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Top 20 Weirdest Inventions Ever
These are some of the strangest human inventions.
For all the iPhones, virtual reality headsets, deep space rocket engines and self-driving cars that are a part of our modern world, many a crazy contraption was invented along the way. It’s entirely possible the ideas presented below are not the weirdest inventions ever simply because the truly weird ones probably never got close to the light of day or their creators were somehow destroyed in the process. Still, these are some of the strangest fruits of human ingenuity we know.
1. MOUSETRAP PISTOL - this 1882 invention by James A. Williams of Texas, takes a very serious approach to mice infestations. The product never took off as people were wary of keeping .50-caliber-loaded revolvers patrolling their kitchen floors.
2. TOMATAN - a wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes. Invented by the Japanese juice vendor Kagome, the robot that sits in a harness behind your head pulls out tomatoes and puts them directly in your mouth as you run. It even has a timer.
3. THE IMPULSORIA - the 1850 machine was invented in Italy by Clemente Masserano to utilize animal power on railways.
Photo by Illustrated London News/Getty Images.
4. ANTI-PERVERT HAIRY LEG STOCKINGS - this Chinese invention is supposedly made to ward off would-be attackers from young girls.
5. GROUP SHAVING MACHINE - this 19th-century machine could shave a dozen men at once. One reason for its commercial failure was that it could not alter its movements according to face shape.
Eric Sykes reviving the mass shaving machine, a nineteenth century invention, for a television series. 1960. (Photo by Ken Howard/BIPs/Getty Images)
6. FLIZ - this foot-powered bicycle without pedals, saddle or any gears, was invented by German designers Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter. The user hangs on a harness in between two wheels, propelling the bicycle by running, then resting feet on the back wheel.
7. MUSTACHE SHIELD - this 1876 mustache shield was patented by Virgil A Gates. The invention was designed to keep facial hair out of the way when eating and drinking. (Photo by M J Rivise Patent Collection/Getty Images)
8. NOSE STYLUS - invented by Dominic Wilcox, this device allows you to keep a hand free for other tasks while you operate the phone with your nose stylus.
9. REVOLVER CAMERA - this Colt 38’s small camera automatically takes a picture when you pull the trigger.
On the left - six pictures taken by the camera. New York, 1938. Source - Nationaal Archief.
10. GRASS FLIP FLOPS - it gives you the sensation of walking on grass, only in your flip-flops.
11. DYNASPHERE - an electrically-driven wheel, capable of speeds of 30mph, invented by Mr J. A. Purves of Taunton and his son.
Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images.
12. AN AUTOMATIC TIP REQUESTER - invented in 1955 by Russell E Oakes, this device saw hotel bellhops as its key market. It would say "No Sale" if the tip was too low.
Photo by Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images.
13. SEA SHOES - invented by M. W. Hulton, these sea-shoes had duckfoot propellers.
Here is the inventor, demonstrating the shoes on the Grand Union Canal. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
14. ICE BABY-CARRYING DEVICE - invented in 1937 by the hockey player Jack Milford, this carrying device allowed him and his wife to carry their baby on ice.
Photo by L. C. Buckley/Fox Photos/Getty Images.
15. CHAIN-SMOKING DEVICE - for when smoking just one cigarette at a time is not enough.
Model Frances Richards smokes a pack of cigarettes all on one cigarette holder. (Photo by Jacobsen/Getty Images)
16. CAT MEOW MACHINE - this 1963 mechanical cat meowing device from Japan can meow ten times a minute, with the eyes lighting up each time. The idea was to use the machine for scaring rats and mice.
Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.
17. LE CELERIFERE - an early bicycle invented by le Comte de Sivrac, circa 1791. An alternative story is that the Comte was invented by the journalist Louis Baudry de Saunier in his 'Histoire de la Velocipede' from 1891.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
18. ALL-TERRAIN CAR - this 1936 wheel-laden monstrosity was an all-terrain car that could descend slopes up to 65 degrees in England.
19. SNOW PROTECTORS - a Canadian invention from 1939, this plastic contraption offered protection for the face in snowstorms.
20. BEATING BREASTS - a 1963 pair of artificial breasts from Japan. The device had a built-in heartbeat and was meant to be a sleeping aid for very young children.
Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.
(BONUS) 21. RADIO STROLLER - this device from 1921 does what it says - it provides the baby with some much-needed radio transmissions.
Northwell Health is using insights from website traffic to forecast COVID-19 hospitalizations two weeks in the future.
- The machine-learning algorithm works by analyzing the online behavior of visitors to the Northwell Health website and comparing that data to future COVID-19 hospitalizations.
- The tool, which uses anonymized data, has so far predicted hospitalizations with an accuracy rate of 80 percent.
- Machine-learning tools are helping health-care professionals worldwide better constrain and treat COVID-19.
The value of forecasting<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTA0Njk2OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzM2NDQzOH0.rid9regiDaKczCCKBsu7wrHkNQ64Vz_XcOEZIzAhzgM/img.jpg?width=980" id="2bb93" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="31345afbdf2bd408fd3e9f31520c445a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1546" data-height="1056" />
Northwell emergency departments use the dashboard to monitor in real time.
Credit: Northwell Health<p>One unique benefit of forecasting COVID-19 hospitalizations is that it allows health systems to better prepare, manage and allocate resources. For example, if the tool forecasted a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations in two weeks, Northwell Health could begin:</p><ul><li>Making space for an influx of patients</li><li>Moving personal protective equipment to where it's most needed</li><li>Strategically allocating staff during the predicted surge</li><li>Increasing the number of tests offered to asymptomatic patients</li></ul><p>The health-care field is increasingly using machine learning. It's already helping doctors develop <a href="https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2020/06/09/dc19-1870" target="_blank">personalized care plans for diabetes patients</a>, improving cancer screening techniques, and enabling mental health professionals to better predict which patients are at <a href="https://healthitanalytics.com/news/ehr-data-fuels-accurate-predictive-analytics-for-suicide-risk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">elevated risk of suicide</a>, to name a few applications.</p><p>Health systems around the world have already begun exploring how <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315944/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">machine learning can help battle the pandemic</a>, including better COVID-19 screening, diagnosis, contact tracing, and drug and vaccine development.</p><p>Cruzen said these kinds of tools represent a shift in how health systems can tackle a wide variety of problems.</p><p>"Health care has always used the past to predict the future, but not in this mathematical way," Cruzen said. "I think [Northwell Health's new predictive tool] really is a great first example of how we should be attacking a lot of things as we go forward."</p>
Making machine-learning tools openly accessible<p>Northwell Health has made its predictive tool <a href="https://github.com/northwell-health/covid-web-data-predictor" target="_blank">available for free</a> to any health system that wishes to utilize it.</p><p>"COVID is everybody's problem, and I think developing tools that can be used to help others is sort of why people go into health care," Dr. Cruzen said. "It was really consistent with our mission."</p><p>Open collaboration is something the world's governments and health systems should be striving for during the pandemic, said Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's president and CEO.</p><p>"Whenever you develop anything and somebody else gets it, they improve it and they continue to make it better," Dowling said. "As a country, we lack data. I believe very, very strongly that we should have been and should be now working with other countries, including China, including the European Union, including England and others to figure out how to develop a health surveillance system so you can anticipate way in advance when these things are going to occur."</p><p>In all, Northwell Health has treated more than 112,000 COVID patients. During the pandemic, Dowling said he's seen an outpouring of goodwill, collaboration, and sacrifice from the community and the tens of thousands of staff who work across Northwell.</p><p>"COVID has changed our perspective on everything—and not just those of us in health care, because it has disrupted everybody's life," Dowling said. "It has demonstrated the value of community, how we help one another."</p>
A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.
- A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
- Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
- The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to go ice fishing on Europa<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="GLGsRX7e" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="f4790eb8f0515e036b24c4195299df28"> <div id="botr_GLGsRX7e_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/GLGsRX7e-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/GLGsRX7e-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/GLGsRX7e-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div>
Water Vapor Above Europa’s Surface Deteced for First Time<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9c4abc8473e1b89170cc8941beeb1f2d"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WQ-E1lnSOzc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Can computers do calculations in multiple universes? Scientists are working on it. Step into the world of quantum computing.
- While today's computers—referred to as classical computers—continue to become more and more powerful, there is a ceiling to their advancement due to the physical limits of the materials used to make them. Quantum computing allows physicists and researchers to exponentially increase computation power, harnessing potential parallel realities to do so.
- Quantum computer chips are astoundingly small, about the size of a fingernail. Scientists have to not only build the computer itself but also the ultra-protected environment in which they operate. Total isolation is required to eliminate vibrations and other external influences on synchronized atoms; if the atoms become 'decoherent' the quantum computer cannot function.
- "You need to create a very quiet, clean, cold environment for these chips to work in," says quantum computing expert Vern Brownell. The coldest temperature possible in physics is -273.15 degrees C. The rooms required for quantum computing are -273.14 degrees C, which is 150 times colder than outer space. It is complex and mind-boggling work, but the potential for computation that harnesses the power of parallel universes is worth the chase.
The scent of sickness: 5 questions answered about using dogs – and mice and ferrets – to detect disease
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