While the rest of the world agonizes over carbon dioxide, a couple of Cornell students are quantifying a far more horrible gas:
After learning in class how breathalyzers work, Robert Clain and Miguel Salas assembled a fart detector from a sensitive hydrogen sulfide monitor, a thermometer and a microphone and wrote the software that would rate the emission. A “slight perturbance in the air” near the detector sets it to work measuring the three pillars of fart quality: stench, temperature and sound. Temperature, Clain explains, is critical. The hotter a fart, the faster it spreads. “It beeps faster if it’s a high ranker, and a voice rates it on a scale of zero to nine,” he says. “If it ranks a nine, a fan comes on to blow it away. It even records the noise so you can play it back later.” After a few months of construction, they began field tests. “Well, the sample data wasn’t the entire school, but we definitely tested it,” Salas says.
“High ranker,” I suspect, would describe rather a lot of air biscuits, the majority of which are highly rank, though I infer that the classic SBD excels at only two of the three basic criteria.
Jumpin’ Jack Flash was not available for comment.
(Sniffed out by Jeffro.)