Friday, January 13, 2017

the Never Heard Of It files: Accord Cigarette

"The first cigarette designed to be smoked inside its own lighter."

Was digging through my nest, and found an old men's magazine with this advertisement inside. Ever seen such a sight? 

copied from the Accord Tobacco website:

Manufacturer:

Philip Morris USA, Altria

Description:

Cigarette smoking system using an electronic cigarette lighter and cleaning unit. Cigarettes are inserted into a hand-held heater that heats the rod. Uses a device called a lighter that heats the tobacco (about the size of an electronic pager). The special Accord cigarette is inserted into the lighter. The lighter electronically heats the tobacco. Heating the tobacco and releasing a favored smoke. Ultra low regular and Ultra Low Menthol. Accord - TM has been upgraded to a new test product called Heat Bar.

Claims:

The premium blend of tobaccos in Accord cigarettes guarantees a satisfying ultra low tar taste. Accord produces a lot less smoke because you smoke it in the Puff-Activated Lighter. And with less smoke around you and around others, there's virtually no lingering odor. And there's never any ash because the cigarette isn't burning up in the lighter.[1] 

Less environmental tobacco smoke, fewer carcinogens. Virtually no lingering odor. No ashes. A new way to smoke.

Product Design Feature:

Philip Morris developed Accord, a microelectric cigarette holder, to “address consumer concerns about health risks,” and as a direct competitive response to R.J. Reynolds’ “Premier” product. Unveiled in 1998, the battery-powered “smoking system,” which reduced visible smoke and ashes from the end of a cigarette, was a radically different kind of smoked tobacco product.

The device contained a microchip that sensed when an Accord cigarette was being puffed, and sent power to eight heating blades around the cigarette. The chip prevented ignition if conventional cigarettes were inserted into the lighter, and was also equipped with the equivalent of the television V-chip, a locking device for use by parents.

The device worked using a novel electronic sensor technology. Inhaling on a cigarette inserted in the device triggers the electrical heating element, which heats the cigarette to a temperature below that necessary to create combustion, but still delivers emissions which contain nicotine. The tobacco in the Accord cigarette is warmed only when puffed; smokers could take a puff from a cigarette in its holder, put the device down, and take another puff an hour later.


Very futuristic. Two questions:
Was this a forerunner to the vape systems so popular? and 
Did this turn out to be much healthier than regular smoking?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Playground Pick ‘em: Was Vince v. Kobe really ever a thing?

Think about why you like Vince Carter. It’s about game, and how he runs it. Not saying that substance completely trumps style, but if Vince was all style and substance-free, we’d be over him by now. So would you. Instead, he resides in that rare space where style and substance share top billing.

--SLAM magazine, May 2001.

from Sports Illustrated, 2000.
So do you remember when there was a question whether Vince Carter or Kobe Bryant was best?

In 2016-17, nineteen seasons deep, Vince was still hanging around the league. Kobe had moved out.

But the verdict was pretty well unanimous: Kobe Bryant was the better player when both players’ careers are taken in entirety. The rings end the conversation. And Kobe got them early, mostly because of "Big."

In 2001-2002, there was still a question in the air between the two. Was Carter as good, or better, when both were at their peak?

Carter was averaging 27.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists by his third season.

Kobe’s stats ramped up by season five, at age 22. He was collecting 28.5, 6 and 5 per game.

Kobe’s points per game rose above thirty points three different seasons. He simply took more shots and made a lot of them. Other than that, he and Vince had similar numbers at their best.

Over their careers, Carter had fewer assists, and also committed fewer turnovers. Kobe handled the ball so much more. When Carter had the ball he was usually about to shoot. That was true of Kobe, too, of course—after he handled the ball, so much more.

Kobe scored 81 that one time. Sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes, there’s no need to even say something is pleasing and good.

But Vince Carter dunked over a seven-foot-two French player. That leap was equal to an 80-point
NBA game. Remember that Vinsanity came and went before Linsanity, starring Jeremy Lin.

Sports Illustrated talked about this fledging rivalry in the December 18, 2000 issue. “Who needs the next MJ when the NBA may have Bird-Magic II?” said the subtitle.

“Every few years the NBA trots out another beta version of Michael 2.0, the latest contender for the title of Next Jordan. So far none have lived up to the billing. Now, though, the NBA finds itself with not one but two players, Kobe Bryant of the Lakers and the Raptors’ Vince Carter, with claim to the title—and with it the responsibility of carrying David Stern’s tattoo-scarred league to another golden age.

“Both are prolific offensive players, bother are young leaders on contending teams, and both are capable of acrobatics most players couldn’t pull off on a Nerf hoop. Most important, each possesses star quality.

“Bryant and Carter have become, along with Allen Iverson (Isiah Thomas to their Magic and Bird?), the game’s most compelling players not named O’Neal. A sure sign of their grassroots appeal is how often you hear Who’s better? debates among fans. No less an authority than Jordan stoked the fire last spring when he proclaimed that Bryant was better all-around because Carter ‘doesn’t play defense.’”
--Chris DeBrie

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Playground Pick 'Em: Live-Action 'What If's


excerpt:

Even imaginary fights are enough to give enthusiasts fits. When you are arguing about boxing, the first thing you do is pick apart the other guy.

One of the knocks on Lennox Lewis is that some of his career wins are suspect. By the time Tyson-Lewis happened, Mike was on the downside. Lennox's victory over Klitchsko was stopped because of cuts, in a fight that many believed the Russian would win. He turned down a reported $20 million for a rematch, retiring instead. The books only say that Lewis won, and the fact that he beat a younger fighter like Klitchsko, who was just as powerful and tactical, is a tick in the positive column.

As for Ali, his critics believe that time has made him seem more invincible than he really was. Film reveals some flaws in his technique, like his occasional half-hearted glove position after jabs. Ali did encounter trouble against quick, strong fighters who kept him close, like Joe Frazier.


Round 11:
The fists that punished other big men, including Foreman and Frazier, are still at work, swift as ever. Lewis backpedals, brushes the ropes, and sits down. One boot rises as he half-rolls on his back, and the photos of that instant become the collective image of the fight. He rises at the count of five, but doesn't respond to the referee's satisfaction. The fight is stopped by way of technical knockout(TKO).

It became obvious that Ali is too quick and strong for Lewis--a combo that the Brit cannot solve tonight. In the end, it is Muhammad Ali's night. Lennox's jab posed no difficulty for him, and Ali was simply lighter on his feet. He faced a few men of Lennox's size and intelligence, and almost always beat them. But Lewis never boxed such a combination of strength, intelligence, and grace.

Much was made of the strength of Lewis, who is almost thirty pounds heavier, but it is now clear that Ali's power was underrated. True punching power isn't just about physicality--it is timing and accuracy. Muhammad Ali may have been the best ever at picking his spots. No rope-a-dope needed.