A Glass That Warns You If Your Drink's Been Spiked
Thanks in part to a successful crowdfunding campaign, backers of the DrinkSavvy line -- glasses, cups, straws and stirrers that react to the presence of common "date-rape" drugs -- will start receiving the product next month.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Starting next month, bar patrons may begin seeing a special kind of drinkware while out and about: DrinkSavvy is a line of cups, glasses, stirrers and straws that change color or pattern if a drink has been spiked with "date-rape" drugs Rohypnol, GHB, or ketamine. This first release is headed for some of the backers who helped contribute $52,000 to an Indiegogo campaign last December. A larger commercial release is planned for mid-2014, at which time select rape crisis centers will also be able to get the drinkware for free.
What's the Big Idea?
According to a 2007 estimate, approximately 200,000 American women experience drug-related assault each year. After unknowingly consuming a spiked drink himself, and finding current testing kits cumbersome, DrinkSavvy founder Mike Abramson worked with a chemistry professor to create drinkware with built-in testing material. "The neat thing is that the cups and straws look just like any other cup or straw, so you don't really need to do anything...[They] will immediately change color – within three seconds or so – from coming in contact with date-rape drugs." Although most of the first release is going to individuals, Abramson says that bar and restaurant owners have also expressed interest in replacing their existing drinkware with DrinkSavvy products.
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Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
- Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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