Depending on where you live, it’s starting to get to be that time again. No, I’m not talking about the EPL (best to ignore that for now) or American football starting up again. I’m talking about that harrowing day where the ice cream trucks stop chiming, the sprinklers turn off, and the kids head out with their parents to get the latest supplies since it’s “Back to School” time. No, I don’t I mean the awesome Rodney Dangerfield movie featuring the amazing Triple Lindy that would win any Olympic diving meet. As kids are herded from store to store looking for school supplies and clothes without stains and giant holes, here are patents of the things that a young child would actually want for that first day of school…
The Olympics are upon us, and even though we haven’t had an official opening ceremony, some of the competition has started, especially in soccer. The USA men’s team won’t be there due to a colossal blunder on literally the last play by backup keeper Sean Johnson, but the women’s team will be there looking to defend their gold medals from 2004 and 2008. There are sure to be numerous stories related to the fan favorite events such as swimming, gymnastics, and track and field, such as the dolphin-like Michael Phelps going for more gold than Fort Knox–but at this time of year, we want to honor the smaller events. The Extras of the Olympics, if you will. These events give Olympic hope to so many people most of us would never hear of otherwise. Let’s all raise our glasses in their honor.
Here are some interesting patents relating to these niche sports!
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.
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.
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.
It is officially spring, which means the onslaught of summer has been put on hold, at least for another week. The warm weather in many parts of the world is bringing about the early blooming of some spectacular foliage, teasing everyone just enough until the crushing heat returns to dry everything up, signaling the true start of summer. In the sports world, spring marks a transitional period as NCAA basketball has wrapped up, MLB and MLS are starting up, and the NBA and EPL are heading into the home stretch. (BRB ASAP, I need to get some PBJ and OJ to celebrate Acronym Day, LOL.) Spring is also a good time to partake in everyone’s favorite activity: chores, specifically spring cleaning. While some might enjoy this activity, the rest of us think about the old infomercial adage, “There’s got to be a better way?!”
Well, my friends, there is…at least theoretically, as I present to you some of the best cleaning patents.
April Fools Day has evolved from a day of traditional light-hearted pranks to a day of elaborate online hoaxes (which get me every year…I charged up my old Nintendo on Sunday to check the availability of Google Maps). The broader tech field has embraced the April Fools hoax, but where are the patent-related pranks? Sure, there are patent applications out there that you really, really hope are pranks, but most inventors can’t afford to file a patent application simply as a joke.
I’ve only found a few examples of patent-related shenanigans, but the patent pranks that have been pulled are pretty epic. Continue reading to learn about the five best patent pranks!
Today marks the start of America’s biggest productivity drain, March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament that pits juggernauts against minnows, moves outsiders into NBA Draft territory, and creates lasting memories that are later taken away (causing some fans to be shut-ins). So many people will skip work, call in sick, or watch the games on their work computers, that Yahoo is giving tips on how to maintain productivity during the tournament. Conversely, CNBC and the Huffington Post are suggesting productivity is actually improved by watching the tournament. While the tournament stirs up collegiate loyalties well beyond the school you actually went to or are in any way affiliated with, none is more prevalent than the simple act of bonding over a mutual dislike of Duke Basketball. Whether it’s due to the sheer amount of money the program makes, the recruiting advantages they sneakily obtain, or the myriad of other things they do that grind the gears of anyone outside of Durham, NC… Duke and Coach K are sure to stir up the passions of the fans. However, I realize that supporting my fake fifth cousin Wayne’s team is much like being a Duke fan, so ignore everything I just said–love ya Duke fans!
It’s a sad day in music, as Davy Jones of The Monkees passed away due to a massive heart attack. While The Monkees may have been some lazy music exec’s project to create the American version of The Beatles, they still made some good music and their TV show provided plenty of entertainment. They also made a critically-panned movie, Head, which made no sense and included cameos from Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper–solely to agitate those same execs that created them. You have to respect that kind of musically integrity. Like Kurt Cobain, but with less whining. In honor of Davy Jones, we have some interesting musical patents on the blog today.
Read on and enjoy, you D.W. Washburns!
Danny Rooney here. Manchester United is the team my fake fifth cousin Wayne plays for, and therefore I despise everything about Liverpool FC (except Steve McManaman…great name). Not just for footballing reasons though, although who wouldn’t prefer America’s team (Everton FC), just a 5 minute walk away from Anfield. Everton is the home of Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, Landycakes (Landon Donovan), and possibly Edson Buddle. Still, it’s not quite FulhAmerica of a few years ago. Also, I’ve always been more of a Rolling Stones fan than a Beatles fan. The reason I mention Liverpool FC is because they have been dropped by Adidas (ha, ha!) (the manufacturer of their jerseys), and picked up by Michigan-based Warrior Sports.
Now that I am within shouting distance of the jersey manufacturer for a European soccer club, today seemed like a good day to take a look at some of the best sports apparel that has graced the patent office.