HotAIR - Scientific Gossip (38-6a)


Scientific Gossip (38-6a)

Contains 100% gossip from concentrate

compiled by Stephen Drew

Killer Colognes

The first colognes to contain “ultra-concentrated male pheremones” will go on sale next month. Developed by chemists at Ugatz Laboratories, the scents are claimed to make men irresistible to the opposite sex. One cologne, called “Prisoner's Dilemma,” is made with sweat collected from men in prisons. A companion product, “Scent of a Madman,” contains the sweat of confined mental patients.

Stylish Processing

The next generation of word processing programs is expected to have several simple but powerful new features that help the user to modify his or her writing style. Such measures as average word length, ratios of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs to each other will be calculated by the programs, algorithmically combined, and presented graphically. Small human head icons will be displayed on-screen, denoting a recognizable literary style (Shakespeare, Jackie Collins, Proust, Hemingway, Rowling, Solzhenitsyn, Azimov, etc.). The user will be able to alter the style of a paragraph by clicking on the appropriate literary head. The technology has limitations: it can convert text from a complex to a simpler style (e.g., from Shakespeare to Hemingway or Jackie Collins) but not the reverse.

Virtual Population Growth

It has been widely reported that, since 1990, there has been a 300% increase in the number of insurance claims filed for treatment of multiple personality disorders (MPD). The increase has been attributed to both (a) an increased incidence of the malady and (b) healthcare givers' increased awareness of MPD. Several papers in preparation dispute these theories. New analysis of the records suggests that each year fewer individuals filed claims, but that each individual filed a larger number of claims.

Preferred Lighting

The dual nature of light — that it can behave as if it were a wave or as if it were a particle — is behind a new fashion trend. Licht, a Los Angeles health spa, has installed special switchable lighting in its main facility. Patrons will be able to bathe, at their choice, in subdued light that behaves as waves or in subdued light that behaves as particles. The lighting device uses singly charged mercury ions held in place by radio waves. A laser beam cools the ions and also serves as the light source generating interference patterns. The apparatus was inspired by the work of Ulli Eichmann of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado.

© Copyright 2003 Annals of Improbable Research (AIR)

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