back to article 'Fart detector' wins Chinese Physics prize

China has awarded a prestigious “Pineapple Prize” to a fart-detector. The Pineapple Prizes are organised by Guokr.com, a Chinese popular science publication that named the award after the fruit which in China is said to be so ugly that only the brave and curious would explore its delicious interior. The prizes therefore look …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Well, there goes blaming the dog....

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Mark 85

      "Well, there goes blaming the dog...."

      Every year, come fertilizer time (now), we get tourists asking "what is that SMELL?" We answer (truthfully) "That's composted cow, chicken, hog, and horse shit! It's what makes the strawberries & grapes[wine], and other vegetation so tasty!

      Most of them go right off their food. The idiots.

      City folks have absolutely zero idea where chow comes from.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: @Mark 85

        We get that also, Jake. There's a large farm across the road from us. Even worse is when a skunk gets hit during fertilizer time....

      2. x 7

        Re: @Mark 85

        "City folks have absolutely zero idea where chow comes from"

        Chows are Chinese edible dogs, so this Chinese ass-sniffing device is particularly apt

        1. jake Silver badge

          @x 7 (was: Re: @Mark 85)

          "Chows are Chinese edible dogs, so this Chinese ass-sniffing device is particularly apt"

          The Chow Chow, more properly known as "Songshi Quan", is in fact edible. As are all canines.

          However, the English term "chow" has absolutely nothing to do with the critter(s). "Chow", in this context, is a contraction of "Chow-chow", also known as piccalilli, relish, chutney, salsa, etc., meaning "good eats", for lack of a better term.

          1. Jame_s

            Re: @x 7 (was: @Mark 85)

            except the liver. vitamin A poisoning.

      3. Chemical Bob

        Re: @Mark 85

        "City folks have absolutely zero idea where chow comes from."

        They have zero idea where porcupines come from too. A while back my wife worked at a resort just outside Yellowstone, there was a box on the counter with sandburrs in it, they told some city guy that they were porcupine eggs and he actually bought them.

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: @Mark 85

        > We answer (truthfully) "That's composted .... shit"

        I wouldn't mind if farmers around here composted it first. What goes on Surrey fields is (literally) eye-watering in its noxiousness.

    2. druck Silver badge
      Coat

      Blaming the dog...

      An alternative to the dog is blaming your children, well maybe just the 6 month old now, as the 2½ year old will happily betray you, laughing hysterically "but that was you daddy". If you are without your own children, you can try someone else's; "aww, has he/she got a poorly tummy".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Reminds me of a story....

      There was a chap doing research into the constituents of dog farts for a dog food manufacturer using head space GC however what I never did find out was just how he captured the dog farts. I suppose the poor dogs sat there with a tube up their backsides all day, which sounds like something judges and politicians would gladly pay to have done.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why would you blame the dog? If the guff is a ripe, heavy malingerer, combining a basso profundo foundation of sulphur, midtones of brassica, and a fruity finish then I'd be wanting to take credit for my skill.

      Likewise there's a simple workman-like pride to be had in one of those dry, acrid guffs. Clearly not the sort of meisterwork referred to above, and usually having very short half lives, but we have to be realistic and accept that not every painting is a Picasso.

      Obviously if the effluvium has a meat-free base, a palate centred around butyric acid, and sour throat-irritating top notes, then you know that people will be assuming that the Fartist has some health problems. That's generally not the sort of flump that you'd want to put your name to.

      1. x 7

        "Why would you blame the dog?"

        I remember one occasion many years ago when a dog was really essential.........I was drinking in a crowded pub in Lancaster (The Golden Lion), on around the eighth or ninth pint of real ale (Theakstons, some of which would have been Old Peculier), when the urge to fart really really urgently came upon me. I'd been suffering all day from gyppy guts and I was trying to wash the infection out with the beer.

        Anyway, I was standing by the bar, the need came, so I had no choice but to let rip. A real corker which kept coming and coming for over two minutes. It felt like a huge air ballon had suddenly deflated in my guts. Loud as well, but that was hidden by the tiddley-dee music of the local folk band. Next thing I knew was a strong aroma of rotten eggs. Absolutely fucking horrid stench which stopped all conversation, stopped the music and made two girls run for the loo, choking. Two other girls made a dash for the door, rapidly followed by a stampede as the pub was vacated (or maybe evacuated). Not wanting to be left out, I joined the rush to exit, farting as I went, ensuring the smell followed the mass of humanity streaming out of the door. Outside, was around eighty men and women coughing, choking and puking into the gutter. After ten minutes or so I considered leaving, but by now my guts had settled down, and I'd left a pint inside, so I pretended to be brave and slipped back in to investigate. I found the pub empty, except for the landlady and a customer called Bob, who hadn't left because he had no sense of smell. Poor Bob was getting blamed for the stench, accused of dropping stink bombs. The landlady was in the process of banning him, and was about to call the fire brigade and police to ensure there was no chemical hazard. As Bob was a fireman, this wouldn't have done his career much good so I decided to intervene, telling Pat the landlady the the culprit was her "fucking stinkass basset hound" which had been walking around the bar just before the emergency. Bob joined in and between us we managed to sow enough doubt that she let Bob carry on drinking. By now customers were coming back in again in ones and twos to retrieve their drinks, but a lot didn't. The music didn't restart - the singer had lost his voice through retching.

        After that I went home - and was awake all night with the worst case of diarrhea imaginable.

      2. David 132 Silver badge
        IT Angle

        @Ledswinger - I think this is an appropriate moment to mention Monsieur Le Pétomane, the celebrated French "Flatulist":

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Le_P%C3%A9tomane

        1. x 7

          smoke on the water - Mr Methane

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzObO4GjcLI&nohtml5=False

  2. frank ly Silver badge

    If you move some distance away after you've farted, the robot would end up scratching its head instead of pointing at your backside.

    P.S. Do the Chinese think that the pineapple is ugly or is this something that has been obscured in translation?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The trouble is, when you move through the air, you create a low-pressure zone immediately behind you, which pulls in air from your rear. The fart will literally follow you for some distance, unless you manage to master some aerodynamic fart-evasion strategies.

      And while such strategies may be enough to avoid the blame while out and about, where nobody likely notices anyway, getting up to do twists and twirls around the room in the middle of a board meeting might give the game away somewhat.

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Mushroom

        @The trouble is...

        Only a ninja can successfully steal away from their own fart.

      2. cray74

        The fart will literally follow you for some distance, unless you manage to master some aerodynamic fart-evasion strategies.

        Never mind it following you, think of the poor bastards trapped behind you in a limited-access hallway* and exposed to your crop dusting office crime. To evade it, pull over to an out-of-the-way cul-de-sac or unoccupied cubicle to "check a text message" or some other excuse to stop walking.

        *The villain in my case chose a 25-meter stretch of factory hallway with only locked doors and nothing for me to do but hurry through the aerial minefield.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "think of the poor bastards trapped behind you in a limited-access hallway"

          People do - which is why they drop the smelliest ones in elevators.

          Mwaa ha haaaaa

      3. Horridbloke

        The fart will literally follow you...

        It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

      4. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        The fart will literally follow you...

        "

        The trouble is, when you move through the air, you create a low-pressure zone immediately behind you, which pulls in air from your rear. The fart will literally follow you for some distance, unless you manage to master some aerodynamic fart-evasion strategies.

        "

        The same is true of a turd in a swimming pool, though I am not telling you how I know that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The fart will literally follow you...

          The same is true of a turd in a swimming pool, though I am not telling you how I know that.

          Surely not Caddy Shack or something similar?

    2. John Bailey

      "P.S. Do the Chinese think that the pineapple is ugly or is this something that has been obscured in translation?"

      Different cultures, different aesthetic sensibilities.

      Be honest though, on seeing a fresh pineapple for the first time ever, would you immediately presume it was edible? Or assume someone successfully crossed an alligator with a cactus.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you move some distance away

      You could just say "who made popcorn?" loudly -- it will create additional turbulence in seconds.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trains in a partial vacuum

    Or Hyperloop as we call it.

  4. DougS Silver badge

    Maybe a Chinese phone will add 'smell' capability

    Then it could support an app to detect who farted, a capability that would surely vault its sales past that of pretenders like the iPhone and Galaxy!

  5. Martin Summers Silver badge

    "Whoever smelled it used an algorithmic odour plume-tracing strategy"

    But they still dealt it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They also added voice analysing algorithms so as to determine whoever did the rhyme did the crime.

  6. jake Silver badge

    Does this work in Beijing's smog?

    Now THAT would be impressive!

    (Hint: Fix real problems first, folks ... it's kinda important.)

  7. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Happy

    Sounds like a contender for

    an Ig Nobel prize!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like a contender for

      the whole story sounds just like a Chinese copy of the Ig Nobel prize to me.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Gimp

    Sniffing around

    Soon they will perfect a fart-seeking Aromadroid, it will go on sale next xmas, and then no one will be safe!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I made the mistake of doing a really bad fart in a narrow cave. Of course at that exact moment I heard some tourists enter the cave and due to zero air currents that fart wasn't going anywhere. I had to run and hide behind some stalagmites :(

  10. Alister Silver badge

    A study into why flies and other insects ... work on maglev trains in an evacuated tube.

    Interesting. They must be well trained...

  11. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Mushroom

    I look forward to the day when

    I can buy this App from the Playstore...

  12. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    stepping on a duck

    I'm reminded of a story of when the late Queen Mother (God bless 'er) was riding in an open carriage with a visiting dignitary, and one of the horses let rip in fairly spectacular fashion. As it was one of the royal horses, HRHTQM said something by way of an apology, and the visiting VIP said "that's quite all right ma'am - in fact if you hadn't said anything I would have thought it was the horse"

    1. Manolo
      Mushroom

      Re: stepping on a duck

      I've heard that joke before, featuring Helmut Kohl. "Macht nichts, ich dachte, es war das Pferd".

  13. Nairb

    That's cheating.....

    I'll quickly get my coat....

  14. yasirimam

    It can be very useful for an industrial use like using it in a cold stores for detecting Ammonia. instead of using Gas detector we can use this Robot.

    Can anyone tell me what is the minimum range i.e. PPM of detection ability does it have?

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