June 15, 1997 |
Six-year-old twins Nick and Stephanie Fillari wanted to stop their little brother Dominic from slamming his fingers in the bathroom door. What started as a project to keep them busy while they had the chicken pox ended up winning them a first-place prize in last month's statewide invention convention, Student Invention Through Education. They call it "Stephanie and Nick's Finger Saver," or "Nick and Stephanie's," depending on whom you ask. It's simply a Nerf ball and a piece of Velcro, but the twins say it is their ticket to fame and fortune.
October 1, 2009 |
"The Invention of Lying" turns out to be "Bruce Almighty" for atheists. Where the latter was a comedy about a man who taps into God's power, the former is a comedy about a man who acquires power by inventing God. It takes place in an alternate universe wherein mankind has evolved to be completely honest. Lying is unknown - indeed, men are incapable of lying. The movie (written by and starring Ricky Gervais) is funniest in the early going, when we see what life is like in a scrupulously candid society where there is no tact, because there is no need for it. Gervais plays Mark, a dumpy bachelor who endures a humiliating date with a gorgeous girl (Jennifer Garner)
May 1, 1999
Want to watch Rugrats? Seventh Heaven? Dawson's Creek? Hop on the exercise bike and pedal. Concerned about the rising level of obesity in children, researcher David Allison of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City had an engineer rewire TV sets so they worked only when the viewer was riding an attached bicycle. His study sample was small and the findings preliminary, but he found that kids who were required to pedal watched less TV than those who were not, but those who rode nonetheless finished the study with less body fat. Either the exercise helped or the threat of exercise drove kids to pick another activity - maybe even going outside and riding a real bike.
July 6, 1992 |
The Minnie Mice of the Women's Tennis Association had their way. Monica Seles did not grunt. Monica Seles did not win. The WTA's childe of scorne did not moan, caterwaul or display any more audible emotion than an occasional muffled squeak. Not that it is all that easy to scream with a gag order jammed down your throat. Not all that easy amid threats of point, game and match penalties and the sexist Brit scriveners advocating everything from laryngeal surgery to a holding dungeon in the Tower of London.
August 30, 1996 |
Every year, approximately 7,000 New Jerseyans apply for U.S. patents. Their inventions vary in size and scope, ranging from brilliant technological innovations to tiny gadgets. Stephen Smith, a 48-year-old printer from Mount Ephraim, has a most unusual patent pending. He thinks he has invented a third hand. Well, sort of. Smith has been rowing for four years and wanted an easier way to operate his single scull. His problem, basically, was that he had to hold the oars with one hand while climbing into the boat.
June 23, 1991 |
Media resident Tom Long had gone through several careers before he took up photography. Long was an Air Force mechanic, a sailor in the Merchant Marine, and a securities salesman before 1984, when he opened up the Swarthmore Photography Center on Chester Road in Swarthmore, taking portraits and passport photos, developing film and framing pictures. The picture framing was just a sideline to the photography business, but it led to Long's development of a new kind of picture frame bracket, and a new addition to his list of accomplishments.
July 31, 1986 |
Skeptics shook their heads, kids nearly jumped out of their sneakers and a woman in a pink hat worried that her allergies might be triggered. But Joe Newman told them all to relax because they were seeing nothing less than a gizmo that would change the world. A simple electric fan was all the untrained eye could detect of this revolution, but Newman, in a flood of facts and figures, explained yesterday that he had invented a machine that produced more energy than it consumed, leaving certain laws of thermodynamics on the junk heap of broken myths.
October 11, 1992 |
Gary Borofsky has a dream, and that dream is of a world with really, really clean floors. He doesn't want to clean all of them himself, but he wouldn't mind if the people who do end up cleaning them use the tool that he invented for the job. It's the American Dream, with a few twists and turns. A former janitorial products salesman starts his own floor cleaning business, invents what he thinks is the most incredible cleaning tool since the Zamboni, then sells the patent rights to a Fortune 500 company and makes a mint.
April 30, 2011
Hubert J. Schlafly Jr., 91, who with two colleagues invented the first teleprompter in the late 1940s - a rudimentary device that has since evolved into computerized text scrolling across screens - died April 20 at a hospital near his home in Stamford, Conn. On Dec. 4, 1950, actors on the CBS soap opera The First Hundred Years turned their attention to a motorized scroll of paper lined with half-inch letters, mounted inside what looked like a suitcase and controlled by a stagehand.
September 6, 1998 |
Like most people, Stuart Margulies does not have the faintest idea how to build a device that would alert motorists to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, the odorless, poisonous gas vehicles produce when they burn fuel. That didn't stop Margulies, 34, from receiving a patent for such a contraption in April and a place among 15 finalists in an inventors' contest to be held Thursday in Manhattan. "I don't really know how it works from an electronics standpoint," he said. "That's more or less why I'm looking for someone who knows more about electronics than I do" - someone to help him build and market his invention.