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Great ideas that changed our lives?

Postby thinkoutsidethecircle » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:18 pm

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In an article on CNN, they talk about the little things that really cahnge our lives.

* The Screwpull corkscrew. In 1979, the French cookware maker Le Creuset introduced a corkscrew that the company accurately calls a "self-pulling" design.

As a long, thin screw glides through the cork, a handheld base attaches to the neck of the bottle. In one smooth motion, the action of twisting the screw downward forces the cork up and out. Almost no exertion is required on the part of the person.

In nearly 20 years of heavy use, the Screwpull has never failed me, not once. In fact, the laws of physics suggest that it cannot fail. It's the foolproof way to open a wine bottle.

* The Sonicare toothbrush. Mechanical toothbrushes have been on the market for decades, but they always struck me as triumphs over laziness rather than innovation. Sonicare is different.

It's smart, beeping to alert you when to brush a different area of your mouth. It's powerful, with soft bristles spinning like a hummingbird's wings across your teeth.

It's even, dare I say, fun. With this contraption, I actually relish the moments I spend brushing my teeth.

* E-Z Pass. The first time you zip past a long toll-booth traffic jam, you wonder: Why did this take so long to invent? The second time you do so, you pity the poor souls whose cars aren't equipped with the electronic payment device.

By the third time, though, it gets confusing. Do all those other drivers really like sitting in mile-long backups? Why not just drive straight through the toll?

* TiVo. On average, Americans spend more time watching television than performing any other daily task, including working, eating, and sleeping. Yet until the arrival of the digital video recorder -- TiVo is the most famous -- the Idiot Box was just that. It spat out content, and you sat there.

The Man was in charge. If "Seinfeld" was on Thursday, that's when you watched it. If the phone rang during "NYPD Blue," you had to make a choice. And if nature called as Mariano Rivera was walking to the mound, well....

Those sad old days are gone forever. Now, I watch "Lost" whenever I want to. I can start and stop, fast forward and rewind anything.

* The iPod. Portable, handheld audio devices date back to the 1970s, even earlier if you count transistor radios. MP3 players came about in the 1990s.

So how did the iPod -- which is, essentially, just an update of the long-forgotten Walkman -- capture about 70 percent of its market, and turn once-fading Apple Computer into the hottest company in Silicon Valley? Only by being brilliant in every way.

Now, I walk for blocks each day through Manhattan with those signature white earbuds firmly in place. Seemingly every other pedestrian I pass, or nearly so, does the same thing.


Do you agree with this list? I have to say a few things he noted are pretty good ideas. I guess the one from this list I think has impacted me the most is the EZ pass.

Thank God for EZ Pass!! How about you?

(existing replies)

Postby thinkoutsidethecircle » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:19 pm

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Aries | 2006-03-15 20:27 | Diapers

As a mom, i have to say the hands down best invention is the disposable diapers.

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Simmsays (not verified) | 2006-03-15 18:29 | Bank Cards

Wow, those are some pretty good ones. I agree. I remember when you had to go to the bank during banking hours from 9 to 3, can you imagine not being able to got to the bank anytime you wanted?

Thats my vote.

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Anonymous | 2006-03-13 20:41 | Life changing ideas

Thank God for Tivo (and the DVR). It has changed my life. I used to always miss my shows. Now I get to watch all my shows in a lot less time.

Also, EZ Pass... another blessing. I have two young kids. I can not imagine how many hours of screaming I have avoided by having EZ pass.

I can't believe of all the things that could have been mentioned, the writer picked the screwpull corkscrew and the sonicare toothbrush to discuss as life changing inventions. The Ipod - I don't use so don't have an opinion on.

I can think of lots of other life changing inventions ... Hey, how about the cell phone. What would we do without our cell phones. Sadly enough, I don't know if I could function without it now.

Also, what about the credit card? or debit card? Another thing I use on a daily basis and can not see living without it.

I think these things completely trump the toothbrush and the wine bottle opener and deserve being discussed.

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The simple jar

Postby idie » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:07 pm

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Other than the obvious inventions like electricity and sewer systems, if we are talking about everyday conveniences, I think what's a great invention is the jar.

Yup, I know, it sounds kind of stupid but I use jars for everything and I love how someone thought to put those little threads on tehm so they seal nice and tight.

Postby Amused and Bemused » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:13 pm

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A great invention was the remote control. I think I love that thing. I don't know how people survived without a remote control. :)

Postby CherubSong » Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:08 pm

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How about the computer/internet for the home? Without it,
we wouldn't be here discussing what was 1 of many greats, lol.
Well, with that being said, next comes the dishwasher (for me
anyway, lol). Then, I would think the VHS/VHS Recorder. I
thought back then, this was a start of something innovative; to
have a movie pre-recorded on one of those rectangular, black
cassettes, play it anytime, watch it again & again; owning it
forever. Pop it into that neat lookin' gadget, the VCR (back then that is) watch it slo-mo., fast-forward, rewind, etc. Sheesh, how things have progressed since then, lol.
However, my vote for the best invention goes to the one, the
only, the great: Microwave! Heck, I don't know if I've ever skipped
a day NOT using it, lol.