Awesome Innovations: “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?”

How many times have you seen an infomercial for a product that seemed so practical, so innovative that you found yourself asking (out loud): “Why didn’t I think of that?” I had one of those moments when I heard about the newest umbrella headed to a store near you. It’s called the Ambient Umbrella, and it’s being billed as the world’s first umbrella that alerts users when rain is expected. Hold on! It’s a bit more advanced than that. According to its designer, the Ambient Umbrella automatically receives weather data from a national weather service and when precipitation is expected … Continue reading

Interesting Innovations

There’s the anti-spill water bowl for dogs that is designed for traveling, the e-Lation electric bike conversion kit, which turns a standard bicycle into an electric one while maintaining all the bike’s gears, and the Universal Tile Ventilator, a new type of roof tile that allows ventilation and heat to exit the roof space when there is no breeze through natural convection flow… interesting innovations are born everyday, but only a very small fraction of the creative (and sometimes crazy) creations go on to become household names. YouTube, the video-sharing website, happens to be one of them. Believe it or … Continue reading

Detroit: Urban Agriculture Capital of America?

I was watching some television show about Detroit not long ago and the state of the city saddened me. What was once the bustling, busy Motor City, home to Motown and a thriving auto industry, has now become a ghost town in many areas. It is estimated that there are about 33,000 vacant homes in Detroit, with many city blocks being totally abandoned. Overall, there is approximately 25,000 vacant acres in Detroit. City officials are facing a daunting task – how to revive this once lively city. Detroit seems the perfect place for urban agriculture. After all, there are cheap, … Continue reading

Three Global Designs for Baths

International design is becoming domestic style with the clean simple lines, the classic features and the new to us innovations that have been around in other countries for quite some time. Let’s take some bathroom ideas from three well-proven styles and adapt them to our modern sensibility for beautiful, functional and innovative bathrooms. Middle Eastern Flair A bathroom that adapts the flair of the middle east is full of interesting texture and design, from exotic tile patterns that echo the ancient past to bright and vibrant oranges, blues and reds that spice up a space. A focus on seating areas … Continue reading

Inventor Of The TV Remote Dies

The man known for making the couch potato possible has died. According to news reports, Robert Adler, the co-inventor of the television remote died Thursday of heart failure at a Boise nursing home. He was 93. Adler worked at Zenith Electronics Corporation for more than 60 years and earned more than 180 patents, but was best known for his 1956 Zenith Space Command remote control. The device won him an Emmy Award (along with fellow engineer Eugene Polley) and helped fuel many a fight in households with multiple children and one TV. Depending on the source, credit is given to … Continue reading

Life Changing Inventions Make History

What does the MRI, the LP record, and a popular weed killer have in common? Their inventors have just been picked for induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The creators of those life-changing inventions join 15 other inventors to make up the 2007 class of inductees. The honorees are in good (make that great) company joining history-making inventors such as Thomas Edison, Velcro inventor George de Mestral and Charles Goodyear, developer of vulcanized rubber. Despite the fact that some of the inventors have created products that have literally changed the way we live our lives, most are not … Continue reading

How To Become A Part Of Popular Culture

You’ve seen them posted all over the Internet… home videos of stupid pet (and human) tricks, weird stunts, and bloopers. But, have you ever wondered how each video makes it online and how much (if any) money was exchanged for the post? Popular culture wouldn’t be what it is today without someone uploading video of what happens when you combine Mentos and Diet Coke or what happens when you stuff your mouth full of live praying mantises. Online videos are fun to watch, and in some cases even more fun to post… and yes, those weird stunts captured on camera … Continue reading

Millionaire Moms on Oprah and The View

I need to start this blog entry with a bit of a disclaimer. Please don’t think that I sit around and watch daytime talk shows all day. I just watch them *most* of the day, and I have never, ever eaten a bon-bon while doing so. (End of disclaimer). I actually have a valid reason for vegging in front of the TV this afternoon…blog research, of course! Both Oprah and The View featured “millionaire moms” and I couldn’t wait to share two inspiring stories with you. The first multi-millionaire that was featured on The View this morning was a single … Continue reading

One–Of-A-Kind Shopping Cart

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… flying shopping cart? Not exactly. But, it could be once the kinks are worked out. And once it takes flight we’ll have two University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee engineering graduates to thank for the jet-propelled shopping cart invention. Andy Kraft of Milwaukee and Erik Hopfensperger of Appleton just graduated from college (both were awarded bachelor’s degrees on Sunday), but they are already making names for themselves. All it took was a little ingenuity… and a lot of work to create their one-of-a-king shopping cart complete with a motor from a rechargeable drill, a homemade … Continue reading

Home Week in Review: December 10 – 16

This has been an interesting week in the Home Blog, covering a wide variety of topics related to home and family, going all the way back to the inception of the blogs here at one year ago this month. Between Dishing the Dirt and Happy Anniversary! we also covered everything from fences, and gardening, to snow removal. We talked about the holidays, entertaining, decorating, and wrapping gifts. From Silly String and Stains to Tub Rings and Other Things, we basically covered everything including the Kitchen Sink! Did you find any of these articles interesting or useful? Maybe you’ll like … Continue reading