90% of Genius

בקטגוריות: Uncategorized

25 Jun 2008

July bubbles closer and closer, something needs to be done about the smell. Public transportation is bad enough in the winter, but with summer approaching our nation’s buses are filled with the rank and acrid stench of stale sweat and pre-boarding cigarettes. I’m not saying a massive deodorant-and-gum awareness campaign is pointless, just of limited effectiveness. I’m saying that us passive stinkers need to take matters into our own, well, you know.

I’m sure people have sought solutions for personal odor experience before, and some limitations are obvious. For one, unlike sight and sound we cannot synthesize smells through purely electronic means – at least until we manage to stimulate nerves directly, and I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon. And I’m not even going for the possibility to synthesize smells with some chemical factory-in-a-box, generating volatile esters on demand. I would settle for a small cartridge of condensed materials that, when gently scraped or activated, emit a waft of a predetermined, prepackaged pleasant smell. This can be hooked up to a short tube that can be gently placed in the nostrils, and driven by a very simple electronic controller that can decide which of the odors in the cartridge are emitted based on a simple user interface. This can easily be programmed for a playlist-type affair, where I can have alternating citrus-vanilla flavors in 5-minute intervals, or some sort of more elaborate progression.

The first problem is that people might feel silly or uncomfortable with a tube up their noses on the bus. I can respect that. And I’m sure people felt pretty silly with headphones in the early days of the Walkman, but it’s now gotten ubiquitous. Sure, there’s also the whole hospital-connotations angle, but we can get used to anything.
Another problem is that cartridges have to be replaced regularly, since they’re full of an actual physical material. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem, especially for the commercial interests. Buy a new cartridge, plug it in.

***

Bonus fact of the day: rotting flesh emits many aroma compounds, including Putrescine (NH2(CH2)4NH2) and Cadaverine (NH2(CH2)5NH2). I think that’s just dandy.

3 תגובות על
90% of Genius

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passacaglio

25 בJune, 2008 בשעה 10:49

you do(?) know that Cadaverine is also the smell of.. let’s say carob trees.

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yggdrasil

25 בJune, 2008 בשעה 11:20

I don’t(!) know, or at least didn’t.
Don’t like carobs, either.

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passacaglio

26 בJune, 2008 בשעה 07:06

Yeah, these Carobs are nasty.

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