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
I’m not an engineer, but I can’t stop watching this hypnotic and oddly satisfying video of tying rebar.
The Australian Acoustic Observatory project, described by its creators as a kind of “Google Street View of sound,” is a new acoustic sensor network of hundreds of microphones and digital audio recorders distributed across multiple remote ecosystems on the continent. The solar-powered system will record animal and natural sounds continuously for 5 years. According to […]
Is your brain a machine? Are your thoughts and feelings just malware of the mind? (And what “really” is a machine, anyway?) John and Eva referee the transhumanist fight of the century. In the blue corner, we have Eva meeting founder and Bryan Johnson, CEO of Kernel, straight from his office in LA. And in […]
Every Christmas list has names you dread buying for. But hold up: Before you wave the white flag and get them yet another gift card, scroll down a few. We’ve got 15 items that run the gamut from stylish old-school lighters to cutting-edge audio tech, enough variety to please any Scrooge. And the best part? […]
We’re living in the age of Big Data. As the driving force behind everything from Google’s famed algorithms to self-driving cars, massive sets of complex data can be found at the heart of some of today’s most exciting and important technologies. The Ultimate SQL Bootcamp Certification Bundle will give you the skills and tools you […]
So you missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Well, there’s one more holiday milestone coming up: Green Monday, on Dec. 16. It’s one of the busiest online shopping days for the simple reason that it will be 10 days before Christmas, which is when last-minute shoppers start to stress. Our advice? Don’t wait for that […]