Archive
Impractical
Suicide Caused by Mental Germs (Feb, 1932)

I’m terrified of a “mental contagion of ideas”.

Suicide Caused by Mental Germs

SUICIDE as an infectious disease, to be stopped or prevented like any other infectious epidemic, is seen by Dr. D. H. Geffen, British Medical Health Officer.

It is unquestionable that the large majority of suicides are caused by temporary mental distress, and it is this condition which Dr. GefTen declares to be an infection; not an infection by germs but a mental contagion of ideas. Suspected thoughts of suicide, indicating a mild case of the “infection, ” should be treated by preventing new infection and by building up the patient’s mental resistance. Carpenters and others who work much with their hands seldom commit suicide.

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WEAPON FOR MOTORISTS BRANDS THUG WITH DYE (Jan, 1933)

WEAPON FOR MOTORISTS BRANDS THUG WITH DYE
A new weapon for the protection of motorists and shopkeepers not only subdues the most vicious thug, but also brands him for identification in case he should escape. When he is struck with the club-shaped weapon, an airtight membrane breaks, releasing a chemical similar to tear gas and also a spray of aniline dye that indelibly stains, his face, hands, and clothing, thus identifying him.

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HEADSET STAND FOR RADIO (Oct, 1923)

The guy who invented this would have been rich if it hadn’t been for those pesky speaker pushers.

HEADSET STAND FOR RADIO
An ornamental wooden headset stand, for use as a distribution center when a number of receivers are used simultaneously, and as a rack for holding the headphones when these are idle, has been introduced. This appliance eliminates any crowding near the equipment. The’ stand may be moved around a room at will, and when the concert is finished, it may be conveniently placed in a corner or closet, out of the way. The outfit has a switch to disconnect any receivers not in use.

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BALLOON SCARES BIRDS FROM GARDEN (May, 1933)

Wow. That’s a scary balloon. I’ll bet that will scare away thieves too.

BALLOON SCARES BIRDS FROM GARDEN

To frighten birds away from a berry patch or a newly planted lawn, where they often do considerable damage in a short time, home gardeners sometimes tie a slightly inflated paper sack to a stick. When it becomes damp, however, the bag is useless, and the string is always getting fouled on the stick. A more efficient and lasting device is shown at the left.

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Corkscrew Plane for Vertical Flight (Mar, 1933)

Corkscrew Plane for Vertical Flight

Can an airplane be built that will fly straight up? Many odd crafts have been built in vain attempts to solve this problem, but J. P. Sellmer, of Stinson Beach, Calif., is pinning his hopes to one of even stranger design than most. His corkscrew airplane, according to him will lift itself by means of a whirling, continuous wing of spiral design. A small propeller will keep the framework from spinning. Though aviation experts offer the idea little encouragement, Sellmer is busily putting the finishing touches to a large model with which he will test his theory.

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Novel War Tank Resembles a Rolling Ball (Jul, 1936)

Novel War Tank Resembles a Rolling Ball

ROLLING over the ground like a giant ball, a high-speed “tumbleweed tank” proposed by a Texas inventor is a new addition to modern war machines. A spherical hollow steel driving cab is inclosed by a rotating outer shell consisting of two cup-shaped halves fitted with circular traction cleats.

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Bulletless Rifle Practice Improves Aim (Apr, 1940)

Bulletless Rifle Practice Improves Aim
No bullets or powder are needed for an odd type of rifle practice demonstrated by British soldiers in the photograph above. A sergeant, seen at the right, holds a tiny target in front of one eye, and looks through a peep hole in the center to check the soldier’s aim by seeing that his gun sights line up with the bull’s-eye.

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INSTRUMENTS PUT ON AUTOS HOOD (Aug, 1933)

INSTRUMENTS PUT ON AUTOS HOOD
So he can read the dials of his car’s instruments without taking his eyes from the road, a Binghampton, N. Y., engineer has redesigned his car and placed them on the hood. A streamline housing for the meters gives the car a distinctive appearance. At night the dials are illuminated by a small light on a standard just in front of the windshield. Hinges of special design are attached to the hood, enabling it to be swung clear of the instrument panel when lifted to fill the crankcase or inspect the engine.

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HUGE TRUCK FOR LAND OR WATER CARRIES SHIPLOAD OF CARGO (Dec, 1933)

Huge Truck FOR LAND OR WATER CARRIES SHIPLOAD OF CARGO

IMAGINE a motor truck so large that it dwarfs the biggest locomotive in the world —a veritable ship of the land, rolling on pneumatic tires as high as a bungalow. Fit this juggernaut, in your mind’s eye, with a boat-like hull, a Diesel motor, and an electric drive; add a propeller and rudder so that it can navigate in the water as well as on dry ground; fill its capacious hold with hundreds of tons of cargo, and send it roaring across the continent or through a wilderness to its destination. Then you will have a mental image of the 1,500-ton, amphibian super-truck that Eric R. Lyon, associate professor of physics at the Kansas State Agricultural College, predicts will be the freight-carrying vehicle of the future. To prove it feasible, he himself has worked out the engineering design of such a machine, which he calls the “navitruck,” and which our artist illustrates here and on the cover of this issue.

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Alarm to Keep Motorist Awake Buzzes When Chin Drops (Dec, 1936)

Alarm to Keep Motorist Awake Buzzes When Chin Drops

Dozing at the wheel is a common cause of automobile accidents. To eliminate that cause, an inventor has devised an alarm that rings sharply at the motorist’s first nod. It is a small metal gong that is hung from the shirt collar. A trigger at the top sets off the alarm when the dozing driver’s chin drops on it.

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