Tag: senses

On the scent of odourprints

[podcast]https://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/upLoads//2009/10/Odourprints.mp3[/podcast] You smell. No, I’m not being insulting. I smell, too. So does everyone else. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) human noses are not particularly sensitive, and so we only notice one another’s smells under certain circumstances, which we are all familiar with and I am therefore spared from having to enumerate. But to those of …

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Cat senses

It’s said there are cat people, and there are dog people. Personally, I like both, but if I had to state a preference, I’d probably give the edge to cats. It’s not very often I have an excuse to write about them in this column, but this week I do, because by some coincidence, two …

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Taste testing (a.k.a. sensory evaluation)

Everyone has different holiday traditions–and almost all of them involve food. You will therefore be as relieved to discover as I was that science is doing its best to ensure that our holiday favorites continue to delight us. The Sensory Analysis Lab at the Prince Edward Island Food Technology Centre has helped insure that islanders’ …

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Reidel wine glasses

I had the pleasure of attending the International Festival of Wine and Food at the Banff Springs Hotel over the weekend. This event combines gourmet meals with tastings of some of the world’s best wines. But one tasting was very different: instead of tasting wine, those attending tasted glasses. They witnessed a demonstration by Georg …

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Tinnitus

  There are millions of people for whom absolute silence does not exist. When the world grows silent, they still hear a ringing, hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping or clicking. They suffer from tinnitus. I’m one of them. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but if I listen, I can always hear a high-pitched …

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The science of stink

We all have our favorite smells, which remind us of our favorite things. The smell of baking bread may make you think of Grandma’s house. The scent of lilacs may remind you of warm summer evenings. Then there our are less-favorite smells, like the smell of an outhouse on a hot day, or the smell …

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The smell of babies

“Babies smell good.”  I’ve heard more than one person say that over the years, usually a woman, and I’ve always thought that person was, perhaps, just a little strange.  The babies I’ve known–always from a distance–didn’t smell like much of anything, and when they did, it was a signal to change their diapers. But since …

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Pheremones

So, you think your emotional and physical responses are under your conscious control, that you only get mad or feel happy for good, logical reasons? Think again. You could be being led around by your own nose. I’ve written before about how the smell of baking bread can transport you to your grandmother’s kitchen, or …

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Perfume

Our noses may be no great shakes compared to, say, that of the average poodle, but scent is still a powerful means of non-verbal communication for humans, even if we don’t rub our noses against everyone we meet, like our canine friends. The use of scents to make ourselves smell better goes back to ancient …

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Taste

  Taste is highly subjective. You may like rhubarb, which I regard as mutated celery. I, on the other hand, like haggis, whereas organ meats ground up with oatmeal and boiled in a sheep’s stomach may not appeal to you. And so on. Yet our tongues both respond to the same four (and only four) …

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Colour

Those who are old enough to remember Paul McCartney as a Beatle probably also remember longing for a colour television. (Nowadays, of course, you hardly ever see a black and white one.) There was something about watching television in colour that made even programs like My Mother the Car sparkle. And as for Star Trek–wow! Human beings have …

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The sense of smell

If you’re like most people, when you’re asked to list the five senses, your order will be something like: sight, hearing, touch, taste and–oh, yeah–smell. Like Rodney Dangerfield, smell “can’t get no respect.” But all that may be changing. And the Japanese, as in so many other areas of technology, are leading the way–by a …

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