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Print

New inventions can’t top the tried and true

January 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM

The State Journal-Register

Men and women who enjoy outdoor pursuits reap the benefits of some of the greatest inventions known to man.

Rim-fire cartridges, the internal combustion engine, the repeating rifle, weedless hooks, spinning reels, flashlights, double bitted axes and those little chocolate dipped doughnuts all enhance the outdoor experience.

For those involved in developing those original ideas, the process wasn’t all fun and games. In the case of those little doughnuts, somebody got a stomachache from eating all the prototypes.

Recently, Time magazine listed what editors believe were the top 50 inventions of 2011. It is not likely we will be standing in line for these new products anytime soon. Mass production and popular pricing are still off in the distance.

Among the Top 50 Inventions of 2011 is a “double stranded RNA activated caspase oligomerizer,” a drug that has shown promising results attacking viruses. It may eventually cure the common cold. If it is successful and becomes available to the masses, the real genius in this new drug could be in finding a catchy name for the TV commercials.

The Perfect Razor has iridium handle and white sapphire blades that are “5,000 times thinner than the human hair it’s designed to cut.” The razor comes with free cleaning and sharpening services for the next 20 years. Before you toss one in your hunting bag, peek at the price tag. The Perfect Razor sells for a cool $100,000, considerably more than I will spend on those store brand disposables for the rest of my life.

The invisibility cloak could revolutionize deer blinds and turkey hunting while offering endless possibilities when we want to get out of yard work, or need to keep a closer eye on the teenage boys who are hanging around our daughters.

Based on the principle of the mirage effect that can fool a thirsty man into thinking there’s a lake in a desert, the sheet “bends surrounding air and light waves making objects behind it appear invisible.” In keeping with the old saying “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” there are still some wrinkles to work out. For one, the invisibility cloak works best under water.

One new invention reinvents the wheel. A Chicago restaurant is offering the “edible campfire.” This new creation is based on sweet potato pie cooked in sugary syrup and blue corn. The dish is then doused with alcohol, cinnamon and vanilla and set afire. What’s left after the fire goes out tastes like the outside of a burned marshmallow.

Given that it achieves the same result, the old fashioned approach is easier, less expensive and a lot more fun. Just poke a green stick through a stack of marshmallows and hold them over the campfire. When they catch fire, remove the stick, blow out the flame and enjoy.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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