A Jerk and a Creep / Lighting Up / Live Long? / Unfunneled Superpower

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has four segments. Here are bits of each of them: A jerk and a creep — “Hidden jerk in universal creep and aftershocks” may sound like the name of a Hollywood movie – and maybe some day it will be. But for now, it is exclusively […]

Second-hand smoking in James Bond movies [study]

As international politics comes to resemble the over-imaginative plotlines of James Bond movies, some research publications choose to look more closely at the details of those movies. This new study looks at smoking: “James Bond’s Smoking Over Six Decades,” Nick Wilson and Anne Tucker, Tobacco Control, epub January 16, 2017. The authors, at the University of Otago, New […]

Tobacco Pipes as Dry Powder Asthma Inhalers – a feasibility study

In the absence of a purpose-made dry powder inhaler device (e.g. Spinhaler®) could asthma sufferers use a pipe? Researchers Tan Suwandecha, Kirksak Assawadarakorn and Teerapol Srichana of the Drug Delivery System Excellence Center and Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand, undertook a study in 2012 to assess the […]

USB cigarettes (pay-as-you-smoke) patent

Phillip Morris International (PMI) has received (Oct. 7th 2014) its US patent for an ‘Electrically Heated Smoking System’ Unlike many currently available ‘vape’ sticks, the new device can heat actual tobacco rather than evaporating a nicotine-based liquid. And, unusually for a cigarette, it can ‘communicate’ with a host computer/ tablet etc via a USB plug. […]

A Device to Deter a Bear

When a big bear approaches, some people choose to quietly stroll away. To give them an extra measure of safety, Anthony Victor Saunders and Adam Warwick Bell invented what they call a “pop-up device for deterring an attacking animal“. Saunders, a London-based mountain climber, and Bell, a California patent attorney, applied for a patent in […]

Ukraine parliament mimics Ig winner

News reports, including this video, show Ukraine’s parliament members punching, beating, and otherwise assaulting each other. This mimics the behavior pioneered by Taiwan’s Parliament, which earned the 1995 Ig Nobel Peace Prize (“for demonstrating that politicians gain more by punching, kicking and gouging each other than by waging war against other nations”). The Ukrainian effort […]