10 Worst Ideas and Inventions of 2008
Los Angeles, California January 15, 2009 -- As the saying goes, "for every good idea there are dozens of bad ideas." Rather than sort through the dozens of bad ideas and horrible inventions released onto the unwary public this year, the Avant News Consumer Advisory Committee along with the Avant News Public Awareness Department put together the following list of the 10 Worst Ideas and Inventions of 2008:
Warnings have abounded for years that women using tampons should change them every 4-8 hours or face the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Apple decided to help women avoid TSS by working in conjunction with Tampax to produce the Apple TamPlayer. The TamPlayer, not to be confused with Apple's highly successful TamPod, contains 125kb hard drive with 5 watt speaker built in that clips to the string of a tampon. The TamPlayer plays a song every 4 hours or when the patent-pending "flow sensor" determines the tampon is full. Preselected songs for the TamPlayer may be downloaded at iTunes and include, amongst others: 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' by U2, 'Even Flow' by Pearl Jam, 'Full Up' by Manu Dibango and 'Time for Change' by Soul II Soul. Unfortunately for Apple, female consumers have shunned the device as it appears women would rather not announce to the world, via a speaker in their crotch, that their tampon is full.
The dusty package of the Cork Unscrew notes the following: "Everybody knows the principle of 'righty-tighty, lefty-loosey' so why would you want to tighten the cork since you actually want to loosen the cork." The concept of re-directioning everyday products is not new and while this one actually does work, it becomes quite difficult to use after a couple bottles of wine. It is worth mentioning that the Cork Unscrew is not nearly as bad as the reverse screw lightbulb released in 1978. To this day nobody knows if it actually worked since nobody could get the bulb to screw into their light socket.
Nerf Jai-Alai Set
While it is nice to see Nerf, a division of Hasbro, expand their line of offerings outside the popular sports of football, soccer and basketball, Jai-Alai is not the first choice many would have predicted. The very idea of children using an odd-shaped wicker caster to hurl a surprisingly hard little Nerf ball at a velocity of up to 160 mph against the garage door only to chase it down the driveway, across the street, up the neighbor's driveway and into the neighbor's backyard does not seem very appealing (and as the neighbor of that kid across the street who does this, it is even less appealing). The flagging sales of the Nerf Jai-Alai Set indicate that Nerf dropped the ball on this one.
Picture in Picture (PiP) has been around sometime now and has been wholeheartedly embraced by entertainment loving couch potatoes the world over. Just why the engineers at Sony thought it was a good idea to add an additional picture level to the mix is still up for debate as the Picture in Picture in Picture (PiPiP) has failed to catch on at all. Normally within the TV's PiP feature one program is displayed on the entire TV screen, and another program (or programs) is displayed in individual smaller squares on the screen. Sony's addition to the clutter is even smaller squares inside the smaller PiP squares. Even if it were useful for something it is nearly impossible to see anything on the jumbled screen and you might as well just listen to the radio.
Halliburton War Prize
According to a leaked memo from Halliburton this prize was created as a counter balance to the Nobel Peace Prize and intended to, "recognize those individuals and/or organizations that provide for change in the world and thereby give contractors the contracts to oversee this change". While most people and governments are not entirely convinced that despotic rulers, terrorists and rogue regimes need to be given recognition for the atrocities they have committed, it was a typical Halliburtonesque maneuver to bill the recipient (the inaugural recipient was none other than Saddam Hussein) for $1 million dollars rather than to award it to them.
NFL Wednesday Morning Football
In an effort to improve its ratings with stay-at-home moms, the NFL launched Wednesday Morning Football on both the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. Cancelled after a 4 week debacle and a horrendous Nielsen Rating, the odds were stacked against the NFL from the outset for the following reasons: 1) NFL players didn't really perform well in the mornings; 2) Douche and tampon commercials are not as entertaining as beer commercials; and 3) Football got team-tackled by 'Live with Regis and Kelly' and sacked by the 'The View.'
Nokia Mobile Smelephone
For those of you tired of ringtones and in search of something a bit more intrusive, Nokia's Mobile Smelephone 1134 series is right up your olfactory alley. These phones release an aroma rather than a ring when an incoming call is received. While the available fragrances currently available sound pleasant enough (strawberry, citrus, mountain rain, meadow dew, discarded stem cells and urban blight) the smell can be sometimes overpowering and if the phone is within 2 feet of the person's eyes when an incoming call is received the eyes will temporarily burn, water and swell. Smells like a dud.
Bank Scam Matchmaking
The makers of the now defunct website AfricanMillionsMatchmaking.com thought it might be a good idea to match all of those heirs and family members of deposed or dead African leaders and corrupt African bank managers with people willing to help them transfer their hundreds of millions of dollars to a secure account in the U.S. and Europe. Unfortunately the idea was too little too late as nearly everybody that would have fallen for the scam had already fallen for it via email. On the plus side, the site was a very user friendly site and remarkably polite.
One Leg Barstools
Designed by IKEA in conjunction with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the one leg barstool was meant to be a tool which bar owners could use to identify those people who had too much to drink. While their hearts were in the right place, this idea never took off as the balancing that was necessary to sit on these stools made everyone appear to be drunk and many injuries resulted, especially amongst the designated drivers sipping sodas at the bar and lacking that drunken "looseness" to endure falls.
Iraq Victory Memorial
In an obvious ploy to build his legacy, President Bush forced Congress to fund his pet project during the waning months of his unpopular presidency. Bush's Iraq Victory Memorial comes at a time when insurgents control 80% of Iraq, including Baghdad, and the U.S. military has suffered enough losses over the years that they were recently forced to call in the Boy Scouts for help. Undaunted by the state of the situation in Iraq, the President unveiled his tribute to the eventual "victory" in Iraq with a 30 foot high bronze statue of himself in a flightsuit holding a helmet whilst standing on a marble pedestal with the words "Mission Accomplished" emblazoned across the top with plans for the names of the U.S. military casualties to be etched on all sides (up to 5,378 soldiers including yesterday's fatalities). As President Bush noted on December 8, 2008 at the unveiling ceremony of the Iraq Victory Memorial, "Some people have said that hurt duck Presidents can't do anything, but I have set a new standard with statue for future Presidents to say to themselves, 'I may be a hurt duck, but I don't need to act like an injured goose or lame sparrow or whatever'."
By Raoul Thibodeaux, Avant News Staff Writer
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