Invented by artist Dick Turner in 1992. The organizers of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer then got wind of it, and decided it would be "the perfect way to make light of Norwegians' reputation as a dour people and ordered 100,000 of them for Olympic workers and town residents to wear."
But they did this without crediting Turner at all. Nor did they order the smile machines from him. When Turner complained, someone from the Norwegian embassy in Washington called him "and acknowledged that the Smile Machine was his idea but said nothing further could be done about it."
There's now a more high-tech alternative. The Plum Dispenser is a $1500 gadget that stores several bottles of wine, but dispenses a glass at a time — allowing hotel guests to buy a single glass in their room rather than a whole bottle. It's basically wine on tap. Though the prices aren't cheap:
At La Confidante, the Plum in every room dispenses Evesham Wood pinot noir from Oregon ($5.25 for a 2-ounce glass; 5 oz. for $16) and Justin sauvignon blanc ($4, $12) from Paso Robles.
$16 for 5 ounces of wine? You could go to a local supermarket and buy an entire bottle for that.
Abstract: A forehead support apparatus for resting a standing users forehead against a wall above a bathroom commode or urinal or beneath a showerhead. The apparatus includes a mounting member adapted for attachment to an upright bathroom wall either above the commode or urinal or below the showerhead.
Invented by three students at the University of Dundee, the Sociometer is designed to measure how much time people at pubs (or in any social environment) are spending on their phones, as opposed to being social. It does this by measuring WiFi activity and recording it on a scrolling piece of graph paper.
They tested it in a Dundee pub and found that "people were still attached to their phones even at peak times when they were surrounded by friends."
A principle object of the present invention is to provide a greenhouse helmet designed to contain plants secured within and the helmet worn completely over the head of a person so that the person can breathe in the oxygen given off by the plants.
Another object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that has air filters so that ambient air containing carbon dioxide will be filtered therethrough and mixed with the carbon dioxide breathed out by the person to be used by the plants.
An additional object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that will contain hearing and speaking devices so that the person can hear within and speak out through the helmet.
A further object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that is economical in cost to manufacture.
A still further object is to provide a greenhouse helmet that is simple and easy to use.
Visual Arts student Berk Ilhan has created a mirror that will only work if you smile. His idea was that this would help cheer up cancer patients by forcing them to smile. He's hoping to sell these for between $2000 and $3000 each. So far, the reaction to his invention has been, shall we say, not positive.
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Who We Are
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.