The Wasted Chewing Gum Bacteriome and the Emperors

“Improbable Research: Wasted Gum, Imperiled Emperors, Hair-worn Steel” is one of the non-Ig-Nobel columns in the special Ig Nobel issue (vol. 26, no. 6) of the magazine. Highlights of that column in this issue: The Wasted Chewing Gum Bacteriome, and Statistical Reliability Analysis for a Most Dangerous Occupation: Roman Emperor. Here’s the front cover of […]

Habit Versus Habit: Using Chewing Gum to Remove Coffee Stains

A straightforward attempt to use one habit—chewing gum—to undo the unwelcome effects of a different habit—drinking coffee: “Whitening Efficacy of Chewing Gum Containing Sodium Metaphosphate on Coffee Stain: Placebo-controlled, Double-blind In Situ Examination,” S. Makino, C. Kawamoto, T. Ikeda, T. Doi, A. Narise, T Tanaka, C. Almas, M. Hannig, R. Carvalho, and H. Sano, Operative […]

Comes the revolution in disposing of chewed gum in restaurants

An invention gives restaurant diners a possibly elegant way to dispose of their chewed chewing gum, and gives restaurants a new means of advertising themselves or anything else. The invention was marketed under the name “Gumvelope.” A patent application tells how Gumvelope works: “Chewing gum disposal system,” US patent application US20090294321A1, Rebeca Craig, filed June […]

What can happen, medically, to people who swallow lots of chewing gum

Some people chew lots of chewing gum, and then swallow what they have chewed. Swallowing gum can lead to problems, as this medical study explains: “Chewing gum bezoars of the gastrointestinal tract,” David E. Milov, Joel M. Andres, Nora A. Erhart, and David J. Bailey, Pediatrics, vol. 102, no. 2 (1998): e22-e22. The authors write: “In summary, […]

Socialites in chemistry

Do socialites have a place in chemistry? Yes: “Synthesis and characterization of two new silica socialites containing ethanolamine or ethylenediamine as guest species,” Carola M. Braunbarth, Peter Behrens, Jürgen Felsche, Gianpietro van de Goor, Gerhard Wildermuth, and Günter Engelhardt, Zeolites, 16, no. 2 (1996): 207-217. BONUS: Braunbarth’s patent application (US 2006/0034975 A1) for coated chewing […]