Friday, February 27, 2015

News You Can't Use: One Billion Young at Risk of Hearing Loss from Loud Music

You'll have to speak up and mostly communicate via gestures, because I'm a metalhead. Loud music, we are now told, might actually have some sort of physical consequence. No less an authority than the World Health Organization has decided its time is best used on this front, rather than fighting all those incurable diseases that keep cropping up or whatever. No, it's time to guard the ears of our young. Their message is now the same as the one you're getting from your parents when they come home to blasting cock-rock: "Turn that shit off!"

More than one billion young people risk damaging their hearing through listening to loud music, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.

Gigadeaf: The hypothetical loss of hearing in a billion people as a result of a hard music apocalypse.

The WHO estimates that around half of those between the ages of 12 and 35 in middle- and high-income countries are at risk due to unsafe levels of sound on personal audio devices or smartphones.

35 is now considered "young." I feel a lot better. "Turn down that Andrews Sisters record you crazy male-pattern baldness and chronic back pain having punk kid! You'll lose your hearing!"

Also, if your nation is dead broke you're apparently in the clear when it comes to this one particular disaster. I've got some great news for you, South Sudan!

Another 40 percent are at risk from damaging audio levels at concert venues and night clubs.

We're not even getting into the health risks of being busted for dress code at the club or using the public restroom at the concert venue.

"More and more young people are exposed to unsafe levels of sounds. Young people should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won't come back," said Shelley Chadha, a WHO specialist on hearing impairment.

"What you do in your middle thirties will harm your hearing when you're ninety!"

The vuvuzela, a popular wind instrument used in stadiums during the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010, has a sound intensity of 120 decibels and over nine seconds of exposure could result in irreversible hearing damage.

Remember that? Soccer's gonna get popular here in the U.S.A. any day now, I'm telling you. Hey, come back here!

"It is something we can live without," Chadha said referring to the vuvuzela.

Suggested alternatives include foam cheese-wedges, signs with Bible verses and cow bells.

The use of ear plugs in loud conditions and regular check ups were part of the recommendations as well.

You should do that "raise your hand if you hear a sound" b.s. once every three months, minimum.

WHO: You may listen to it on minimum volume for ten seconds, once a year.

The WHO also wants governments to play a role by imposing strict regulations on noise in public places.

Attention potential dictators: here's a way you can ban free speech under the guise of protecting the public heath!

In addition to noise related causes and ageing, it is also brought on by infectious diseases, genetic conditions, complications at birth, and use of certain drugs.

Yeah, I guess we should have mentioned that, too. But that still leaves 0.001% of cases caused directly by blasting Quiet Riot.

Full Article.

Komment Korner

I wish permanent hearing loss to all of them.

Go see Motorhead without earplugs. I made that mistake once. Couldn't hear for a week.

On a positive note, once you're deaf, no more damage to your hearing can occur. Beats the hell out of going blind or dying.

How's that again? Speak up I can't hear you.

WHO cares.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

News You Can't Use: Warren Buffett's Secret to Staying Young

Looking and acting young is what's important, as opposed to maturity and wisdom, which we're working hard to eradicate. The question becomes "How can I stay young north of my eighth decade?" and the answer, naturally, comes from an obscenely wealthy reptile. After earning those big fed reserve notes in such diverse fields as tobacco, coal and China this awful human being has some excellent wellness advice for us all. It turns out "eat garbage" is the magic bullet for sustained and successful evil well into the twilight years.

How does the world’s top investor, at 84 years old, wake up every day and face the world with boundless energy?

Looks at all the energy!

“I’m one quarter Coca-Cola,” Warren Buffett says.

My maternal grandfather was born in the former Coca-Cola republic of Mello Yellistan.

When he told me this in a phone call yesterday (we were talking about the death of his friend, former Coca-Cola president Don Keough), I assumed he was talking about his stock portfolio.

"You'll be dead soon, too, right?" naturally segued into a discussion of his coke habit.

No, Buffett explained, “If I eat 2700 calories a day, a quarter of that is Coca-Cola. I drink at least five 12-ounce servings. I do it everyday.”

Until I can learn to subsist on the misery I cause like some kind of perverse solar panel, this will have to do.

One 12-ounce can of Coke contains 140 calories. Typically, Buffett says, “I have three Cokes during the day and two at night.

Yes, one of the world's wealthiest men is a hopeless prole-drink addict.

Look at me, I'm acting young!

“I’ll have one at breakfast,” he explains, noting that he loves to drink Coke with potato sticks.

That "banality of evil" guy really nailed it.

What brand of potato sticks?

For the love of God please tell me so I can completely become you!

“I have a can right here,” he says. “U-T-Z” Utz is a Hanover, Pennsylvania-based snack maker. Buffett says that he’s talked to Utz management about potentially buying the company.

"I already have extensive experience branding and selling poison."

Investors in Berkshire Hathaway may feel relieved that the CEO isn’t addicted to Utz Potato Stix at every breakfast. “This morning, I had a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream,” Buffett says.

You've got to wonder if he also sleeps in bed mocked up to look like a race car. 

Asked to explain the high-sugar, high-salt diet that has somehow enabled him to remain seemingly healthy, Buffett replies: “I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds. So I decided to eat like a six-year-old.” The octogenarian adds, “It’s the safest course I can take.”

I guess those Michelle Obama school lunch reforms never caught on.

Komment Korner  

I think people have gone overboard with healthy foods, diets, and exercise.

I wouldn't suggest that be a diet someone has all their life.

He's not staying "young", He's going to die soon and good riddance.

Basically, when you have enough money, you become very tolerant of many ailments that would be devastating to us common folk.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Video Game Slush Pile: Duke Nukem Forever

Let me tell you a funny story. Back in 1996 there was a popular murder simulator. There were plans for a sequel. Then it didn't come out. For years. It was hilarious. Take all the same "Any day now!" sarcasms that were being applied to Guns 'n' Roses and you could easily transfer them to this. Promises and promises, decade old pre-order receipts, fake screenshots, it was a komedy kow that the video game community could just keep milking and the udder juice was just as tasty each time.

Then it came out in 2011. I guess the punch line needs some work.

In some ways I'm the ideal person to review this mess and not just because I'm, like, real, real good at the ritin' n' stuff. I'm not a fan of first person shooters, so the entire fifteen years of broken dreams was something I was aware of, but about as dispassionate about it as the average American is about the steady erosion of their rights. Then I saw this game a few months ago, on deep, deep discount and thought "why not!" After all, Chinese Democracy was pure, refined excellence so logically this should follow the same precedent. It's not like "follow the gun" games have changed much since the mid-nineties, right?

  The rating is the only "mature" thing about this.

As far as FPS games go, I thought it was ok. There's the usual collection of guns, sometimes you can throw explosives, and the enemies generally die when you shoot them. Maybe I'm being more forgiving because this wasn't one of those "cover-based" games where you must cower behind preternaturally durable boxes, popping out like finished toast at opportune moments to take a few shots and then resuming the fetal position because trying anything cool or daring will get you wrecked. That's the good news. The bad news is the fire fights are both surprisingly brief and quite difficult. From the title I assumed you'd be a one-man army constantly mowing down hapless foes, but that's not really the case.

   Hang on Sandra Bullshit, I'll save you.

There were some things that stood out as well-done. Your life bar is actually an "ego" bar (I'm protected by balancing the id and wonder I'm constantly dying). The bar can be increased by interacting with the game world and it's actually satisfying to discover ways to increase it. Look in mirror, get a boost. Use a urinal, get a boost. Just like in real life. I'm ready to take on the world as I leave that public restroom, let me tell you.

A lot of the ego increases are tied to crude interactive mini-games. Suffice it to say, they're unimpressive, hard to control and far from the state of the art for such diversions. Still, it's hard not to smile when Duke makes exaggerated moans after pocketing a ball in pool. There's an entire level set in a gentleman's club (You're knocked out and hallucinating...don't ask) that's almost nothing but this. 

Some of the other intentional humor comes in the form of the one-liners. You shoot a pig-alien and Duke says "I don't dig on swine." If you don't at least find that amusing, if dated, I don't know what to tell you. Speaking of references that probably were cutting edge in 1996 but didn't exactly age well for the eventual release we get the Olsen twins as running joke, at least until they die horribly in one of the most tone-deaf moments the game produces.

Still as popular as ever!

The bottom line is, for the most part, the constant grade school playground humor works. While reading some reviews to gather chaff for "The Critics Rave!" section, I noticed more than one reviewer was "offended." Yes, hurt feelings. We need laws. Sorry folks, that's the future we're heading into, where the super-violent and passionately sophomoric fun is a thing of the past. Video games will soon be as gelded as every other form of mass entertainment. 

I've made it a point to try to highlight the good, because the bad is plentiful. There's some truly painful puzzles (Do floating gun game mutants really enjoy these?) including some god-awful platforming. There's a reason most "jump from here to there" games are not first person, a very good reason. You can only carry two guns, cheap deaths are common, loading screens take an eternity, during the loading you get wacky tips like "Don't get hit to avoid damage," there's lame "turret" sequences, the one-liners repeat and start to grate, there's Zelda puzzle bosses and lame gimmicks like "Duke vision" and using steroids as a power-up. Yeah, there's plenty not to like, but overall it's at worst average for the genre. The bizarre release history is what ultimately made it such a desirable target for reviewers.

These will get me mad yolked, bro.

Graphics: Some really disappointing textures, here. Just kidding. They were good enough.

Controls: You have to use your jump to land on platforms and it's a nightmare. Everything else seemed decent enough. The mini-games are a total joke, ranging from nearly unplayable (pool) to merely bad (pinball).

Depth: Yeah, right. You shoot pig-aliens and move around objects to solve truly painful puzzle sequences. The storyline involves the return of the aliens you defeated last time trying to take our women. You get even by blasting them. One thing of note is that this game mocks our government as timid and reluctant to fight even in the face of obvious danger, as opposed to more conventional "wit" where our president is a trigger-happy cowboy of the "Fool me...once...won't get fooled again!" school.

Overall: C+ for the actual game, F------ for a fifteen year wait. 

The Critics Rave!  

Duke returns in classic form, and he's never felt so old, so out of place, and so embarrassing. Just wait until you find the wall boobs. - IGN 

Every time I put the controller down, I felt the need to rub my hands on my jeans as if the game were making me physically dirty. It's like watching your uncle tell racist jokes at Thanksgiving and praying someone has the guts to tell him to cut it out, but this time it's interactive—and you're the uncle. - Opposable Thumbs

This time around, toilets are indestructible - Gamesradar 

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

News You Can't Use: Hong Kong Leader Tells People to Act Like ‘Sheep’

Happy Kung Hei Fat Choy, everyone! Just as I was getting used to writing "Horse" on official documents it's time for a new animal, one that so totally embodies positive characteristics that Great Leader might even suggest you emulate it. Yes, as we kick off the first day of the (great) year, it's time to consider the virtues of grazing wool-makers and how they can help you be a better human unit number within your glorious collective.

Hong Kong’s unpopular chief executive has infuriated pro-democracy campaigners by using a Chinese New Year message to urge the former colony's citizens to act more "like sheep".

Leave it to our unpopular leader to do something unpopular. 1 = 1, in other words. Can't get enough of that reflexive property in journalism, no sir.

In a brief video address commemorating the start of Year of the Sheep, CY Leung said sheep-like behavior was required in the wake of the turbulence caused by last year’s street protests.

Well, that or "corpse-like behavior" depending on how fast you were able to run.

“Last year was no easy ride for Hong Kong. Our society was rife with differences and conflicts,” the chief executive of the former British colony said.

Hopefully this next year for Hong Kong will be a slow ride, take it easy. Appease me, appease me! Slow ride dictatorship, you're so fine.

Also, I get that it once was a colony, you don't have to keep bringing it up because finding other ways to say "Hong Kong" is difficult.

“In the coming year, I hope that all people in Hong Kong will take inspiration from the sheep's character and pull together in an accommodating manner to work for Hong Kong's future.”

"You might find that not asking questions is an enjoyable past time."

In case his message had been missed, Mr Leung noted that the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac had 12 individual "character types".

Sorry if the obvious symbolism was lost on your pea brain. Here, let me really break this thing down.

"Sheep are widely seen to be mild and gentle animals living peacefully in groups," he said.

Yes, that's the usual implication. This is why "Sheeple" is a compliment.

“He has every intention of gobbling up Hong Kong for his Beijing master,” said Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy legislator, noting how Mr Leung’s detractors knew him as “the wolf”.

Whoa, there Claudia. Ask yourself how a lovable sheep would handle this.

Celebrate by watching lots of television!

Mr Leung had a track record of tactlessness, Ms Mo added. “Once he told his supporters that if others have different opinions [they should] go and shout at them.”

Yeah baby, mmmmmmm, you got some different opinions on you, aw yeah. Let me holler at you, get all Mr. Leung up in here with you.

Ma Ngok, a political scientist, told the South China Morning Post, the comment was “not smart”.

Next time just call them the Chinese language equivalent of "folks" and insist that your megalomaniac plans are "The right thing to do."

“He seems like he wants the people to blindly follow what he says like sheep following the shepherd. And CY Leung preaching more peace is kind of ironic because many people see him as the guy causing a lot of conflicts in Hong Kong."

Calls for peace but causes conflicts. That really is ironic, Alanis.

The pro-Beijing leader’s impoverished childhood instilled in him “the importance of determination and perseverance,” the profile said.

See, this is why electing silver-spoon plutocrats is the wise course of action.

Full Article.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure #16: Survival at Sea

After dying of altitude sickness and leaving behind a beautiful frozen corpse that will presumably be found and revived by the future miracle society that will replace the compost heap we're living in right now, I figured it was a good idea to stay with the survival theme. I'm a big fan, clearly. Think about it: Mother Nature really is the ultimate villain. She's totally insane, has neither mercy or remorse and only sees us as a biological singularity that needs to be returned to a happy stasis serving as fuel for her murderous savage gardens. Today this relentless force of evil will take the form of the South Pacific, as it's time to float that boat and feel the motion of the ocean.

 You're not welcome in my grim man vs. nature story, Seasick Sea Serpent Cecil.

Through channels unnamed I've managed to ingratiate myself to a Dr. Vivaldi, an expert on anthropology. At first glance this is a stock Edward Packard character, but even that dismissive assessment is giving Fast Eddie too much credit. There's really no continuity between her appearances or memorable personality traits, so I think it's fair to say she's a reoccurring name he uses. As lazy and pathetic as this is, I guess it does spare us from having a Dr. Mussorgsky or Professor Bartok, so there's that.

Anyway, she's all "Want to go sailing in search of a dinosaur that might still be out there?" and naturally I'm an eager participant in this plan, totally ignoring the fact that this isn't, strictly speaking, the sort of thing an anthropologist does. I suppose I should glass-half-full this thing and just be happy it's not my Uncle trying to use a boat to work out his relationship issues. We're joined by action men Eric and Jack and I'm doing my best to ignore how derivative of earlier Packard books this all is. We'll be setting sail on a boat called the Allegro. Yes, #amwriting newbies, classical music should be your go-to source whenever you need to name something.

 At least it wasn't this Allegro.

Before sailing I listen to a televised interview with an Australian captain who insists he saw the sea monster, although he conveniently leaves out the part where he'd been drinking those over-sized beers all morning. Still, Dr. Mozart Vivaldi is intrigued and insists that the part of the ocean where this dipsomania-fueled encounter allegedly happened would be the perfect environment for this dinosaur. How she would know this  based on her educational credentials is a mystery, although I guess there is such a thing as a talented amateur.

Two days later we're sailing through calm sees, keeping a watch for any Cretaceous period anomalies that might pop up. Instead, we get a message on the radio informing us that a volcano 200 miles away has erupted. This is a Bad Thing because it causes deadly waves, we are told. Eric, who I guess doesn't really take the long view, insists this is our only chance to find the living fossil and that we should sail into the "danger zone." Suffice it to say, I don't find that argument compelling.

Metal under tension beggin' you to touch and go

I'm immediately told my sissy decision doesn't even matter, because here's a fifty foot high wave! Yeah, that's really what happens. All aboard the Survival at Sea railroad, all stops have tidal waves. Ugh. I somehow grab the wheel while we're catching this totally gnarly surf and must decide "which way to steer." I honestly don't think it matters at this particular moment, but figure it would make the most sense not to try to go left or right while in the middle of shooting the curl.

Naturally this leads to my horrible death as another wave is right there to finish the job. If this is what playing it safe gets you I can't even imagine what the "danger zone" would have entailed. Major wipe out, dude.

I did, but it didn't help any.

Another short failed run and this time the book was at fault and not your humble reader. This one sucked.  I should mention the lame gimmick I never got to use: a map on page 13 to help make navigational decisions. Well, the only decision I got to make about our course was choosing between danger zone and non-danger zone. For some reason non-danger zone turned out to be super deadly. Why even give limited agency if it doesn't matter? This problem has been the downfall of many of these books, and Survival at Sea is just another one for that pile. 

This, on the other hand, totally owns.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

News You Can't Use: Cops Tell NJ Teens to Stop Door-to-Door Shoveling Offer

There really is no business like snow business. In fact, I often wonder why "snow jobs" are considered a bad thing, when in reality they're totally righteous. The bottom line is when the White gold, that sweet driveway candy, blankets the land, all any healthy person should see is giant dollar signs and opportunities for do-gooding that will actually be appreciated. Unfortunately, Heat Miser Government had other ideas. When two teens tried to get "high" on some far-out capitalism the five oh was there to derail the trolley.

Two central New Jersey high schoolers who say they were just trying to make some money were ordered by police to stop going door-to-door to offer to shovel snow, CBS New York reported.

Since there's no real crime in New Jersey, the best state in America, there's plenty of time to make sure punk kids abide by the 12,158 simple laws governing intrastate commerce and contract law.

Before this week's storm hit, the two friends from Bridgewater were making the rounds advertising their snow shoveling services.

"We got the idea from a book about economics written in 1874." Next time try fractional reserve banking, kids.

But when the two crossed into Bound Brook, they were stopped by cops.

Snow shovels up, don't shoot.

"We weren't looking to break the law. We just didn't know the law," Matt Molinari said.

That ain't no excuse, punk. Now let me fire the main armament on our police tank at you until you become compliant with all 50,000 pages of commercial legislation that every citizen is expected to memorize.

Police were alerted after someone called to report a suspicious person.

"Someone's trying to exchange services for pecuniary award, please send help."

"Kind of saw like a spotlight, like a police spotlight," said Molinari.

And to think a handful of cranks were opposed to paying taxes to fund the, like, police spotlight.

The high school senior told CBS New York he and his friend got a lesson in local ordinances, putting their shoveling business on the shelf.

For the reporters from the moral, spiritual and literal sewer that is NYC, this story of petty tyranny must have seemed like a glass of cold water on a summer day.

"'They need a permit, un-permitted solicitation is not allowed,'" Molinari said, recalling what the police told the pair.

"And no, the Constitution can't be used as a permit, punk. Here, let me point this loaded gun at you."

The Bound Brook police chief had a different version. He told they are not cracking down on kids shoveling, but rather that it was a state of emergency and they should not have been out.

They were actually breaking Law #144,151.a44!8(f)48ii9, not Law #456,334,566.affr#576#%%3&^. I know, it's a common mistake.

Like I said, totally righteous.

According to CBS New York, the teens were allowed to shovel for customers who called them directly, and they made about $100.

Most of this profit will be taken in taxes to pay for human derelicts, General Motors, Israel and better spotlights for local police.

Komment Korner  

back then we had a lot more snow than we have now

Self-reliance is against the law now. Obysmalcare proved that.

Uhm, yes I'd like to report that there are a couple kids shoveling my sidewalk and I think they are up to no good with their shovels and the snow.

These kids need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.  They must be stopped!

"Serve and Protect" has turned into "I am the rule"

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Choose Your Own Adventure #28: Mountain Survival

After exploring the uplifting world of medieval societal norms and due process, it's back to the present day (Well, the 1984 present day, at least) to try to survive in the mountains. I'm already digging this idea. You're in an inhospitable environment, try to stay alive. Brevity, something something, wit. Honestly, what's not to like about a version of "The Grey" for children.

 Once more into the fray, kids.

The minimalism doesn't stop with the simple concept; we get an introduction worthy of D. Terman. Myself and some guy named "Jake McKay" are flying a wussy R.A. Montgomery-style biplane in the Canadian Rockies and there's a snow storm. We make an awkward crash landing. That's the back story. No motivations or characterization, no time wasted on my hopes and dreams or if I was going to commit suicide the night before this flight. Instead it's right into the action. Rock and roll.

Good old Jake, who I guess I can project whatever traits I want onto, has destroyed his ankle, a nice convenient Burt Reynolds in Deliverance way to take him out of the action. It seems our best hope is a ranger station that should be within walking distance if the map can be trusted. Of course, walking distance in this case is nine miles, which for the average 2015 American might as well be the distance from Earth to Pluto. Also the station looked abandoned when we were flying over it (You've got some sharp eyes, Jake) but there's bound to be food, medical supplies and a radio and not simply an empty room with a sign explaining how the Canadian version of sequestration (All non-essential, non-hockey programs shut down) has closed it down.

   It's not a very walkable area, I'm just sayin'.

Jake offers encouragement and some stiff-upper lip-ism and based on that I'd now feel bad if he got eaten by a wolf or whatever. Making a character likable really isn't rocket science, #amwriting wannabes. I check my gear and head off for that last good fight. After some trampling through nature, it starts to get colder and I'm given a choice between taking an animal trail or trying to cross some whitewater rapids. You know what, falling into nearly freezing, fast moving water is probably the fast track to nothing good, so let's try that trail. 

Of course the other route is no winner, either. First a strong wind comes up and then I'm caught in a full-blown squall. Take cover? But Jake is counting on me, the book nags. Yes, good old Jake, a righteous bro that shared my sissy flight interests and was composed in the face of his own mortality. I owe it to this guy to press on. 

I manage to make my way up one of those mountains that I'm trying to survive. The view is top-shelf, but the going is difficult and head pains and dizziness suggest that either the side-effects of just about every prescription drug ever are kicking in or I'm freezing to death. I can either go back down and try to find another way or press for the summit, only 300 feet off. I came this far, I have to go farther, right?

The agoraphobic adventurer does it again!
I struggle on, but the symptoms get steadily worse and soon I can't breathe at all. When did this nondescript Canadian mountain turn into K-2, man? Suffice it to say I join the choir invisible, a victim of what I self-diagnose as high altitude sickness. Sorry Jake, I guess you're gonna be wolf food.

Not a great run, but I liked this one a lot. It reads like a single-digit title, not #28, a point in the series where fewer choices and endings and more drawn out and often irrelevant prose was starting to become the rule for this series. That's not to say that this one didn't have some nice descriptive writing, but never at the expense of moving the story forward into the next life-threatening situation. Compare it to the god-awful Twist-a-Plot attempt to tell a similar story and there's no denying this one is quality. Good illustrations, too. Top marks, would read again.

No money. Unique skill set (shooting guns, making broken bottle gloves). Tres bien.

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

News You Can't Use: Scientists Developing Disease-Sniffing Smartphone

Is there any problem that can't be solved by Smartphones? The answer is no, assuming you don't consider societal alienation, lack of national vision, currency backed by nothing, a foreign policy that is both overly aggressive and cowardly at the same time, atomization, spiritual cancer, narcissism and ignorance, and the fact that movie tickets keep getting more expensive for some reason to be problems. Based on our national graveyard whistling we clearly don't, so let's all sing Hosannas to this hand-held miracle.

A device that pairs with your smartphone and screens your breath for early detection of potentially life-threatening diseases is in the works at a research consortium at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

At alliteration and redundancy nightmare school we're working hard to create a phone that you can cough on and it will inform you that you've got an incurable and highly communicative cold virus.

Unsurprisingly called the SNIFFPHONE, it's being funded by a grant from the European Commission.

I ain't even surprised, bro.

"It will be made tinier and cheaper than disease detection solutions currently, consume little power, and most importantly, it will enable immediate and early diagnosis that is both accurate and non-invasive," says Professor Hossam Haick, head of the consortium.

It's a lot cheaper and more practical than installing an M.R.I. machine in your house.

A combination of micro and nano-sensors will analyze the exhaled breath and send the information through the smartphone to be processed for interpretation -- perhaps in a corresponding app -- which establishes the diagnosis.

Blow on it. Some sort of magic will occur, perhaps. Get your diagnosis and bask in the relief or terror that comes with it.

Breath analysis to detect disease is a developing science.

So give the guy a break, all right? *tries to start slow clap, fails*

This past May, Dr. Raed Dweik of the Cleveland Clinic in the US published a paper on an experiment in which his team was able to recognize the unique "breathprint" of those with heart failure.

There was no breath at all, what with that whole "failure" thing.

Just checking for diseases, it's perfectly normal.

In 2013, Dr. Ruchi Mathur developed a breath test that reveals an individual's susceptibility to weight gain.

If your breath constantly smells of Big Macs, swine products and diet cola you may have that "susceptibility."

Komment Korner  

It'll be like Star Trek's tricorder as you run your smartphone over an individual and based on the combination of chemicals that is detected, the smartphone can tell what type of disease the person is suffering from or if the they've got a chemical weapon strapped to their body. 

Aaron Zehner is the author of "The Foolchild Invention" available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.