Trick Rostrum

From Popular Science - Oct 1954. Most conferences would be livened up by this gadget. Would be useful at the Oscars as well.

Trick Rostrum Makes Long Stories Short
Scientists rigged up this remote-controlled rostrum to gag long-winded speakers. If a speaker talks too long, a puff of smoke blows up in his face and laugh-provoking cartoons appear on a screen behind him. The electronic gadgets at the chairman's elbow also speed up the clock when a talker gets behind schedule and warn him two minutes before he is due for "the works." Standard Oil scientists say the system has cut down wordage at meetings.
     Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 21, 2013
     Category: Inventions

Not very professional for business meeting. If used at the Oscars all the crazies would scream about smoking indoors.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/21/13 at 10:00 AM
Not back in the 50's, Patty. Most of them were sponsored by or were spokes persons for BIG TOBACCO.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/21/13 at 10:52 AM
I'd rather they just burned some pot and sent it into the ducting. "Wow man .. he is such a good speaker" :cheese: :coolsmile:
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 09/21/13 at 02:04 PM
I think Chuck Barris had it right. One of the most effective techniques of Skinnerian conditioning is public humiliation.
Posted by tadchem on 09/21/13 at 04:46 PM
I think I prefer the IgNobel's solution to the same problem: Little Miss Sweetie Poo, a cute, approximately eight-year old girl who, when a laureate waffles on for too long, walks on stage and starts repeating: "Please stop, I'm bored. Please stop, I'm bored".

Apparently, it works very well indeed.
Posted by Richard Bos on 09/22/13 at 08:42 AM
Ah, I still prefer the classic method, the ol' vaudeville hook!
Posted by Captain DaFt on 09/22/13 at 03:32 PM
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