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New Inductees To Inventors Hall Of Fame

  1. Feb 23, 2004 #1
    A very interesting list of people.

    Twenty inducted into Inventors Hall of Fame
    Address:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4244980/
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2004 #2

    Math Is Hard

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    They snubbed Ron Popeil?
    How rude! We're talking about the guy who gave us Vegematic and the Pocket Fisherman!
     
  4. Feb 23, 2004 #3
    There are inventors, and then there are inventors. Then there is Ron Popeil.

    Some people are just too massive to stand with the rest.


    Edit to add: You forgot the washable spray paint for the scalps of guys with thinning hair. His masterpiece IMO.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2004
  5. Feb 23, 2004 #4
    Let's not forget George Foreman...grill
     
  6. Feb 23, 2004 #5
    You can get your name in a hall of fame by sticking it on somebody else's grill? Wow, this is going to be easier than I thought...

    cookiemonster
     
  7. Feb 23, 2004 #6

    jimmy p

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    yeah, he's so proud of it, he puts his NAME on it!!
     
  8. Feb 23, 2004 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    LOL! What was that stuff called? Does anyone remember?
     
  9. Feb 23, 2004 #8
  10. Feb 23, 2004 #9

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    OMG!! People still buy it - I remember now --

    GREAT LOOKING HAIR!
     
  11. Feb 23, 2004 #10

    Tsu

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    And Chia Pet! Or Chia HEAD!! Where's the Chia Head guy on that list???
     
  12. Feb 23, 2004 #11

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    Excellent choice, Tsunami.
    And let's not forget the creator of the Flowbee.
     
  13. Feb 23, 2004 #12
    How about McCormick and his mechanical reaper? It helped shape the agricultural American west (at least to 100th meridian). As said in one history book (as a typo): "McCormick's mechanical raper did the work of one-hundred men" hah.
     
  14. Feb 23, 2004 #13

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    Are you guys familiar with the art of Chindogu?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chindogu

    Chindogu is the not-so-ancient Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the face of it, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, Chindogu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions, would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, Chindogu are sometimes described as 'unuseless' - that is, they cannot be regarded as 'useless' in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called 'useful'.

    Literally translated, 'Chindogu' means weird / unusual ('chin') tool ('dogu'). The term was coined by Kenji Kawakami, a Japanese inventor and writer who first made the idea prominent in a book translated into English, in the mid-nineties, as 101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions: The Art of Chindogu. The popular success of this book prompted a follow-up, 99 More Unuseless Japanese Inventions, which was published a few years later. Together, the books have sold nearly a quarter of a million copies in Japan alone, and have been translated into most of the major world languages. Examples from the books include:


    - a combined household duster and cocktail-shaker, for the housewife who wants to reward herself as she's going along;
    - the all-day tissue dispenser, which is basically a toilet roll fixed on top of a hat, for hay fever sufferers;

    - duster slippers for cats, so they can help out with the housework;

    - the all-over plastic bathing costume, to enable people who suffer from hydrophobia to bathe without coming into contact with water.

    There are ten key tenets to bear in mind, if you wish to design a Chindogu. The principal among these are: (a) it has to be possible to make (ie, it has to actually exist), in spite of its absurdity; (b) it has to remain in the public domain (ie, it cannot be given a patent); and (c) it must not be exclusively a vehicle for humour, or the warped satirical worldview of the inventor. There is frequently humour in a Chindogu, of course, but this should properly be regarded as incidental, rather than as an end in itself.
     
  15. Feb 24, 2004 #14
    I've never heard the term "chindogu" but it points up a difference between Japanese and American culture, in so far as I've seen two or three articles in American magazines on the same subject but with much cruder, less philosophical titles like: Whacky Inventions!.

    It makes sense, I suppose, that the originators of the "tea ceremony" which turns the pouring of tea into an art form and origami which enobles the trick of folding paper to resemble animals into a serious pastime, would be inclined to study and classify what we would call "whacky inventions" with such earnestness.

    Thanks for the info on "chindogu" MIH. Anyone ever told you how "pink goth" you are?
     
  16. Feb 24, 2004 #15

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    I actually own one of those books with pictures of all the crazy inventions. A friend gave it to me when I was working for a Japanese company, and indeed, the place I worked was a highly ritualized environment. I think he was trying to give me a little insight into that new work culture I was attempting to assimilate into.

    A admire these inventors - chindogu must be extremely hard to come up with since you have to invent something that's almost but not quite useful. I think it is an incredible exercise in imagination.
    I read about one such invention becoming disqualified. It was a little machine that you would put leftover slivers of soap into and it would compact it into a new bar of soap. Apparently someone actually marketed this so it lost chindogu status. Ah, the shame that inventor must have felt. I hope he did not fall on his sword.

    Zooby, I must say, I am not familiar with the term "pink goth" but I'll take it as a compliment! :smile:
     
  17. Feb 24, 2004 #16
    This used to be sold here in the US. I saw the commercials for it on late night TV ten or so years ago.
    Indeed it is. Apparently people into Goth are considered to have mastered the irony of that lifestyle when they attain appreciation of the "pink" level (Jackie Kennedy, Barbie, that whole style). I would bet they like nothing more than to organize evening get togethers based around watching tapes of Ron Popeil's infomercials. "Pink Goth" would imply an ironic wit taken to the level of a lifestyle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2004
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