Do Peaches Make Your Lips Itch?

The tingling begins a few minutes after you finish your fruit salad. A strange itch starts with your lips and spreads to your tongue. “What is this?” you wonder. “What’s happening to me?” And then, just as quickly as it came, the itch is gone, and you forget all about it—until the next brunch.

If this sounds familiar, you may be one of the many Americans with oral allergy syndrome (OAS). People with OAS find that their mouths and throats itch or tingle when they eat certain raw fruits and vegetables. Unlike allergies to peanuts or bee stings, pollen food allergy, as it’s also known, is usually nothing to worry about.

With seasonal allergies and hay fever, the presence of pollen in the air leads to sneezing, runny noses, and congestion. In OAS, the presence of pollen-like proteins in fruits and vegetables leads to a mouth-specific reaction.

OAS reactions are generally pretty mild, lasting just a few minutes to an hour. (In rare cases, a person's throat can swell up, but most people just experience itching or tingling.) That’s because once the problem protein reaches your stomach, your digestive juices start breaking it down. OAS occurs when pollen and pollen-like proteins have built up in a person’s body, so it’s more common in adults than in children.

Most people with allergies react to one or two types of pollen, which bear similarities to the proteins in specific fruits or vegetables. Check out the infographics below from the Washington Post for more information on the relationship between pollen and produce.



Herbs and Spices

It’s worth noting that people with OAS usually only react to a few foods—not necessarily every food on the list for their pollen type. But once you know which foods set off your allergies, it’s a pretty easy fix: avoid them. If you absolutely can’t give them up, try cooking them first. Even zapping a piece of fresh fruit in the microwave for 15 seconds will reduce its reactivity, because cooking breaks down the offending proteins just like your stomach would.

Of course, if you notice a reaction to any food, it’s important to see your doctor. Many allergic reactions look alike, and some of them are deadly. A quick medical test can determine if OAS is the culprit.

Apple Wants to Patent a Keyboard You’re Allowed to Spill Coffee On

In the future, eating and drinking near your computer keyboard might not be such a dangerous game. On March 8, Apple filed a patent application for a keyboard designed to prevent liquids, crumbs, dust, and other “contaminants” from getting inside, Dezeen reports.

Apple has previously filed several patents—including one announced on March 15—surrounding the idea of a keyless keyboard that would work more like a trackpad or a touchscreen, using force-sensitive technology instead of mechanical keys. The new anti-crumb keyboard patent that Apple filed, however, doesn't get into the specifics of how the anti-contamination keyboard would work. It isn’t a patent for a specific product the company is going to debut anytime soon, necessarily, but a patent for a future product the company hopes to develop. So it’s hard to say how this extra-clean keyboard might work—possibly because Apple hasn’t fully figured that out yet. It’s just trying to lay down the legal groundwork for it.

Here’s how the patent describes the techniques the company might use in an anti-contaminant keyboard:

"These mechanisms may include membranes or gaskets that block contaminant ingress, structures such as brushes, wipers, or flaps that block gaps around key caps; funnels, skirts, bands, or other guard structures coupled to key caps that block contaminant ingress into and/or direct containments away from areas under the key caps; bellows that blast contaminants with forced gas out from around the key caps, into cavities in a substrate of the keyboard, and so on; and/or various active or passive mechanisms that drive containments away from the keyboard and/or prevent and/or alleviate containment ingress into and/or through the keyboard."

Thanks to a change in copyright law in 2011, the U.S. now gives ownership of an idea to the person who first files for a patent, not the person with the first working prototype. Apple is especially dogged about applying for patents, filing plenty of patents each year that never amount to much.

Still, they do reveal what the company is focusing on, like foldable phones (the subject of multiple patents in recent years) and even pizza boxes for its corporate cafeteria. Filing a lot of patents allows companies like Apple to claim the rights to intellectual property for technology the company is working on, even when there's no specific invention yet.

As The New York Times explained in 2012, “patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology,” rather than a specific approach. (This allows brands to sue competitors if they come out with something similar, as Apple has done with Samsung, HTC, and other companies over designs the company views as ripping off iPhone technology.)

That means it could be a while before we see a coffee-proof keyboard from Apple, if the company comes out with one at all. But we can dream.

[h/t Dezeen]

Dave Jones, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
A Rare Apple Lisa 1 Computer Is Up for Auction on eBay
Dave Jones, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Dave Jones, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

For superfans of vintage Apple products, a working Apple Lisa 1 is the holy grail of collector's items. First released in 1983, the pioneering computer (the first to feature a graphic interface and a mouse) was a commercial failure and only sold 100,000 units, very few of which survived to the present day. But an eBay seller is offering up the super-rare opportunity to own one, as DesignTAXI reports.

The computer in question, selling for more than $55,000 as of January 8, is in mint condition. According to the listing, it has only been turned on a few times.

A Lisa 1 computer
professorinschubert, eBay

As you can see in the video below, everything seems to be in working order.

The seller estimates that there are only 20 to 100 Lisa 1s left in the world. And even for a Lisa 1, this one is a rare machine. Lisa computers, reportedly named after Steve Jobs’s daughter (though there have been some other theories about the name), were the only machines Apple released with its doomed Twiggy disk drives—a faulty format that turned out to be incredibly unreliable, leading to the product’s downfall. Apple then released the Lisa 2 with standard 3.5-inch floppy disk drives, offering customers free upgrades for their Lisa 1 Twiggy drives.

Since most customers jumped at the chance to make their $10,000 computer ($24,700 in today's dollars) run properly, Lisas that still have their original Twiggy drives are incredibly hard to find. The Lisa 1 on sale still has its twin Twiggy drives though, and they work, at least as well as the drives ever worked.

Whether the seller will actually get his $55,000 is questionable. In 2010, a similar Lisa 1 sold for just $15,000. But the model seems to have gained a lot of value since then, since one sold for $50,000 in November 2017.

[h/t DesignTAXI]


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