first Microsoft R&D center outside the US and opened in 1991. The country has the highest number of Microsoft workers per capita of any place on earth.

Hundreds, if not thousands of high-tech and medical companies, both large and small have come to this little spit of land in the Middle East.

Israel has been a world innovator for decades. The following is but a very small list of the many products developed there:

  • Remember the Epilady hair removal system? Israel.
  • InSightecs focused ultrasound machineReWalk Glee
  • ReWalk robotic skeleton, featured in the TV program glee
  • The modern cherry tomato (yes that yummy little salad add-on)
  • Life Touch dental laser
  • The first flash drive data storage device
  • Both Windows NT and XP were developed in Israel
  • The first commercial network firewall
  • Original Cell phone technology was first developed at Motorola’s Israel R&D facility
  • The core component for the Xbox Kinect system
  • The Powermat recharging platform

So, the next time you hear some liberal whining about Israel while holding a hi-tech gadget, let him or her (or it, in some cases) know they may also have a lot to lose with Israel’s demise.

New Generation Airship

A radical new kind of airship funded by the US military is about to make its first test flight – and it looks uncannily like the Thunderbird 2 craft from the classic TV show.

The Aeroscraft airship will carry three times as much as the biggest military cargo planes over thousands of miles, use a third of the fuel, and it doesn’t even need a landing strip.

It could also have major implications for cargo haulage, and almost everything now laboriously transported across the planet’s surface by boat, train and truck could within years be carried through the skies, its makers claim.

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International rescue: The silver-skinned Aeroscraft prototype sits in its hangar, where green light reflecting from it makes it look uncannily like Thunderbird TwoThe silver-skinned Aeroscraft  prototype sits in its hangar, where green light reflecting from it makes it look uncannily like Thunderbird Two
A concept of the airship on the battlefield, where it could be used to transport tanks and soldiers directly onto the front lineA concept of the airship on the battlefield, where it  could be used to transport tanks and soldiers directly onto the front line
The radical design has been likened to that of Thunderbird 2
The radical design has been likened to that of  Thunderbird 2

California-based aviation firm Aeros, with heavy backing from the U.S. military, has been developing their revolutionary Aeroscraft for several years, and they say the airship is now in its final stages.

They have built a prototype which they hope will finally prove the concept works in practice and allow them to fine tune their systems.

At 77m (250ft) in length, it is just half the  size of the final model, but has been built with the same rigid structure,  flight control systems and landing gear.

Now all that needs to be done is for it to demonstrate the vertical take-off and landing that will make possible the point-to-point delivery features that will make it perfect for the commercial market.

The finished version of the Aeroscraft –  expected to be ready in three years – will carry a payload of 66 tons at a speed of 120 knots, up to 18,000ft with a range of 3000 nautical miles.

That could revolutionize air transport,  opening up remote areas where there is practically no other means of access.

It could carry relief supplies for victims in disaster areas, heavy oil-extraction equipment to northern Canada’s tar sands, huge turbines to remote wind farms and, of course, heavy military equipment to battlefields worldwide.

Fill 'er up: At 77m (250ft) in length, the prototype Aeroscraft is just half the size of the final model, but has been built with the same rigid structure, flight control systems and landing gearAt 77m (250ft) in length, the prototype Aeroscraft is just half the size of the final model, but has been built with the  same rigid structure, flight control systems and landing gear
The 'skeleton' of the airship being built in California The ‘skeleton’ of the airship being built in California

The key breakthrough has been the development of an internal system for managing ballast.

Previous airships have been held back by the need to weigh them down or tie them up while cargo is unloaded, lest they are suddenly carried away on the breeze.

But the Aeroscraft’s internal ballast management system gives its operators the ability to control the aircraft’s buoyancy by compressing the helium inside its tanks to make it heavier than air and bring down to the ground.

Once cargo has been loaded, the airship can rise by re-releasing the compressed helium into its containment tanks, making it again lighter than air, then using turbo-prop engines to control its diretion.

Because of this revolutionary system,  Aeroscraft needs no airfield to operate, only a cleared area large enough for it to vertically take off and land, and enough labor on hand to unload the cargo.

Limited: Conventional airships are held back by the need for infrastructure that can enable ground crews to fill them with ballast as they are unloaded to stop them from floating away on the breezeConventional airships are held back by the need  for infrastructure that can enable ground crews to fill them with ballast as  they are unloaded to stop them from floating away on the breeze
Internal ballast: The Aeroscraft, by contrast, is able to control its buoyancy using an internal ballast management system which means it can land anywhere that there is space to touch down The Aeroscraft, by contrast, is able  to control its buoyancy using an internal ballast management system which means  it can land anywhere that there is space to touch down

Aeros’s founder and CEO Igor Pasternak, 48,  told Gizmag: ‘The advantage is you don’t need ground infrastructure. You can fly anywhere, you can land anywhere, you don’t need any ballast, you don’t need any ground crew.’

The airship has long been known as a ‘dream  machine’ for visionary inventors.

AEROSCRAFT FACTS

  • Top  speed: 120 knots
  • Range: 3,000 nautical miles
  • Ceiling: 18,000ft
  • Cargo  capacity: 66 tons

Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin built the  first airship in 1900 as a weapon for Germany. The ‘Graf Zeppelin’ was developed  by Dr Hugo Eckener, who flew it around the world in 21 days in 1929.

This powerful symbol of German might was adopted by the Nazis, who funded the creation of the largest airship yet, the  Hindenburg.

However, on May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg burst into flames on a trip to the US, having been filled with patriotic German hydrogen instead of American helium.

But Ukrainian-born Mr Pasternak says that his design for a rigid airship is miles apart from the disastrous versions of the early 20th Century.

He told Gizmag: ‘From the structure stand point, all of us are familiar with the Hindenburg and Zeppelin designs.

‘This is different. We built a space frame that sits inside of the vehicle and around the frame we built a rigid cell. The function of the rigid cell is to have it work with the aerodynamic laws. It’s a very simple approach.

‘It also allows us to build vehicles very rapidly. When you’re talking about the production of vehicles, you need the ability to build number of them in a short term and with the frames you can do this.’

The future: An artist's impression shows how the Aeroscraft might look as it picks up cargo from a distribution centre. Finished models will carry 66 tons over a distance of 3,000 nautical miles at 120 knotsAn artist’s impression shows how the Aeroscraft might look as it picks up cargo from a distribution center. Finished models will carry 66 tons over a distance of 3,000 nautical miles at 120 knots
The ship could also be used for major construction projects such as building large pipes, as it does not require a runway to landThe ship could also be used for major construction projects such as building large pipes, as it does not require a runway to  land

The U.S. military has been a key player in  the development of the Aeroscraft, with the Pentagon and Nasa giving Aeros a total of $36million towards its research.

‘Without the initial funding of the Ministry of Defense it would not be possible to bring such a project to roll,’ Mr  Pasternak told FT Deutschland.

Accordingly, the first operational versions  have already been earmarked for ‘intra-theatre airlift’, Defense Transportation  Journal reports, with each carrying the payload of three C-130 transport planes,  but with the fuel cost of just one.

Attribution: Mail Online

Wag the Human

For anyone who has ever gazed enviously at a dog or a cat wishing that they might have a tail of their own to wag as they please. Well believe it or not, there is now an answer to your prayers.

A Japanese inventor has created the Tailly – a strap on tail for humans that wags when the wearer becomes excited.

The Tailly is fitted with sensors that monitor the wearer’s pulse rate, so the faster the heart beats, the more it wags. When you calm down it swings more slowly.

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Pin the tail on the human: The Tailly has been designed to wag when the wearer becomes excited The Tailly has been designed to wag when the wearer becomes excited
Gap in the market? Japanese inventor Shota Ishiwatari developed the unusual fluffy tail, which links to the user's heart rate  Japanese inventor Shota Ishiwatari developed the unusual fluffy tail, which links to the user’s heart rate

Shota Ishiwatari, who designed the bizarre gadget, is hoping the Tailly will become the must-have accessory for 2013.

He said: ‘Tailly is fun to wear to parties, while out with friends or playing with kids,’ he said.

‘You could even wear Tailly on a date and express your true feelings through the wagging tail.

‘Even better, your partner could also wear one, to add a level of subconscious communication between the two of you.’

Good breeding: The Tailly comes in a range of colours to suit every occasionThe Tailly comes in a range of colors to suit every occasion
High-tech: Some of the electronics that go into the Tailly which enable it to wag when the wearer gets excitedSome of the electronics that go into the Tailly which enable it to wag when the wearer gets excited
Coming soon: Inventor Shota Ishiwatari hopes the Tailly will be on sale in Britain this year Inventor Shota Ishiwatari hopes the Tailly will be on sale internationally this year

Attribution: Mail Online

Enough is Enough

by: the Common Constitutionalist

America is in trouble. The country has been overrun. Congress should get involved in passing legislation to limit the sale, ownership and usage of this scourge. If Congress drags their feet, perhaps the President might sign an executive order.

Of course, I’m speaking of… Perfume. There ought to be a law against the abuse of perfume. Just Say NoFragrance vendors in every store are just waiting to accost the unsuspecting passerby with their chemical weapons. They rarely give one a chance to “Just Say No”. It happened to me once. I felt violated as if I were involved in a drive-by spritzing.

Greedy big corporations invade our homes in newspapers, magazines and on our televisions, all the while being recklessly promoted by advertisers attempting to influence otherwise innocent viewers.

The FCC should heavily restrict perfume advertising and fines levied for those targeting the innocent… our children.Very-Hollywood-Perfume

And then there’s the glorification of perfume by Hollywood. Stars and Starlets line up just to get their names on a bottle. It’s shameful that such an influential industry would embrace a product that should be deemed a controlled substance. How could they be so blind?

Nationwide, people suffer every day by just their proximity to perfume. Fragrances have been known to cause discomfort – triggering outbreaks of such ailments as sneezing and nasal congestion as well as runny noses and reportedly, asthma attacks. Oh the horror!

Well, I’m proud to say my state has taken the lead. The once conservative state of New Hampshire has finally, thanks to last election, gone almost completely Democrat and thus is now free to tackle the really tough issues.

A state representative has introduced legislation barring state employees froPatrick get hit with perfumem wearing fragrances who have contact with the public. This is actually the second time the bill has been introduced. Unfortunately the bill was shot down under the previous evil Republican legislature. Thankfully something may now get done and this bill should be but the opening volley of desperately needed restrictions.

Should we just demand this deadly substance be deemed illegal? Probably not, but the safety of our citizens, particularly our children, must be considered first and foremost.

Given how serious the situation is, I have some suggestions for our legislators and do-gooders.code stink

I recommend a nonprofit organization underwrite a new activist campaign. They could be called “Code Stink”. They would travel to perfume unveilings and upscale boutiques with their picket signs and newly devised slogans. Slogans such as, “Hey Hey, Ho Ho; we don’t need to smell good…uh… anyway”. Not a very catchy slogan, I’ll grant you, but activists tend not to be the brightest bulbs on the tree.

Schools and public places should be made “Perfume Free Zones”, complete with a zero-tolerance policy. Even a picture drawn of a perfume bottle by a young student should be grounds for disciplinaperfume spritzerry action.

The feds as well as local police must employee perfume sniffing dogs to deal with potential high school contraband and specially trained TSA agents dispatched to airport and railroad terminals to prevent unlicensed transport of what should be a controlled substance.

A national registry of perfume owners should be initiated. A 24-hour waiting period prior to purchase and background check should be required. Perfume should not be sold to repeat scent offenders or the olfactively impaired.large capicity automatic

High-capacity ionizers should be outlawed. Congress must take the lead and draft language defining the semi-automatic perfume dispenser (one pump, one spritz) versus the pressurized fully automatic version one might classify as an assault spritzer.

Last but not least, a new sin tax should be levied on the manufacturers and the Pushers (boutiques, stores and those representing them) for the medical and psychological damage caused to the sufferers.

Let us not concern ourselves with this pesky “Fiscal Cliff”, the “Affordable Care Act” or “Jobs”.

We must face, head on, the real pressing issue of our time, limiting the trafficking and use of perfume.

The 5 Senses of IBM

If you’ve only just got used to talking to your phone, get ready for a major change.

IBM has revealed its predictions for the computer we will all be using in 2018 – and it believes they will have all five senses, and will communicate with us in radically different ways.

‘Infrared and haptic technologies will enable a smart phone’s touchscreen technology and vibration capabilities to simulate  the physical sensation of touching something,’ the firm said.

IBM's vision for the future of touch - it claims that in five years we will be able to touch objects through our phonesIBM’s vision for the future of touch – it claims that in  five years we will be able to touch objects through our phones

‘So you could experience the silkiness of  that catalog’s Egyptian cotton sheets instead of just relying on some copywriter to convince you.

‘It’s amazing when you look back over the 60+  years of the computing revolution and see how far we have come in such a relatively short time,’ said IBM’s Bernard Meyerso.

‘The first electronic programmable computers,  built in the 1940s, were essentially really fast electronic calculators.

Then came the mainframe, the PC, the Internet  and social networking.

Today, we’re entering the era of cognitive  computing–machines that help us think.’

‘One of the most intriguing aspects of this shift is our ability to give machines some of the capabilities of the right side of the human brain.

‘New technologies make it possible for machines to mimic and augment the senses. ‘

Today, we see the beginnings of sensing machines in self-parking cars and biometric security–and the future is wide open.

The firm claims in five years machines will be able to see, and understand, imagesThe firm claims in five years machines will be able to  see, and understand, images

‘These five predictions show how cognitive technologies can improve our lives, and they’re windows into a much bigger  landscape –the coming era of cognitive systems.

‘But the point isn’t to replicate human brains.

We humans are no slouches when it comes to procreation.

‘And this isn’t about replacing human thinking with machine thinking.

‘Once again; not necessary.

‘Rather, in the era of cognitive systems,  humans and machines will collaborate to produce better results–each bringing their own superior skills to the partnership.

‘The machines will be more rational and analytic. We’ll provide the judgment, empathy, morale compass and creativity.’

IBM also says machines will be able to hear in five years and know when we are talking to themIBM also says machines will be able to hear in five years and know when we are talking to them

Computers will also be able to taste - and even predict what food we like based on out eating habits.Computers will also be able to taste – and even predict  what food we like based on out eating habits.

Computers will also be able to smell - and have sensitive enough noses to be able to detect infections on our breath and tell us if the food we are about to eat has bacteria inComputers will also be able to smell – and have  sensitive enough noses to be able to detect infections on our breath and tell us  if the food we are about to eat has bacteria in

Attribution: Mark Prigg, Mail Online