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Why Birth Control Dispensers Look the Way They Do

The first working model of the now-iconic birth control pill dispenser is in the Smithsonian’s history collection. It’s built out of clear plastic, paper, and double-sided tape, held together by a snap from a child’s toy, with slices of wooden dowel standing in for pills. It was created to solve a vexing problem. » 7/01/15 3:00pm 7/01/15 3:00pm

Two Sex Tracking Wearables That Might Actually Make It to Market

Given the explosion of sex advice and tracking apps for smartphones and the popularity of wearable fitness trackers, it was only a matter of time before they were combined into devices for more intimate activities. Perhaps it’s an idea whose time has come: two companies have announced plans to release “sex trackers”. » 6/12/15 7:50pm 6/12/15 7:50pm

There Was No Viagra in 1918. But There Was This Penis Splint.

Nearly 100 years ago, there was no drug to help with erectile dysfunction, but Bernard Scheinkman came up with an alternative. It’s not clear whether this nightmarish penile splint was ever manufactured — but you have to love the baroque logic of combining a cock ring, an open condom, and a shelf. » 5/14/15 5:50pm 5/14/15 5:50pm

How the Tea Bag Was Invented

Legend says that brewing tea dates back to around 2737 BC, when tea leaves fell into water being boiled for Emperor Shennong of China. There does not appear to be any hard evidence of tea being discovered this way, but evidence we do have suggests that brewing tea did indeed likely start in China, first as part of a… » 4/27/15 6:30am 4/27/15 6:30am

How the Nature of Invention Has Changed Over the Past 150 Years

Not all inventions are born equal. Some spring from nowhere to create an entirely new class of technology; others assemble existing ideas to create useful new products. Now, researchers have shown that the past century’s seen a steady increase in invention by the combination of concepts—but less in the way of pure… » 4/24/15 5:40am 4/24/15 5:40am

How Floating Soap Was Invented

Ivory has been producing their uniquely floating soap for the well over a century now and in hat time they've become one of the most popular soap brands in the world. For many years, the company has maintained that the discovery of its trademark floating soap was a complete accident, but exactly how true is this? » 3/26/15 7:15am 3/26/15 7:15am

A genius guy invented the perfect machine to make a single cookie

Here's the thing about chocolate chip cookies: they're delicious. Here's another thing: unless you're a professional baker maestro who bakes a batch everyday and tweaks their cookie recipe after every time to adjust the flavor, it's going to be hard to come up with the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's a… » 1/13/14 8:30pm 1/13/14 8:30pm