A new device, calling itself the sphoon_phork, promises to transform your iPhone into a spoon or fork, so that you can eat with it as you browse social media.

It’s currently seeking funding as a kickstarter project.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 29, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Inventions

The car that’s like a bicycle

Nasser Al Shawaf was frustrated by the fact that he didn't get any exercise when he drove to work. So he teamed up with Dutch firm BPO and together they've created a car that has bicycle pedals instead of a gas pedal. So, you have to pedal to get your car to move. The faster you pedal, the faster it goes. The brake is controlled with a hand lever. The details:

The system essentially has three basic settings. In traffic, it has a "Drive Slow" option, while highway use necessitates the "Drive Fast" setting. When the car is stopped, but the driver still wants to exercise, there’s a "No Drive" option, which disengages the pedals from the throttle.

I suppose it would provide a disincentive to speeding if you had to pedal like crazy to keep going fast. So in that sense it's similar to the Deaccelerator that I posted about recently. Though it might make it hard to overtake people. After all, what if you got tired as you were trying to frantically pedal? And what if you were in mixed driving conditions where you had to switch rapidly from slow to fast speeds? How easy would it be to transition from slow to fast mode? Overall, I can only see this having very limited appeal.

More details.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 20, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Inventions, Cars

The Cow Toilet

Developed by the Dutch firm Hanskamp. How it works:

The cow enters the gated feeding area. While the cow is eating, a small bucket automatically swings into place at the back of the cow, moving gently upwards and downwards, massaging her escutcheon – a nerve which stretches between the cow’s vulva and udder. This nerve triggers the urine reflex, causing the cow to urinate. The urine is collected in the CowToilet reservoir and is then extracted and stored separately.

(Today I learned that cow's have a urine reflex!) Once the urine has been collected, it can be processed to produce fertilizer, or even be used to generate electricity. Most importantly, it isn't polluting the ground.

The video below (which is in Dutch) shows the device in action. The demonstration begins at about 1:15. Warning: if you're really squeamish it might gross you out because it does show cows peeing.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 19, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Inventions, Body Fluids


A new device that promises to help treat male infertility by keeping your little men cool. From the manufacturer's website:

CoolMen is an innovative device that stabilizes the temperature of the testicles in the optimum range. In a short time, CoolMen significantly improves semen parameters, contributing to increased fertility of the pair. CoolMen can record data about temperature and time of use as well as types of activity (sleep, sitting, physical activity) by wirelessly transferring it to the mobile application on the smartphone. These data can then be analyzed by the andrologist to improve the treatment process.

More info: India Times,

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 08, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Genitals

The Deaccelerator

Richard Schulman's solution to the problem of speeding: make it harder for motorists to step on the gas pedal. From the Chicago Tribune (Nov 20, 1986):

The device attaches to the gas pedal of cars and trucks and is set for a maxiumum speed. Once you reach that speed, the accelerator becomes harder to push down. So if, for instance, your Deaccelerator is set at 55 miles per hour, your gas pedal operates normally until your car reaches that speed. To go faster, you must exert more pressure with your foot.

Schulman invented it in the mid-1980s, and even started a company, the Deaccelerator Corporation, to market it. As of 2005, he was still publishing about it, but evidently the idea met with resistance (pun intended) since I'm not aware of any cars equipped with the device. The people who need it most would be exactly the ones who would refuse to buy a car that had one.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 06, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, 1980s, Cars

The Masculine Toilet

It's a toilet specially designed for men who suffer from being too well endowed. It's been in the news recently because the current acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, once worked as the lawyer for the company that patented (or sought to patent) it. From the 2014 press release announcing the "Masculine Toilet":

The average male genitalia is between 5" and 6". However, this invention is designed for those of us who measure longer than that. I estimate that a 12" distance is adequate enough for most well-endowed men, though I would not be surprised if there are cases who need a greater distance. Nevertheless, for the time being, this is a good starting point.

The Masculine Toilet reminds me of the Toilet Sanitary Shield For Men, which we posted about back in 2015. That was another device designed for men with oversized equipment.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 16, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Bathrooms, Inventions


It was intended to be a hi-tech salt shaker that could play music, had mood lights, and could sync with Amazon’s Alexa, while also dispensing salt in measured amounts. Plus it would track your salt intake. Its creators were looking for $25,000 in crowdfunding to start production, but only raised $9426.

More info: indiegogo

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 16, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, Technology

Compliment Mirror

A new, weird invention from Japan. A mirror that compliments you. More info from

The mirror, apparently only available as a prototype right now, has a sexy male voice that will compliment and chat with the woman looking into the mirror. Incorporating a monitor display, camera, and speaker, the device can scan and read the emotions of the user from her face, changing the way it interacts accordingly.

This reminds me of the Digital Wife I posted about recently. Seems like another device aimed at the large number of Japanese people who seem to live alone.

The company website

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 12, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Technology, AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Love & Romance

Invention Merit Badge

The Invention Merit Badge has the distinction of being the least-earned boy scout merit badge ever. Only 10 people ever earned it. The primary reason for this being that it required a scout to "invent and patent some useful article," which was a pretty high bar to set. After only three years the scout organization decided it was too much of a challenge and discontinued the badge. So it was only offered from 1911 to 1914. It was eventually replaced in 2010 by an Inventing badge which didn't have the patent requirement.

Enthusiasts of scout history have tried to figure out who the 10 winners of the badge were and what they invented, but so far it seems that only one of the patents has been identified. It was a "uniform coat with a removable false sleeve on which Scouts could sew merit badges and rank badges," patented by Graeme Thomas Smallwood of Washington, D.C.

More info: Scouting Magazine, "History of the Invention Merit Badge" [pdf]

Graeme Smallwood

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 05, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Inventions, 1910s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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