All right, I’ve totally got to stop saying, “I’ve seen it all now.” Yup, just when I think there is nothing stranger in the world … well, something stranger comes up. Consider the so-called “Emergency Bra”, a dual titsling and respirator (yes, I’m freaking serious), the latest in a long line of things that have just rendered me speechless.
Dr. Elena Bodnar won an Ignoble Award for the invention last year, an annual tribute to scientific research that on the surface seems goofy but is often surprisingly practical. And now Bodnar has brought the eBra to the public; purchase one online for just $29.95.
“The goal of any emergency respiratory device is to achieve tight fixation and full coverage. Luckily, the wonderful design of the bra is already in the shape of a face mask and so with the addition of a few design features, the Emergency Bra enhances the efficiency of minimizing contaminated bypass air flow,” explains the eBra website.
Yup, this is an odd one. Definitely a shoo-in for the “Ignoble Award” as Fox News defines it, but …
Okay, here’s the thing. If I were in a state of emergency—a fire, an inferno of 9/11 ash, a Chernobyl-like nuclear incident (or really any type of nuclear incident)—the last thing that would be on my mind is whipping off my bra, flipping it Inspector Gadget-like into respirator mode, and tossing the handy spare (two breasts=two breathing devices, don’t you know) to a friend, colleague, total stranger …
“Yeah, quick, this has been rubbing against my boob all day and might have a residual deodorant odor, but trust me, dude, it’ll help you breathe!”
To be fair to Bodnar, she is very familiar with the 1986 Chernobyl incident as a Ukraine native. I applaud her for incorporating such a personal part of her heritage into her medical career, and I don’t doubt her assertions that gas masks could have made a world of difference for the Chernobyl victims who instead suffered horrible radiation sickness as a result of inhaling Iodine-131 …
But is a freaking bra the best medium for this? And this is obviously a question that has occurred to Bodnar, who has made quite an effort to combine the sensuality of a brassiere with a potentially lifesaving device.
“You have to be prepared all the time, at any place, at any moment, and practically every woman wears a bra,” she said. Her patented devices also look pretty, no different from a conventional bra, she added.
I do have kind of a bone to pick with Bodnar regarding a statement she made in her acceptance speech for the Ig Nobel prize, though (and yes, it’s “Ig Nobel”—you’ll be surprised, I’m sure, to learn that Fox News
was wrong again made an error).
“Isn’t that wonderful that women have two breasts, not just one? We can save not only our own life, but also the life of a man of our choice next to us.”
A man of our choice? Hey, not all of my friends wear bras, Dr. Bodnar … and sisters before misters, you know?
But not to worry, there’s a male equivalent in the works. The problem with that, of course, is that men don’t exactly have a, uh, naturally occurring gas mask-shaped body part. Not to worry, though, guys … according to technology news source CNET, there are many brains hard at work on this little problem.
You know, I can’t help but see this is completely ludicrous. Bras have been subject to some pretty odd things over the years, but this has got to take the absolute cake.
Or maybe I shouldn’t say that just yet …