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…Toilet Landing Lights, Cranium Cooler, Bino Cap, Diaper Alarm…

While combing the files of the U.S. Patent Office, doing research for his own wacky creation, author and inventor Ted VanCleave uncovered a treasure trove of goofy inventions-from the cow gas gauge to the diaper alarm.

The result of his painstaking research inside the archives of American genius is TOTALLY ABSURD INVENTIONS: AMERICA'S GOOFIEST PATENTS (Andrews McMeel Publishing, June 2001, $8.95). VanCleave’s book contains descriptions and illustrations of over 100 humorous inventions-including the dieter's Alarm Fork, the beer drinker's Key Head, and the dog lover's Ear Tubes. Most amazing of all, each one of the inventions listed in the book has been issued a genuine United States patent.

As VanCleave writes in his introduction to TOTALLY ABSURD INVENTIONS, "the United States patent process is a long and tricky one, filled with exacting rules, attorneys, revisions and rejections. U.S. patents can often take over two years to process and cost more than $2,500. An inventor will spend his time and money pursuing a patent with absolutely no guarantee of success. And if one is indeed awarded a patent, he shouldn't expect the world to beat a path to his door. Only about 3 percent of all U.S. patents become commercially available, viable products. The rest reside in the vast U.S. Patent Repository, collecting dust but serving as a permanent record of genius as recognized by the United States government."

TOTALLY ABSURD INVENTIONS is a tribute to the persistence and creativity of those who dream up some of this country's craziest gizmos and gadgets. Of the 150,000 patents issued each year, VanCleave explains that only about 150 of them are wacky enough to be considered "totally absurd." He reviewed thousands of pages of U.S. patents before stumbling across such gems as:

· Toilet Landing Lights - which cast a mystical glow to the throne while keeping you from blinding yourself, poking around in darkness, or falling in the middle of the night.

· Motorized Ice Cream Cone - which spins, rotates, vibrates, and agitates, thereby eliminating the need to turn the cone and lick furiously.

· Cranium Cooler - which converts solar energy into a convenient forehead body cooler.

· Bino Cap - erases the chore of having to hold up binoculars, allowing you see up close and personal for hours at a time.

Throughout TOTALLY ABSURD INVENTIONS, VanCleave provides a detailed patent illustration and a lively description of some of the weirdest inventions on our planet to-date.

About Ted VanCleave

Ted VanCleave is himself an inventor of the weird. He launched his award-winning Web site ( in 1997 after conducting patent research for his own wacky invention, Inflatable Greeting Cards. Ted's research uncovered similarly fascinating inventions, which he's shared with more than three million people who have visited his site. His site has been named USA Today's Site of the Week and has attracted the attention of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Ted lives in California and is available for interviews.

TOTALLY ABSURD INVENTIONS America's Goofiest Patents By Ted VanCleave
ISBN: 0-7407-1025-7 • Price: $ 8.95 ($13.50 Canada) • Paperback, 5 1/2 x 5 1/2, 144 pages • Publication Date: June 2001

…Bulletproof Buttocks,  Ski Fan, Face Flexor,  Foot Elevator,  Sleep Sponge,  Flood Bag…





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