89 posts tagged with inventions.
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Meet The Melloman

"What did you do to my Intelligent Synthesizer?" Wonderful collection of DIY sound gizmos from Mike Walters at Mystery Circuits. Includes the Pena-Tron, the Electronic Earthball and detailed instructions for the Moog Source Membrane Switch Cure. Most recent: The Melloman, a hilariously elliptical DIY Mellotron. [note: 3rd, 4th and 8th links are mp3s] [via]
posted by mediareport on Oct 17, 2005 - 7 comments

Deafness in disguise

Concealed hearing devices of the 19th and 20th centuries. Great images in this delightful exhibit of wacky yet charming devices like auricle headphones, dentaphones, concealed beard receptors, barrettes, jewelry, hats, and acoustic chairs.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 15, 2005 - 20 comments

Best idea since sliced toast? Or butter-side downer?

Since Sliced Bread: A union-sponsored contest to find and develop ideas to improve the U.S. economy - the winner will receive $100,000. Entries range from virally-spreading an anti-exploitation shame meme to increasing US world domination. Other greatest ideas since sliced bread include your own personal jesus toast, corporate logos on toast, and Liberty.
posted by Rumple on Oct 8, 2005 - 6 comments

Ancient Inventions

The Virtual Museum of Ancient Inventions, most of the discoveries and inventions on which modern societies have been constructed were made in prehistoric times. Ancient inventions tell detailed stories of complex knowledge for which no written records exist.
posted by nickyskye on Jul 12, 2005 - 13 comments

Bring along a demijohn

Captain Cornelius is a superhero and is also an ear of corn. He's probably destined to fall for Zea Mays, who is also corn, and encourages children to invent things.
posted by Wolfdog on May 18, 2005 - 5 comments

Necessity had nothing to do with it

Necessity has nothing to do with it. But I'm glad someone's dreaming up these things.
posted by IndigoJones on Mar 26, 2005 - 10 comments

save your posts? why not

the simplest ideas are usually the best ones. Its easy to forget that the internet is a relatively new medium. Whats the bet that in the future that we will all be wishing that we still had all of our content that we contributed to "cyberspace" such as reviews, comments, posts... Who knows if 10 - 15 years from now, if the sites we post on will still be up, even stable sites such as MetaFilter may not exist in the future. sites have shut down before, taking everyones content with it. Its a simple idea, why not just store your content, be it on your desktop or a web application? So who wants to start a MeFi label over at bulletin board buddy.
posted by omega on Mar 16, 2005 - 30 comments

mobile mobile phone

Keitai Vyuun! - but is it really the best invention ever? I say "no".
posted by 13twelve on Feb 22, 2005 - 8 comments

But wait! There's more!

Ron Popeil's Pocket Fisherman has been updated since it's intro in the 50s, but it's the original that makes Mobile PCs list of The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time. Many you'd expect to find, some I was suprised by. And the big surprise? iPod isn't the #1 gadget. Mostly, I'm distrubed by the number of these gadgets that I've owned at one point or another.
posted by FlamingBore on Feb 18, 2005 - 37 comments

Pull it together

It shakes me that something as prosaic and taken for granted as a paper clip was once an innovation. Someone actually invented it. It revolutionized. It evolved. At one point, it became a political symbol strong enough to warrant arrest. Eventually, it became something so ho-hum that it could be artistic, profound. In short, it became indispensable -- er, ubiquitous. Before I die, I would like to visit a paper clip factory.
posted by mudpuppie on Dec 16, 2004 - 23 comments

Why The Shoe Fits

Meet Charles Brannock. In 1926, he invented a foot-measuring device that has become an industry standard and a landmark of American innovation, now preserved in the Smithsonian.
posted by anastasiav on Dec 16, 2004 - 18 comments

Novel Ideas

Technovelgy lists inventions from science fiction novels, including the Tasp, the Delpi Pool, Retinal Projection and the Invisible Teenager.
posted by interrobang on Jun 10, 2004 - 8 comments

A real life professor frink

Maybe the age of the individual inventor isn't over. Woody Norris is the inventor of the personal helicopter, precise Hypersonic sound emitter, and the first palm-size digital voice recorder... And never graduated from college.
posted by drezdn on May 20, 2004 - 3 comments

Office Supply Geeks Unite!

The Early Office Museum :: check out communications technologies used by our Grandparents, as well as Punched Card Tabulating Machines and much, much more!
posted by anastasiav on Mar 3, 2004 - 10 comments

Did you hear the joke about the pencil? Its pointless.

The Pencil Pages :: An Introduction to Pencils and Pencil Collecting
with gallery, pencil geek humor, pencil trivia, and much more
posted by anastasiav on Feb 18, 2004 - 3 comments

Breakfast Without Soing Into The Kitchen!

A Short, Illustrated History Of The First Toasters
Suitable for those with short attention sp--- Huh?
posted by armoured-ant on Jan 20, 2004 - 9 comments

Weird Science & Bad Photoshopping

Top 10 impossible inventions that allegedly work. Includes such conspiracy-nut favorites as a system for sending power wirelessly, an anti-gravity device, the cloudbuster and an electronic telepathy device. [Snagged from Disinformation.]
posted by boost ventilator on Jan 15, 2004 - 17 comments

Fish-skin bikinis?

Time mag lists this year's 'coolest' inventions, in their humble opinion. For archival fun check out their lists for 2001 and 2002.

Fish-skin bikinis?
posted by moonbird on Nov 12, 2003 - 18 comments

Excuse me while I slip into something a little more...resilient

Lifecase. Briefcase to Bullet Proof Vest in Seconds!
posted by gottabefunky on Oct 1, 2003 - 8 comments


Prisoner Inventions. The craftiness of the confined. [via boingboing.net]
posted by srboisvert on Aug 29, 2003 - 4 comments

useless inventions

Industrialised society's fascination with useless invention: as a kid I used to love the work of Heath Robinson, inventor of (among others) a method of testing safety matches, the potato peeler, and an inoffensive method of weighing a lady friend. His American equivalent was the slightly more scientific Rube Goldberg. Occasional attempts of the patently useless to make the leap into the real world have been furthered considerably by the Japanese art of Chindogu, made popular by Kenji Kawakami, inventor of (among others) the Hay fever hat, the portable road crossing, and dusting shoes for cats. Maywa Denki seems to transcend earthy Chindogu with fish-based and musical (via sharpeworld) inventions.
posted by gravelshoes on Dec 29, 2002 - 4 comments

Time Magazine's 2002 Best Inventions

Time Magazine's 2002 Best Inventions
I love my toys and gadgets, and I especially fancy the Air Surfer, @ $75 it looks like the glider for klutzes like me. However, I'm not ready just yet to take the hoots of derision that this Bluetooth Mobile Phone Headset will bring. This new chip looks set to improve digital photography... I do fancy that! But will Foveon have the muscle to bring the X3 to fruition?
This, though, is as close as we'll ever get to 'vaporware': Nasa's AeroGel... find out what earthly purpose it could serve.
Some on the list are little more than product placements (I'm looking at 'Breathe Strips' and 'Ultra-Cashmere' now), and some - Mr. Dyson's Cyclonic spin vacuum, I'm surprised to see - are hardly new. Others [Nano-Tex, Date Rape Drug Spotter & The Scramjet] I'm sure we've discussed before (but they don't figure in Mefi searches).
How many of these will change our lives - and how many will improve them? Is there something cool missing from the list? - something tells me that their gushing over their discovery of '3D Online Entertainment' ["...you can do it all and more in Second Life, a startlingly lifelike 3-D virtual world now evolving on the Internet"] gives it the Kiss O' Death. [...via blogdex]

posted by dash_slot- on Nov 19, 2002 - 11 comments

Dean Kamen Mania

Present day Thomas Edison strikes again. More fine stuff from the guy who brought you the Segway HT. Dean Kamen, and his fine folks at DekaResearch, appear to have invented a device which promises to save countless lives across the globe, power villages, and runs on water. What's next? The perpetual motion machine?
posted by IndigoSkye on Nov 17, 2002 - 55 comments


Chindogu is the ancient Japanese art of the Unuseless Invention -- that is, a creation which seems like a great idea, but which, in reality, causes more inconvenience than it cures. Behold the almost handy Backstratcher's T-Shirt, the Eyedrop Funnel Glasses, the Butter Stick and the Kitty Dust Slippers. Because everyone enjoys a good Unuseless Invention, I have given this book as a gift more than any other.
posted by Shadowkeeper on Aug 19, 2002 - 5 comments

Inventor Woody Norris has cooked up a device capable of sending soundwaves to specific targets, these sounds are inaudible to anyone besides the intended target.
posted by cedar on Aug 11, 2002 - 7 comments

The Ant Farm: A small inventor success story.

The Ant Farm: A small inventor success story. Levine, who never attended college, gave lectures, wrote chatty books about ants and made appearances on "The Shari Lewis Show." "I spoke to Lamb Chop for a half an hour about ants," he said. "I felt like an idiot." Reg: cpunks/cpunks
posted by skallas on Aug 5, 2002 - 9 comments

Happy 100th Birthday

Happy 100th Birthday to one of the most important inventions of the 20th century, not to mention the coolest. I would bet that most people that are reading this right now, at least in the US and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, are benefiting from this invention, originally designed to take the curl out of paper. It also made summer blockbusters like Mr. Deeds bearable. (I guess every good thing has some downside.)
posted by fpatrick on Jul 16, 2002 - 23 comments

U.S. claims Canada's greatest invention.

U.S. claims Canada's greatest invention. Congress awards creation of telephone to Italian inventor living in New York. Uh oh. Canada's inferiority complex takes another blow.

"Bell was either a thief, a fraud, or extraordinarily lucky."
posted by percine on Jun 22, 2002 - 15 comments

Okay, so there's the Halfbakery for us amateurs with bizarre inventions. But what about the ideas that seemed so good to someone that they actually got patented?
posted by MUD on May 20, 2002 - 2 comments

How about another gadget to carry around?

How about another gadget to carry around? A laptop, an mp3 player, a cell phone, a PDA, a digital camera, and now, i-glasses?
posted by jacobw on Dec 25, 2001 - 18 comments

Although there is no mention on Good Mornins America's website, according to this Wired.com article, Diane Sawyer announced that they would reveal Dean Kamen's intensely hyped invention on Monday, December 3rd. Perhaps it will actually deserve to have been listed as one of the best inventions of 2001 by Time Magazine.
posted by UrbanFigaro on Nov 29, 2001 - 22 comments

Time's 2001 inventions of the year awards.

Time's 2001 inventions of the year awards. Why do all of these have that cheesy "Sharper Image" feel to them? Aren't there inventions out there slightly more important than a potato masher or a remote control smoke alarm? Naww, everything else would go over the heads of the readers. Keep that gravy comin' ma!
posted by skallas on Nov 21, 2001 - 24 comments


Necoro is a robotic cat that looks more like a cat than a robot. This site is only available in Japanese, but check out the photo and movie galleries. (I saw this thing mentioned in a Reuters article about the new "human-like" Honda robot).
posted by edlundart on Nov 13, 2001 - 17 comments

2001 Young Inventors Awards Program winners announced.

2001 Young Inventors Awards Program winners announced. I'm really digging this pedal lawnmover and the direct water injector for plants.
posted by skallas on Oct 22, 2001 - 13 comments

I just want to know when I will get my hoverboard.

I just want to know when I will get my hoverboard. On July 6, 2001 Transdimensional Technologies, LLC will unveil the next evolutionary step in propulsion. A small prototype "lifter" will rise to the height of four feet without an engine, moving parts, conventional thrust, or propellant. Application of this technology is possible within one year, and a vehicle that is lifted and propelled by this force is possible in three years. Video clip here.
posted by fluxcreative on Jul 3, 2001 - 23 comments

'Necklace' designed to aid those with profound hearing loss.

'Necklace' designed to aid those with profound hearing loss. Almost totally deaf and reliant on lip reading since her 20s, Sherry Cramer couldn't believe her ears in 1994 when she first wore the microphone array necklace that electrical engineering Professor Bernard Widrow and his students had designed. Listening to a CD, she could hear every note of a Rachmaninoff piano concerto as the necklace received and transmitted sound in magnetic form to her behind-the-ear hearing aid.
posted by RylandDotNet on Jun 13, 2001 - 8 comments


X-inventions: The home page of a high school kid who shows you exactly how to build pneumatic cannons, hovercraft, lockpicks, high explosives, telephone bugs and a lot of other fun stuff. Impress your friends! Be the first on your block! (Remind me to be nice to the next teenager I meet.)
posted by Steven Den Beste on Jan 6, 2001 - 6 comments

Farewell, Thomas Crapper, we hardly knew ye

Farewell, Thomas Crapper, we hardly knew ye - Turns out the Chinese invented the toilet too! Next thing we'll find out they invented spaghetti, or toilet paper, or whatever.
posted by chicobangs on Jul 26, 2000 - 8 comments

ID Magazine

ID Magazine released a new issue that highlights 40 designers that are under 30 years of age. Most are doing cutting-edge, cool things, but one person stands out: Krysta Morlan. She won a nationwide invention award for a air cooling system for body casts. She's also invented a killer water-bike that lets the physically disabled exercise in a pool. You know what's even more amazing than her innovative designs? She's only 16 years old, still in high school, and builds these things to help her overcome her cerebral palsy.
posted by mathowie on Jan 13, 2000 - 1 comment

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