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weird cool inventions, miba museum, barcelona, invention museum, spain (9)

The coolest and weirdest inventions ever made

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This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

miBa museum, Barcelona

You know what they say: ‘necessity is the mother of all invention’. I guess that explains the cushion that has been made into a television remote control so you can never lose it.

In Barcelona, the miBa Museum is the ultimate collection of the strangest and coolest inventions ever created. They’re the kind of items you would never have thought of but, when you see them, wonder how it hadn’t been obvious all along that you needed one.

The museum was started by a Spaniard called Pep Torres who is himself an inventor. The aim is to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship… and he hopes the exhibitions will instil people with a desire to go and invent.

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My thoughts: well, having seen some of the things on display, I wonder whether some of these aspiring inventors should stick with their day jobs. There are some fun ideas here but I’m not sure if the world needs more things to buy and clutter up our lives with. Still, it’s an enjoyable place to spend an hour or so exploring the deep crevices of the human mind from whence these creations came.

Here, for your perusal, are some of the weirdest and wackiest inventions at the miBa Museum in Barcelona:

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The problem with umbrellas is that they only seem to care about the top half of your body. What happens to your shoes – especially if there are puddles? Well, that’s where the ‘shuellas’ come in. They’re essentially umbrellas for your feet. Creator Rebecca Miller made them because she wanted something functional and fashionable. You can be the judge of whether she achieved both her aims.

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You know that annoying moment when you lie down to watch television, put your head on a pillow, and then realise you can’t hear properly because your ear is covered up? Well – here’s the solution. You can rest your weary head and the sound from the box will still come right through the holes and into your ear. Now, if only someone could invent something to stop you hearing the terrible performances on X Factor!

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If you tell me you’ve never needed this, then I’ll be reaching for the lie-detector invention nearby instead. It’s a phone fitted with a breath-tester. If you blow over a certain alcohol limit then it won’t turn on and you won’t be able to make those drunken phone calls that you always regret in the morning. The one thing that would make it better is an override button for calling the pizza delivery man!

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Here is the solution for anyone who gets annoyed at having to reach a whole metre or so for the peg basket when they’re hanging out the washing. The pegs are quite literally at hand when you need them, making it much easier to get your clothes on the line. In other news, they’ve invented something else that makes it even easier – it’s called the dry cleaners.

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Ok, it may be your right to not wash your hands after using the toilet – you don’t live in North Korea (I assume, because you’re reading this on the internet) – but that doesn’t mean other people should suffer for your choice. That’s why this nifty invention means people who wash their hands can use a clean doorknob and those with dirty hands can all spread the germs amongst themselves.

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Hmmm… I feel like I’ve seen this invention before. Oh yes, that’s right, in the episode of The Simpsons when Homer decides to be an inventor. Although Homer J Simpson is not credited here as the original creator (nobody is, for some reason), I feel like he deserves the credit. A chair that can never tip over – surely it’s the thing only an overweight cartoon American would think of.

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No, these are not socks for prisoners. In fact, it’s the socks which are essentially in prison. Sick of losing one sock here and one sock there, this inventor gave each pair a distinct serial code. Now, when you’re doing the laundry you can match them up perfectly and work out if anything has been left in the machine or dropped on the way to the washing line. In other news, OCD sufferers can now buy sequentially-numbered cornflakes to make sure they eat every single bit!

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For those of you who are always losing the television remote, comes the remote cushion! There’s no way you can misplace this thing down the side of the couch – and it makes switching channels and changing the volume easier than ever. Just make sure you don’t sit on it and let your butt decide what you’re going to watch for the evening.

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This little guy is called ‘Tocky’ and he’s designed to get you up in the morning. He’s more than just an alarm – he will also roll around your bedroom so you have to get out of bed and chase him down to turn it off. If you can’t stay up after doing all of that, you’ve got to cut down on the red wine before bed (which is, admittedly, quite difficult here in Spain).

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And, finally, after all of this invention-browsing, I bet you feel like a cup of tea and a biscuit. Why use a plate for the biscuits? Why run the risk of putting them down somewhere and not finding them again? Oh no – you can use the ‘Biscuit Mug’ invented by Dominic Skinner to make life much easier and more relaxing.

And isn’t that supposed to be the point of all good inventions?

* For more information, you can head to the miBa Museum website.

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of Catalunya Tourism and Erik Vokel Boutique Apartments but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

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30 Comments
  • Lane | Nov 7, 2012 at 1:08 am

    No invention to prevent drunken texting? I should get right on this problem.
    Lane recently posted..Boulder Festival GuideMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Ha – you could make a fortune! What about drunk tweeting – I know a few celebrities who might need that?

  • Laurence | Nov 7, 2012 at 3:48 am

    I need a biscuit mug in my life!
    Laurence recently posted..Travel – it’s all about the peopleMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:14 am

      How much easier would it make every day? I knew you, as a Brit, would appreciate this! :)

  • Cathy Sweeney | Nov 7, 2012 at 4:30 am

    This will be a must-see on my next trip to Barcelona. It makes sense that such a museum would be there considering the city is quite of its design culture. Fun inventions. I rather like the biscuit mug. :)
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Barcelona’s Block of DiscordMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Yeah, there is so much cool design stuff in Barcelona. The art and the architecture makes it a really interesting city to explore.

  • D.J. - The World of Deej | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

    The anti-drunk dial phone literally had me laughing out loud…
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Hard Rock Cafe – My Travel Guilty PleasureMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

      LOL – yeah, it’s such a good idea. I don’t think I can imagine anyone actually carrying it around though ;)

  • T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    LOL I love the breathalyzer on the cell phone :) Drunken phone calls to ex = off limits!
    T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries recently posted..Comment on Bulgaria – Beyond the Cold War and Mafia Hype by T.W. AndersonMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Just think of all the times any one of us would’ve needed that!! :)

  • Stephanie - The Travel Chica | Nov 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I love stuff like this.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Italian Flavors and Ohio Ingredients in a German VillageMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      It’s interesting to see what the human mind can come up with. I always have ideas for ‘inventions’ but they’re nothing as cool as this!

  • Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey | Nov 11, 2012 at 2:51 am

    You know what? I think I do actually need that biscuit mug…
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Happy Parkiversary – Badlands National Park, South DakotaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      Ha ha… doesn’t it just look like it will make everything better! :)

  • Mary @ Green Global Travel | Nov 14, 2012 at 4:24 am

    The roll up rain boots are brilliant! I can’t understand why they weren’t a hit.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..JORDAN Photo Gallery– Wadi Rum Desert Camping & Camel TrekkingMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

      I’m sure we could arrange to get you a pair, if you really need them!! :)

  • Bianca - nomadbiba | Nov 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I think I need a pair of shuellas in my life! I think they’d look pretty in red :)

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 15, 2012 at 10:28 am

      Red would be awesome. I can imagine you in a pair!!! :)

  • Raymond @ Man On The Lam | Nov 16, 2012 at 7:01 am

    I love that dual door-knob. :)

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 18, 2012 at 12:36 am

      It’s actually a very hygienic idea – and could save a lot of people from getting sick!

  • Matthew Karsten | Nov 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Must. Buy. Them. All.

    :)
    Matthew Karsten recently posted..This is South Africa [PHOTO ESSAY]My Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 18, 2012 at 12:42 am

      They really would make our lives better, wouldn’t they?

  • Elmer Cruz | Nov 20, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Silly inventions that inspire great ones. Love the post!
    Elmer Cruz recently posted..Toilets of the World – My Adventures “Going” OverseasMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

      True, I’m sure the best inventions had something before them that wasn’t quite good enough. Perhaps even silly, like some of these.

  • Andrew | Nov 25, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Silly perhaps, but the surge of invention in the modern world seems to have changed. And we definitely need this kind of thought. Especially if most of them are silly.
    Andrew recently posted..4 Beautiful KnockersMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm

      Sometimes it’s the silliest ideas that have led to the most important inventions of our time! (I assume… I can’t actually think of an example off the top of my head…)

  • jill | Dec 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I want that biscuit holding mug!! I have a weakness for these quirky and random museums. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
    jill recently posted..Scenes from the Amazing Valley of FireMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

      That biscuit mug seems to have been very popular. Perhaps someone should start selling them… they could make a fortune!

  • Sherry | Dec 8, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Crazy stuff. But an interesting read. I really think that the cell phone breathalyzer is a good thing to have. My mouth is always getting me in trouble, I can’t imagine how bad it can get if I was ever drunk.
    Sherry recently posted..Canyon Deep in RondaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 11, 2012 at 1:01 am

      They’re going to need one soon to stop people using twitter and facebook when they’re drunk!

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