Weird Universe


Yoga Patent

A company called YogaGlo recently received a patent for the concept of an "image capturing device" placed in "a studio having a front area and a rear area" and containing an instructor and a "plurality of students." Which is to say, they've patented the idea of filming a yoga class.

The Washington Post credits the reward of this patent to the "culture of the patent office," which views "more patenting as a good thing" and doesn't like to reject patents lest examiners get "bogged down in never-ending arguments with applicants."

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Dec 14, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Inventions

The Odon Device

Jorge Odon was an Argentinian car mechanic who, one day, watched a video on YouTube that showed a trick for removing a cork that's stuck inside a wine bottle. Even though he had no medical training at all, the video inspired him to create a device to help deliver babies who are stuck inside the birth canal. And apparently the device (he's called it the Odon Device) actually works — enough so that an American medical technology firm has agreed to manufacture it. [Yahoo!]

I can't seem to remember the last brilliant idea I had while watching YouTube videos.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Nov 27, 2013 | Comments (9)
Category: Inventions, Medicine

Global Warming Solved

Nike recently filed a patent application for "a golf ball that includes carbon dioxide absorbents in order that the golf ball may reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to aid in alleviating global warming."

So if we all just play more golf, that global warming thing should be reversed in no time! [via Mother Jones]

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Nov 09, 2013 | Comments (7)
Category: Inventions, Sports

The Mamoris Chair

It's an emergency helmet that doubles as a chair's backrest, during times of non-emergency. An odd but clever idea, if it saves lives. []

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Nov 03, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Inventions

The Real Geo


(Flickr source.)

A reader known as "" recently wrote in with some good info on an old WU topic:

" I have been a fan of Buckminster Fuller's writings for many years and just recently found out that he actually didn't invent the geodesic dome. It was invented by Walther Bauersfeld, a German engineer, some 30 years earlier for use as the first projection planetarium. Fuller did, however, apply for and was granted the U.S. patents. He took it's design and construction further and is credited with popularizing it. We have one in Fairbanks built in 1966 at a site originally called "Alaskaland" which was built to commemorate the centenial of the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. It's called the Gold Dome and now houses an aviation museum. Also, there were many "golf balls" in the state during the Cold War which were used for radar."
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Oct 29, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Architecture, Inventions, 1920's

Propellor Car

[Click to enlarge]

Imagine the streets of a city filled with these lethal machines!

Original story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Oct 27, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Death, Inventions, Motor Vehicles, 1920's

Windup Razors



Once upon a time, in a simpler age when electricity was expensive or balky, windup razors were popular in Europe and Russia.


In the Space Age, you could even buy the NASA-approved version!

But except for vintage models (a mere $100.00), purely mechanical razors seem to have vanished from the marketplace. Although in this era of environmentalism, it seems they should fulfill a certain demand.


The closest such product I can find cheats by using electricity--though it is hand-cranked!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Oct 09, 2013 | Comments (10)
Category: Inventions, Technology, Environmentalism and Ecology, Facial Hair

The Fliz

Start with a normal bicycle. Remove the pedals and seat. Add a harness to hang in, and you've got the Fliz. More at

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Oct 05, 2013 | Comments (5)
Category: Inventions

New Miniature Dust Mask


Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Sep 28, 2013 | Comments (4)
Category: Costumes and Masks, Hygiene, Inventions, 1940's

The Shocking Stocking

What a brilliant invention! Mouse-killing pantyhose. These were unveiled in 1941 at the Annual Congress of the Inventors of America in Dallas, but they never appear to have gone into commercial production.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Sep 23, 2013 | Comments (10)
Category: Inventions, 1940's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.