The Burp Gas Filtering Device: Patent No. 7070638, issued July 4, 2006
. It serves two functions in one. You can deodorize your burp, and if your dinner companion needs a pen to sign the check, you'll have one to offer.
Burp or eructation odors have been a source of annoyance or concern in polite society for hundreds of years. Far too often, the foods that we love most cause us to belch. To the person who is belching, the odor may be a trifling annoyance, especially if the burp was the result of an enjoyable meal. However, for persons in the close vicinity of the burp, the burp is simply an unpleasant odor of someone else's partially digested food. Many people wish to eliminate the burp odor so as to avoid offending others...
The burp filtering device has the body of a writing pen, with an intake port at the upper end of the body, a plurality of exhaust ports adjacent the writing tip and a filter disposed within the body. The filter may be made of activated charcoal or other media for filtering and adsorbing or absorbing eructation odors. In use, the user holds the upper end of the pny body to his lips, releases the suppressed burp and the filtered, deodorized gas is exhausted through the ports at the writing tip...
Still another object of the invention is to provide a device for eliminating burp odors that also serves as a writing instrument.
Patent No. 1265580
, issued May 1918:
Be it known that I, Michael Zofchak, a citizen of the United States, residing at Pittsburg, in the county of Allegheny and State of Pennsylvania, have invented new and useful Improvements in Animal Life-Preservers, of which the following is a specification.
This invention relates to life preservers, and more especially it is intended for quick application to a draft horse, pack mule, or other animal which is carrying war supplies and which may possibly be a cavalry horse, so that when a stream or river is reached the animal can swim across with his load and possibly with his driver and the necessity for building a bridge is avoided.
After I posted about the "pantyhose garment with spare leg"
yesterday, several people pointed out prior art, which to my mind calls into question the validity of the patent.
In the comments, Dumbfounded noted: "In a 1987 Judge Dredd story, the father of child serial killer P.J. Maybe shows off a design for trousers with a third leg, 'in case one wears out'. The spare leg was kept tucked in a pocket when not in use."
And then Chuck recalled that in the first News of the Weird
paperback (1989), he included an anecdote from the Wall Street Journal
about a Japanese worker who had invented six-day underwear with three leg holes.
I tracked down the WSJ article in question. It ran on Oct. 16, 1987 and described a creativity contest at Honda Motor Co. in which workers were encouraged to design whimsical new products, one of which was indeed underwear with three leg holes: "The garment is supposed to last for six days, with the wearer rotating it 120 degrees each day--and then wearing it inside out for three days."
Other products from the contest included:
- musical bath slippers
- a hot tub installed in the back of a car
- a fig tree that dances to the music of Karen Carpenter
- a toothbrush with built-in toothpaste
- a child's motorized sled that climbs back uphill by itself
- a pillow with an internal alarm
- and a rickshaw pulled by a manikin made of papier-mache and plaster (designed to resemble Honda's 81-year-old founder, Soichiro Honda)
Let's take a moment to remember Thor Bjørklund, the Norwegian inventor of the cheese slicer. From Wikipedia
He was annoyed that he could not get slices as thin as he wanted when he sliced cheese with a knife. Therefore in Lillehammer he began to experiment with a plane in the hope that he could create something similar for use in the kitchen. He succeeded.
And on this day, in 1925, he received a patent for the cheese slicer. According to blather.net
, "27 February ever since has been celebrated as osteskorperdagen
, 'cheese-parings day', the biggest holiday in the Norwegian calendar, when everyone gorges themselves on thin slices of cheese in the cold, icy streets."
Sounds to me like a good way to spend the day.
Patent No. 5,713,081
, issued Feb 3, 1998:
A hosiery item including a panty member having three absorbent crotch members provided therein, each absorbent crotch member having a pocket formed therein; and three leg portions secured to the panty member in a manner such that an absorbent crotch member is positioned between any two leg portions, each leg portion having a leg insertion opening in connection with an interior of the panty member.
In use the wearer inserts her legs into two of the leg openings in the conventional fashion of donning a pair of pantyhose. The remaining unused leg portion is then gathered and the toe end tucked into the pocket of one of the absorbent crotch members. If a run or hole develops in one of the leg portions being worn, the leg of the wearer can be easily and rapidly removed from the damaged leg portion and placed into the undamaged spare leg portion. The damaged leg portion is then gathered, folded and tucked into a pocket of one of the absorbent crotch members as wearer to select and use any two of the three leg portions for use.
All Weird Universe readers, male and female, are expected to add this to their wardrobes.
In the old days an "educator strap" was something teachers applied to a student's backside. (When I was a kid, some of my teacher's had canes which they used quite liberally, but I think that may be illegal now.)
However, this "fetal educator strap"
(patent no. 6840775) is a learning system for fetuses while in utero:
More particularly, this invention pertains to a system for moving sound transmitters to positions most properly aligned with an unborn baby's ears.
I guess it's never too early to hook the kids on learning!
In 1916 Albert Bacon Pratt of Lyndon, Vermont was issued patent No. 1183492
for a "gun adapted to be mounted on and fired from the head of the marksman." The wearer fired the gun by blowing into a tube. Most of Pratt's patent application is fairly dry and technical, but here he offers his thoughts on some of the advantages of his invention:
The weapon described has many advantages. The gun is automatically aimed unconsciously and incidentally to the turning of the head of the marksman in the direction of the target. In self-protection, one immediately, instinctively turns the head in the direction of attack to see the enemy, or, in hunting, toward any sound made by nearby game. Thus the gun is automatically directed toward the mark in the course of the first instinctive movement. With the gun thus aimed, the only further operation necessary to fire the same is to blow through the tube and thereby expand the bulb and operate the trigger. This is accomplished entirely from the head of the marksman, leaving his hands and feet free further to defend himself or for other purposes as desired. Under some circumstances the gun can be fired not only without the use of the hands and feet, but also without the use of the eyes of the marksman. For example, in hunting at night if an animal made a sound in underbrush, the head of the marksman would be instinctively turned in the direction of the sound and then the gun would be fired, without the use of the eyes of the marksman.
Pratt then points out that his invention is useful not only in combat, but also in the kitchen:
The crown section of the helmet when detached from the base of the helmet may be inverted and used as a cooking utensil, the elongated hood projecting therefrom for protecting the barrel of the gun serving as the handle therefor.
Pratt claimed he had solved the problem of recoil:
The "blow-back" causes the breech-bolt to retreat and automatically cock the hammer, but the strong spring back of the breech-bolt forces the same so quickly forward again following the recoil, that the two movements naturalize one another so promptly that no discomfort to the wearer results from the recoil.
But I suspect he didn't have all the bugs ironed out, which must be why such a useful invention never caught on.
IBM recently filed a patent
describing body armor that actually dodges bullets. Don't leave home without it!
A method of protecting a target from a projectile propelled from a firearm comprises detecting an approaching projectile, continuously monitoring the projectile and transmitting an actual position of the projectile to a controller, computing an estimated projectile trajectory based upon the actual position of the projectile, determining an actual position of a target with a plurality of position sensors and a plurality of attitude sensors, determining whether the estimated projectile trajectory coincides with the actual position of the target, and triggering a plurality of muscle stimulators operably coupled to the controller and to the target when the estimated projectile trajectory coincides with the actual position of the target, wherein the muscle stimulators stimulate the target to move in a predefined manner, and wherein the target moves by an amount sufficient to avoid any contact with the approaching projectile.
(via The Firearm Blog
US Patent 5871518
, issued on February 16, 1999, is for a "smoking cessation lighter and method." The patent abstract offers this description:
A lighter for tobacco products suppresses the urge to smoke by operant conditioning. It delivers a shock to the user's hand when the lighter is extinguished. This generally happens when the first puffs of smoke are being inhaled. Inhalation of the smoke gives a positive reinforcement of the habit because of the pharmacologic effects of the smoke. The shock provides a negative or suppressive action at the same time. The anticipation of the shock will negate the anticipation of the relief the drugs in the smoke provide. In an alternative embodiment, the shock is applied at the time of activation of the lighter. In yet another embodiment of the invention a negative stimulus is provided by a pin that pricks the user at the time of activation of the lighter.
Maybe I'm not understanding the invention, but it seems to me to be exactly the same as the electric-shock lighters
that have been a favorite of pranksters for years. Except that the patent dresses up the prank with some scientific mumbo-jumbo. And instead of being conditioned not to smoke, wouldn't a smoker simply learn not to use that lighter? (Thanks to Sherry Mowbray!)