A centrifuge creates excess gravitational force (G's) by spinning
things, and sometimes people. (It's excess G's that press you into
your roller coaster seat on those nauseating loops.) Aerospace
medicine types spent lots of time in the 1960s documenting the
unpleasant effects of excess G's. If a pilot starts spinning in a
high-altitude bailout, for instance, the outward force on his/her head
can rupture vessels in the eyes and brain and even, at spins in excess
of 175 rpm, spin the brain right off its brainstem. La, la la.
Seen here is an unusual example of excess G's being harnessed
for the good. The patent holders, George B. and Charlotte Blonsky,
contend that the centrifuge could be a boon to "more civilized
women," who, they surmise, often lack the muscle strength needed to
easily push out a baby. Centrifugal force would act as a sort of
invisible midwife, lessening the muscular force required for birthing.
Would it work, though? Could one create enough outward force on the
baby to make a difference -- without simultaneously making the mother
lightheaded? I sent the patent to April Ronca, who used to research
the effects of zero G on fetal growth and birth for NASA. "That is
an interesting invention," she replied.
As with so many U.S. patents -- the "Decorative Penile
Wrap" I stumbled onto while researching my previous book leaps to mind
-- one longs to know the back story. Did Charlotte undergo a
difficult birth? Did the couple actually build and use the thing? Perhaps they'll read this and post a comment.
Note the elasticized "pocket-shaped newborn net" - lest the
baby shoot out and bump its head with double-G force.
Patent No. 3,216,423: Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child
by Centrifugal Force, Patented November 9, 1965
Researchers at UC Riverside and Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada have published a paper describing their ongoing success in setting a “transparent nanocrystalline yttria-stabilized-zirconia” into patients’ skulls, which reveal the patients’ brains so that the patients’ brains can be zapped with therapeutic lasers.
One million miles from Earth, hanging in space between Earth’s gravitational pull and the sun’s, is the DSCOVR satellite and NASA’s incredible EPIC camera. Every two hours, EPIC takes a photo of Earth “to monitor ozone and aerosol levels in Earth’s atmosphere, cloud height, vegetation properties and the ultraviolet reflectivity of Earth.” The above video […]
In Botswana, conservation scientists from the University of New South Wales are painting eyes on the rear ends of cattle in an effort to deter lions from eating them. As the lions’ protected habitats shrink, they move closer to human settlements. In Botswana, the lions attack the livestock that the subsistence farmers count on. That […]
Much of what goes into creating an amazing photo happens in the digital darkroom. Here’s your chance to master all things photo editing: the Ultimate Adobe Photo Editing Bundle, now available in the Boing Boing Store for just $29.99.Across 8 courses and over 41 hours of intensive instruction, you’ll learn the fundamentals of Adobe’s suite of photo […]
3D printers are hot, but they’re also pricey. While the prospect of cranking out everything we can dream up is enticing, cost is often one factor that keeps us from jumping onto the 3D printing train.Now, thanks to M3D, that doesn’t have to be the case. You can now get its flagship 3D printer–plus four reels of filaments–for just […]
It’s no secret that technology is changing the way we all work—but it’s also transforming the way we play. The games of today look nothing like those of 10 or even 20 years ago: these days it’s all about mobile and 3D. And now you can learn to design 3D mobile games with the Intro to Unity 3D Game […]