Category:
Technology

Animating Plants

Many people talk to their plants, but the plants don't talk back. However, a new invention allows the plants not to talk back, but at least to communicate, by moving. For instance, you could ask a plant if it needed to be watered, and the plant would shake up and down to indicate 'yes'.

From the patent granted to Richard J. Maddocks et al:

The present invention can provide a method and a system for the human interaction with plants. The present invention can also provide a method and a mechanism to animate by physically moving the plant in response to human voice or touch input. Additionally, the present invention can provide a commercially practicable method for humans or machines to assign personalities that will govern the plant's behavior.

The invention can provide an opportunity for retailers, distributors or gift givers to customize the behavior and content of the plant's behavior.

The present invention can provide a technique for the plant through its behavior to communicate its physiological needs for irrigation, light, fertilizer etc.



Posted By: Alex - Sun May 09, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Communications, Inventions, Nature, Technology

Mystery Gadget 94



A clock. But part of something larger. What?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 07, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Nineteenth Century

Mystery Illustration 100



This is the armature for...something. What?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 23, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology

Walt Builds a Family Fallout Shelter

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 20, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Domestic, Technology, War, Twentieth Century

The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair



This drama illustrates the contribution of free enterprise, technology, and Westinghouse products to the American way of life. The Middleton Family at the New York World's Fair pits an anti-capitalist bohemian artist boyfriend against an all-American electrical engineer who believes in improving society by working through corporations. The Middletons experience Westinghouse's technological marvels at the Fair and win back their daughter from her leftist boyfriend.

Memorable moments: the dishwashing contest between Mrs. Modern and Mrs. Drudge; Electro, the smoking robot; and the Westinghouse time capsule.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Apr 11, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, Family, Technology, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1940s

10-Four, Good Buddy Board Game

Did any fad ever evaporate as quickly as CB radio?



Learn details here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Apr 10, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Fads, Games, Motor Vehicles, Technology, 1970s

The Mimi Award

The Wikipedia entry for MECHANIX ILLUSTRATED tells us:

A long-running feature of Mechanix Illustrated was "Mimi," a shapely young woman dressed in skimpy overalls with blue and white vertical stripes; and, in the early sixties, a matching railroad engineer's cap (later discontinued). She was in a picture holding, standing beside, sitting on, lying on or just in the picture with a new product each month. Each "Mimi" held the job for a year. Their names were never given except for the announcement of a new "Mimi" in the January issue. One Mimi did, however, hold the job for a few years in the sixties. An actress from Southern California, she left to live in Hawaii, and a readers' poll was conducted to choose a replacement from a short list. The readers' choice only lasted a short while, and was replaced by one of the runners-up. "Mimi" was discontinued with the change to Home Mechanix.


Ten more Mimi's after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 09, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Hobbies and DIY, Magazines, Technology, Sex Symbols, Twentieth Century

Mystery Illustration 99

What fairly high-tech product--for 1911--would require such a vast factory?




Answer after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Apr 01, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, Buildings and Other Structures, Technology, 1910s

Combined Clothes Hanger and Radio

It's fairly common to use metal clothes hangers to extend the range of a radio's antenna. So John Jerome Spina had the idea of combining the radio and clothes hanger into one. The metal of the hanger would serve as the antenna. He was granted a patent for this invention in 1978.

I'm not sure he thought through what would then happen if you hung something on the hanger, such as a coat.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 28, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Radio, Technology, 1970s

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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, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

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