From Nicholas Derenzo of Hemispheres Magazine:
Trans-Atlantic voyages have been big news since Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But this summer, a new “traveler” has joined the trailblazing ranks of Lindbergh and Earhart: Inventors David Edwards and Rachel Field, of Harvard University, transmitted the world’s first “scent message” from Paris to New York City on a new device by Vapor Communications called the oPhone (o for olfactory).
Before this time, transmitting smells transcontinentally was only possible via junior high boys.
To toast the special occasion, the first fragrances chosen were appropriately celebratory (and French): Champagne and macarons. The system will serve as a personalized and customizable take on the classic Smell-O-Vision model.
Wait, Smell-O-Vision? The same thing listed in Time Magazine’s “Top 100 Worst Ideas of All Time”?!
Sure, there are interesting real-world uses for such an invention, such as adding smells to immersive museum exhibits (Wow! The Mona Lisa smells like cottage cheese!) or using enticing aromas in advertisements to lure customers. (Tour the exotic hog farms of West Virginia!) But for the vast majority of us, this new technology should just prove, well, remarkably fun—like an olfactory emoji. Imagine, for example, how the addition of a mouthwatering whiff of bacon will up your brunch-bragging game on social media or how an additional sensory experience might improve your latest vacation slideshow.
Not my family vacations: …and in this shot, we see our four-year-old playing in the dumpster next to the carcass of a dead skunk. Whoa, Nelly!! I hate that slide!
The oPhone, which sold for $149 in a pre-order that closed in July, is expected to hit the market next spring. Here, we sniff out the details on your new favorite tech toy.
1. Each oPhone can be loaded with eight replaceable oChips, which act like a printer’s toner cartridge. An oChip in turn contains four wicks, each of which is infused with a basic building-block scent, such as “buttery,” “cocoa beans” or “tropical fruit.” For now, the aromatic palette is exclusively centered on food and coffee, but Edwards plans to diversify the offerings with future releases.
2. An app called oSnap is then used to tag photographs by combining these 32 primary scents into more than 300,000 customized creations. You might, for example, replicate the unique aroma of a cheeseburger by selecting “meaty,” “cheesy” and “grilled toast.” In future models, the app may even be able to recognize images and tag certain objects automatically.
3. When the signal reaches the phone, a tiny fan is triggered, and the relevant wicks spin in the air current. The transmitted smell then puffs out of the receiver, dissipating after only a few seconds—just long enough for the nose to detect it. Eventually, users will be able to send scent messages through email, Twitter and Facebook.
So, finally, after all these years of waiting, I can email my sister, “Dear Sis, for old times’ sake… pull my finger!”
Next, Clayburn Cox calls into the show to talk about a recent trip to Auburn, Alabama. He was walking along the sidewalk, enjoying a cookies and cream ice cream cone, when all of a sudden, a guy approached him and complimented him on his shoes. Clayburn then did the socially acceptable thing in Alabama, which is to say “Thank you”, and then turn the opposite way and walk away. This is universally understood as communicating, “Thank you… but I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” However, this person didn’t get the universal memo. He continued to follow Clayburn and ask him all about his shoes. Even after Clayburn repeatedly turned his back to the guy, he kept asking about the shoes, where he bought the shoes, what Clayburn’s shoe size is. (Now we’re getting personal). When it was revealed that they wear the same size shoe, the guy even asked to try on Clayburn’s shoes!
Now, being raised in the 80’s Clayburn was prepared for certain situations. If someone offers you drugs, you say nope to dope and ugh to drugs. If someone offers you alcohol, you say eww to the hooch. But he wasn’t ready for this. So, when he said, “Hey man, can I try on your shoes?” Clayburn replied “okay”.
After giving the guy his left shoe, the guy realized that poor, confused Clayburn was now standing with only one shoe on, so he asked, “Well… do you want to try on my shoes?” Clayburn was in so deep already, he figured, why not? (because it’s stupid… that’s why not!)
The guy then asked Clayburn a question that he didn’t see coming: “So, what do you think of my shoes?”
Clayburn didn’t know what to do other than be honest, so he replied, “Well… to be frank, I like the way my shoes look more than yours, but your shoes are very comfortable, so I guess we both have nice shoes.”
Poor, naïve, honest, Clayburn was so far over his skis at this point, he didn’t know what to do. All he could think was “Don’t make any rash decisions. If you agree to trade, that’s permanent.” So he agreed to take them out for a test drive. The two of them exchanged both left and right shoes, went for a short walk and agreed to return back to the place where they met.
According to Clayburn, these turned out to be the most comfortable shoes he has ever worn in his life! Ugly, but they felt wonderful.
So, the two shook hands and made the deal.
Now, when somebody tells Clayburn that he can never really understand somebody until he has walked a mile in their shoes, he can honestly say that he has walked several miles in somebody else’s shoes. And he is much more comfortable for doing it.
Finally, Henry Cho joins the show to talk about his act. Henry, a professed Christian has always “worked clean”, not using profanity in his comedy routines. Now, although he has never labeled himself as a “Christian comedian”, he says he is a comedian who just happens to also be a Christ-follower… because for the most part, Christian comedians aren’t funny (at least that’s the overwhelming perception out there). Anyway, this approach has allowed him to do the same act in Sin City as he does at the First Baptist Church.
Henry is married with children. He married a woman from Arab, Alabama. Now, the town was originally named Arad, but someone misspelled it on the water tower, and they quickly realized that it would be easier to just rename the town than climb up on the tower and repaint. There are still remnants of the city’s Arad roots, but the townsfolk are typically too weary to recall the story every time someone asks. Maybe that’s why Henry married her – just for the southern comedy material.
For instance, when Henry’s father met his wife’s mother for the first time, it became a Laugh Out Loud keepsake! Now, Henry is full-blooded Korean, but he was raised in Nashville, Tennessee… which makes him “South-Korean”. So, when Henry’s dad met his southern mother-in-law, she naturally did what many Americans do when they meet someone who comes from a different place with a different language – she spoke loud and slowly.
Standing right next to him, she said, “HELLO… MISTER… CHO!”
His dad then looked at him and said, “Son, what is she doing?”
“Well, dad… she thinks she’s speaking Korean.”
Now, flashforeward to last winter, when Henry was doing a Christmas tour with Vince Gill and Amy Grant. Vince, a real cut-up himself who had heard this story, was eager to meet Henry’s mother-in-law.
So, when the tour came down south, Henry introduced the two. Vince gave her a warm hug and said, “HOW… DO… YOU… DO, MRS… CAVENDER!!”
For more entertaining and encouraging podcasts and videos, visit the E-Squared Media Network at www.e2medianetwork.com.