Canine Cleanroom Suit [patent]

“It is desirable that dogs that perform jobs in restaurants, hospitals or other health care facilities, and manufacturing areas wear distinctive garments to indicate that they are service dogs and not unauthorized pets. Such garments are preferably also protective for the dogs and for the facility.” United States Patent 7975656 , assigned to Californian inventor […]

Counting Things that Could Exist (philosophically)

Professor Tobias Rosefeldt, of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany, counts things that could exist – in particular, he specifically does so in a new paper for The Philosophical Quarterly. “Consider a tailor who works for a company that sells business suits as well as hipster suits. She has two business trousers and two business jackets […]

A fond look back at one of Troy’s many bear-suit adventures

This CTV news report shows Ig Nobel Prize winner Troy Hurtubise, some years ago, testing one of the many increasingly-sophisticated suits of armor he developed to protect himself against grizzly bears. In this report, Troy, wearing the suit, was strapped to the front of an automobile, and the car was then driven head-on into a brick […]

Handshakes galore – but do they work? An analysis.

Search the archives of any upscale picture library [example] and you’ll find hundreds, perhaps thousands, of photos featuring business-persons earnestly shaking hands. But does handshaking actually have any real effect at, say, a business meeting? For the first time (?) an experimental study has examined whether handshaking might (or might not) help in cooperative dealmaking […]

Forgotten Hardware: How to Urinate in a Spacesuit

Pretty much everyone asks, at one time or another, “How do astronauts pee?” Hunter Hollins [pictured here] exerted considerable scholarship to provide a good answer, which you can read in Hollins’s study: “Forgotten Hardware: How to Urinate in a Spacesuit,” Hunter Hollins, Advances in Physiology Education, vol. 37, 2013, pp. 123-128. The author, at the National Air […]

Home-built suits of armor, built to survive against grizzlies or neighbors

Savor, if you will,  the lurch of latter-day suits. Compare and contrast these two descriptions of men who scrounged materials to build suits of armor to protect them against possibly malevolent forces. First, Troy Hurtubise, 1998 Ig Nobel Prize winner, who built a suit of armor to protect him against grizzly bears. Stephen Smith wrote […]

Two more returning Ig winners: Sperm & Scented Suit

Two more returning Ig Nobel Prize winners have joined the lineup for the 21st First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony on Thursday night: Deborah Anderson [pictured here, delivering her acceptance speech] (2009 chemistry prize for testing whether Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide) Hyuk Ho Kwon (1999 environmental protection prize, for inventing the self-perfuming business suit). At least two other people […]

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 […]