Squid Pens

Pens are wonderful things; easily accessible, and permanent. Reusable pens are even better, when you can refill the ink to reduce waste. The problem is, these can be expensive, and they do require maintenence; who needs all that hassle of changing ink? In addition, they are still not waste-free. Now, a fabulous new pen has been invented to curb waste, and reduce hassle; the Squid Pen.

Squids produce large quantities of ink, pretty much constantly. Why not harnass this ability to create a low-waste pen? Now, Squid Pens have a tiny aquarium at the top of the pen, inside of which a very tiny squid is living and producing ink. Instead of all the expensive ink cartridges, all you need to buy is squid food, to keep your squid alive. The inventor, marine biologist Carl Farley, had this to say about his new pen:

“We specifically breed extra-tiny squids with extra-high ink production. We talked to the squids, and they didn’t have any complaints about their living conditions, either; that being said, squids can’t talk.”

While Squid Pens will be premiering soon, you may want to wait a bit; in a few months, new squids are anticipated with different color inks. I’m holding out for a rainbow squid.

New, High-Tech Credit Cards

Credit cards have been around for a while now; the technology in them has changed, but not drastically. That is, until now. Credit cards always pretty much did one thing; charge purchases. Now, however, they are multitasking tools, with a brand new technology inside: Automatic Cancellation.

The cards memorize the genetic code of a person, and if someone handles the card who doesn’t have a matching code, the card will cancel. In a review of the card, writer Mike Compson said this:

“The card is actually really cool, although it has a flaw; if you’ve recently been holding hands, the card can shut down, due to its detection of foreign genetic material.”

Other things that can cause shut down errors include being placed next to dirty dollar bills, and being put in a wallet (where it will detect the cow DNA from the leather). So, this technology may not be used for a while now.

Other competing technologies include GPS cancellation, which cancels the card if it is ever more than 10 feet from it’s primary user. Compson said:

“This works really well, although some people don’t want to sleep with their credit card. I always have, so it’s fine by me!”

New Video Game, Aids in Weight Loss

Fitness games have been all the rage for years now, ever since someone got famous for losing a huge sum of weight by playing Dance Dance Revolution (results not typical). Ever since then, companies have been introducing game systems, and movement-focused games to get you fit, active, and healthy.

Most of these games focus on the exercise portion of weight loss/healthy lifestyle; they train you to burn off calories. The problem, says game designer Pierre Ramirez, is that exercising makes you hungry; you just put those calories right back, with a few extras. This problem inspired Ramirez to create his own product:

“A healthy lifestyle is not all about exercise; it’s also about eating right, and exercising restraint with regards to food. For that part, I’ve created a food-fantasy video game. It’s like Grand Theft Auto; you’d love to steal cars and shoot people, but you can’t, so you live that fantasy in a virtual world. The only difference is, it’s legal to eat pizza.”

His new game, called “Chew Can Do It!”, involves a tiny rubberized peripheral that the player puts in their mouth. They then can proceed to chew on it, watching the screen for a simulation of eating many unhealthy foods. One tester spoke to us about his experiences with the game:

“It’s like I’m really eating a hamburger, only without any of the good parts of eating a hamburger, like the taste, smell, or texture.”

So far, Ramirez hasn’t had any concrete evidence to support his claim of weight loss aid, but he is testing the product with a variety of products. It is, however, hard to find testers; apparently, people don’t like to respond to ads that say “Looking for Overweight People to Pretend to Chew Food.”

The Generator-Mobile

Automobiles have been around for quite some time now; over 100 years. In that time, technology has evolved considerably, but for the majority of the life of the car, the engine hasn’t changed too much. The internal combustion engine, running on gasoline, has been the most popular engine type, and although their have been competitors, such as electric cars, diesel, and external combustion engines, none have really taken off (external combustion was popular for a while, until people realized that flaming cars are insanely dangerous).

Now, inventor Tim Thompson has a brand new, and highly anticipated, engine, that he hopes will eventually replace the internal combustion engine. Said Thompson:

“I wanted a vehicle that had the best parts of an electric vehicle, and a gasoline-powered vehicle, but I was turned off by the fact that the electric motor only charged while stopped. Additionally, I was strongly averse to fuel efficiency. So, I was forced to create my own, custom automobile prototype.”

Thompson set off on building his prototype, starting off with the basic elements of an electric car. Essentially, an electric car is what he built, but with a key differenc; you don’t have to plug it in to charge it. Instead, the batteries are exclusively charged via a gasoline powered generator, carried on-board.

“Using a gasoline generator, you can now charge anywhere; you just have to fire up the generator, and sit there for several hours. This will also allow you to have unbelievably low efficiency, due to the use of two systems, and extreme amounts of additional weight on your automobile. It’s fantastic.”

Although this technology is something to be admired, there are skeptics; some experts are expressing the bizarre idea that efficiency should be higher, not lower. This is, of course, the minority, but it’s something to look at in the future.

Thompson has already moved on, trying to develop a new, fusion vehicle, that combines an electric motor, and the little-used external combustion engine. Thompson has expressed that he would like to have real flames, not painted ones, “standard with every vehicle.” Look out this summer for the Thompson Motors Combo-Drive line of vehicles; prices start at a steep $125,000, but that’s the price you pay for very low efficiency.

New Laws for Cat Broadcast

Radio is not a recent technology, but it hasn’t been around forever; it was developed less than 150 years ago. Since then, radio has spurned massive amounts of progress, creating other technologies in its wake, such as television, internet, and food processors (similar to the “audio processors” used in radio, food processors were built as an offshoot).

On the other side of the same coin, radio broadcast has also always been a massive center of political and social turmoil. For instance, in the early 20th century, people who have red hair were not allowed to be on the radio, and the massive pressure from the community led to the creation of “Ginger Tuesdays.” This “separate but equal” policy was further overturned, for radio equality for people of all hair colors.

Today, we are living through a similar time. Right now, humans are the only beings allowed to broadcast. This is about to change, with a new law, allowing cats to have radio stations. The first station, WMEOW (132.1 FRB), is projected to power on next month, and some people and cats have some very strong feelings about this. One citizen was overheard saying this;

“This is outrageous. First we feed cats, we take care of them, and now they want equal broadcast rights? No way. They poop in boxes, for god’s sake.”

Other citizens are concerned with a potential reduction in radio quality; constant interruptions by hairballs would be unpleasant to listeners. Currently, only a small segment of the radio frequency spectrum is going to be made available to cat broadcasters; a rule reminiscent of the Ginger Radio Inclusion Act. Right now, instead of AM “Amplitude Modulation” or FM “Frequency Modulation,” cats may only use FRB, “Feline Radio Band”. Many cat activists are hoping that this too will be overturned.

Most radio scholars are excited about this new genre of radio entering the market. They speculate that soon, we can look forward to all-cat music stations, featuring favorites such as “What’s New, Human Being?”, “(I’ve got) The Meower”, and “Meow or Never.” Still, there is some concern that that cat talk radio will consist mainly of bad “meow” puns.

Genetic Predispositions Explain Nomenclature

People have long struggled with the notion of nature versus nurture; our likes, dislikes, actions, and choices, are determined by something, but what that something is seems to be mysterious. Up until now, psychologists have theorized that it is most accurately a mix of genetic materials and training that make us who we are (some psychologists believe in a third variable, called “extraterrestrial manipulation”. This concept is gaining popularity among a small number of psychologists, as well as among unemployed people who failed drug tests). This is still true, but now, some scientists believe that they have found the dividing line.

The things we like are strongly related to this concept of our behavior. Now, we have an idea where exactly our liked things come from; a large, dedicated part of our genetic code. In fact, our genetic sequence is strongly linked to the things we like, evidenced by the fact that every DNA strand looks like a strip of bacon if you squint at it. This obviously makes a connection with the fact that every person in the world loves bacon. In fact, it was this observation that made Dr. John Goldstein-Schweiss want to pursue the subject further:

“I was looking at some genetic material under a microscope, from my own cheek. I observed that it’s shape was distinctly un-bacon-like; as it happens, I hold a world record for being the only person in the world who dislikes bacon. So that got me thinking. As I looked closer, I noticed that a lot of my sequences looked like famous actors I enjoy, and the Robert De Niro sequence was so convincing, I actually removed it and used it for the first microscopic reenactment of ‘Raging Bull’.”

What seems to be one of the most interesting implications is that genetic predispositions are language based, and therefore, we can make connections, and make more useful naming conventions. As D.J. G-Schweiss mentioned to us:

“Nomenclature is closely related to genetics. So, for instance, if a person likes the rapper Eminem, they are also likely to enjoy M & M’s candies, due to the similar sounding name. This is why Sir Francis Bacon became so popular; it’s the most common genetic predisposition, as I stated before.”

This is a wonderful piece of knowledge for would-be advertisers, product inventors, and Homecoming Queens; they need only change their name to have the ring of something popular, and they should see a dramatic popularity increase.

In unrelated news, this blog will be undergoing a name change soon, becoming “Weekly Puppy Week,” but will continue sharing science news daily.

The Soap Soap

Let’s start this one off with a poll: Who here has peeled a bar of soap before using it for the first time? The better question is, who hasn’t? After all, we all know that soap from a factory is absolutely filthy on the outside layer, and it’s a waste of water to thoroughly scrub soap before first use. Peeling seems like the only option to many frustrated, helpless Americans.

What if you could get soap from the store, and expect it to be clean? It would be truly amazing if you could use the soap without heavy cleansing. Now, this futuristic vision has come true, with a supercleanser that soap factories are calling “The Soap Soap.”

Head of Development at Squeaky Soaps Corporation, Mr. Stanley Washington, had this to say about his company’s amazing new product:

“We see this as a massive step forward in soap technology; now, it’s easier than ever for people at home to get clean. We expect that, when this product hits the shelves, we will see a decrease in stinky kids in classrooms by at least 25%.”

We also got some words from the inventor, Ms. Sandra “Suds” Bath:

“Now we can clean soap right in the factory, in a giant vat of Soap Soap. Then we will vacuum-pack the soap, so you no longer need worry about all the work it takes to get some soap; just take some scissors and open a fresh bar up!”

Finally, we spoke to the team’s environmental responsibility expert, Mr. Howard Takingashower, on considerations regarding the effect of this product on the environment:

“There’s a lot of plastic, but we think it is very worthwhile to reduce soap waste. So many soap shavings used to just go down the drain, and now, they are cleaned and used.”

Because Soap Soap has rare ingredients, soaps cleansed with this powder will probably be costly (Soap Soap is made of 95% dirt and 5% diamonds), but the convenience of these new, clean soaps will probably outweigh the $75.82 price tag for many consumers.