WOLLONGONG!! It's a Bionic Bra

In a hidden away research lab at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, a researcher was overheard saying, "Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic bra. This will be that bra. Better than it was before. Better... stronger... faster." Well, okay, no one actually overheard this speech, but we're fairly certain it must've gone down something like that.

There truly is a "bionic bra" that has been under research and development at UoW for over fifteen years, but as far as we know, the bra will not impart any miraculous boost in strength or speed for the wearer. It's essentially a prototype "smart bra" that will respond to the wearer's movements and actions by self-adjusting on the fly. Neat idea.

Pretty sure "Wollongong" is the sound that occurs when a bionic
person is running. And let's face it, if you're going to be running
at 60 MPH you're going to want to be wearing a bionic bra!


“Our ability to make things from advanced materials has been greatly enhanced recently with the advent of new approaches to fabrication." says Professor Gordon Wallace, Executive Research Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science based at UOW. "The advent of approaches such as 3D printing has enabled us to assemble structures containing new sensing technologies to more accurately monitor movement and new artificial muscle technologies to control it. These advances have inspired us to (re)confront the challenges involved in creating the Bionic Bra". 

According to Professor Julie Steele, Director of UoW's Breast Research Australia (yeah, really, the "BRA"), long term damage, such as neck and back pain, can occur without the proper breast support. She says “Unfortunately, the most supportive sports bras tend to be the most uncomfortable to wear. Making matters worse, BRA research has found that 85% of women are wearing bras that do not fit or support their breasts correctly.”

Currently the prototype sports bra is not something you'd actually want to wear. But it is starting to become something as they begin the next stages of development. The bra itself is fabricated in "smart fabrics" that feature embedded sensors and tiny mechanisms that can make adjustments as needed for whatever you're doing at the moment. Running? Jumping? Sitting quietly? The bra adapts to give you the comfort and/or support needed.

Bionic Bra team member, Dr Sheridan Gho, said, “Results indicate that our technologies can sense breast motion and provide additional breast support. The challenge now is to integrate these technologies into a functional, comfortable bra.” Professor Steele said in a statement, "...when finished, the Bionic Bra will transform bra design." Well, we won't hold our breath. A finished smart bra is likely a ways off, but it's comforting to know there are mad scientists at work.

Posted on April 16, 2015 .

A Brief History of Boxing

Boxing is among the world's oldest and most popular sports. Its origins as a bare knuckled, toe-to-toe athletic contest for sport date back thousands of years. What began as rudimentary fist fighting in the Middle East some millennia ago later spawned a pretty brutal spectacle in Ancient Greece and Rome. This begat the more civilized “gentle art” of self defense in 18th Century England, which ultimately gave birth to the organized "sweet science" we know today with rules, a scoring system, and protective equipment.

The birth of modern boxing, sometime around the early 1700’s, was something more akin to today’s MMA, with fights that might include grappling and simple weapons while employing very few rules. These early matches could go on indefinitely without a break, there were no weight classes and someone like Bernard Hopkins, at age 50, would not be considered old for the sport. Many fighters suffered debilitating injuries, and it was not uncommon for a match to end in a fatality. Eventually the pens where the fighters engaged in battle started being lined by ropes in place of the wood beams that were commonly used prior. During this time, women were also getting involved in the sport and would even be pitted against men due to a scarcity of opponents. Although the brutality of the style and the lack of rules and protections seemed to favor men, these women held their own and were often victorious against the opposite sex.

Iranian Women Venture "Into the Sea" Seeking Freedom

As further proof that women are fundamentally a bunch of spit-in-the-eye-of-establishment rulebreakers, it seems there are a small number of enormously brave Iranian women hanging ten whilst flipping the bird at an infamously oppressive society.

In the West, we'd never think of it... recreational activity as non-violent protest. Well, maybe that's not exactly what this is, but it may as well be. These young, modern Iranian female surfers are getting out there and embracing the freedom... of the waves. That's probably how they got the name for their surf club and movement for change WavesofFreedom.org

It all began with one recklessly adventurous Irish (yes, from Ireland) lassie named Easkey Britton who decided it would be a good idea to travel to Iran (yes, Iran) to find some un-surfed sea. Mission accomplished, barriers broken. 

There's also a documentary titled Into the Waves. Check out the official trailer below.

Posted on March 19, 2015 .

Girl, You'll Be Like a Woman Soon

We always wince a little whenever we see the well-intentioned statement, "Fight Like a Girl". Why would a grown woman, or even a young woman, want to do that? Sure, we understand the term "girl" is just a stand-in for saying "female", but in reality a girl is typically a female of adolescent or pre-adolescent age. And let's face it, most young females don't know how to fight properly. 

We recently saw this article by Elizabeth Licorish on Bustle.com and had to say to ourselves "thank you". We echo the sentiment exactly - women should do things LIKE A WOMAN. As the writer suggests, only girls should do things like girls - flailing about joyously using impefect technique, but a woman should aspire to better objectives.


"it’s time we examine the gender bias at the heart of the #LikeAGirl movement itself. We live in a world that rallies young boys to run/throw/kick “like a man.” Why then, shouldn’t we galvanize young girls to run/throw/kick “like a woman” instead?"

Rarely, if ever, do we hear fathers encourage their sons to run/throw/kick/jump/swim like a boy.“Be a man!” they say. Why do anything like a boy when you could do it so much better?


Amen, indeed it is better to Fight like a woman, run like a woman, etc - and there is more meaning in these statements. A 10 year old girl is just beginning to see the realities of the world and starting to learn how to do things. A woman has presumably been through a lot and taken the time to learn to do something right.

Posted on March 16, 2015 .