3. The strangest inventions ever patented

    From an accidental masturbation preventer to a faceplant facilitation device…


  4. The firsts of the First World War: A visual history

    World War I was one of the deadliest wars in history. But it also produced a plethora of innovations in science and society.



  6. Bristle me this:

    Blizzident's 3-D printed toothbrush may look like a mold of Venom's mouth, but the creators guarantee that it can brush a person’s teeth in just six seconds. Users simply have to grind down on the device 10 to 15 times, and voila, your teeth are pearly white. The copious amounts of bristles clean the teeth in an up, down, left, right, forward and backward motion all at the same time, shaving minutes from your day. That is, if you’re willing to spend $299 for the product, which is molded specifically for your mouth — and then $89 per additional toothbrush.

    Open wide for the toothbrushes of the future



  8. Behold: Intel’s “smart” baby onesie:

    It can, along with monitoring the baby’s heartbeat, determine when junior is waking up hungry and then start to heat up his bottle, all while Mom and Dad remain blissfully asleep.

    That sounds pretty creepy to us.


  9. See that little object right there?  It’s floating.  In mid-air.  Using only sound waves.

    Here’s how Japanese scientists did it.


  10. The tenderloin
    Boring, actual name: Ultra-Sensitive Reconstituted Collagen Condom
    Developer: Mark McGlothlin at Apex Medical Technologies, San Diego

    Innovation: McGlothlin decided that the best way to make a condom that feels like a second skin is to reinvent the leather condom, in this case using collagen fibers from bovine tendons. Yes, it’s a cow condom.

    Meet the 11 condoms of the future selected by Bill Gates


  11. Cat-inspired inventions:

    Jack Randall Kidwell’s “Device for Collecting Cat Hair”

    James Piccone’s “Furniture Device for Cats”

    …and Leo O. Voelker’s no-muss no-fuss bird trap (that feeds your cat the trapped birds)

    12 bizarre cat-related patents


  12. We’re not in T-1000 territory yet, but scientists have accidentally created self-healing metal.


  13. Matthew Inman, proprietor of web comic The Oatmeal, is on a mission to build a crowd-funded museum dedicated to inventor Nikola Tesla, who Inman refers to as “the greatest geek who ever lived.” Inman’s goal was to raise $850,000 (which would be matched dollar-for-dollar by a New York State grant) in 45 days. But surprisingly, a little more than a week into it, the online campaign has gathered more than $1.1 million in donations. Many of the inventor’s fans think Tesla was more brilliant than his more famous contemporaries, including Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. Even though Tesla isn’t exactly a household name, his unsung accomplishments and wild imagination has turned him into something of a folk hero. Here, a rundown of five of Tesla’s craziest inventions:

    1. Wireless energy transfer
    About 120 years ago at the 1893 World Fair in Chicago, Tesla demonstrated that you could wirelessly transmit electricity by firing up a series of phosphorous light bulbs in a process he called electrodynamics induction. He dreamed that such technology would allow us to one day shoot power over long distances in the atmosphere, supplying distant destinations with the energy needed to live comfortably. Now over a century later, companies such as Intel and Sony are interested in applying the non-radiative energy transfer to things such as cell phones to allow you to charge your battery without messy power cables.

    2. Earthquake machine
    "In 1898, Tesla claimed he had built and deployed a small oscillating device that, when attached to his office and operating, nearly shook down the building and everything around it," says Shea Gunther at Revmodo. The device weighed just a few pounds, but Tesla was able to tune the timing of the oscillator at such a frequency that each little vibration added just a little more energy to the wave of flex in the building. “Given enough little pushes, even the largest structure could be shaken apart.” Realizing the potential terrors such a device could create, “Tesla said he took a hammer to the oscillator to disable it, instructing his employees to claim ignorance to the cause of the tremors if asked.”

    3. Death ray
    In the 1930s Tesla reportedly invented a particle beam weapon that some, ironically, called a “peace ray,” says Lauren Davis at io9. “The device was, in theory, capable of generating an intense targeted beam of energy” that could be used to depose of enemy warplanes, foreign armies, “or anything else you’d rather didn’t exist.” The so-called “death ray” was never constructed, however, even though Tesla shopped the device around to various military divisions. The plans for the laser were never found after Tesla’s death.

    Keep reading…