Before you buy that Christmas gift, ask Mr. Knowitall

imageSince the introduction of Mr. Knowitall, who is our resident historian, economist, food critic, movie reviewer, foreign affairs consultant, science correspondent, consumer products expert and vending machine repairman (not necessarily in that order), many of you have written in seeking advice about holiday gift-giving.

Due to the enormous volume of email we received, they will be answered through a lottery-style process — which means that, until he wins the lottery, Mr. Knowitall will continue to answer your questions.

So let us begin.

Dear Mr. Knowitall: Do those electronic muscle stimulators really help trim fat and tone muscles?
Really hope so in Reedsport

Dear Really: As you know, the principle behind the device is the utilization of a continuous sequence of small shocks that stimulates muscle activity, similar to your body’s own natural electrical impulses. An easy way to think of it is to visualize a car and its battery. Now visualize the car, the battery — and a pair of jumper cables clamped to your buttocks as someone starts the engine. While there’s no scientific proof this will trim fat and build muscle, studies show that most people find themselves stimulated enough to go to the gym after one session.  Continue reading

Because who doesn’t sleep better on a pillow of bacon?

image Being a journalist, I am often privy to world-shaking news of scientific or technological breakthroughs hours before members of the general public (who aren’t on Facebook).

The glow-in-the-dark toilet seat, shoes with their own umbrellas attached, eatable bread gloves… yeah, I heard it hear first.

However, this morning I received an email about a fusion of science and technology that could help millions of people rest a little easier each night; at least until they’re awakened by their own drool:

Bacon-scented pillowcases.

You read it right. Thanks to a couple of guys named Justin and Dave, we can now climb into bed and lay our heads upon a pillowy-soft pile of hickory-smoked bacon — except without all the grease stains. As they told me, “The future of sleep is here, and it smells like cured pork.” Continue reading