Most have us have spent time in college (and, sadly, beyond) sitting around with our buddies arguing over whose farts are most devastating. Miguel Salas and Robert Clain, who were seniors at Cornell University last semester, decided to do something to settle this debate: They invented a Fart Intensity Detector
, which ranks flatulence on its overall magnitude.
The project was for one of their engineering courses, and at first the professor objected to the concept -- not because it was in bad taste, but because he didn't think they would be able pull off the complicated task of measuring human emissions.
Nevertheless, the duo was able to produce a device which ranks passed gas on sound, temperature and methane concentration, earning them an A in the class, and admiration of trouser-tuba enthusiasts everywhere.
In order to learn more about his fascinating invention we spoke to Miguel Salas ...
It took a lot of time, but not a lot money
According to Salas, he and his partner put about 175 man hours each into the project, but the total price, including the cost of a methane sensor donated by a patron of the gaseous arts, was only about $150.
The fart detector is encased in a component box that sits on a tripod, allowing the device to be adjusted to any potential bottom burper's height. It is also equipped with a fan that will turn on and blow away the offending smell if the fart rates high enough.
They prepped for their farts by eating cheese and beans
While Salas explained they took a "buy a lot of cheese and try it out" approach to testing the machine. He also said that beans, the magical fruit, produced the most intense anal acoustics.
It could get a little smelly in the lab.
Their girlfriends helped test the machine
Despite being electrical engineers who were spending a good chunk of their day ruminating on the intensity of air biscuits, the duo didn't completely repel women. In fact, their non-imaginary girlfriends were willing participants in the testing of their invention. "The main difference tends to be the sound," Salas said, breaking down what separates the genders in flatulence. "We could not get any loud girl farts, although they were just as smelly."
We think this could be big in Japan
Although Salas doesn't see much of market for his invention, we're not so sure. Having seen clips of Japanese game shows that feature the ranking
of farts, we think, if nothing else, there could be big demand for Salas's invention in the Land of the Rising Sun.
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