The Best Way to Get Your Stuck Tongue Out of a Bottle

Dave_Pot/iStock via Getty Images
Dave_Pot/iStock via Getty Images

Children have a knack for finding themselves in non-lethal peril. They eat things they shouldn’t, insert things that don’t belong in their nose into their nose, and sometimes fall inexplicably off beds. Rarely, they will get their tongues stuck in bottles, a potentially serious condition.

Doctors haven't had many options for removing stuck tongues safely and effectively. Common methods include cutting or breaking the bottle to release the presumed vacuum pressure, greasing both tongue and bottle to smooth the release, or sedating patients for a painful pull. Thanks to a paper just published in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology, however, we now know there may be a better way.

A child drinking from a juice bottle is pictured
WaldemarMilz/iStock via Getty Images

Describing the case of a 7-year-old boy who arrived at Auf der Bult Children’s Hospital in Hannover, Germany with his tongue trapped in a juice container, the paper details an innovative treatment method. Physicians first attempted to insert a narrow cannula—a thin flexible tube—between the tongue and neck of the bottle to release the vacuum pressure. When this didn’t work, one of the physicians, Christopher Eich, remembered how he had once opened a bottle of wine without a corkscrew—by adding, not removing, air to create positive air pressure inside the bottle. Thinking this might have the same effect, the doctor injected 60 milliliters of air through the cannula, which pushed the tongue out of the bottle. The boy made a full recovery.

Having your tongue lodged in a bottle can invite a host of problems, from edema and capillary damage to possible airway obstruction. Positive air pressure would seem to be a viable first-line treatment for patients, offering swift resolution and no need for heavy sedation.

No word yet on whether the technique would help cats that have a tendency to get their heads stuck in jars, but perhaps veterinarians should look into it.

These Rugged Steel-Toe Boots Look and Feel Like Summer Sneakers

Indestructible Shoes
Indestructible Shoes

Thanks to new, high-tech materials, our favorite shoes are lighter and more comfortable than ever. Unfortunately, one thing most sneakers are not is durable. They can’t protect your feet from the rain, let alone heavy objects. Luckily, as their name implies, Indestructible Shoes has come up with a line of steel-toe boots that look and feel like regular sneakers.

Made to be incredibly strong but still lightweight, every pair of Indestructible Shoes has steel toes, skid-proof grips, and shock-absorption technology. But they don't look clunky or bulky, which makes them suitable whether you're going to work, the gym, or a family gathering.

The Hummer is Indestructible Shoes’s most well-rounded model. It features European steel toes to protect your feet, while the durable "flymesh" material wicks moisture to keep your feet feeling fresh. The insole features 3D arch support and extra padding in the heel cup. And the outsole features additional padding that distributes weight and helps your body withstand strain.

Indestructible Shoes Hummer.
The Hummer from Indestructible Shoes.
Indestructible Shoes

There’s also the Xciter, Indestructible Shoes’s latest design. The company prioritized comfort for this model, with the same steel toes as the Hummer, but with additional extra-large, no-slip outsoles capable of gripping even smooth, slippery surfaces—like, say, a boat deck. The upper is made of breathable moisture-wicking flymesh to help keep your feet dry in the rain or if you're wearing them on the water.

If you want a more breathable shoe for the peak summer months, there's the Ryder. This shoe is designed to be a stylish solution to the problem of sweaty feet, thanks to a breathable mesh that maximizes airflow and minimizes sweat and odor. Meanwhile, extra padding in the midsole will keep your feet protected.

You can get 44 percent off all styles if you order today.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

How the Scientist Who Invented Ibuprofen Accidentally Discovered It Was Great for Hangovers

This man had too many dry martinis at a business lunch.
This man had too many dry martinis at a business lunch.
George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

When British pharmacologist Stewart Adams and his colleague John Nicholson began tinkering with various drug compounds in the 1950s, they were hoping to come up with a cure for rheumatoid arthritis—something with the anti-inflammatory effects of aspirin, but without the risk of allergic reaction or internal bleeding.

Though they never exactly cured rheumatoid arthritis, they did succeed in developing a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that greatly reduced pain of all kinds. In 1966, they patented their creation, which was first known as 2-(4-isobutylphenyl) propionic acid and later renamed ibuprofen. While originally approved as a prescription drug in the UK, it soon became clear ibuprofen was safer and more effective than other pain relievers. It eventually hit the market as an over-the-counter medication.

During that time, Adams conducted one last impromptu experiment with the drug, which took place far outside the lab and involved only a single participant: himself.

In 1971, Adams arrived in Moscow to speak at a pharmacology conference and spent the night before his scheduled appearance tossing back shots of vodka at a reception with the other attendees. When he awoke the next morning, he was greeted with a hammering headache. So, as reports, Adams tossed back 600 milligrams of ibuprofen.

“That was testing the drug in anger, if you like,” Adams told The Telegraph in 2007. “But I hoped it really could work magic.”

As anyone who has ever been in that situation can probably predict, the ibuprofen did work magic on Adams’s hangover. After that, according to The Washington Post, the pharmaceutical company Adams worked for began promoting the drug as a general painkiller, and people started to stumble upon its use as a miracle hangover cure.

“It's funny now,” Adams told The Telegraph. “But over the years so many people have told me that ibuprofen really works for them, and did I know it was so good for hangovers? Of course, I had to admit I did.”