Horseradish smell fire-alarm for waking up deaf people

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37 Responses to “Horseradish smell fire-alarm for waking up deaf people”

  1. Barry Foy says:

    Note: Wasabi is not horseradish. Wasabi is wasabi. Horseradish, likewise, is horseradish. They are not related.

  2. Max Sparber says:

    I don’t want horseradish to be associated with something terrible; I prefer to just enjoy it on Passover, when it reminds us of the destruction of the second Temple.

  3. Village Idiot says:

    Maybe the sprinklers could emit pepper spray? Seriously..

    Actually, I’d intended to remove the word “seriously” before hitting the “post” button. Seriously!

    It might work for getting grizzly bears out of buildings, however.

  4. Takuan says:

    “Wasabia japonica, Cochlearia wasabi, or Eutrema japonica) is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbages, horseradish and mustard. Known as “Japanese horseradish”

    Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana, syn. Cochlearia armoracia) is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which includes mustard, wasabi, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to southeastern Europe and western Asia,”

  5. EncarnacionFlor says:

    Sounds pretty cool. I have a very close friend who has been becoming more and more deaf as she has aged- I believe she finally got declared legally deaf at 21. It is much more difficult to be hard of hearing than deaf, but that is beside the point. In any case, because of that, I’m all about having good fire alarms in place for Deaf people. When the alarm went off in our dorm room, I was her alarm, letting her know that the rest of us were hearing an annoying sound. Had she been in the room alone and the door closed (blinky light in hall might have gotten her attention, plus everyone else leaving), it is likely that no one would have come. Was always scared that it would sound in the middle of the night, and I would be too deeply asleep to hear it.
    My only concern with something like this deals with allergies. If you are going to shove copius amounts of some irritant in the air, it would be a good idea that it won’t close in anyone’s airway while you are at it.

  6. EncarnacionFlor says:

    Sounds pretty cool. I have a very close friend who has been becoming more and more deaf as she has aged- I believe she finally got declared legally deaf at 21. It is much more difficult to be hard of hearing than deaf, but that is beside the point. In any case, because of that, I’m all about having good fire alarms in place for Deaf people. When the alarm went off in our dorm room, I was her alarm, letting her know that the rest of us were hearing an annoying sound. Had she been in the room alone and the door closed (blinky light in hall might have gotten her attention, plus everyone else leaving), it is likely that no one would have come. Was always scared that it would sound in the middle of the night, and I would be too deeply asleep to hear it.
    My only concern with something like this deals with allergies. If you are going to shove copius amounts of some irritant in the air, it would be a good idea that it won’t close in anyone’s airway while you are at it.

  7. Antinous says:

    Yeah, but people confuse wasabi with daikon. And the green stuff that you get in restaurants or in the tube is horseradish mixed with chinese mustard. Most westerners have never tasted wasabi.

  8. noen says:

    You know I bet if you looked you could find people snorting wasabi. Oh my! That wasn’t hard.

    snorting wasabi

    The internets is God.

  9. Not a Doktor says:

    why not test it with something most people will never encounter in the house? say skunk smell or raccoon urine (most horrid smell of all)

  10. efergus3 says:

    You can find REAL Wasabi at Nirmala’s Kitchen http://www.nirmalaskitchen.com/japan_tin2.php versus Western Wasabi which is the colored horseradish stuff. BIG difference.

  11. arkizzle says:

    #8

    Maybe the sprinklers could emit pepper spray? Seriously…

    Brilliant, just when you fall or get trapped, in the panic of escape, and can’t move, some dickwad turns on the pepper spray sprinkler in your room, to really make the point that you are in a lot of trouble.

    Smokey: can breath a little, below the smoke line..
    +
    Pepper Spray: can’t breath at all.

    Super.

  12. Nelson.C says:

    #25: These are Japanese researchers, so I guess that they went with a local product, rather than some exotic foreign substance. Is skunk-smell easily obtainable in the States?

  13. rabican says:

    What about the little green tubes of wasabi you can get in Asian food stores? Is that real wasabi?

  14. Antinous says:

    No. It’s common (but not vulgar) horseradish mixed with chinese mustard. Wikipedia has a lovely article about it.

  15. Antinous says:

    Jeff Shang,

    We’re going to find you and treat you to some interspecies dating.

  16. Takuan says:

    SPAMMY LITTLE BASTARD AREN’T YE!

  17. Xenu says:

    What happens if you’re already eating horseradish when the alarm goes off?

  18. Bookyloo says:

    Or even more to the point: what if the house already smells like noxious smoke?

    It still seems like the other alarms for deaf people that already exist (beds that shake violently and/ or strobe lights) would work better.

  19. Antinous says:

    Maybe the sprinklers could emit pepper spray? Seriously…

    Volatile hydrocarbons have a strong smell, too.

  20. Agent 86 says:

    …I can’t believe I never thought about that! Which is funny, cause I had deaf friends for a while and even picked up sign language.

  21. macegr says:

    You know what it feels like when you breathe out through your nose after eating too much wasabi? Yeah…that kind of “alert”. I think this will be pretty effective.

  22. Teapunk says:

    And who wouldn’t want to wake up to the lovely smell of wasabi…
    Wait a moment: Beds that shake violently and/or strobe lights?
    Are we talking about torture instruments?!

  23. Takuan says:

    makes sense, think smelling salts. The nose must hotwire to that part of the brain concerned about survival and consciousness. The association,once made,would stick too.

    As beds shaking you awake; there are more pleasant physical sensations….

  24. eliterrell says:

    This reminds me of one of my father’s favorite tricks, when I was growing up on a farm. He’d be grinding fresh horseradish in a blender and innocently invite a passerby to take a whiff at close proximity. I think it might take a person to a whole new level of wakefulness. The embarrassing thing is that he got me with that one twice.

  25. davesjoint says:

    I really don’t see anything wrong with it though. It could be used along with one of the other methods (i.e. bed shaking alarm) in order to increase the chances of escaping unharmed. I think it’s a great idea!

    http://www.davesjoint.com

    davespersonalsafetyblog

  26. Village Idiot says:

    I know for a fact that this would work great for quickly evacuating large buildings full of reluctant evacuators, such as hotels. Maybe the sprinklers could emit pepper spray? Seriously…

    Many years ago a former teacher of mine who liked to work as a chef on the side cleared out a hotel with a wok and some habañeros. Seems he heated up the oil way too hot, and when he tossed the peppers in, the big sizzling cloud of smoke that resulted was basically grizzly-strength pepper spray. He quickly turned on the ventilation fans which he immediately discovered were attached to the hotel’s HVAC system, so every room in the hotel filled with pepper spray and everyone cleared out in record time.

  27. Hounskull says:

    Wow, smoke detector and riot control device. False alarms from cooking must be unpleasant. Wonder how long the smell lasts.

    Maybe for hearing people they’ll make an alarm that yells: WASABI!!! real loud.

  28. Takuan says:

    @7

    but not a third time,eh?

    Did it take long to wash out the grinder?

  29. Takuan says:

    @8

    the kitchen fans were connected to the room HVAC ducting? In order to spread grease fires more quickly?

  30. Village Idiot says:

    Takuan: I believe he switched the wrong fans on (this was 17 years ago), like when you turn on the fan in an HVAC system but not the heat or AC in order to circulate the air. There wasn’t time to fix the mistake and switch on the exhaust fans since everyone was already running outside and practically-speaking blind (lots of choking and gasping for air too). Oops.

  31. pauldrye says:

    If my own experience is any guide, “coffee and bacon” is even better at waking people.

  32. Takuan says:

    hummph, a good tale nonetheless

    try urinating on the sauna heater

  33. Blackbird says:

    @8
    I don’t know what the Fire Dept says in your area regarding high-rise building and hotel evacuations, but within the last few years, more and more departments are telling you to stay put (not evacuate) unless the fire is on your floor, or directly above or below. That’s why fire alarms are quickly followed by an announcement of location/floor of the alarm. BTW – this hasn’t yet been ‘applied’ to ‘public’ building like theatres and such.

    New building guidelines are for pressurized hallways and stairwells(during alarm conditions), to keep smoke out and fire in. Apparently, since this was introduced, there has not been one fire that has passed INTERNALLY from one suite to another. Balconies are a completely separate matter.

    The reason they ask you NOT to leave is that, since you likely safer where you are, you will only get in their way, and are more likely to get hurt by the evacuation process (falling/tripping…) than by smoke or fire. But again, this is only for newer buildings.

    Ha…alarm just went off here! Great timing.

  34. noen says:

    more and more departments are telling you to stay put (not evacuate) unless the fire is on your floor, or directly above or below.

    There is quite a bit of cognitive dissonance wrapped up in that.

  35. Greg_Iverson says:

    Horseradish?…What ever happened to a good ol’ wasabi beat down! :)

    -iTunes, eat your heart out…
    http://www.myspace.com/soundbeastdigital

  36. kitschnbeautician says:

    I recently discovered that horseradish smells like cocaine – anybody else notice this? While I was tempted, I resisted the urge to snort it!

  37. Leslie says:

    #18 OMG, you’re right. I can’t believe I never thought about that. And wasabi powder looks like that orchid drug in Adaptation. Coincidence?

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