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January 15, 2011

BehindTheMedspeak: Chewing gum improves postural stability

Breaking news from a paper by Japanese scientists Keisuke Kushiro and Fumiyuki Goto, published in the January 2011 issue of Neuroscience Letters: chewing gum improves the postural stability of people attempting to stand still with their feet together and arms at their side.

The abstract of the report follows.


Effect of masticating chewing gum on postural stability during upright standing

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of masticating chewing gum on postural stability during upright standing. To address this issue, 12 healthy subjects performed quiet standing on a force platform for the posturography study. The subjects were instructed to stand as stable as possible on the force platform in order to record the trajectory of the center-of-pressure (COP). After measuring the postural sway in the initial condition (pre-condition), the subjects were asked to stand while masticating chewing gum (gum-condition). Following the gum-condition, quiet standing without mastication was evaluated (post-condition) to ensure the effect of masticating chewing gum on postural stability. The trajectory and velocity of the COP were analyzed for each condition. We found that the postural stability tended to enhance during mastication of chewing gum. The rectangle area of the COP trajectory significantly diminished in the gum-condition and significantly enlarged in the post-condition. A similar effect was observed in the maximum velocity and standard deviation (SD) of the fore-aft amplitude of the COP trajectory. The values were significantly smaller in the gum-condition compared to those in the post-condition. These findings suggest that mastication of chewing gum affects the postural control by enhancing the postural stability during upright standing.


[via the Wall Street Journal]

January 15, 2011 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Symbol Coat Rack


"Flip-down hooks lie flat until called upon; anodized aluminum."


36.25" x 6" x 1.5".



[via the New York Times]

January 15, 2011 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"The Girl Chewing Gum" — by John Smith

Ken Johnson wrote in yesterday's New York Times, "The exhibition's far and away best work is a black-and-white film by the British artist John Smith called 'The Girl Chewing Gum' (1976).

"As various pedestrians come and go on a busy, urban street, a narrator's shouting voice describes their actions seconds before they happen, as if he were directing actors in a movie or had fallen into an alarming state of premonitory consciousness. It is as funny as a Monty Python episode, and it wonderfully captures that uncanny feeling of scripted unreality that at one time or another befalls many of us citizens of the modern world."

January 15, 2011 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

SoleMates — "Never sink into the grass again"


With a tagline like that, who wouldn't want them?


I read about these high heel protectors in Laura Petrecca's January 10, 2011 USA Today article.


Apparently I'm the last person in America to twig because according to the story


they've already sold over 100,000 pairs.


Black: $7.50 a pair.

Clear: $9.95 a pair.

Silver: $11.95 a pair.

Gold: $11.95 a pair.

January 15, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

ReadMyQuips — Lip Reading Trainer


Reader Sara Gould emailed me as follows:


Something quirky your readers might like?

Volunteers are needed to test run a new audiovisual speech perception training program called ReadMyQuips. In the program, the noise in the audio portion is varied adaptively depending on the person's answer. The sentences are quips taken from people as varied as Winston Churchill and Groucho Marx. Using a crossword puzzle format, the subject simply fills in the answers in the designated boxes. In the trial run, the intent is to identify and correct any software bugs that may still be remaining.

Prospective users can download a trial version at www.sensesynergy.com.
The only thing asked of people taking the trial run is that they report any problems with the software, and submit a brief survey (included in the program) telling the company he or she thinks.

January 15, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Elemental Clock


Uncle Tungsten*, call your office: your clock is here.



January 15, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

18-karat gold business card


Pictured above, it's Jonathan Koon's, and I'll bet you no one has ever thrown one away.

I happened on it in Joe Pompeo's Bloomberg BusinessWeek story about the fresh prince of streetwear.

January 15, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Pack Rack


Plastic animal head hooks on black walnut, white oak or long leaf yellow pine.


Designed by Steph Mantis.

10" x 1.5" x 0.6".



[via the New York Times]

January 15, 2011 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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