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Something from nothing 27.06.2007

Here's a nice illustration of what the web allows us to do today, with historical documents and anecdotes.

First, watch this 8m 47s video from 1940 featuring the cartoonist Rube Goldberg (Mr. Perpetual Motion machine) which boldly claims that petroleum is a virtually unlimited source of energy, and other screwy things.

What I found interesting though was, that at 2.11, he mentions a labour saving device which was granted a patent number. At 3.06, he shows the viewer the actual patent, with it's funny illustrations.

I jotted down the number he mentioned, clickety-click, made my way to Google Patents, and B-I-N-G-O: The patent of the Saluting Device, by James C. Boyle and John Neill, of Spokane, Washington. March 10th, 1896.

And this is where I am supposed to make a scientific statement on how this changes society, and... I am blank, sorta. Well, it seemed clever and funny at the time, and it kept me from doing drugs for at least 8m 47s. And if someone reads this, and watches the whole thing, then maybe it kept them from doing drugs as well. Doesn't that qualify?

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