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November 15th, 2018

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Try, Try Again | Fantas-tech?

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published July 22, 2017

Try, Try Again | Fantas-tech?

Samuel West announced in April that his Museum of Failure will open in Helsingborg, Sweden, in June, to commemorate innovation missteps that might serve as inspiration for future successes. Among the initial exhibits: coffee-infused Coca-Cola; the Bic "For Her" pen (because women's handwriting needs are surely unique); the Twitter Peek (a 2009 device that does nothing except send and receive tweets -- and with a screen only 25 characters wide); and Harley-Davidson's 1990s line of colognes (in retrospect as appealing, said West, as "oil and gas fumes"). (West's is only the latest attempt to immortalize failure with a "museum." Previous attempts, such as those in 2007 and 2014, apparently failed.) [CBC Radio, 4-6-2017]

In March, Harvard Medical School technicians announced a smartphone app to give fertility-conscious men an accurate semen analysis, including sperm concentration, motility and total count -- costing probably less than $10. Included is a magnification attachment and a "microfluidic" chip. The insertable app magnifies and photographs the "loaded" chip, instantly reporting the results. (To answer the most frequent question: No, semen never touches your phone. The device still needs Food and Drug Administration approval.) [NPR, 3-22-2017]

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