Category Archives: Cool

Winston-Salem Doc’s Orgasmatron Can’t Get Lift Off

Following is the true story of a Winston-Salem doctor who has discovered a way to give women an orgasm with the push of a button, but can't get his device to market because of a surprising lack of volunteers and funding:

The doctor who discovered in 2001 that a pain-relief implant could also trigger orgasms is still struggling to raise interest in studying it further.

Stuart Meloy, a surgeon at Piedmont Anesthesia and Pain Consultants in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was investigating how the device could be used to treat woman who have difficulty achieving orgasm, but we reported in 2003 that volunteers for early tests were proving hard to find.

As of 2014, the massive media interest in the device has not translated into the $6 million that Meloy estimates would be needed to run a full trial…

Meloy stumbled on the idea while performing a routine pain-relief operation. "We implant electrodes into the spine and use electrical pulses to modify the pain signals passing along the nerves," he told New Scientist in 2001. The patient remains conscious during the operation to help the surgeon find the best position for the electrodes. Meloy's breakthrough came one day when he failed to hit the right spot. "I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically," he says. "I asked her what was up and she said, `You're going to have to teach my husband to do that'."

This is an obvious candidate for a Kickstarter campaign.

Urinal Dynamics

BYU, of all places, has posted what is likely the most useful study any man will ever find – Urinal Dynamics – on Splash Lab.

This research highlights the physics of urinal usage.  Through high-speed videos we show that significant splash back can occur when using a urinal, however, there are mitigation techniques.  First, aim for a vertical surface rather than a horizontal one and keep away from the water bowl.  Second, get close enough that the stream remains a stream rather than breaking up into droplets.  Third, aim at an angle to the urinal either by aiming sideways or downward.

And we have video!

The Punkest of Almost Rock Stars

What to do after you've been kicked out of two of the biggest bands in rock? Go special forces of course:

Even with more than 20 years of perspective, Everman still doesn’t have a clear answer for what went wrong. “To be honest, I never had any expectations about the gig,” he told me. “It just ended.” In “Come as You Are,” the definitive book on Nirvana, by Michael Azerrad, Cobain dismissed Everman as a “moody metalhead.” Even worse, he boasted about not paying Everman back for “Bleach,” claiming it was payment for “mental damages.” In Nirvana — a band with a lead singer so famously tortured that he would commit suicide — Jason Everman was kicked out for being a head case…

Everman had always liked Nirvana, but he loved Soundgarden. Playing bass for them — on the verge of stardom as they were — was the most-coveted gig in Seattle — even one of Everman’s old friends, Ben Shepherd, auditioned. Soundgarden, meanwhile, had called Jason right away. “We knew things ended with Nirvana on less-than-ideal terms,” Kim Thayil, their guitarist, told me. “He didn’t fit with Nirvana? Big deal. That’s them. We’re Soundgarden. We’re a different animal.” In the first audition, he impressed them all. “Jason was the guy,” Soundgarden’s drummer, Matt Cameron, remembered. “Jason came prepared.” After the disaster with Nirvana, now Everman was playing bass for his favorite Seattle band. He couldn’t believe his luck. As he put it to me, “What were the chances of all that happening?”…

When Soundgarden returned home, they called a band meeting. Jason showed up on Cameron’s porch thinking it was about the next record. Thayil told me, “I thought I would be diplomatic . . . and wasn’t getting to the point.” He said Chris Cornell, Soundgarden’s singer, finally cut to the chase: It wasn’t working out, Cornell said. Thayil remembers thinking: We’re not behaving like a band. I’m not happy. No one here is happy. No one’s talking to each other. Just like that, Everman was fired again…

When he arrived for basic training at Fort Benning, his hair was cut, his nose ring was removed; he was as anonymous as every other recruit. At 26, he wasn’t an old-timer, but he was close to it. Training had been going on for about a month when Cobain committed suicide and Everman’s rock past was discovered, which gave more ammunition to the drill sergeants. There was a lot of “O.K., rock star, give me 50.” Everman insists he didn’t expect anything else…

I wanted to know every detail, but he wouldn’t say much. Or couldn’t. There’s a code among Special Forces: they don’t talk about what they do. I actually think this was part of the appeal for Everman. After having such a public rock face, he went for something that wasn’t just anonymous; it was classified. Mimi once met a couple of Special Forces guys who idolized Jason. “They didn’t approach like the usual fanboys who asked, ‘Your brother was in Nirvana?’ ” she said. “No, they came to me like: ‘Jason Everman is your brother?’ ” One turned to the other and said, “Dude, do you know what that guy’s done?”…

After he left the military in 2006, he used the G.I. Bill to apply to two places: Seattle University and Columbia University. He says he threw Columbia in almost as a joke. General McChrystal wrote a letter of recommendation. To Everman’s shock, he was accepted. “It’s almost like a dare that went too far — and it keeps going.” At 45, he just received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy.


Playing Foursquare

Finally I'm seeing a payoff for the ridicule I've endured for continuing to use Foursquare.  I'm not really a hardcore user because I probably forget to check into places I visit about 50% of the time, but when I do check in I get one of two reactions if I'm with someone: if they're an "online" person they say "Are you still using that goofy service?" and if they're a Luddite they say "Is that another one of those stupid social media things you're into?" My reply is usually a shrug or I'll say, "Well sometimes I can get a discount." But all this time what I've really been hoping for is a way to track where I go and the kinds of places I prefer and finally Foursquare has come through with Time Machine.

This screenshot below is a map that shows my 1200+ checkins over the last few years and some graphs that show the kind of places I like visit. It won't surprise anyone who knows me that I really like coffee shops.

Here's what's really smart about it though: the time machine then asks if I want to see the future and then takes the opportunity to recommend places to visit based on my history. What I like about this is it highlights parts of Foursquare that I haven't used, didn't really realize I could use, and will now probably utilize. Basically they've helped me understand that this could be much more than just a gimicky, fun, service as Fred Wilson pointed out in his post about Time Machine:

I've been using Foursquare for about four years and have checked in almost 5,000 times. That's an average of 3.4x a day. No wonder Foursquare is so good at making recommendations for me when I am in places I don't know much about.

I plan on testing Foursquare's recommendations on my next trip. As I use the recommendations I'll probably realize that if I were to check in more often I would get even better recommendations, which will lead to more check ins, which will lead to better recommendations, etc.