Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Three rules

Warning: my wife is shocked and appalled that I am willing to write this. If you are easily offended, please go read something else.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I led a multi-day camping trip for the youth of our local church congregation. My friend Tom, one of the other adult leaders on the trip and an E.R. doc, indicated that he had three rules for the trip: no smoking weed; no starting fires; and no sex. He went on to say that especially after years spent in the E.R., the first two were easy to identify from smell alone. I responded that the third was also identifiable by smell, just not quite so easily. We had a good laugh but chose not to share that tidbit with the kids.

Last week I was listening to NPR on my way home, and they were reporting on CES. In addition to covering the cool new stuff, they also mentioned some of the duds. To illustrate, they mentioned the archetypal dud product from CES past, a product called the iSmell, which shockingly never made it to market. The concept is pretty simple: the iSmell sits next to your computer and has the ability to emit smells relevant to the website you happen to be browsing at the time. Which prompted me to question what the device smells like, according to this study at least, 18.8% of the time?

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