September 16, 2004 |
Every autumn, a strange ritual takes place at our local supermarket. A red-haired woman moves slowly up and down the aisles in the produce section, looking for something. At last her eyes light up - she's found it! Lifting a plastic produce package to her nose, she inhales deeply and smiles with pleasure. After a minute or so, she carefully replaces the package and continues her shopping. The woman? Me. The contents of the package? Grapes. Ah, but these aren't just any grapes.
March 3, 1999 |
Do dogs understand television? This is a question that has puzzled humanity since the days of the ancient Greeks. It is also the topic of an article sent in by alert reader Gwen Larriega from the February issue of Dog Fancy magazine (suggested motto: "For People Who Take Dogs Way Too Seriously"). According to the article, headlined "Can They REALLY Watch TV?", some dog owners claim their dogs watch television, especially when it is showing "other dogs, wolves or horses, large cats, birds and deer," and that often the dogs respond by "running behind the set to see if the animals are there.
February 6, 1988 |
It was 4 in the morning when the Philadelphia Fire Department began rousting the residents of East Auburn Street from their two-story brick rowhouses. The air on this frigid night was thick with a sharp, oily smell. The odor emanated from the Walsh Chemical Co., which sits at East Auburn and Trenton Streets in Richmond. Then at 7 a.m., city officials told everybody everything was OK. They said the smell would dissipate in a few hours. That was on Dec. 10. Yesterday, two families were still living in a hotel, while chemical company contractors tried to remove the irritating odor of ethyl acrylate from their homes.
January 11, 1996 |
Something stinks over at the city's new Criminal Justice Center, and it's not the quality of justice. Almost from the day it opened last September, the $120 million courthouse at 13th and Filbert streets has off and on imparted the smell of the street on its lower floors - vehicle exhaust, food odors and even funkier smells. The 15-story home to the criminal courts, which City Council has failed thus far to name, also has fallen victim to a spate of thefts. Joseph Perrello, who runs the city's risk-management unit, said his staff has spent more than 80 man-hours testing the air and investigating complaints from nauseated court workers.
August 6, 1997 |
Any way you look at it, the prosecutor says, it was not the perfect crime. The weapon was a toy. The booty was zero. And the robber was drunk. "Sauced. Blitzed. Bombed," said Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Wendy Demchick-Alloy. "He was identified by his smell. He reeked of alcohol. " Montgomery County Court Judge Samuel W. Salus 2d did not allow the case of Spencer Morasco, 40, of Collegeville, to take up much of his court's time yesterday. Less than a half-hour into a bench trial, Salus found Morasco guilty of trying to rob a Friendly's restaurant in East Norriton in February.
December 26, 1988 |
Under an ancient principle of law, your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. The concept has been successfully extended to stray tobacco smoke, thus limiting vaporous attacks on nonsmokers. Now, the holiday season presents a reminder that there's more work to be done with this important legal tool. Sales of perfumes and fragrances are at their annual peak, which means that indiscriminate waves of olfactory assaults lie ahead as gift recipients go forth smelling like fruits, flowers and herbs.
April 9, 2007 |
George Preti didn't go to medical school. He is a Ph.D. organic chemist, his lab stocked with gas chromatography equipment and test tubes. He has data to analyze and three post-docs to supervise, and he faces that familiar problem of the modern scientist: Grant money is running low. Yet once every week or two, he squeezes in time for a money-losing venture. For a nominal fee, he meets with people who have come to his Philadelphia lab from all over the world, typically after waiting more than a year.
May 24, 2010 |
At first, Mike Greene thought it might just be a bad allergy. But when his sense of smell didn't come back for months, the paramedic suspected it was caused by polluted air he'd breathed at the most harrowing job site of his career: the wreckage of the World Trade Center. Turns out he is not alone. A significant portion of those on duty at the twin towers suffered long-term damage to their sense of smell and their ability to detect harmful irritants through the nose, Philadelphia researchers reported in a new study last week.
June 13, 2011 |
Authorities don't suspect anything criminal behind the 1,000 fish that turned up dead in and around Ridley Park Lake over the weekend. Except, of course, for the smell. About 8:15 p.m. Saturday, police were called to the Delaware County lake for a report of a large number of dead fish, Ridley Park Chief Tom Byrne said. "It stunk," he said, referring not to the call, but to the smell at the scene. Byrne estimated that fish of all types - including catfish and carp - had died.
July 28, 1999 |
The trunk still smells. The first musty odor hits you from inside Ira Einhorn's 22-year-old steamer trunk. But beneath that familiar scent of an old suitcase locked too long in the basement is something horrifying - a pungent, stinging odor that assails the nostrils and lingers. It's the smell of Holly Maddux's rotting flesh. "When I first opened the door," former Philadelphia homicide detective Michael Chitwood remembered yesterday during Einhorn's civil wrongful death trail, "there was a faint smell of decay.