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BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel

Ebbie 21 Nov 13 - 10:52 PM
ChanteyLass 21 Nov 13 - 11:00 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Nov 13 - 12:37 AM
JohnInKansas 22 Nov 13 - 02:49 AM
GUEST,musket wondering 22 Nov 13 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 22 Nov 13 - 03:33 AM
Will Fly 22 Nov 13 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Nov 13 - 04:32 AM
JohnInKansas 22 Nov 13 - 04:46 AM
Jack Blandiver 22 Nov 13 - 04:56 AM
Pete Jennings 22 Nov 13 - 06:08 AM
Richard Bridge 22 Nov 13 - 09:12 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Nov 13 - 09:25 AM
Bill D 22 Nov 13 - 12:31 PM
Ebbie 22 Nov 13 - 12:38 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Nov 13 - 12:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Nov 13 - 01:06 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Nov 13 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Nov 13 - 01:57 PM
Big Ballad Singer 22 Nov 13 - 02:47 PM
Don Firth 22 Nov 13 - 03:25 PM
GUEST, Ebbie 22 Nov 13 - 04:09 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Nov 13 - 04:18 PM
Joe_F 22 Nov 13 - 06:19 PM
Don Firth 22 Nov 13 - 06:47 PM
Don Firth 22 Nov 13 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,kendall 22 Nov 13 - 07:35 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Nov 13 - 08:02 PM
gnu 22 Nov 13 - 08:18 PM
frogprince 22 Nov 13 - 09:12 PM
frogprince 22 Nov 13 - 09:14 PM
Rapparee 22 Nov 13 - 09:23 PM
eddie1 23 Nov 13 - 02:27 AM
Seamus Kennedy 23 Nov 13 - 02:57 AM
JohnInKansas 23 Nov 13 - 04:19 AM
Les in Chorlton 23 Nov 13 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,saulgoldie 23 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 13 - 09:35 AM
Pete Jennings 23 Nov 13 - 09:41 AM
dick greenhaus 23 Nov 13 - 10:28 AM
Fergie 23 Nov 13 - 03:36 PM
Ian Hendrie 23 Nov 13 - 05:36 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Nov 13 - 06:15 PM
kendall 23 Nov 13 - 06:53 PM
GUEST 23 Nov 13 - 07:11 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Nov 13 - 07:37 PM
GUEST 23 Nov 13 - 07:56 PM
GUEST 24 Nov 13 - 04:17 AM
GUEST,Musket 24 Nov 13 - 04:36 AM
GUEST 24 Nov 13 - 04:48 AM
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Subject: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 10:52 PM

The Atlantic {The Technology Issue, November 2013) asked a dozen scientists, historians and technologists to rank the top innovations since the wheel. Here are their results. (I tend not to agree with all of them, although they are very persuasive in their reasoning. I, for instance, would rank the telephone higher, simply because for the first time we could hear each other's voices – we could be present together - in the same slice of time)

Any thoughts?

Ranking of 50 Greatest Inventions

50: The combine harvester, 1930s
49: The assembly line, 1913
48: The lever, third millennium B.C
47: The nail, second millennium B.C
46: Anesthesia, 1846
45: Television, early 20th century
44: Air-conditioning, 1902
43: The abacus, third millennium B.C.
42: Paper money, 11th century
41: Rocketry, 1926
40: The sailboat, fourth millennium B.C.
39: Oil drilling, 1859
38: Scientific plant breeding, 1920s
37: Cement, first millennium B. C.
36: The steam turbine, 1884
35: Oil refining, mid-19th century
34: The Gregorian calendar, 1582
33: Pasteurization, 1863
32: The cotton gin, 1793
31: Archimedes' screw, third century B.C.
30: The moldboard plow, 18th century
29: Photography, early 19th century
28: Radio, 1906
27: The mechanized clock, 15th century
26: The telegraph, 1837
25: Alphabetization, first millennium B.C.
24: The telephone, 1876
23: The sextant, 1757
22: The green revolution, mid-20th century
21: Nuclear fission, 1939
20: The pill, 1960
19: Industrial steelmaking, 1850s
18: The automobile, late 19th century
17: The compass, 12th century
16: The personal computer, 1970s
15: The airplane, 1903
14: Gunpowder, 10th century
13: Refrigeration, 1850s
12: Sanitation systems, mid-19th century
11: Nitrogen fixation, 1918
10: The steam engine, 1712
9: The internet, 1960s
8: Vaccination, 1796
7: The internal combustion engine, late 20th century
6: Paper, second century
5: Optical lenses, 13th century
4: Semiconductor electronics, mid-20th century
3: Penicillin, 1928
2: Electricity, late 19th century
1: The printing press


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 21 Nov 13 - 11:00 PM

I would add Jell-O, never mind, that's another thread!

Seriously, and appropriate for any music website, I think musical notation was a great invention.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 12:37 AM

They left out the Lithium battery, noted for blowing up more computers than any other invention (along with two or three Tesla automobiles - so far). ???

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 02:49 AM

I do note little presence of the more fundamental devices for electrical power generation and distribution. There was some argument about how to proceed but without the acceptance of AC power that permitted efficient(?) distribution, and the "invention" of our vast distribution networks, several of the others mentioned most likely would never have come to be.

And without the invention of the vacuum tube (or valve for the Brits?) and especially the triode tube, it's unlikely that anyone would have thought about the invention of transistors, since there would have been no devices that needed "better switches. (Probably omitted because most of the newer generation of scientists don't remember what one looked like.)

There is also no mention of a number of "inventions" associated with distribution of clean water and disposal of sewage, but maybe that's because we still haven't really decided on a "best way" to do it for enough people.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST,musket wondering
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 03:03 AM

I was going to be flippant and propose the pickled egg. . However.

Preserving of foods, whether recognised today as pickling, smoking or drying out is a reason why civilisation could progress. Hunter gatherer no longer being a year round occupation led to thinking time, innovation and invention.

So. . Preserving foods. Got to be a couple of thousand BC, at the very least.





Also, the dating for some of the above is very, dare I say, geographically selective?


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 03:33 AM

It's interesting to note how many of those inventions are turning out to be mixed blessings. It's ironic that, in a few generations time, when we've eroded the world around us to such an extent that we've rendered ourselves extinct, there will be (by definition!) no-one around to list which of those inventions made the greatest contributions to our demise!


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 04:19 AM

The condom - timeless - and timely...


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 04:32 AM

MRI scanner, and X-rays, essential for diagnosis. Also, the umbrella. I think antiseptics need a mention too, and the electron microscope. Condoms are proving to be even more valuable, as they can protect against HIV and other STDs. How about power looms? And discovery of plastics? My old mum used to say (in a voice of impending doom) "Man will kill himself with his own invention!" so I tend to agree with Shimrod.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 04:46 AM

Without the discovery of the adhesive properties of chicken blood we'd have had no airplanes in WWI. (That's all that held the wood together.) It would be difficult to name an inventor, or a date of the invention since primitive/prehistoric people used the same glue to hold their tools and weapons together.

The "improved" freeze dried blood avoided the need for fresh blood, and greatly improved the smell in the airplane factories; but the invention of casein glue probably did more for the health of the workers.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 04:56 AM

Glass.

Without which there'd be no civilisation...


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 06:08 AM

They forgot sliced bread...


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:12 AM

I was going to say "the condom" but I see Will Fly got there first. Another notable omission of an item which revolutionised society was the pill.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:25 AM

The greatest invention of all time was the second telephone.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 12:31 PM

45: Television, early 20th century
45a: The remote control mute button, barely in time


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 12:38 PM

The pill is included in the list, Richard B. #20

In the article their conversations detail their processes of thinking, and note that some of man's inventions went nowhere, so to speak, without a further invention down the road.

In the same issue there is also an article on the likeliest inventions coming up.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 12:46 PM

The condom - timeless - and timely...

The Gates foundation recently announced selection of the winners for their contest to "design a better condom." From around 800 entries, the several winners each received a $100,000 prize, with the possibility of an additional award for "development and marketing" of any of the winning ideas.

It seems that a main concern was the difficulty of "installing" existing devices in dark or dimly lit places.

I'm a little puzzled about why those who can't find it in the dark to put one on would think they're going to do anything with it to require a condom, but I'm sure there's an explanation.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 01:06 PM

Bic pens
Credit cards
Online shopping


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 01:42 PM

The next great ones?

Nuclear fusion (France is in the process of building a fusion reactor).

Fuel cell vehicles. (Toyota will market in 2015)

Stem cell treatments of disease and injury (Already being used but only the beginning!)


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 01:57 PM

An all-purpose, universal, all singing all dancing cure for cancer.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 02:47 PM

The electric guitar. Hands down, one of the greatest inventions ever.

If it were not for the atonal cacophony created by millions of hack amateurs, some of us would never have retreated into the world of folk music and acoustic instruments!

Oh, and 34A: Gregorian chant, or at least the systematization of melodies for chant used in the Catholic Church. Pope Gregory III (IIRC) was basically responsible for both preserving already very old musical traditions AND for furthering the development of Church music, which played an integral part in the musical education of so many brilliant composers and instrumentalists.

Of course, I'd select the diatonic harmonica and crawfish etouffe, but that's just me :)


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 03:25 PM

If I can remember the details from a mid-1950s article in "The Guitar Review," a high quality magazine published irregularly by the New York Classic Guitar Society—

During World War II, during a meeting of the Washington, D. C. Classic Guitar Society, honored guest Andrés Segovia was bemoaning the fact that he was about to embark on a concert tour of South America and he was nearly out of guitar strings.

At the time, classic guitar strings were made out of sheep gut, and during WW II, few, if any, firms were making them. And his supply was dangerously low. "I may soon have to hang up my beloved guitar," sighed Segovia.

An Air Force General, a Gen. Lindenman, if I recall the article correctly, told Segovia that he had an idea and could he borrow a set of strings. Tremulously, Segovia fished in his guitar case, and handed him a set. In the meantime, other attending members dug into their cases and gave several precious sets to Segovia, to see him through the tour.

Several weeks later, when Segovia returned from the tour, Gen. Lindenman presented him with a large package of guitar strings. "I have some friends in the DuPont family, and they had the strings analyzed and tried to duplicate them with nylon."

Segovia put a set on his guitar, tuned them up, played a few scales and chords—and smiled! "This is a new day for the classic guitar," he pronounced.

DuPont did not want to make the strings themselves, but they would supply the necessary technology and materials to anyone who would. The first to come forward was a man named Albert Augustine, and Augustine strings were the first nylon guitar strings to appear on the market.

Back in the mists of antiquity, someone was feeding me the line that "You really don't know how great a classic guitar can sound if you haven't tried gut strings!" I went to the Broberg House of Music and asked Dora Brobert (the little falcon who sat behind the counter) if she had any gut strings. She looked at me as if I had suddenly gone insane, and dug a set out of a drawer. I tried them on my Martin 00-28-G, and—

Absolutely stank! They wouldn't stay in pitch and they were inconsistent from fret to fret. And within three days, one of them popped.

So—back to the nylon strings.

Despite the efforts in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century of virtuoso guitarists like Fernando Sor, Francisco Tàrrega, Ferdinando Carulli, Matteo Carcassi, et al, it's no wonder the classic guitar nearly died out as a serious musical instrument!

I now have a considerably more up-scale guitar than my original Martin, and I used D'Addario EXP strings. They sound great on my guitar and they seem to last forever!

So—it may not be a major breakthrough in medicine or world peace, but I nominate the nylon string for classic guitars as one of the greater inventions.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST, Ebbie
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 04:09 PM

Keep 'em coming, lads!


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 04:18 PM

Q -

Fuel cell vehicles. (Toyota will market in 2015)

I saw a fuel cell auto ca. 1968. It had the minor fault of exploding and blowing the "carburetor" off fairly frequently, but otherwise performance wasn't too bad. The same company then was also working on "metal hydride" fuel storage system for the car, with similar success. I'm not sure whether the same guys have been still working on it recently.

Tesla had planned on trial marketing of their Li ion battery powered car last year. So far I believe the reports have been that three of them "burned to the ground" when the batteries blew up.

People mostly don't understand the very long separation between the hallucination and the marketable product, but of course that doesn't mean we have to stop hoping.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Joe_F
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 06:19 PM

Rocketry, 1926? We Americans have a song about the War of 1812 that mentions that art. There were rockets in China in the 15th century.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 06:47 PM

Re:   rockets.

I think there might be an important difference there. The Chinese rockets, and as far as I know, the 1812 rockets were powered with solid fuel—gun powder. You light the sucker and from then on you have no control over the length of the burn or the aim of the rocket, other than hoping it would go where you wanted it to go. Used for either fireworks displays or as a weapon.

Robert H. Goddard lauched a multi-stage, liquid-fueled rocket in 1914.   This was an important milestone toward spaceflight because the liquid fuel could be valved and controlled, or shut off if needed. He also successfully applied three-axis control, gyroscopes, and steerable thrust to rockets, to effectively control their flight.

A VERY important milestone in eventual space flight.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 07:09 PM

The 1926 event was when Goddard launched a successful rocket flight from his aunt's farm. The newspapers covered it, and mocked his ideas about the possibility of eventual space flight and maybe even going to the moon.

Obviously, the man is demented!!

But the Germans, it seems, were most interested. This interest eventually led to the development of the V-2, which caused a bit of consternation across the channel toward the end of WWII. When the Allies finally found their rocket testing sites, they discovered the A-9 A-10, a two-stage intercontinental missile, as yet untested.

The Germans were also within a few months of a workable atomic bomb!

That was kind of a narrow squeak!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 07:35 PM

Number one. Language.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 08:02 PM

Velcro.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: gnu
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 08:18 PM

Reading the posts above, a whole lot of comments came to mind. Then I read Kendall's post re number one.. "Language."

No comment.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: frogprince
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:12 PM

But...did the wheel come before language? I kinda doubt that. : )


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: frogprince
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:14 PM

Maybe Kendall is thinking of some of the language he's invented while working on antique "wheels" that he's owned.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Nov 13 - 09:23 PM

An awful lot of those actually pre-date the dates given. Sanitation systems existed in Rome and in Minoan Crete long before the 19th Century, and rocketry goes way, way back (unless liquid-fueled rockets are meant).

But for for the greatest good, I'd go for clean running water.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: eddie1
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 02:27 AM

The three greatest inventions since the wheel must be the second, third and perhaps, fourth wheel!
Eddie


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 02:57 AM

Wireless bodhrán microphones.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 04:19 AM

I believe it was Smithsonian magazine that ran a rather detailed "history of the wooden pencil" some time back. That should surely be included as a significant invention, although few now would know how to do anything with one.

The printing press is appropriately at the top of the list, but there's no mention of the typewriter that let eveyone sort of be his/her own "printer."

The sewing machine also was omitted, probably because the contributors think clothing "just happens" in a back room at WalMart(?). Without the sewing machine (and the feed sack) farmers in the central US would all have run around naked for several decades, so maybe they thought that's just a "social innovation" rather than an invention.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 07:02 AM

I might be wrong but I don't think anybody has mentioned iron and steel from the blast furnace.

I know we have had iron from the hittites a long time ago - but until the blast furnace and coal/coke nearly all iron was made on a small scale using charcoal and beaten into shape by the blacksmith.

The blast furnace led to loads of iron, melting, casting, forging and the Industrial Revolution


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST,saulgoldie
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 08:48 AM

Algebra, without which we could not quantify all the nice engineering stuff, or figure out many of the Car Guys' puzzlers. ("You can only do it if the answer is 'two.'")

And we absolutely cannot leave out the bicycle, which introduced rubber tires and chain drive which allowed automobiles, motorcycles, and airplanes to come into being.

And the bicycle of the late 70s is the best of all human engineering, period. A person on a bicycle uses less energy per distance than any other machine, or human or animal on Earth.

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 09:35 AM

But what was the best thing before sliced bread, Pete?


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 09:41 AM

Unsliced bread.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 10:28 AM

Anesthesia


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Fergie
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 03:36 PM

An Englishman, a Scots man and an Irishman were interviewed for a radio program. The compare posed the following question. "What do each of you think is the greatest achievement of mankind?"
The English chap suggest that it was the kidney transplant. When asked to justify his choice he replied that if it wasn't for the kidney transplant his wife would be dead.
The Scot suggest that the liver transplant was his choice, because if it wasn't for the liver transplant he himself would be dead.
The Irishman ponder for a moment and said "I've listened to my fellow contributors and I understand there reasoning, but I'd like to suggest that the greatest invention ever has got to be the Venetian blind". "Why do you consider the Venetian blind to be the greatest invention of all time?" asked the perplexed interviewer. "Well just think about it" replied the Irishman "If it wasn't for the Venetian blind, it would be................................................                                                                                                      







curtains for everybody"


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 05:36 PM

Surely the most important invention after the wheel has to be the brake?


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 06:15 PM

One might think some people believe that the horn is more important than the brake, although a few seem to believe it's "the finger" that really counts.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: kendall
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 06:53 PM

An Englishman, a Pole and a German were discussing which is the most important invention.
German. firearms
Englishman. boats
Pole. The thermos bottle.

German says, "What? the thermos" ? why do you say that.
Pole says, "The thermos keeps stuff cold, yes"?
"Yes"
"Or it keeps it hot, yes?"
"Yes"
Pole, "How does it know the difference"?

I'll get me hat.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 07:11 PM

long handled shovel


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 07:37 PM

Do you refer to the celtic spade? If so, I might well concur!


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 13 - 07:56 PM

Well Steve we call it a,oh never mind it's now Sunday ( catholic thing.8)


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 04:17 AM

Where i live now they used to use them to plaster reed walls and high ceilings.Fling it up then give it the back of the shovel.Leaving a lovely tidy finish,no mess.Never seen it done myself. some used to shape simple coving with them been told.Like to of seen em at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 04:36 AM

Yeah but these mad professor types who keep inventing things;

They tend to call a spade an earth inverting horticultural implement.

I've thought of another, even better than the pickled egg I offered earlier -

The peg winder.


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Subject: RE: BS: 50 Greatest Inventions Since the Wheel
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Nov 13 - 04:48 AM

Your pushing at an open door with me re the pickling.Wheelie bins is another, even though everyone hates them.


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