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.
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:
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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?