Bleats

Well, Now We Know That Apple AirPods Are Poo-Proof

And we have one careless man to thank for this exciting knowledge

These days nothing seems to be designed to last. Our consumerist culture, man, obsessed with the newest thing, ready to throw stuff away at a moment’s notice, something something landfill something plastic in our oceans.

In the face of this pervasive – and, to be fair, entirely accurate – narrative it’s refreshing to hear that the art of craftspersonship is still alive and that some products stand up to the greatest challenges. Even the most digestively rigorous.

To that end: thank you, Ben Hsu.

The Taiwanese man, so the story goes, fell asleep and accidentally swallowed one of his Apple AirPods. If that sounds unlikely, remember that statistically you swallow about seven spiders and/or sets of headphones during your lifetime.

(You don’t actually swallow spiders in your sleep, by the way: spiders are way smarter than that.)

He only discovered this when using his Find My Phone function to locate the AirPod he assumed was in his bed somewhere, yet discovered the beeping coming from inside him. Which is a horror film waiting to happen.

THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE YOUR COLON!

He presented to hospital and was x-rayed, locating the errant pod. He was reportedly given laxatives and warned that if it didn’t work its way out naturally he’d require pretty urgent surgery since bowel obstructions are no trivial thing.

However, all’s well that ends with… um, fishing an earphone out of one’s feces. The bud was stained a rich mahogany during its voyage of discovery but a) still worked and b) still had 41 per cent charge.

Now, we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that certain bits of this story sound deeply implausible.

For one thing, “I swallowed them in my sleep!” explanation sounds a bit too much like someone showing up in Emergency with a vacuum cleaner attachment in the rectum and a story about how they were cleaning the house nude when they unexpectedly slipped over… – but the takeaway is do not consume consumer electronics.

If you’re putting AirPods in your mouth, you’re doing it wrong.

Why Are We So Sceptical About The Flu Vaccination?

Lives literally depend on this.

According to just about everyone in the medical sciences Australia is heading for the worst flu season in years, and already two people have died in SA thanks to the current strain getting a foothold ahead of winter 2019 with 1300 flu cases logged in the last week, according to 5AA.

And the advice is that everyone should be getting themselves jabbed ASA freakin’ P. So: why aren’t we all doing it? And we’re not, just to be clear: the maximum estimates are around 60 per cent of the population get the vaccine (which is about 39 per cent too low for herd immunity, team).

Personally, I suspect that part of the reason is that “flu” is a word we expect to follow “cold &” on pill boxes and thus we just kind of assume that it’s not a big deal that can be handled with some over the counter remedy, rather than remembering that influenza is one of the most deadly diseases in human history with a death toll that dwarfs the sum of all wars on the planet.

Part of the reason is that we’re generally at our healthiest in our working years and figure “eh, if I get sick I get sick, it’s not that big a deal.”

And that’s a problem because vaccination isn’t just about the individual benefits of you, the healthy strapping young thing reading this screed. You can probably get the flu and have it not be a big deal (although the two people who died in SA were both young, healthy people so… y’know, maybe not).

But when you have the flu, you’re infectious.

Vaccination is about stopping the spread of a virus through the population so it doesn’t get transferred from largely-healthy you to, say, a newborn baby whose immune system hasn’t developed and whose tiny lungs are easy to disable, or the person on chemotherapy for cancer whose body is going to shut down if they get a chest infection.

So why does a country who are still thankfully very pro-vaccination treat this one as being voluntary?

One issue is that supplies can be limited and the flu is annoyingly good at mutating into hot, trendy new strains each time so stockpiling vaccines is impossible.

That being said, flu shots are mandatory for workers in some areas. Last year the NSW government made it compulsory for medical workers in “high risk clinical areas”, while the federal government advised that workers in aged care should get the vaccination but stopped short of making it compulsory.

So maybe it’s time we took matters into our own… um, immune system, and got that injection.

Do it. Society will thank you.

Why 3pm Is The Demon Hour And How You Can Power Through It

That mid-afternoon slump would be loads easier if we just all had hammock-desks.

Every goddamn afternoon it’s the same story: everything’s puttering along nicely and then just when… things… you… going… flurb.

There are lots of fun theories as to why we get the mid-afternoon slump, including one that it’s because our bodies never got over our school schedules, where we got used to bailing at 3-ish and curling up with a snack and The Afternoon Show.

That’s certainly why every afternoon I find myself idly wondering how the kids in Degrassi High are doing. Especially Caitlin.

Eh, she seems fine.

However, the medical reason is a bit less Canadian and a bit more glucosy: it’s the natural side effect of you having eaten a few hours earlier, and also coincides when your circadian rhythms when levels of the hormone cortisol drops and starts to flood the body with melatonin.

The traditional way to deal with the crash is with sugar (which just tops things up for bigger later crashes) and caffeine (which takes about 12 hours to get out of your system so can mess with your sleep when you finally get that head down),

But are there other solutions? You bet!

Some are management related, like using the time you feel particularly uninspired to do mundane stuff like clear emails or other work-hygeine-related things.

But one big tip is: don’t have a big lunch. You’ll be burning energy digesting that bad boy, aside from the blood sugar issues.

Getting some vitamin D by going outside also helps, since physical activity and sunlight tends to perk we humans up. However, the temptation to turn off your phone and keep going until you find a nice tree to snooze beneath might become overwhelming. Honestly, doesn’t that sound nice right about now?

Um…

If you have the freedom to have a nap then yes, you absolutely should do that because your body is also releasing melatonin around this time: a 30 minute power nap will do you a world of good (but don’t go longer because getting into a heavy REM sleep will mess you up).

That you almost certainly cannot do that is a searing indictment on our lack of office hammocks and also how little late period capitalism cares for human well being and is yet another reason we should really get around to smashing the system in the next little while.

So that’s the takeaway: to beat the afternoon tired-blues you just need a light lunch, a nice stroll, and socialism. Easy!

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