New Bra Provides Life Support

Brassiere converts into a pair of protective face masks

By Matt Bartosik
|  Friday, Oct 30, 2009  |  Updated 12:55 PM CDT
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Those things could save your life one day. The bra, dude, the bra.

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Ladies, we are certain that you have heard every euphemism in the book for your breasts: bazongas, melons, headlights, etc.

Now you can add "lifesavers" to the list.

Dr. Elena Bodnar of Chicago has invented the bra-mask—a brassiere with cups that not only lift and support; they also serve as protective face masks.

"The brilliance of my idea is that it's very simple," said Bodnar, director of the nonprofit Trauma Risk Management Research Institute, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The gas mask bra may seem hilarious upon first glance, but it could prove to be life-saving.

Bodnar was a scientist in Ukraine when she saw the devastation of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986. As she presented her invention to the 19th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, she said that it could have prevented people from breathing in dangerous Iodine-131.

Not to be confused with the real Nobel Prizes, the Ig Nobels are meant to "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think," according to the official website.

"The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative – and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology," the site says.

Unusual and imaginative? Bodnar's bra certainly fits the criteria, so it's no surprise that she won the Ig Nobel for Public Health.

Other winners included two UK veterinarians for showing that cows who have names give more milk than cows that are nameless, five scientists in Switzerland for determining—by experiment—whether it is better to be smashed over the head with a full bottle of beer or with an empty bottle, and three researchers in Mexico for creating diamonds from tequila.

As far as the life-saving bra goes, Bodnar is currently pursuing commercialization, and she assures her fellow females that size doesn't matter.

And don't worry gentlemen, you're not left out.

"Isn't it wonderful that women have two breasts, not just one?" Bodnar said in her acceptance speech. "We can save not only our own lives, but also a man of our choice next to us."

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, lifts and supports.

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