Fire alarms for the deaf typically involve strobe lights or vibration (such as a vibrating bed or pillow to wake a sleeper). But over in Japan, a few years back, researchers invented an alarm that sprayed the smell of Wasabi into the air. Tests revealed it could wake sleepers within two minutes.
The researchers also tested the smells of banana, coconut milk, and tea tree oil, but they found the smell of wasabi worked best.
Back in the old days, when politicians still felt obliged to reveal their finances...
October 1952: Mike Murphy, 12-year-old candidate for secretary of the student body at Madison high school in Phoenix, AZ, felt it would be the honest thing to do to release a full financial statement. He revealed that he earned a dollar a week allowance, and a dollar for every gopher he caught in the yard. Gophers from neighbors' yards didn't count. He won the election.
Apparently this thing did fly. It was designed by Steven Nemeth in the early 1930s. He boasted that it was so simple to fly that a person who had never been off the ground could learn to fly it in 30 minutes. Plus, it could be housed in a hangar not much larger than an average garage.
There was only one prototype ever made, and it's not clear why the plane was never developed further. Disciples of Flight speculates that "the design’s low aspect ratio wing may have meant a lot of additional drag."
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
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