Tag Archives: gas

The Quest for the Odorless Fart

There’s an episode of Family Guy where Peter has liposuction, which turns him into a beautiful person. In short order, he is invited to join an exclusive club for beautiful people, and on the inaugural tour of the facilities his host hands him a bottle of pills: “Here, take these – they’ll make your bowel movements smell like bakery fresh cinnamon rolls.”

Ben Franklin addressed this speculative idea over two centuries ago – that flatus (farts) might someday be rendered innocuous by taking some manner of drug or substance:

My prize question therefore should be, To discover some drug wholesome and not disagreeable, to be mixed with our common food, or sauces, that shall render the natural discharges, of wind from our bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreeable as Perfumes.

That this is not a chimerical Project, and altogether impossible, may appear from these considerations. That we already have some knowledge of the means capable of varying that smell. He that dines on stale flesh, especially with much addition of onions, shall be able to afford a stink that no company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some time on vegetables only, shall have that breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate noses; and if he manage so as to avoid the report, he may any where give vent to his griefs unnoticed….

From Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School, edited by Carl Japikse.

Well, such a product has arrived. Misanthrope and skeptic that I am, I am inclined to doubt its efficacy sight unseen waft unsmelled, but this new product called Whiff!, pushed (yes, that’s the right word) at a website with the evocative name takeawhiff.com claims that their product will render your poop and farts odorless (except in the case of avid meat-eaters, in which case the original essence of the miasma will remain, merely diminished in potency).

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Chronic Flatulence? Get the GasBGon® Seat Cushion

Whether you’re on the sending or the receiving end of the “pause that refreshes/repulses,” Dairiair LLC makes a line of products that dampen the smell, or both the sound and the smell. One of their products which seems particularly useful in this respect – and which I think may catch on – is the “GasBGon Seat Cushion.” Retailing at $24.95 U.S., and offered in a variety of designs subsumed under the themes of sport (“Tush Down Sport Series”), gambling, (“Holdem Big Slick Chillin’ Series”) and the swanky, upscale (“Black Cushion Signature Series”), one of these is a gift that is sure to please not only the recipient, but all those who have to be around him/her.

The GasBGon® flatulence odor control seat cushion is a high performance air filter designed to look and feel like a conventional seat cushion incorporating a sound dampening filter and a proprietary activated carbon odor filter. The seat cushion functions as a powerful passive control device to effectively muffle the sound and adsorb the odor associated with flatulence. Each cushion is complete with a washable zippered cover for filter insertion/replacement, they are lightweight (less than 1 lb) and are nominally 15 inches square and 1 inch thick. Each cushion comes complete with a sound and odor filter and a Tally-Toot card. A downloadable wind instrument award can be provided for those gift giving occasions. Each cushion can accept a second odor filter for those heavy end users and should be purchased separately. Installation by purchaser.

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Printable Flatulence Warnings

Do you have a stinky husband, wife, kid, or co-worker? Use one of these flatulence warnings to warn others as well as communicate your displeasure to the offending party.

CHRONIC FLATULENCE WARNING

CHRONIC FLATULENCE IN THE WORKPLACE WARNING

Images created with Warning Label Generator and Adobe Photoshop.

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The gassiest foods

Broccoli

– Legumes: dried beans, lentils, peas, soybeans.

    – Vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, green pepper, cucumber, onions, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, rutabagas, turnips, radishes.

      – Fruits: bananas, apples, pears, peaches, melons, avocados, prunes, raisins

        Rye– Whole grains, particularly whole wheat and bran. Rice produces the least intestinal gas of any of the staple grains.

          – Soft drinks and fruit juice.

            Banana Split– Milk products: ice cream, off-the-shelf foods containing milk. Can be debilitating to the lactose intolerant. Cultured milk products (e.g., yogurt, kefir, etc.) tend to be less troublesome gaswise, after your body becomes accustomed to them – a person who has just begun using these cultured products may experience bloating and gas from the probiotic action, but this tends to subside over time. Aged cheeses (swiss, parmesan, etc.) tend to also be less troublesome; other cheeses like sandwich Jack (as opposed to aged Gassy mintsJack, which is a hard, grating cheese) or Mozarella, which are not aged, may be “highly problematic” (Phhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrtttt).

              – Foods containing the artificial sweeteners sorbitol or mannitol (sorbitol does a real number on me, I have discovered).

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                Mr. Methane

                Meet “Mr. Methane,” of mrmethane.com, who purports to be the “world’s only performing flatulist.”

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                [Contributed] Hitler: Hell-Smell Incarnate

                Thanks to Index from Fist Of Blog for pointing us to this excellent article on Adolf Hitler’s preternatural flatulence–

                Scent of a Führer

                Hitler wanted to control the world. But he couldn’t even control his flatulence.

                By Tony Perrottet

                Guests at the Berghof, Hitler’s private chalet in the Bavarian Alps, must have endured some unpleasant odors in the otherwise healthful mountain air.

                It may sound like a Woody Allen scenario, but medical historians are unanimous that Adolf was the victim of uncontrollable flatulence. Spasmodic stomach cramps, constipation and diarrhea, possibly the result of nervous tension, had been Hitler’s curse since childhood and only grew more severe as he aged. As a stressed-out dictator, the agonizing digestive attacks would occur after most meals: Albert Speer recalled that the Führer, ashen-faced, would leap up from the dinner table and disappear to his room…. (read more)

                Mein Gott, I farted.

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                Ben Franklin on Flatulence

                It may be difficult for some to accept that one of our founding fathers conceived of and wrote the following; nevertheless, it is so. I give you an excerpt from Fart Proudly: Writings of Benjamin Franklin You Never Read in School, edited by Carl Japikse.

                Fart Proudly

                …It is universally well known, that in digesting our common food, there is created or produced in the bowels of human creatures, a great quantity of wind.

                That the permitting this Air to escape and mix with the atmosphere, is usually offensive to the Company, from the fetid smell that accompanies it.

                That all well-bred People therefore, to avoid giving such offence, forcibly restrain the efforts of nature to discharge that wind.

                That so retained contrary to Nature, it not only gives frequently great present pain, but occasions future diseases such as habitual cholics, ruptures, tympanies, &c., often destructive of the constitution and sometimes of life itself.

                Were it not for the odiously offensive smell accompanying such escapes, polite people would probably be under no more restraint in discharging such wind in company, than they are in spitting, or in blowing their noses.

                My prize question therefore should be, To discover some drug wholesome and not disagreeable, to be mixed with our common food, or sauces, that shall render the natural discharges, of wind from our bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreeable as Perfumes.

                That this is not a chimerical Project, and altogether impossible, may appear from these considerations. That we already have some knowledge of the means capable of varying that smell. He that dines on stale flesh, especially with much addition of onions, shall be able to afford a stink that no company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some time on vegetables only, shall have that breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate noses; and if he manage so as to avoid the report, he may any where give vent to his griefs unnoticed….

                It seems that in the 200+ years since Franklin wrote the above, the concept has yet to catch on. Possibly the chemical composition of fecal matter (sulfurous compounds, e.g., thiols), and the gases produced (e.g., hydrogen sulfide) are fundamentally incompatible with the production of pleasing smells. Franklin’s argument sounds reasonable on the surface, but thinking one level deeper, we must admit that “mildly odorous” farts (e.g., a vegetarian’s) are a long way from the the essence of blooming jasmine on a tropical summer night, and it seems even farther away when one has a rudimentary understanding of just why feces and farts stink.

                BUT–can you imagine if someone was able to accomplish Franklin’s vision? It would become a new industry in its own right, and entrepreneurs able to get in on the ground floor would make billions.

                A Monday morning, late summer, 2075. Elaine has just arrived at the office, eager to show off the new designer fragrance her boyfriend got her in Paris. As she passes through the cube-farm, she pauses, lifts her leg, and lets one go. An exotic aura of smell spreads across the office, conjuring images of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or some far-off Shangri-La where painted fairies dance upon Lotus blossoms under azure skies….

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