Naked Science Forum

On the Lighter Side => Famous Scientists, Doctors and Inventors => Topic started by: Barry Buternowsky on 02/12/2009 18:55:21

Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Barry Buternowsky on 02/12/2009 18:55:21
I wonder who had the most inventions that we wish had never been invented.

Perhaps a good candidate is Thomas Midgley:
- CFCs
- leaded gasoline

Eventually strangled to death by his own invention.

Barry
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Chemistry4me on 02/12/2009 21:17:24
Who ever 'invented' MacDonalds!!
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 03/12/2009 09:19:45
Who ever 'invented' MacDonalds!!

I get the strangest idea that could have been a chap by the name of.......... MacDonald
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 03/12/2009 09:21:58
Perhaps Oppenheimer might be a good candidate.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Chemistry4me on 03/12/2009 09:50:28
Next thing you'll be telling me a McChicken burger has chicken in it!
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 03/12/2009 12:24:49
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbestsmileys.com%2Fthinking%2F5.gif&hash=006fb41e945c7d7d662f7b7cd06255f7)Chicken in a McChicken burger...... I wonder if McDonalds ever thought of that?

Nah! That idea is as daft as putting beef in a Big Mac.

Personally, I don't like big macs, I much prefer a small overcoat. (https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbestsmileys.com%2Fclueless%2F1.gif&hash=ba6e884e2ac18d739c0e89967c82862b)
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: geo driver on 03/12/2009 13:39:47
macdo's is up the in my most hated establishments.  did you no there are more macdonalds per head of population in france then any other placde in the world.... there everywhere
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 06/12/2009 02:58:53
I imagine the guillotine was up there as one of the more controversial.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Pumblechook on 28/07/2010 02:50:29
There are more MACs in the UK.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Bored chemist on 28/07/2010 07:12:50
The photo-chromic lightbulb.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Kerry on 28/07/2010 09:52:00
I've just written a piece on Midgley - although he's widely credited with inventing CFCs and TEL, he wasn't alone; Charles Kettering played a big role. And to be fair to Midgely, he was only doing as he was told!

What people don't realise is he did a lot of other work on rubber and vulcanisation, which he considered to be his best work.

He never knew of the damaged TEL and CFCs caused to the environment because - as pointed out - he did unfortunately strangle himself in a system of pulleys he created to help him get in and out of bed after contracting polio.

Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 28/07/2010 17:00:30
Lead in petrol is still causing problems. Chocolate has very high levels of lead because chocolate husks are uniquely capable of soaking it up, and they still use leaded petrol in the countries where it's produced.

Chocolate is actually significantly toxic because of this, you can get lead poisoning if you eat a lot of chocolate.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Bored chemist on 28/07/2010 20:43:32
Lead in petrol is still causing problems. Chocolate has very high levels of lead because chocolate husks are uniquely capable of soaking it up, and they still use leaded petrol in the countries where it's produced.

Chocolate is actually significantly toxic because of this, you can get lead poisoning if you eat a lot of chocolate.

And your evidence for this is...?
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: wolfekeeper on 28/07/2010 21:07:38
It's actually moderately well known:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_chocolate#Lead
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: sittingoverhere on 04/08/2010 06:01:08
Who ever 'invented' MacDonalds!!

I get the strangest idea that could have been a chap by the name of.......... MacDonald

The original restaurant idea was developed by the McDonald brothers but it was a little burger place in California. The monster it has become is due to Ray Kroc who opened the ninth "McDonald's" and bought out the brothers along with their patented "Speedee Service System" that replaced short order cooks with a assembly line of barely pubescent teens.

The wikipedia page covers it a little but otherwise there is a great book called Fast Food Nation that goes into the history of fast food. Interesting stuff.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: SeanB on 04/08/2010 20:21:42
McD, a place that serves cardboard food packed in cardboard ( they taste the same) guaranteed to taste the same no matter where in the world you are. Last time I ate there was 2000, changed to a locally owned chain , it just tastes better. Anyway, of the 4 outlets that opened here when McD came to S Africa, only 2 survive still. One serves the top end of the market and the other the bottom end - cheap food made fast and sold cheap, and a lot of targeted advertising to children to get them to buy it.

Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: childtexts71 on 29/06/2011 22:33:19
Who ever 'invented' MacDonalds!!
hahaha
I vote for tobacco.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Airthumbs on 30/06/2011 00:39:53
Come on folks, I think that this is an easy one!  It has to be either the Nuclear bomb or Guns!  Although the potential for a nuclear winter seems to have been looming over our heads for quite some time I suspect that guns are responsible for more unhappiness then any other artifact in human history therefore making them without doubt the worst invention ever.  Of course if your American then you probably sleep with them and have a little shrine in your gun cupboard that you worship from time to time!  [xx(]
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 30/06/2011 00:57:42
Perhaps Oppenheimer might be a good candidate.

Come on folks, I think that this is an easy one!  It has to be either the Nuclear bomb or Guns!

Whoever thunk up the idea that one could ever win an arms race?

Leonardo da Vinci was a most unique inventor, yet many of his ideas were far from being practical.

(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fartfiles.art.com%2F5%2Fp%2FLRG%2F14%2F1459%2FT5DQ000Z%2Fleonardo-da-vinci-flying-machine.jpg&hash=1a0c2180299372766fce494757fad6d8)
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Airthumbs on 30/06/2011 01:06:59
CliffordK, I have to say that this flying machine isn't that far off from a design of a modern day hang glider..

 [ Invalid Attachment ]



Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 30/06/2011 08:54:45
CliffordK, I have to say that this flying machine isn't that far off from a design of a modern day hang glider..

I think Leonardo's design was to flap the wings, and take off from the ground like a bird.  Your hang glider looks more like a buzzard condemned to take off from mountain tops.  But, having mimicked birds, Leonardo's wings do look surprisingly aerodynamic, and may create lift.

What about Leonardo's Screw Machine?
(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.leonardo.net%2Fp2.jpg&hash=180ff9022bc6a4bad03b180740ea29ba)
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 30/06/2011 10:51:02
Look, never mind all of these, we all know the answer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinclair_C5) to this question......
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Geezer on 30/06/2011 18:03:02
The Lartigue Monorail system would be hard to beat. Even more so because they even tried it in Ireland.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lartigue_Monorail

(You must read the bit about the transportation of a cow.)
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 05/07/2011 22:30:47
What about Antoine Louis & Tobias Schmidt  [xx(]

Oops, I see that was already taken by wolfekeeper.

How do you define an invention that the inventors are unwilling to test themselves?
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 05/07/2011 22:43:09
What about Bull Durham (company), and the invention of prepackaged cigarettes.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CZARCAR on 05/07/2011 23:26:04
go ask rube goldberg or god
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Airthumbs on 05/07/2011 23:53:08
I think I found a pretty bad invention, I am going to provide the link to the advert for it here, in a way this could be classed as spam but you would have to be pretty stupid to buy one!  I just checked the website given in the youtube advert and you will be pleased to know that even if you did want to buy one you will not be able to as they went under so to speak a long time ago, lol.

It is called the comfort wipe.  I thought it was a hoax at first but apparently it is a real product.


I watched this advert in utter amazement that someone out there actually paid to get this thing developed and then paid for the advertising.  As inventions go I would have to say it is pretty bad but what makes it worse is the trouble they went too to promote it. 
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Kryptid on 06/07/2011 01:24:51
Perpetual motion machines and reactionless engines are some of the worst since they don't work.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Geezer on 06/07/2011 01:31:40

It is called the comfort wipe. 


Ye gods! "Extends your reach a full eighteen inches."

Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Airthumbs on 06/07/2011 02:10:22
Ye gods! "Extends your reach a full eighteen inches."

That is the part that made me chuckle. Absolutely ridiculous!  [:0]
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 09/07/2011 23:30:45
About this time of year, farmers across the Northern Hemisphere are found standing around in circles cursing the very existence of knotters.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: tombyers on 10/07/2011 22:14:19
My least favorite invention is the price tag that takes forever to remove. The same idiot probably invented the glued-tight advertisement stickers that also take forever to remove. I will never buy Rubbermaid again because the outside of the container was just covered with propaganda about how wonderful the product is. Half an hour of peeling and soaking failed to remove all the leftover glue.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 11/07/2011 01:12:23
Pot Metal
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 11/07/2011 14:01:01
My least favorite invention is the price tag that takes forever to remove. The same idiot probably invented the glued-tight advertisement stickers that also take forever to remove. I will never buy Rubbermaid again because the outside of the container was just covered with propaganda about how wonderful the product is. Half an hour of peeling and soaking failed to remove all the leftover glue.

Geeze, you had me worried there for a min! I'll not tell you the kinky pictures which went through my mind.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: SeanB on 11/07/2011 19:42:28
On that vein I will put forward that clamshell plastic wrapping that is impossible to open without either a knife or without cutting yourself.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Geezer on 12/07/2011 03:17:29
On that vein I will put forward that clamshell plastic wrapping that is impossible to open without either a knife or without cutting yourself.

Somebody invented a special tool for opening those things. Comes in a plastic clamshell package.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 25/07/2011 20:04:09
What about Charlemagne & King Offa of Mercia, and the invention of the most complicated monetary system imaginable.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 26/07/2011 09:52:51
What about Charlemagne & King Offa of Mercia, and the invention of the most complicated monetary system imaginable.

Ah yes! The king made an offa Charlemagne couldn't refuse.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Bored chemist on 26/07/2011 18:57:35
The curried tuna I once made could count as an all time bad invention.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 27/07/2011 08:21:41
For an anniversary gift, a few years ago, we were given a smoothy maker. 'Great', thought I, I love smoothies and now I can make my own, with the fruits I like the most, raspberries, loganberries, gooseberries and so on and so forth.

At the time 1ltr of a popular brand of smoothy cost around £1.50 from most supermarkets. I now discovered, to my horror, that the cost of sufficient fruit to make around ½ltr of smoothy was coming in at around £5. Needless to say, the smoothy maker has been consigned to the back of that kitchen cupboard where similar useless stuff is stored until the day it is either flogged in a boot sale or heaved in the bin.

What reminded me of this was BC's curried tuna. I do, all too clearly, recall making a smoothy from cucumber, which I find a very refreshing salad ingredient and is, after all a fruit. I don't think I have tasted anything so vile in my entire life.(https://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.freesmileys.org%2Fsmileys%2Fsmiley-sick029.gif&hash=fd400235e869ddd58950723ef01f44c2) (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)

I'll add smoothy makers to the list of bad inventions.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: imatfaal on 27/07/2011 10:29:58
I am now gonna have to try a cucumber smoothy - just for the hell of it!

BTW - has anyone seen gooseberries for sale recently, I love them but just cannot seem to buy any
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Geezer on 27/07/2011 18:10:22
BTW - has anyone seen gooseberries for sale recently, I love them but just cannot seem to buy any

EEC banned 'em. Insufficient goose content [::)]

Nobody in these parts has even heard of them. I'd grow my own, but I think the dang deer would snarf the lot.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: imatfaal on 27/07/2011 18:55:17
In my part of the world it's the damn blackbirds  (aside from eurocrats) - I should invest in some nets and try again
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 28/07/2011 03:48:15
How would you rank a single invention that is the cause of about 1.2 million fatalities per year globally?
With about 30% of the fatalities affecting those under 25.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 28/07/2011 08:39:06
I presume you are refering to Mr Benz.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 29/07/2011 03:44:15
I presume you are referring to Mr Benz.
Well, here in the USA, we prefer to attribute it to Henry Ford...  Certainly Henry Ford did not invent the car.  He just figured out how to make a lot of them.
Title: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Bored chemist on 29/07/2011 17:54:47
Whoever invented beer has a lot to answer for in terms of deaths, but I prefer to think of it as a necessary evil.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: widereader on 21/12/2011 12:53:48
Although it was the Manhattan project that brought about the realization of the atomic bomb, it was Albert Einstein who was responsible for its development.  I believe this is one of the worst inventions that can cause destruction to humanity.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Don_1 on 21/12/2011 16:33:25
A further addition from the mind of a looney.

Child proof caps.

They may be very good at preventing children from accessing undesirable substances, but 'er indoors can never seem to open them. She’s forever bugging me to do it for her, or insists that I don’t close the lid/cap properly so she can open it next time.

Now you may think maybe she has weak appendages’, but I can categorically state that when she is throttling the life out of me (a common pastime of her's), she don't seem too weak to me!
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: CliffordK on 21/12/2011 17:15:03
Child proof caps.

 'er indoors can never seem to open them.
You need some kids around to help you get them open.

They can be very ingenious about getting things like that open.

Here in the USA, if you don't have young kids around, you can now request that prescription meds be put in easy-open containers.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: ProjectSailor on 14/09/2015 13:52:07
Which ever caveman first wrote an IOU note has a lot to answer for in my books.. and maybe the guy who thought there was only one god.. he caused a fair old amount of trouble..

Recently? Well Isaac Newton discovered something which weighed heavily on peoples shoulders and kept good men down.
can't say thats an invention though, calculus is just maths.


Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Ethos_ on 03/12/2015 21:53:51
Credit Cards...., because spending money to spend money is counter productive.
Make Up........., because you're not getting what you thought you were getting.
New President., because it's not new, just the same old same ole.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: syhprum on 03/01/2017 10:03:04
Where I worked in EC1 there was a plaque on the wall praising the inventor of the Gatling gun
something we could probably have done without.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: syhprum on 23/02/2017 12:51:43
Don't blame Einstein for atom bombs the idea of the conversion of mass to energy was around long before his time he only gave it formal expression
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Bored chemist on 25/02/2017 12:08:09
A couple of contenders (take your pick)
God or
The serpent in the garden of Eden (as invented by God)
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: alancalverd on 25/02/2017 23:35:52
I think the bloke who invented god has a lot to answer for.  Except that he will say that god is the answer.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: timey on 26/02/2017 00:46:38
Edward Bernays's invention of the concept of utilising phycology in public relations and propoganda!
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: syhprum on 26/02/2017 15:18:14
Packaging meant to make the contents safe that is so difficult to get of that you damage the contents opening it.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: timey on 26/02/2017 15:26:20
Packaging meant to make the contents safe that is so difficult to get of that you damage the contents opening it.

I'm relieved to hear that it's not just me!  Those packaging's make me feel inadequate.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: evan_au on 27/02/2017 20:26:03
The worst for whom?

I vote for "Agriculture".
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: syhprum on 21/03/2017 19:41:24
Although they are worrying things to have around nuclear bombs have not killed many people as weapons go, the worst damage they cause is that they deter the building of nuclear power stations with the result that power is still generated from coal that results in a large number of deaths from pollution and causes climate change from CO2 emissions.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Tomassci on 28/05/2017 06:49:17
Atomic bomb. Oppemheimer said "it was death, world destroyer"
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Hayseed on 25/09/2019 06:49:06
I think the worst invention is something nasty that can reproduce/replicate, then mutate without losing the nasty.  If one gets loose, we're in trouble.
Title: Re: Who's inventions were the worst?
Post by: Bored chemist on 25/09/2019 20:35:58
I think the worst invention is something nasty that can reproduce/replicate, then mutate without losing the nasty.  If one gets loose, we're in trouble.
From the point of view of many species on Earth, that's us.