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12 Things We've Enhanced With Caffeine

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What's the buzz? Caffeine's now available in just about everything.

1. Toothbrushes

The best part of waking up is ... caffeine in your brush? Colgate-Palmolive has filed a patent for a toothbrush that can administer caffeine and other chemicals while cleaning your pearly whites. The jolt comes from a patch on the toothbrush's head, which can last up to three months. The good news: The same technology enables a sleep-inducing toothbrush for nighttime. The bad news: Someone will mix them up.

2. Toothpaste

Caffeinated toothbrushes can't get you percolating just yet, but Buzz Toothpaste can. Creator Richard Davis promises an energy boost within 15 minutes, no coffee breath necessary. Research shows that a caffeinated mouthwash may prevent oral cancer, so it probably won't be long before you're gargling with the stimulant. And who knows? Pretty soon you might actually look forward to flossing twice a day, too.

3. Soap

Hygiene, caffeine, it's the same thing with this soap. Caffeine's become a popular ingredient in skincare products, because it stimulates blood circulation and makes skin look refreshed. There's a caffeinated deodorant for men (that doesn't smell like Starbucks). Caffeinated shampoo's also supposed to prevent hair loss. Lather up!

4. Chewing gum

Wrigley launched Alert caffeinated gum late last month, promising the equivalent of a half-cup of coffee in a single stick. Within weeks, it was taken off the shelves, due to the FDA's "concern about the proliferation of caffeine in the nation's food supply." Gum that gives you the jitters isn't new—Jolt has sold its Energy Gum and caffeinated breath mints since 2003. Still, if you think normal gum chewers are annoying, just wait 'til you add caffeine to the mix.

5. Waffles

File this one under What Not To Give Your Kid For Breakfast. Each Wired Waffle contains 200 mg of caffeine. Founder Roger Sullivan sought investor support for the product on the popular TV show Shark Tank. But the sharks weren't biting.

6. Jelly beans

Caffeinated jelly beans and gummy bears? The Halloween candy prank pulls itself...

7. Water

H2Whoa! A number of caffeinated bottled waters can quench your thirst and put some pep in your step. The only problem: Drinking too much might make you more dehydrated. It's a vicious cycle.

8. Beer

In other liquid paradoxes, you can have your stimulants and depressants all at once with caffeinated beer. Well, you could have. In 2010, the FDA ruled that caffeine is a dangerous additive to alcoholic beverages. The same year, a number of states—including California, New York, and Kansas—banned the sale of malt beverages with caffeine.

9. Beef jerky

Tired of guzzling down your junk food with a soda? Now beef jerky, popcorn, and hot sauce can deliver a powerful caffeine punch, along with all the calories, salt, and fat. Admit it: You kind of want to try all of them.

10. Sunscreen

Caffeine keeps you perky in more ways than one. According to every caffeinated anti-wrinkle cream, it reduces the appearance of fine lines, lightens dark circles, and removes under-eye bags. Even better, the stimulant could save your hide. Research shows that caffeinated sunscreen may prevent skin cancer, as it affects a gene that destroys sun-damaged cells.

11. Shapewear

Having trouble getting your butt in gear in the morning? Put on your caffeine-infused underpants or tights and get on with it. Well, not really. Caffeinated shapewear only promises to smooth skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite over time. Alas, pouring coffee on your lap doesn't produce the same results. Unless you get a really camouflaging third-degree burn.

12. Lip balm

What happens when the one police officer in a small Alaskan village gets tired of chapped lips? A caffeinated lip balm with a buzzy name. Hard Candy and other cosmetic brands have since created caffeine-enhanced lipsticks and lip glosses.

But if you're really tired, you know what to do: Eat a Perky Jerky sandwich made with Wired Waffles and caffeinated hot sauce, brush your teeth with Buzz Toothpaste, and then use that energy to go far away where no one has to interact with you.

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Pop Culture
5 Bizarre Comic-Con News Stories from Years Past
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At its best, Comic-Con is a friendly place where like-minded people can celebrate their pop culture obsessions, and each other. And no one can make fun of you, no matter how lazy your cosplaying might be. You might think that at its worst, it’s just a series of long lines of costumed fans and small stores crammed into a convention center. But sometimes, throwing together 100,000-plus people from around the world in what feels like a carnival-type atmosphere where anything goes can have less than stellar results. Here are some highlights from past Comic-Con-tastrophes.


In 2010, two men waiting for a Comic-Con screening of the Seth Rogen alien comedy Paul got into a very adult argument about whether one of them was sitting too close to the other. Unable to come to a satisfactory conclusion with words, one man stabbed the other in the face with a pen. According to CNN, the attacker was led away wearing handcuffs and a Harry Potter T-shirt. In the aftermath, some Comic-Con attendees dealt with the attack in an oddly fitting way: They cosplayed as the victim, with pens protruding from bloody eye sockets.


Since its founding in 2006, New York Comic Con has attracted a few sticky-fingered attendees. In 2010, a man stole several rare comics from vendor Matt Nelson, co-founder of Texas’ Worldwide Comics. Just one of those, Whiz Comics No. 1, was worth $11,000, according to the New York Post. A few years later, in 2014, someone stole a $2000 “Dunny” action figure, which artist Jon-Paul Kaiser had painted during the event for Clutter magazine. And those are just the incidents that involved police; lower-scale cases of toys and comics disappearing from booths are an increasingly frustrating epidemic, according to some. “Comic Con theft is an issue we all sort of ignore,” collector Tracy Isenhour wrote on the blog of his company, Needless Essentials, in 2015. “I am here to tell you no more. It’s time for this garbage to stop."


John Sciulli/Getty Images for Xbox

Adrianne Curry, winner of the first cycle of America’s Next Top Model, has made a career of chasing viral fame. Ironically, it was at Comic-Con in 2014 that Curry did something truly worthy of attention—though there wasn’t a camera in sight. Dressed as Catwoman, she was posing with fans alongside her friend Alicia Marie, who was dressed as Tigra. According to a Facebook post Marie wrote at the time, a fan tried to shove his hands into her bikini bottoms. She screamed, the man ran off, and Curry jumped to action. She “literally took off after dude WITH her Catwoman whip and chased him down, beat his a**,” Marie wrote. “Punched him across the face with the butt of her whip—he had zombie blood on his face—got on her costume.”


The lines at Comic-Con are legendary, so one Utah man came up with a novel way to try and skip them altogether. In 2015, Jonathon M. Wall tried to get into Salt Lake Comic Con’s exclusive VIP enclave (normally a $10,000 ticket) by claiming he was an agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and needed to get into the VIP room “to catch a fugitive,” according to The San Diego Union Tribune. Not only does that story not even come close to making sense, it also adds up to impersonating a federal agent, a crime to which Wall pleaded guilty in April of this year and which carried a sentence of up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In June, prosecutors announced that they were planning to reduce his crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.


Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Disney

In 2015, Kevin Doyle walked 645 miles along the California coast to honor his late wife, Eileen. Doyle had met Eileen relatively late in life, when he was in his 50s, and they bonded over their shared love of Star Wars (he even proposed to her while dressed as Darth Vader). However, she died of cancer barely a year after they were married. Adrift and lonely, Doyle decided to honor her memory and their love of Star Wars by walking to Comic-Con—from San Francisco. “I feel like I’m so much better in the healing process than if I’d stayed home,” he told The San Diego Union Tribune.

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iStock // Lucy Quintanilla
10 Pieces of Lying Lingo from Across the United States
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iStock // Lucy Quintanilla

Maligner. Fabricator. Fibber. Con artist. There are all sorts of ways you can say "liar," but in case you're running out, we’ve worked with the editors at the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) to come up with 10 more pieces of lying lingo to add to your storytelling stash.


This term for a liar originally referred to a gold-rusher in Arizona, according to DARE. It can also be used to describe an old-timer, especially one who likes to exaggerate. The word hassayampa (also hassayamper) comes from the Hassayampa River, which is located in the Grand Canyon State. According to the Dictionary of American Folklore, “There was a popular legend that anyone who drank of the Hassayampa River in Arizona would never again tell the truth.”


“You’re a Jacob!” you might say to a deceiver in eastern Alabama or western Georgia. This word—meaning a liar, a lie, and to lie—might be based on the Bible story of twin brothers Jacob and Esau. Esau, the elder and firstborn, stood to inherit his parents' estate by law. At the behest of his mother, Jacob deceived their father, blinded in old age, into thinking he was Esau and persuaded him to bestow him Esau’s blessing.


Liza or Liza Jane can mean a lie or a liar. Hence, to lizar means to lie. Like Jacob, Liza is an eastern Alabama and western Georgia term. However, where it comes from isn’t clear. But if we had to guess, we’d say it’s echoic of lies.


“What a story you are,” you might say to a prevaricator in Virginia, eastern Alabama, or western Georgia. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), story, meaning a liar, is mainly used in the phrase, “You story!” Story as a verb meaning “to give a false or malicious account, lie, tattle,” is an English dialect word, according to DARE, and is chiefly used in the South and South Midland states. “You storied to me about getting a drink,” you might tell someone who stood you up.


To load or load up means to trick, mislead, or “deceive by yarns or windies,” according to cowboy lingo in northwest Texas. The term, which can also be a noun meaning a lie or liar, might also be heard in northwest Arkansas and the Ozarks.


To spin a yarn, or to tell a long tale, began as nautical slang, according to the OED, and comes from the idea of telling stories while doing seated work such as yarn-twisting. (The word yarn comes from the Old English gearn, meaning "spun fiber, spun wool.") By extension, a yarn is a sometimes marvelous or incredible story or tale, and to yarn means to tell a story or chat. In some parts of the U.S., such as Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, and Tennessee, to yarn means to lie or tell a falsehood. “Don’t yarn to me!” you might say. Street yarn refers to gossip in New York, Kentucky, and parts of New England.


Telling a windy in the West? You’re telling an “extravagantly exaggerated or boastful story,” a tall tale, or a lie, says DARE. Wind has meant “vain imagination or conceit” since the 15th century, says OED.

8. LIE

In addition to being a falsehood or tall tale, a lie in the South and South Midland states can refer to the liar himself.


You’ve probably heard of stretching the truth. How about stretching the blanket? This phrase meaning to lie or exaggerate is especially used in the South Midland states. To split the blanket, by the way, is a term in the South, South Midland, and West meaning to get divorced, while being born on the wrong side of the blanket means being born out of wedlock, at least in Indiana and Ohio.


In the South and South Midland, whack refers to a lie or the act of lying. It might come from the British English colloquial term whacker, meaning anything abnormally large, especially a “thumping lie” or “whopper,” according to the OED. In case you were wondering, wack, as in “crack is wack,” is probably a back-formation from wacky meaning crazy or odd, also according to the OED. Wacky comes from whack, a blow or hit, maybe from the idea of being hit in the head too many times.


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