Patents to defend us against meteors

It seems we can’t go a single column without mentioning some sort of apocalypse. We had a bacon-apocalypse, the Mayan apocalypse, and now we have a potential apocalypse due to a large chunk of meteor flying across the sky in Russia recently, caught on numerous dashboard cameras, injuring over a thousand people due to the shockwaves. Now everyone knows that Russians put cameras on their dashboards to catch footage of cows being dumped from a truck that tips over (go to 3:01 mark), but who would have thought that technology would be used to capture what could have been the destruction of a part of Russia had the meteor impacted the Earth at a more direct angle. Since the world is largely ill-prepared to deal with a much bigger object headed toward the Earth, we need to turn to our heroes to save the day.

Here are some patents that might help us in the fight against meteors:

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Patents to help warm you up

After an extended break that saw us survive the Mayan Apocalypse, the fiscal cliff (at least for now), and Lance Armstrong’s “I’m sorry because I want people to like me again” apology, Danny is back to help make your day more palatable with unique comedy stylings and third person references stolen directly from popular TV shows and movies over the past few decades. One of my resolutions this year has been to not be so cold. I don’t mean cold in the sense of being mean or rude to people, but physically being cold. As I have mostly lived in areas with a cold winter, the quest for warmth has been a major goal for mine for 6 months out of the year. There are two solutions to this problem as I see it: I can gain weight or purchase something unique that keeps me warm. While the thought of limitless ice cream and donuts to help me put on the layer of blubber that I recently saw on a birthing elephant seal sounds appealing because I could get to wear a moo moo, the chest pains aren’t so enticing. My best bet would be to try out some of these gadgets to help keep me warm. And if anyone who is reading is from a company that produces infomercials, let them know that I am open to writing their scripts.

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Patents for the Apocalypse

As the holiday season is fast upon us, one would expect to see some patents related to the holidays, but since yesterday was 12/12/12, and the Mayan Apocalypse is fast upon us, it seems like the best use of time in what could be my last post before the end of the world would be to help highlight some of the things that will keep us safe during the upcoming Apocalypse (I don’t think excessively long, run-on sentences are one of them).  There are many signs that the Mayans are correct. Hockey has disappeared from the face of the planet, causing tons of negative karmic energy to come streaming out of Canada. The Gangham Style dance express to one billion YouTube views has taken over from the Macarena as possibly the weirdest dance trend ever.  And Chelsea won the Champions League despite finishing fifth in the Premier League.  So, in short, we’re doomed (unless, of course, the Mayans went all Harold Camping on us, and they turn out to be wrong).

It’s better to be safe than sorry, though, so continue reading for patents to help you survive the (maybe) oncoming Apocalypse!

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Creepy Costume Patents

Halloween is here next week, and that means a few things to kids: scary movies, Charlie Brown’s TV Special on The Great Pumpkin, and a large insulin response due to massive quantities of high fructose corn syrup.  However, for the adults, the art of costuming takes on a whole new meaning.  Sure, the kids want a cool costume, but that is because they are fickle, and cannot yet determine that all of their favorite characters are just fads relating to people of a certain generation (or that cartoons shown in the 80s are the only true cartoons…we will include all of the Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. cartoons from the 60s that were recycled in the 80s on that list).  With novelty stores replacing their risqué merchandise with Halloween costumes (both risqué and regular) and decorations, let’s take a look at some of the best efforts by inventors who stood strong and refused to spend their patent application budgets on Halloween candy, fake blood, and tickets to an Uwe Boll movie.

After the jump, check out some creepy costume patents!
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Intriguing Leaf Management Patents

As fall moves into full swing in some parts of world, trees change from their summer color of green to another shade, typically somewhere between yellow and red. In the Rocky Mountain area, thanks to the forest ravaging pine beetle (or, I suppose, the pine conquering beetle if you are a beetle supporter) and the warmer temperatures, the Aspen tree has started to take over the dead sections that once held pine trees. As the Aspens turn yellow, it makes for an interesting contrast of green and yellow. The Northeast area of the USA, where trees often have the widest range of color changes, has a correspondingly high concentration of mythical creatures, also known as Leafers. These creatures leave their homes in the gray-hued city and head for the country side in search of colors, like a kid in Willy Wonka’s factory searches for different varieties of candy.

As these leaves fall to the ground in mass quantities, kids everywhere are forming piles of leaves specifically to jump into for the purpose foreign to most working adults, known as “fun.” As the job of adults is to stop or discourage “fun,” a whole industry has been created to collect and remove these leaves. These are some of the best and brightest of the bunch.

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Bacon Patents for the Baconpocalypse

As summer turns to fall (finally) in the Northern Hemisphere and the temperatures cool, we can be thankful for a crisis that has recently been averted. No, I’m not talking about the end of the NFL referee lockout (although that gave us two tickets to the gun show courtesy of Ed Hochuli), but the end of the Baconpocalypse. It was recently rumored that there would be a bacon shortage in 2013 due to the droughts that have lowered the production of grain and corn used to feed the little piggies. However, other sources have stated that while prices may go up, there should be plenty of bacon available. Now I realize that not everyone eats meat, but for those who do, this was potentially tragic news. Let us take you through the process creating bacon from these magical animals with some revolutionary bacon-related patents!

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iPhone? Try old phone (patents)!

When the new iPhone was announced, opinions around the web were mixed. Some loved its sleek design and larger screen, while others made the Clint Dempsey face once they realized how much money they will have to shell out to replace their accessories with ones compatible with the new connector. I, however, am perfectly content with my $29 cheap smartphone with a blazingly slow processor, poor phone reception, and 200 MB data plan. I do have a friend who has an old flip phone with the text messaging option blocked so he doesn’t have to pay or deal with anything related to text messaging. These old timers make me harken back to the time when pay phones weren’t just for criminals, phones had rotary dials, and people used the word “harken” regularly.

Follow along with me as I detail some really old phone patents, including the most famous one of all!

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5 Ways to Keep Cool with Patents

It’s been three weeks since my last post. In that time, so much has occurred as I’ve taken the choo-choo train across Europe. In the European Championships (official song – Endless Summer), my teams had mixed results. Holland disappointed, bowing out of the tournament without a single win and causing their coach to quit. Portugal had a much better time by getting to the semi-finals, but losing out in what turned out to be a very strange penalty shootout, where the well-coifed one didn’t even take a penalty. Note to the coach: when your fans, of Portuguese origin or not, watch both Pepe and Bruno Alves step up to the spot and immediately scream NOOOO, then you know you picked the wrong players. If only Helder Postiga hadn’t been injured, he could have countered Ramos’ Panenka with a Panenka of his own. Even my fake fifth cousin Wayne couldn’t bring England past Italy (via yet another Panenka by Pirlo). Apparently the old saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” for old Wayne meant his fitness never left Nevada.

In tennis news, the French Open finished on a Monday due to a rain delay, David Nalbandian forfeited the final of Queens Club tournament after accidentally kicking a line judge and Wimbledon action has started, sending shares of strawberries and Pimm’s through the roof (note to self: sell shares BEFORE the final, not AFTER).

In these past three weeks, the temperature has gone from 70°F (21°C) to over 90°F (32°C), causing a number of large wildfires in Colorado. Since summer has now officially started (causing most retailers to clear up their summer stock and put out the Back-to-School stuff, even though the school year just ended), I want to salute the following inventors that have toiled through the summer heat to make your lives a little less sweaty.

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Grilling up some patents

Summer is fast approaching, and that means BBQ time in the US.  Although I’m sure every region has their own version of cooking with fire, it seems like the US has taken to this tradition to the max.  From giant grills in the backyard, to trucks outfitted with TV, beer fridges and other accessories at sporting events, to a TV show with that guy who guest starred on Entourage, Americans love to grill.  Here are some interesting grilling patents to help fan the flame for summer while you put a shrimp on the Barbie.

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Taking a dive into patents (for fun)

A strange string of events got me thinking about this week’s topic, diving. First, James Cameron became the first solo submersible diver to make it to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth, beating out Graham Hawkes, a famous submersible designer using Richard Branson’s billions, who I recently read about in an article in Men’s Journal. Word is that Cameron was shooting film for his next movie, Avatar 2: The Abyss, as he follows the Hollywood tradition of recycling as much material as possible (cough, Titanic 3D, cough), thereby avoiding having to come up with an original thought.

Secondly, I stumbled upon the 80s classic, Back to School, starring Rodney Dangerfield, a drugged out Robert Downey, Jr., Billy ‘Johnny Lawrence of the Cobra Kai’ Zabka, that lady from Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Burt ‘Adrian’s brother from Rocky’ Young, Sam Kinison, character actors M. Emmet Walsh and Ned ‘I was in every movie in the 70s and 80s’ Beatty, a random British actor, and some guy that looks like Squeak from BASEketball, that just happens to include a famous diving scene where Dangerfield’s stunt double performs the deadly, and hilarious, Triple Lindy.

Finally, Chelsea played Barcelona, where the greatest divers in the world, Didier Drogba and the tandem of Sergio Busquets and Dani Alves squared off to see who could best impersonate being hit by a long-range sniper (I’ll pretend my fake, fifth cousin Wayne’s teammate, Ashley Young, doesn’t exist).

Fate provided a topic, so let’s dive right in to some fun diving patents.

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