Friday 27 July 2012

The world's most useful (?) gadgets and inventions!

- Can opener -which was actually invented after the can, when the cry went up "anyone know how to open this thing?"
- 3 pin plug to confuse foreigners. Every other country uses 2 pins (some flat and some round, but 2 pins). The UK uses 3 pins for safety and to force us all to buy very expensive adapters every time we fly to another country. It is also a fact they self-destruct at the end of each trip abroad and are never seen again. They could of course be homing adapters and make their way back to the factory.
- Left handed dog lead - this was seriously invented, though whether it was for left-pawed dogs or left-handed owners I don't know. There is also no discernible difference between a right and left handed version, unlike other left-handed devices like scissors.
- The auto-sensor soap dispenser - Probably the most stupid device sold to a gullible mass market ever. The idea is you won't catch germs by having to touch a normal push-down soap dispenser. So....what about taps, the toilet flush handle and then drying your hands on a communal towel.
- Deodorants - thses have two functions a) they stop you sweating (they usually don't) and b) they make you smell nice (I smell nice anyway). Much of the spray from one of these aerosols misses the body and ends up polluting the atmosphere. Not very green. And Man was meant to smell sweaty. It'd the pheromones that have been attracting women for thousands of years, not some artificial niff in a can.
- ICONIC - The word "iconic" used over 1,550 time during the River Thames pageant at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Every single building in London and every landmark was described as being ICONIC by the BBC and if the word had not been invented, the commentators would have been lost for words. Well, one word anyway. Like many words, it's been used far too frequently and its true meaning has been lost. Let's face it the word is itself Iconic. And NO, it is not a type of Greek archway!
- Duct tape - Pure ordinary Duct Tape (the stuff you buy at B&Q has a legion of fans. People have made clothes out of it (including a wedding outfit) and NASA used it on the Moon to mend bit and bobs (reputedly the toilet)
- Swiss Army Knife - No one seems to know whether every person in the Swiss army has one of these knives, or not, but either way it's the standard among knives and has for so long been the base tool for anyone wanting to get a stone out of a horse's hoof.
- The electric blanket -The original model was  invented by John Harvey Kellogg of Corn Flakes fame so people could sleep outside where it was healthy. What happened when it rained is not recorded, but it could explain why he gave up on inventing and went into breakfast cereals.
- The Kindle - If you love books (and I mean hard and softback books, not little screens) then the Kindle will be a pet hate. I write books and love the feel of real paper, but I have to admit that many people now read electronic books on the train when a book might have been too bulky. This is especially true of 50 Shades of Gray where reading on a Kindle gives no one any hint you might be reading porn on the early commuter train to Waterloo!
- Microwave Oven - quick and easy food, ready in 5 minutes. The only trouble is it only heats things up. It doesn't cook them. So bread and pastry come out limp and soggy and everything else is mouth-searingly hot. DO NOT try to dry your dog in a microwave after bathies!
- Video players - VHS v Betamax v Phillips 2000. That was the technology war 35 years ago. Phillips was the first to disappear, then Betamax, leaving the VHS system to rule the world. Unfortunately the Phillips 2000 system was universally agreed to be far superior to its rivals, followed by Betamax. The VHS system was the least  efficient, but as so often happens, marketing and money won over technical genius.
- Answering machine -these provided a whole new career for voice-over artists such as John Cleese. Also for the first time you could let the phone ring, allow the answering machine to switch on and listen to who was on the line. Then, if you wanted to speak to them, pick up the phone. If you didn't you could always pretend the dog chewed up the tape...until they went digital, of course. Then the dog chewed the chip!
- GPS - A whole new career for vehicle rescue companies helping cars and drivers who were directed off cliffs, through flooded fords and through alley ways too narrow for their vehicles. Strangely the drivers never looked at the road but preferred to trust a little screen and a seductive voice.
- TV remote controls. - As we sit down to watch superb athletes battle for gold, silver and bronze, bear a thought for the man who invented the TV remote control. Without the remote you might actually have to get up out of you comfy chair to change channels from swimming to athletics and back. In the time it would take to make the decision to get up, change channels and sit down again, Usain Bolt will have won all his heats of the 100m and proudly held up the gold while the Jamaican national anthem plays.
- Alarm Clock - Why do we need alarm clocks? That's what wives, Mums, and grandmas were invented for isn't it. They get up , make a nice cuppa and then wake up the man of the house with a gentle smack!
- Cuddly Polar Bear toys - Let's face it, there's no more fearsome creature on the planet (since T-Rex left) than the Polar Bear. It's a vicious killer and none too particular what it kills, and yet kiddies love them and millions of cuddly ones are bought every year. It is a fact that a polar bear has never killed a penguin.
- Sunglasses - Sunglasses make total sense in countries where the sun beats down and the blue of the sky is so deep it hurts, but cool looking shades used in nightclubs where it's less than twilight makes no sense at all. Surely anyone wearing shades in a really dark place is going to be blinded when they emerge into normal daylight without their Ray Bans.
- Trainers - for thousands of years Man didn't wear shoes and we were perfectly comfortable walking and running in our bear feet. Then we became civilised and  built villages, and then towns and cities, most of which were concrete lined and all of which had stuff on the floor you didn't want to tread in. So we invented shoes. Our feet are now forced to grow in the shape the shoes dictate, giving rise to the first instance of bunions! So we could be more comfortable we invented slippers and for those who want to get back to nature and run we invented trainers....designed to do what our ancestors could do anyway for nothing!

Okay. That's a start. Your turn!

Blog on, Dudes!

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  1. Washing machines with fifty thousand programmes. I want ONE BUTTON! Two, at a push, and if the dogs have been on the beds again. HOT and JUST WASH THE BLOODY STUFF. Most people only wash clothes when necessary, and clothes either need boiling (see comment about dogs) or gentle immersion in warm water, followed by boinging around a bit. The other forty nine thousand nine hundred and ninety eight programmes are purely for decoration, and to encourage the little electronic wizard inside the machine to break down every six months.

  2. Picking up on your TV theme, Richard, how about Sky TV? We don't have enough rubbish to fill the five terrestrial channels, let alone the hundreds beamed to us from outer space.