August 18, 2011
IF NECESSITY is the mother of invention, beer is its wild-eyed uncle. You know, the one who corners you at family reunions with his latest can't-miss scheme, one that will revolutionize society and earn a bazillion bucks if you want to invest a couple thou. No doubt fueled by a sixpack or two, inventors and assorted crackpots fill the archives of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with off-the-wall ideas to enhance consumption of our favorite beverage. Grand ideas such as: * Party Goggles , application No. 12/927,974, by Bruce Riggs of Helendale, Calif.
July 16, 2011
What makes B.G. Kelley think that halfball is a Philadelphia game ("Halfball was wholly Philadelphia," July 7)? I was raised in New York during the Great Depression some 80 years ago. We depended on our ingenuity for games and playthings. Popular ball games used the pimple ball or the pink rubber ball. Since there were no rowhouses, our "ballparks" were the city canyons lined by six-story apartment buildings. We played halfball, stickball, stoopball, stepball, curbball, wallball, boxball, and punchball.
June 15, 2011 |
It was a weeknight in June, a balmy breeze was blowing in Avalon, and Jen Miller was autographing a slew of copies of her new book. The promotional venue was a bit untraditional - on the front porch of the Princeton Inn, along the Dune Drive bar-and-restaurant strip. But what really stood out was that Miller had gathered her book-buyers with a tweet. "One woman I knew wanted to buy five copies for clients, so I thought that I would meet her at the Princeton and then just send out a Twitter and Facebook message that I would be there at that time," Miller, 30, said of promoting The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May, a Great Destination . "You've got to figure out every way to sell your book these days.
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.
April 18, 2011
Bob Hoeveler is 80 and has bum knees. In other words, the grandfather of five has excuse enough to quit mowing his lawn. Not that that's happening. "No man that has a tractor will ever give it up," Hoeveler declared during an interview last week, his John Deere LX280 parked nearby. That tractor is not only why he still mows his acre in East Bradford, Chester County, but also why he's still working. Hoeveler has just launched a small business from his basement, peddling a product he invented that he hopes will be considered a must-have by other riding-mower devotees: A stick-on container called the Tractor Holster.
January 21, 2011
IN THE ENTIRE history of mankind, there has been only one invention that fundamentally improved life for the beer drinker: the twist-off bottle cap. OK, two, if you count flushable toilets. And now there are three, thanks to the Bottoms Up Draft Beer Dispenser. It does exactly what it says: It fills beer cups through the bottom of the cup. A beer vendor simply places a plastic cup on the dispenser, and - without pulling a tap handle or even pressing a button - it fills up in seconds, with a perfect collar of foam on the top. It's not just some technological gimmick.
August 20, 2010
GIMME FIVE "The Last Song" wasn't a blockbuster, but it was Greg Kinnear's highest-grossing movie in a while. His last five outings: 1. "The Last Song. " (2010) $62 million. 2. "Green Zone. " (2010) $35 million. Plays a Pentagon Special Intelligence officer in Baghdad. 3. "Flash of Genius. " (2008) $4 million. Kinnear takes on Detroit over the invention of intermittent windshield wipers. 4. "Ghost Town. " (2008) $13 million. He's a ghost, meddling in his widow's affairs.
August 11, 2010
Inventors interested in speaking with TeleBrands can e-mail InventorsDay@TeleBrands.com with a description of their inventions. If TeleBrands is interested, it will contact the inventor.
July 16, 2010
DEAR ABBY: I am a 27-year-old woman who lives alone in a house I own. Sometimes strangers come to the house for various reasons - plumbers, electricians, etc. One question I am frequently asked is, "Do you live alone?" I just don't know how to answer that question without feeling like someone might take advantage of me. Can you help me and other single women by providing an appropriate response? - Cautious Bachelorette, Huntsville, Ala. DEAR BACHELORETTE : Gladly. Your gut instincts are on target.
June 20, 2010 |
Arika Okrent was studying languages at the University of Chicago. The languages people use and how they work. The rules, the changes, the charts. She was in the library, poking around. "And then," says Okrent, relaxing in her Germantown home recently, "I drifted down to the shelves with all the books on invented languages. It was a sad little collection. I felt sorry for it. " But something called to her. Tales of made-up languages and their makers. Esperanto, the most widely spoken of all; Volapük, once the most popular; Klingon, the bark of space invaders.