University Undergrads Invent Date Rape Preventative

"Undercover Colors" Nail Polish Detects Drugs but Misses the Mark

University Undergrads Invent Date Rape Preventative

A group of four enterprising — and no doubt intelligent and talented — engineering students at North Carolina State University have created a product that they hope will be a great help in preventing date rape. The product, a clear-coat nail polish called "Undercover Colors," can be worn alone or over regular nail color and is virtually indistinguishable from regular varnishes. It works by identifying the presence of Rohypnol, Xanax and GHB- know to be used as "date rape" drugs" — in a drink. If a polished fingertip is dipped or stirred into a liquid containing these substances, a color change will occur and you can act accordingly. (One hopes it involves the delivery of a swift kick to the squishy underpants area.)

Undercover Colors co-founder Ankesh Madan told Higher Education Works that the company approaches date-rape with a prevention slant: “All of us have been close to someone who has been through the terrible experience, and we began to focus on finding a way to help prevent the crime,” he said in an interview. “We wanted to focus on preventive solutions, especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use. And so the idea of creating a nail polish that detects date rape drugs was born.”

Admittedly, the student's goal is an admirable one. Slightly naive, misguided, kinda sexist, and wrong, but begrudgingly admirable. Undercover Colors and the concept have admirers however (over 24,000 Facebook fans at publication), and comments on their fan page are numerous. They range from cringe-worthy to the outright Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot: "I will buy an entire carton for my grand daughter . . . . . she is more precious than gold to me!" or "Heroic in a way."

Heroic? Um, no.

The group says "While date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection.  Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime." They've got the heinous part right, but we need to think beyond "detection." Wouldn't empowering women be best accomplished by ensuring their safety to conduct their daily activities as they see fit without limitation or special nailpolish?

The invention is a scientific boon and that undergrad students were resourceful enough to commit to its development when legions of their academic counterparts are stoned and watching "Adventure Time" in their underwear is commendable. But the nail polish brings to light a bigger, larger, more important issue: Women should not ever be put in a role of assumptive responsibility in preventing their own rapes. 

One more time for the peeps in the cheap seats: IT IS NOT A WOMAN'S JOB TO ENSURE YOU DON'T RAPE HER.

I was an English major in University and lack any scientific skill beyond that time I made a Diet Coke/Mentos volcano with my kids, but I think I can come up with a pretty awesome date rape preventative of my own: Don't rape people, asshole.

Image Source: Facebook

Julie Green is away August 25-29, and during that time MummyBuzz will be written by me, Jeni Marinucci (Panic Button Years).


Man Calls Police Over 12-Year-Old's Lemonade Stand

Cranky Neighbour Says Stand Brings Down Property Value

Man Calls Police Over 12-Year-Old's Lemonade Stand

neighborhood lemonade stand

A Florida man called police on his neighbor recently, and because nothing wacky ever happens in Florida, the incident didn't make the news and everything was settled amicably and... OF COURSE NOT IT'S FLORIDA. The heat and humidity does something to a person after a while and that may explain the cranky-pants outlook of 61-year-old Doug Wilkey, the Dunedin area homeowner who called police to complain about 12-year-old neighbor T.J. Guerrero's lemonade stand

Wilkey has called law enforcement officials and city administrators on numerous occasions over the past two years to have the stand shut-down, but this year he got ALL-CAPS mad when he wrote an email containing the word "AGAIN!!!!!" in several places. I'm not sure where you're from, but 'round these parts we take it very seriously when someone uses more than quadruple exclamation points.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Doug Wilkey as saying the lemonade stand is "an 'illegal business' that causes excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking and other problems that reduce his property values." While most 12-year-old would counter that claim with armpit fart noises, Guerrero instead says he has the rest of the neighbors blessings — including permission from one who allows him to place a sale sign on his corner lot. Two additional neighbors allow beverage-seeking customers to park in their driveways when necessary. In fact, when questioned by law enforcement brought to the scene, no one had a problem with the stand or its proprietor.

Guerrero tells reporters that he runs his stand to "save money for an iPod, snacks, his cell phone bill, trips with his grandfather and dinners with his mother." Now what kind of horrible child wants to earn money to buy his own electronics and food for his mother. What sort of monsters are the Florida suburbs churning out, exactly?

Dunedin city officials don't seem too concerned: "We're not in the business of trying to regulate kids like that; nor do we want to do any code enforcement like that. We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business."

I can see how a year-round anything stand could be a nuisance, and if Wiley's claims of loud profanity and traffic jams are found to be just, then there is a problem. But if 12-year-old Guerrero is anything like most 12-year-olds I know, that lemonade stand will taking up garage floor real estate and gathering dust as soon as he hits puberty and his thoughts turn, um, elsewhere. And because other neighbors don't seem bothered by the lemonade stand, it's harder to take Wiley's complaints seriously.

Still, if your kids like building blanket forts and you've got a less-than-friendly neighbor, you may want to make sure you've got all the proper building permits from city hall before they hang their first sheet.

Image Source: Screenshot NY DailyNews

Julie Green is away August 25 - 29, and during that time MummyBuzz will be written by me, Jeni Marinucci (Panic Button Years).


RECALL: Child's Plastic Patio Chairs From Dollarama

Fall Hazard

RECALL: Child's Plastic Patio Chairs From Dollarama

Health Canada has recalled children's plastic patio chairs from Dollarama with model number 3006952.

Testing revealed that the product doesn't comply with safety performance requirements under ASTM F 1838-98 (Standard Performance Requirements for Child's Plastic Chairs for Outdoor Use). 

The chairs may collapse under the weight of a child, causing potential injury. Four incidents—involving two chairs—were reported to Health Canada and Dollarama.

Customers are advised to stop using the chairs immediately and return them to a Dollarama store for a refund. 

Dollarama can be reached online or by phoning 1-888-755-1006, extension 1000. (Please leave a voicemail).

From February 2009 to June 2014, approximately 967,660 chairs were sold in Canada.

View more recalls on children's products.