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Are All Ideas Created Equal?

Apr 2, 2008
In 1891 William White invented a coffin that's equipped with an emergency, signaling device in case you are buried alive. The coffin also comes with a convenient air hole for immediate resuscitation. This coffin would be the perfect gift for sound sleepers and for people who say they have everything. Literally, it's a gift to die for.

In 1924 a patent was issued for the Lip Clip. Today women want big, Angelina-Jolie-type lips; but back then women wanted to emphasize the cupid's-bow indentation in their upper lip. Frankly, any woman who would attach a six-inch, spring-loaded, molding clip to her upper lip was paying more than lip service to fashion.

In 1962 an inventor patented a new cigarette filter. The filter was made of grated, hard cheese mixed with charcoal, which prevented the oil in the cheese from becoming rancid. Actually, I think this invention would have been more successful if it had been patented as a new process for smoking cheeses.

In 1993 Israel Siegel came to the rescue of people with feet odor. He invented an air conditioner for shoes. The air conditioner is powered by a compressor in the heel of the shoe and the compressor is powered by the pressure of gravity when you walk. I've never seen air conditioned shoes for sale, but maybe the inventor is cooling his heels right now waiting to talk to a shoe manufacturer.

In contrast, the Japanese are successful inventors. They've given us Toyota cars, Sony televisions and Cannon cameras. In return, however, I think we've given them too much credit. The Japanese also gave us "chindogu". Literally translated, chindogu means weird tool. The word was coined by Kenji Kawakami, who invented dusting slippers for cats. The butter stick, which is similar in appearance to a glue stick and used for buttering toast, as well as chopsticks with an attached fan for cooling noodles are other examples of chindogu. They seem weird; but the Japanese gave us sushi - and we took the bait.

If I were an inventor, I'd invent a life reversal process. This process would allow us to be born old and get younger every year. With this process our bodies would continually get healthier and our memories would continually get stronger. Nevertheless, there's one thing that wouldn't change. As the process continued, children would know more than their parents - which is what they think now.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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