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Not Your Usual Clever Ideas: how ingenuity made us human by [Macinnis, Peter]
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Not Your Usual Clever Ideas: how ingenuity made us human Kindle Edition

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Kindle, 27 Apr 2017

Length: 350 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
Language: English
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Product description

Product Description

This book is dedicated to those who, like Schrödinger’s other cat, think outside the box. It began as a look at crazy inventions, but over the years that I was researching it, in between writing other books, I realised that many weird inventions must have seemed like a good idea at the time.

Take this list:
* an egg on a parachute with a fish-hook inside to catch snakes;
* a gadget on trains to let them collect mail as they fly past;
* a horse-powered paddle-wheel ferry; and
* a gunpowder-powered pile driver.

Which one of those makes the most sense? The quick answer: odd as it may sound, all four are/were legitimate when they were introduced.

Here, you will meet also the shark-proof suit; the shoe gun; the combined cigarette lighter and perfume dispenser and much more. Also, a parachute that attached to your head (but you would be safe, because it came with shoes with nice cushiony soles); a combined grocer’s package, grater, slicer and mouse and fly trap; a steamship based on the rolling pin; and a catflap that was fitted with a colour sensor, so as to admit inventor’s ginger cat while blocking the passage of a neighbour’s black cat, though it could also be used to trigger a bomb in space.

This brought me to a couple of questions, of which the first one was: were these people nuts? The catflap was probably invented to make a point about the fatuity of some of the patent laws.

Over time this book morphed from ‘Crazy Inventions’ to ‘The Perils of Ingenuity’, to simply one question: why do humans get such odd ideas? The answer is: because they can. Without inventions and ingenuity, we would be less than human.

This book remains as a bit of a freak show, an entertainment that looks at wild ideas that we can snigger at, but in the end, you will find that your sniggering comes back to bite you, when I show why one clearly mad invention made absolute sense to me, because I am a science educator, and I was once sent to another country to help them with their teaching materials.

So you can have fun, but in the end, you will learn!

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4547.0 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Macinnis (27 April 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #976,601 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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