Archive for the ‘Inventions’ Category

Looks cool, but how does it turn corners?

Advertisements

Have you ever dropped your phone and broken the screen? Because I haven’t. Oh, I’ve dropped my phone before but it’s never broken.* It seems like some people are cursed though, and break their phone every other week. You’ve seen these people, the ones whose screen looks like it was stomped on by a pissed off hippo. Anyway phone droppers, your worries are over. An enterprising young engineering student has invented the “Mobile Airbag” that deploys whenever you drop your phone. Genius really. Check it out.

*I once dropped my phone in the urinal at a restaurant. Awkward. 

      

Japan, man. They’ve come a long way since the that little incident back in ’45. Check out these great ideas from the Land of the Rising Sun.

[click to scroll and read the captions]

 

Not kidding man. Have you seen these things? Little water balls you pop right into your mouth where they explode in a burst of refreshing tastiness. They’re thin, see-through little water blobs that are made using an all natural seaweed extract. They’re fully biodegradable, will naturally decompose within 4-6 weeks if left unused, and are cheaper and more environmentally friendly to produce than plastic. Behold, the Edible Water Pod. They’re cool.

Note: I can see it coming. Edible Beer Pods. Good God.

Know what I’m talkin’ ’bout, Willis? Yeah, I’m referring to WWI airplane technology, and it was wild stuff. Read on . . .

See, during WWI (also known as The War to End All Wars, wishful thinking at its finest), airplanes were still a very new technology. Planes that could fly for extended periods of time were only a few years old, and people were still trying to figure out how they would work in combat.

One of the most logical steps was to add a big gun to the front of a plane so it could shoot down other planes and kill people and whatnot. Machine guns were a logical complement to aircraft, but there was one problem –  how to stop the bullets from hitting that big propeller in the front? Early propellers were made of wood, man, and one mistake and you’d be shooting your own self right out of the damn sky.

Anyway, machine guns were mounted on the top of the fuselage, directly in front of the pilot, but that position placed the gun directly behind the propeller. The gun had to be designed to fire through the propeller without hitting it, which basically sounds insane considering how fast the propeller was spinning. Well, being the innovative folks that we were, we sure enough did it.

What we invented was something called synchronization gear, which restricted the machine gun so it could only fire in between the propellers. It involved an irregular-shaped disk that triggers the gun to fire once per revolution, at a specific point. This produces a high rate of fire without the risk of hitting the propeller. Diabolical, man.

Anyway, check out the cool slow-mo video below to see this in action. Just remember that the propeller was moving infinitely faster while in flight. Amazing really.

Sometimes people just stumble into cool idea, ya know? For instance, some dude named Percy Spencer was experimenting with a new vacuum tube called a magnetron while doing research for the Raytheon Corporation in 1945. During one experiment the candy bar in his pocket began to melt. Boom! The microwave was invented.*

*Fun Fact: The first microwave oven was called a Radarange, and it weighed 750 pounds, was 5 1/2 feet tall and cost about $5,000. That’s wild.

Anyway, other stuff like x-rays, artificial sweeteners and even penicillin were invented by mistake. Seriously, look it up. I wouldn’t like to ya. But on to the point of this blog, and that is what foods were invented by accident. Let’s do the thang . . .

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Yep, the delicious goodness called Chocolate Chip Cookies were a mistake. It happened in the 1930s when a restaurant owner named Ruth Wakefield added pieces of chocolate to her cookie mix, hoping the fragments would melt and turn the batter into a chocolate brown. The chips remained solid, however, people loved them, and the chocolate chip cookie was born. And thank God for that, right?

Note: My niece Sasha can cram more chocolate chips into a chocolate chip cookie than any human being on earth. That’s a fact.

POPSICLES

The popsicle was invented by an enterprising 11-year-old kid named Frank Epperson in 1905. You see, young Frank left a glass of soda on his San Francisco front porch by accident one night with a stirring stick still it. The next day, after a chilly night, the drink had frozen. Frank pulled the stick out and, to his surprise, the drink came with it. He went ahead and licked it and found it to be quite tasty. That fateful morning stuck with him, and years later, when he was 20, he patented them as Popsicles.

POTATO CHIPS

In 1853 there was a chef named George Crum at Moon Lake House Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York. After a customer sent back a batch of fried potatoes complaining that they were not thin enough, Chef Crum got pissed. He sliced the next batch of potatoes as thinly as he possibly could, fried and salted them, and sent them back out to the complainer. That’ll teach him! However, to George’s amazement the customer loved them, and soon the word of these crunchy fried potatoes spread across the region. The Potato Chip was born.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

First off, this has to be the most widely mispronounced word in the English language, amirite? People always say Worchester Sauce when it’s really Worcestershire sauce, damn it. Anywho, it was invented by the British chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins in the 19th century. The pair were asked to create a tangy sauce for a client who liked Indian cuisine, but the product they created was so strong it was inedible. So, they put it away for a few years. Alas, when they pulled it off the shelf a few years later and tried it again they were stunned to find it was now perfect. Viola!

THE SANDWICH

Wait. What? ‘Tis true! The sandwich is named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. It’s said that the Earl, who was quite the gambler, ordered his servant to bring him meat held between two pieces of bread so that he didn’t have to stop to eat a proper meal. Hence, the sandwich!

Note: This story is widely disputed. Still, I like it so I choose to believe it.

NACHOS

Ah, nachos. So good. But here’s how they came to be. Ignacio Nacho Anaya was a maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico. One day in 1943, a group of ten military wives crossed the border from Fort Duncan Army base and demanded some grub. Unable to track down the chef and faced with the ten hungry ladies, Anaya decided to improvise—he covered a plate of tostadas with grated cheese, passed it through a salamander (a broiling unit that heats food from above), and topped the whole thing off with jalapeños. Of course the women loved it, and one of the women dubbed the dish “Nacho’s Special”, which was later shortened to just “Nachos” when Anaya took the dish to his own place—Nacho’s Restaurant.

BEER

We’re pretty sure the Mesopotamians invented the delicious Barley Pop about 10,00 years ago. What happened, you ask? See, when Mesopotamians began storing grains for bread, their storage spaces occasionally became damp which caused the grains to ferment. This fermentation process resulted in a liquid that was the earliest beer. Some lucky Mesopotamian sampled the strange liquid, got a buzz, and the rest is history. On a related note, three years later the first beer gut was spotted.

HOT & SPICY CHICKEN

Hot & Spicy Chicken was invented in Nashville, and its origins are at the world famous Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Restaurant lore traces the recipe back to current owner Andre Jeffries’ great-uncle Thornton Prince, an infamous womanizer. When she thought he was cheating, one of his jealous lover’s fed him extra-spicy chicken out of vengeance. Problem was, Thornton liked it so much that he began cooking it at his restaurant. Crazy but true.

COKE

Coke was invented in 1886 by a guy named John Pemberton. Pemberton was a wounded veteran who had become addicted to morphine, so he tried to create a replacement to stave off his addiction. Through some messing around in his pharmacy, he created a tonic that eventually became the original Coca Cola formula. As you may have heard, it contained small amounts of cocaine as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut. Let’s just say the original Coke could give you quite the high. Anyway, in 1887, another Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Candler, bought the formula for Coca Cola from Pemberton for $2,300. By the late 1890s, Coca Cola was one of America’s most popular fountain drinks.

CHEESE PUFFS

Here’s what happened. The Flakall Company up in Wisconsin invented a machine that crushed grains for animal feed without hulls and grain dust. A bro named Edward Wilson noticed that workers poured moistened corn kernels into the machine to reduce clogging. The machine got so hot that the moist cornmeal came out in puffy ribbons, hardening as it hit the air and fell to the ground. Wilson took the ribbons home, added oil and seasoning, and made the first cheese curls. Genius!

ICE CREAM CONES

At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, an ice-cream vendor had run out of bowls. Back then that’s how everyone ate ice cream, from a bowl. Earnest Hamwi, a neighboring concessionaire, rolled the waffle-like pastries he was selling (they were called Zalabis) into a cone so his neighbor’s ice cream could be held inside, just to lend a friend a hand. People loved it, and the Ice Cream Cone was born.

SLURPEES

Omar Knedlik, owner of a Dairy Queen franchise in Kentucky, had a fountain machine that kept breaking down, so he had to store his sodas in the freezer, sometimes for too long. His customers didn’t mind, though. In fact, they kept on ordering “those pops that were in the freezer a little bit longer.” Realizing that his disaster had turned into an opportunity, Knedlik built a new machine to deliberately produce that strange, frozen drink that everyone loved. Later, the ICEE dispenser was bought by more than 300 companies before 7-Eleven licensed it in 1965 and renamed the drink “Slurpees.”

And there ya have it, cool foods that were created entirely by accident? Cool, right?

Genius stuff up in here.

[Click and scroll, man.]

 

genius1

You know how when you buy something and you get all the parts mixed up? With this product the parts come packaged and in order.

genius2

That’s an elevator button. It’s far away so you won’t have to wait once you’re at the door.

genius4

Public bathroom door opener. No grabbing the nasty door handle.

genius3

To prevent that battle to keep light from coming in through the crack.

genius7

For those of us who flush with our foot in public toilets.

genius6

Hell yes I need this. I always get it wrong. Every. Time.

genius8

I’m sure there must be another one that says NO FREAKING WAY.

geniusidea

For your dog! Yes!

genius-ideas-solutions-make-life-easier-18-5a9920132f240__605

I’ve actually seen these. They tell you how many seconds are left until the light changes. GREAT idea.

genius5

Self-explanatory. Perfect.

genius-ideas-solutions-make-life-easier-32-5a99429eb5318__605

Der.

genius-ideas-solutions-make-life-easier-44-5a9cf597a576d__605

Great water recycler. Love it.

genius-ideas-solutions-make-life-easier-305-5a9951065d912__605

Hard to run these lights.

genius-ideas-solutions-make-life-easier-25-5a992ba707ace__605

So you can push your bike up or down the steps.

genius-ideas-solutions-make-life-easier-43-5a9cec34690fc__605

This has Sparky written all over it.

genius-ideas-solutions-make-life-easier-20-5a9921a869895__605

The mom and toddler swing. Cool.

Efficient.

So Paris Hilton went and tweeted this out a couple days ago . . .

Of course this wasn’t true and the worldwide interweb proceeded to make the necessary corrections. Enjoy . . .

[click the photo to enlarge]

Attaboy, internet.

Jeebus.

Well, I see the plan to wipe out the human element in the workforce is almost complete. As soon as these things become self-aware they’ll organize an army and destroy us all. Seriously, with all the politically correct crap going on these days I can see these robots patrolling the streets monitoring hate speech and trigger words and whatnot. Every time “Trump” and “hate” are uttered in the same sentence one of these dudes will staring you straight in the grillmix. Terrifying really.

PS- Robot tipping will be a thing in the future. Write it down.

pppppppp

So some bro created a cloud lamp that reacts in real time to the tweets of Donald Trump, because of course he did. This connected lamp is capable of reacting in real time to messages posted on Twitter, creating a thunderstorm every time a hilarious, self-congratulatory, delusional Trump tweet is posted. It’s the perfect gift for those of us who’d like a warning before a Trump Tweet slaps us in the Twitter Face, or for those who enjoy and approve of The Donald’s wacky, childlike antics. As for me, I’m going to purchase one and have the Looney Tunes theme song play with every Trump Tweet.

Photos and video below.

ggggggggg

Beats burning alive I suppose.

Life·Hack

– a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.

We’ve all read about life hacks, those helpful bits of advice aimed at making our lives easier. And although Life Hack is a fairly new term, the actual act of coming up with better ways of doing things is as old as man himself. Or herself. You get the gist.

Hell, as a Southern Ohioan I’ve seen cars with wooden bumpers, duct taped windshields and cooking smokers made from filing cabinets, so I can relate to redneck ingenuity as much as the next guy.

Anyway, this whole “life hack” thing reminded me of a guy I knew in college we called Muggs. Dude was always bending the rules, sometimes in minor ways, other times in major ways. I’ll give you three examples.

First off, the Muggs was cheap as hell. He was so tight that when he smiled his kneecaps moved. Anyway, he never tipped and would never pay for anything, including stamps. When sending a letter, he’d put the address he wanted the letter to go to as the return address, then put his address as the main address. Then he’d go uptown and drop his letter in the mailbox without a stamp, which would then be returned to the person in which he intended to receive it in the first place. Diabolical. Incredibly, it worked. Keep in mind the cost of a stamp was 13¢ back then. Good God.

As for me, I’d always been taught you shouldn’t mess with the federal government, so I didn’t.*

*If you don’t count the mailbox killing spree I went on in high school with my idiot friends. 

Another life hack Muggs’ wild imagination came up with was the in-car bar. Hear me out on this one, because it’s ingenious, wildly inappropriate and probably illegal. Muggs went to an auto parts store and bought a new windshield washer container for his car, the one that sits under the hood. He bought new tubes that take the cleaning fluid to the windshield as well. Then he installed the new container and redirected the tubes under the dash and through the air vents in his dashboard.

See where this is going yet?

Next, Muggs filled the container with whiskey, so whenever he wanted a drink he’d simply put a cup under the vent, hit the button that turns on the windshield wiper cleaner, and let the booze poor into his cup. If he got pulled over he just closed the vent. That’s wild, man. I remember that before he told us about this I always wondered why he had a cooler of ice in his front seat with nothing else in it.

Bottom line, Muggs was an evil genius. Hell, I’m pretty sure that’s so original there’s no law against it.

Muggs was also in a frat (pretty sure it wasn’t sanctioned or anything) that held a yearly raffle to raise money for “charity”, and by “charity” I mean a big end-of-the-year bash with a live band, booze and plenty of co-eds. Of course Muggs was in charge of the raffle. I remember guys selling chances to win a used car for $5, and they’d sell these tickets for months. Problem was, nobody ever saw anything other than a photo of the car, and every year the big winner was somebody’s uncle from Bardstown, Kentucky or somewhere. Every year at the party the winner would be announced by Muggs:

“And the winner is . . .  drumroll please . . .  Charlie Starkweather of Saluda, North Carolina! That’s my uncle! I’ll see that he gets his 1973 Lincoln Continental Town Car!”

I can’t say this with certainty but I’m pretty sure there was never a car and that the big raffle was 100% profit, minus the cost of buying the tickets.

Muggs, man. God knows how much he pocketed for himself.

As for me, I was taught my own little life hack a couple years ago when I tried to cancel a hotel room in a small coastal town at the last minute. Here’s my phone conversation:

“Hello, Blue Surf Hotel. Charlie speaking.”

“Hey Charlie. This is Dave Shoemaker. I made reservations for Thursday night but I need to cancel. Something’s come up.”

Note: I could have said I had an emergency but I never tempt fate, which may have then handed me an actual emergency just for spite. Fate can be a real bitch. Anyway . . .

“Sorry old buddy, but cancellations have to made 7-days in advance. I know it’s a pain in the butt but the owners here are really strict about it.”

It was apparent to me I was talking to an older gentleman, as he had a raspy, deep voice with a slow southern drawl. Dude sounded exactly like I’d expect Old Man River to sound. Anyhoo . . .

“Seven days? I just made reservations yesterday! That makes no sense.”

“I know, I know. They make no exceptions though. Very strict folks. I’m very sorry.”

At this point I’d just kissed $155.79 goodbye since they had my credit card number and all. But then . . .

“Why don’t you reschedule, old buddy? Maybe sometime in August?”

“Not sure why I’d do that, Charlie. I’ll be long gone by then. That would do me no good at all.”

“You sure? You could reschedule ya know.”

Now I’m a little exasperated.

“Charlie, don’t you get it? I won’t be anywhere near Ocracoke on August 15th. I don’t want to reschedule.”

“Well, I’d think about rescheduling anyway, for say, August 15th. Then if something comes up you could cancel. You know, as long as you did it at least 7-days in advance.”

Realization . . . slowly . . . sinks  . . . in. My skull is a little thick, ya know.

“You know, Charlie, that’s a good idea. I  think I will reschedule. Let’s say August 15th.”

And so I did. And I also cancelled on August 7th. Life hack, man. Thanks Charlie.

I’m telling you now to turn the sound off. Some Japanese dude is yelling throughout the video and it’s annoying as hell. Very cool to watch though.

The fax machine was invented the same year as the Oregon trail migration. It was invented in 1843 by a Scottish mechanic named Alexander Bain. This early model used a combination of synchronized pendulums, electric probes and electrochemically sensitive paper to scan documents, and then send the information over a series of wires to be reproduced. At this same time, the “Great Migration” on the Oregon trail began, when a wagon train of about 1,000 migrants began to travel west.

 

If you have an in-ground pool you know how little animals are always getting in there, only to die and end up in your skimmer. Now those days can come to end thanks to the FrogLog, an invention by a guy named Rich Mason. Check it out man. Buy a FrogLog, save many little lives. As Hippocrates said, “The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.”

[click to view, video below]

Well, sure.

The Daymak C5 Blast is the world’s fastest go-kart. With a 0-60 speed of 1.5 seconds, it’s faster than the world’s best supercars which max out at around 2.5 seconds. What makes the Daymak C5 the world’s fastest go-kart? Electric Ducted Fans reduce the weight of this go-kart by 50% to only 100kg.

Obviously, we’re talking about some extremely advanced machinery here and that means it doesn’t come cheaply. The C5 Blast from Daymak will put you back a cool $60,000. If you don’t have sixty grand to spend on a go-kart, don’t fret. There is a heavier version for $9,999 that will go 0-60 in 3.9 seconds.

Listen, I gotta be honest here. I want a Daymak C5 Blast Go-Cart and I want one yesterday. 60 mph in 1.5 seconds? Hey, I’m no Math major but even I know that’s fast, man. Jeebus. Hope that sucka has a seatbelt on it.

Henry Ford famously tried to make personal airplanes available to everybody with his awesome little Ford Flivver, but ultimately failed. That was sad.

Ford’s success in making a car available to every US citizen led him to believe that he could do the same with planes. Thus, Ford hired an engineer named Otto Koppen and charged him with designing a small, light plane.

The design was finished in 1926 and was called “Ford Flivver.” The plane’s flaps were arranged in such a way as to give it maximum upward lift in small spaces, and a rear wheel meant that it could be driven from your home to a makeshift runway.

Unfortunately in 1928, pilot Harry J. Brooks attempted to fly Flivver from Michigan to Miami on a single tank of gas. As he was cruising over the ocean, the Flivver’s engine locked up, smashing the plane and the pilot into the water.

Brooks’s body was never found.

The accident put an end to the project. But in 1940, Ford famously announced, “Mark my words: A combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.”

Since then, humankind has longed for and awaited for their own personal plane. Well kids, our long wait has come to an end. Not only do we have a personal airplane, it also turns into a car. Ladies and gentlemen, the PAL-V Liberty:

Well, hell, that looks fun doesn’t it? Just hop in your PAL-V, fire it up and fly away to parts unknown, land, and drive away like it ain’t no thing. Check out this video:

I want a PAL-V Liberty and I want one yesterday!

Note: Just read where the cost starts at $400,000.00. Never mind.

Volkswagen has revealed a new van concept to honor the iconic hippie Microbus. It looks straight out of a science fiction movie, and it’s fueled by electricity, has self-driving functions, and much more. The new VW Microbus is an 8-seat all-electric vehicle with a driving range up to 270-miles. This baby collects traffic data using its cameras, laser, ultrasonic, and radar sensors, as well as other witchcraft and techno badassness. It’s highly customizable and stores personal seat and air conditioning settings, sounds system configuration, ambient lighting, and more. Sadly, it’s still just a concept, damn it. Because I really want one. Take a look, and click the photo to enlarge:

You’ve all seen them. They’re a staple of picnics, frat parties and beach redsolocupparties. Hell, I use them at my house all the time. No glasses to clean, man!

I wrote earlier today about the death of their inventor, Mr. Robert Leo Hulseman. Yep, I’m talking about the Red Solo Cup, also known as The Ultimate Party Receptacle.*

*I totally just made that up.

But honestly, when you think about it, it really is a thing of beauty. Elegant really. It has a simple, sleek design, a bright and eye-grabbing color, and it’s disposable! Brilliant!

But did you know this?

  • The solo cup has interior fill lines for alcohol? Yep. 1.5-ounces for liquor, 5-ounces for wine and 12-ounces, for beer. True story. Oh, the company denies it because its inventor was a religious fellow but there’s no way that’s a coincidence. We know what’s up, Mr. Hulseman.
  • The company implemented design changes to the original shape over the years, like indented grips to hold on better and a square bottom to make it more stable when used in party games like Beer Pong. Genius, man.

Yes, although Mr. Hulseman is gone, the Red Solo Cup shall live on.

And hey, how many kitchen items have hit songs written about them?

robert-leo-hulseman-4a4c419c-7c6f-457f-88fd-39dd1c1ea862

See that man in the photo? Do you recognize him? No? Well, that’s a shame because he should rank right up there with Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. That man, my friends, is Robert Leo Hulseman.

Robert Leo Hulseman died on December 21st, and I guarantee you’ve used his invention. Hulseman was the inventor of . . . wait for it . . . the Red Solo Cup.

We have lost one of the greats. Here’s to you, Robert Leo Hulseman.

 

Nice work, fellas.

caseynbanner-218x150

Brilliant!

are-you-serious-wtf-meme-baby-face

This thing would be great. You know, until you got hit by a truck.

podride


%d bloggers like this: