The third Moscow zombie parade 2010.
History books will often lead you to believe that the world’s great inventions and discoveries were the work of a single person with a flash of genius, but the reality is rarely that simple. In most cases, it was only after years of work and input from countless inventors that something was finally created. Still, there are plenty of instances where the rush to ascribe credit for a particular discovery led to large scale controversy, and it wasn’t unusual for these arguments to take on personal and often illegal turns. Here are ten of the most famous examples:
Early windshield wipers had only one speed, and this made them distracting and even dangerous in certain conditions. The intermittent windshield wiper solved this problem by letting drivers adjust the speed of their wiper blades, allowing for lag time and slower action when driving in light rain. American inventor Robert Kearns filed a patent for the intermittent wiper in 1964. He shopped his new invention around to the “Big Three” auto manufacturers, but he had no luck getting them to license it as a product. A few years later, though, a form of intermittent wiper nearly identical to Kearns’s prototype began appearing as a standard feature on most of their cars. Kearns sued Ford for patent infringement in 1978, and took Chrysler to court four years later. The companies argued that the intermittent wiper was obvious and had no new components, and therefore didn’t meet the standards of being a novel, patentable invention. Kearns disagreed, and would eventually spend nearly 15 years and over $10 million in legal fees in his fight to be compensated. Continue reading
1. An adult mosquito can live as long as 5 months. It may take several months for a larva to develop to the adult stage in cold water. Eggs of floodwater mosquitoes may remain dormant for several years, and hatch when they are covered with water.
2. An adult female mosquito weighs only about 1/15,000 ounce (about 2.0 milligrams).
3. An adult female mosquito consumes about 4-millionths of a liter in a single blood meal.
5. A mosquito wing beats from 300 to 600 times per second. Continue reading