Sunday, July 05, 2009

another good idea! you better be careful your foot doesn't fall off

Nice little collection on MSN of anecdotes about inventors killed by their own inventions. Couple of particular note:
  • Thomas Midgley, jr., the man who, according to some, was ultimately responsible for more damage to the environment than any other single human. I know this because it was discussed on QI a while back.
  • The textbook use of the phrase "another partial success" in the bit about blood transfusions, as per Viz's chief science boffin Professor Piehead (see below).
  • The fact that the story of the bloke (Franz Reichelt) who attempted to parachute off the Eiffel Tower in 1912 in a particularly voluminous overcoat was captured on video (well, film, presumably) - and it's only on ruddy YouTube! Warning: this clip contains scenes of mild peril, and fatal plummeting (no, really). The French caption that precedes the main clip reads: "Comme s'il eut pressenti l'horrible sort qui l'attendait, le malheureux inventeur hesita longuement, avant de se lancer dans le vide." Which means something like "as if sensing the horrible end which awaited him, the unfortunate inventor hesitated at length before launching himself into the void."

Having good ideas can have serious and unforeseen consequences, as Nursie will tell you.


Emma said...

Love the overcoat bloke. What a game chap.

electrichalibut said...

I particularly enjoyed the bit right at the end of the clip where the collected gendarmerie were measuring the depth of the crater his shattered remains left in the ground. Always important to know these things.