John Oliver runs a regular segment called “How Is This Still a Thing?”, but he’s decided to turn it on its head. So “How Is This Not a Thing?” describes the things that Oliver would like see invented—preferably as soon as possible.
Someone please tell me this is a hoax. Announced yesterday with a tweet, the IziVibe claims to be a vibrating dildo you attach to your phone.
Until the early 1970s, if problems with penile blood flow or nerve function meant a guy couldn’t get it up, his choices for treatment were pretty limited, and certainly did not mimic nature.
The first working model of the now-iconic birth control pill dispenser is in the Smithsonian’s history collection. It’s built out of clear plastic, paper, and double-sided tape, held together by a snap from a child’s toy, with slices of wooden dowel standing in for pills. It was created to solve a vexing problem.
Given the explosion of sex advice and tracking apps for smartphones and the popularity of wearable fitness trackers, it was only a matter of time before they were combined into devices for more intimate activities. Perhaps it’s an idea whose time has come: two companies have announced plans to release “sex trackers”.
Nearly 100 years ago, there was no drug to help with erectile dysfunction, but Bernard Scheinkman came up with an alternative. It’s not clear whether this nightmarish penile splint was ever manufactured — but you have to love the baroque logic of combining a cock ring, an open condom, and a shelf.
Legend says that brewing tea dates back to around 2737 BC, when tea leaves fell into water being boiled for Emperor Shennong of China. There does not appear to be any hard evidence of tea being discovered this way, but evidence we do have suggests that brewing tea did indeed likely start in China, first as part of a…
Not all inventions are born equal. Some spring from nowhere to create an entirely new class of technology; others assemble existing ideas to create useful new products. Now, researchers have shown that the past century’s seen a steady increase in invention by the combination of concepts—but less in the way of pure…
Ivory has been producing their uniquely floating soap for the well over a century now and in hat time they've become one of the most popular soap brands in the world. For many years, the company has maintained that the discovery of its trademark floating soap was a complete accident, but exactly how true is this?
Scotch has been referred to as "the water of life," and to many who know its allure today, they can understand why. Yet the chronicle of this sometimes, smoky, often nutty, occasionally fruity elixir is poorly known, and in fact, its precise origin is lost to the mists of time (or more likely, drinking Scotch).
The space tire is sitting useless most of the time in the trunk of all cars, but in the 50s a California inventor thought it could be put to good use to easily park cars in parallel. Why the hell didn't this invention become standard in every single car?
The origin of the television set was heavily shrouded in both spiritualism and the occult, writes author Stefan Andriopoulos in his new book Ghostly Apparitions. In fact, as its very name implies, the television was first conceived as a technical device for seeing at a distance: like the telephone (speaking at a…
Above is a close-up of what developers call a "superlens," a device that can focus low-energy magnetic waves over a distance. The result? Wireless power generation over nearly one foot of air between transmitter and receiver.
Here's the thing about chocolate chip cookies: they're delicious. Here's another thing: unless you're a professional baker maestro who bakes a batch everyday and tweaks their cookie recipe after every time to adjust the flavor, it's going to be hard to come up with the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's a…
While flipping back through Richard Holmes's great book Falling Upwards, I reread his short description of a speculative machine—an almost-invention—by Benjamin Franklin. The Founding Father, electrical experimenter, and prolific inventor came up with something Holmes describes a "patent balloon icebox," a…
A 13-year-old girl from Connecticut named Mallory Kievman has come up with a pretty clever cure for hiccups: vinegar lollipops! She developed the idea after researching various at-home remedies—a teaspoon of vinegar, hard candy, etc—as well as the physiological reason for a bout of hiccups.
Maybe when I take long walks through my neighborhood I want more than one beverage to quench my mighty thirst. As thirsty fellow, I'm excited to learn that soon I will no longer have to choose between beverages again. We are living in a two-drink minimum future people.
This American Life had an amazing story this past weekend about patent trolls. It was pegged to Intellectual Ventures, and various others who litigate rather than innovate. But the real patent trolls are being traded on the NYSE.
IBM's Centennial anniversary is fast approaching (as in TODAY), and their 100 years of hard work shouldn't go unnoticed. Behind every major technological advance, you're likely to find IBM's name floating around somewhere. Here are 9 of our favorite IBM-aided innovations.