Q: Is it true that a former president wanted to close the patent office, claiming everything had already been invented?

A: Although we find the statement patently absurd, it sure does pop up everywhere. But it appears to be yet another legend.

The story that's most often told is that in 1899 the head of the U.S. Patent Office sent his resignation to President McKinley urging the closing of the office because "everything that could be invented has been invented." It's been told and retold so often that even President Reagan used it in a speech.

The "quote" is often attributed to Charles H. Duell, who was Commissioner of Patents in 1899. However, according to The Great Idea Finder, Duell was far from pessimistic about the future of new inventions and patents. He even encouraged Congress to improve the patent system.

My Comment: This page http://www.uspto.gov/go/taf/issuyear.htm says that in 1899, 24,000+ patents were issued. Hardly indicating that everything had been invented.

This is the third month in a row that the Chinese have bought more cars than the Americans.

The cowboy boot is the perfect example of 'form follows function'.
Think about it: why does the 'ultimate' in macho images wear high-heeled, pointy shoes?
1) When you want to put your shoe in the stirrup, you don't want to have to worry about fit - a pointy shoe goes into a stirrup easier than a blunt shoe.
2) When you are working in the saddle, the worst thing that could happen is that your foot slips through the stirrup and unbalances you leading to falling out of the saddle which spooks the horse and he drags you to death across a field of cactus.

The boot is pointy to make it easier to get into the saddle and heel is designed so that it can not possibly slip through the stirrup:
Form Follows Function.

(it is also easier to kill cockroaches in corners with pointy boots).

The University of Miami was rated as the top party school in the United States. (Playboy Magazine April17, 2009)

Pennsylvania used to be part of Connecticut.

The Census Bureau can not hire anyone in law enforcement for any position - it would be a conflict as LE officers are sworn to enforce all laws even on their time off, whereas the Census Bureau can not use the data it collects for anything but the census and all personally identifiable information is not release for 72 years.

As of today Daniweb has 522,642 members, and I have 663 posts. Who is evil enough to be #666?

As of today Daniweb has 522,642 members, and I have 663 posts. Who is evil enough to be #666?

Been there, done that, forgot to get the t-shirt; just make it memorable because it is quite transitory.

Odd bits:
The ear wax of many Asians is dry and tan to golden as opposed to others' that are waxy and sort of orangery.

Approximately 50% of the population can smell Asparagus by-products in urine - if you do not know what I mean, you are on the other side of the 50%.

Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.

What positive integer is equal to its own Scrabble score when spelled out?

12: T,E, & L = one point
W & V = four points

Compliments of "Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities"

Bones are an active organ; the way they prevent breakage is by fracturing - really tiny fractures called micro-fractures. The repairs strengthen the bone against similar fractures in the future; this, combined with electrical fields produced by piezoelectric compression voltages, is how your body adjusts to daily living. Fully 40% of your daily caloric intake is used to support this wonderful organ - your skeleton. It is also where your new blood comes from.

Odd bits:
The ear wax of many Asians is dry and tan to golden as opposed to others' that are waxy and sort of orangery.

Approximately 50% of the population can smell Asparagus by-products in urine - if you do not know what I mean, you are on the other side of the 50%.

How is this even possible? Some clever piece of DNA that splits itself between 50% of the population?! What does Asparagus even smell like?!

This is one of those odd things - there is probably no genetic pressure that selects for being able to smell the by-product compounds of asparagus is probably just one of those things. It turns out that only 23% can smell it

It is said that in a venerable British men's club there is a sign reading "DURING THE ASPARAGUS SEASON MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO RELIEVE THEMSELVES IN THE HATSTAND."

It has been established that the aroma was in fact caused by several S-methyl thioesters, specifically S-methyl thioacrylate and S-methyl 3-(methylthio)thiopropionate.

t was originally thought this was because some of the population digested asparagus differently than others, so that some people excreted odorous urine after eating asparagus, and others did not. However, in the 1980s three studies from France,[28] China and Israel published results showing that producing odorous urine from asparagus was a universal human characteristic. The Israeli study found that from their 307 subjects all of those who could smell 'asparagus urine' could detect it in the urine of anyone who had eaten asparagus, even if the person who produced it could not detect it himself.[29] Thus, it is now believed that most people produce the odorous compounds after eating asparagus, but only about 22% of the population have the autosomal genes required to smell them.[

Autosomal genes are genes found on one of the 22 pairs of non-sex chromosomes

It takes the average person seven minutes to fall asleep.
I can do it faster in front of the TV set!

Beer was the national drink of ancient Egypt. The pharoahs even appointed a "royal chief beer inspector" to protect its quality.

I don't think there is such a person in the US.

I didn't know that!

The information superhighway has no rest stops available.

Ummm well my isp seems to have provided plenty of rest stops on my connection.

Ummm well my isp seems to have provided plenty of rest stops on my connection.

You should go over there and use them.

Beer was the national drink of ancient Egypt. The pharoahs even appointed a "royal chief beer inspector" to protect its quality.

I don't think there is such a person in the US.

Well each brewery does employ their own Brew Master that checks the brew on a daily basis, and ensures the quality.

Germans have 'Purity Laws' wrt their beer; one story I heard about how beer was tested was that 6 bergers would pour beer onto a bench then sit on the bench in their lederhausen and drink a bunch a tankards. They would then all stand at once and if the bench lifted with them - the beer passed (how they all got into the toilet with a bench stuck to their butts is way beyond me).

Well each brewery does employ their own Brew Master that checks the brew on a daily basis, and ensures the quality.

I have tasted too much beer that was so bad, that it makes you wonder what the qualifications for such a Brew Master are.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints or quarts. So when customers got unruly, the bartender used to yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. Hence the phrase "mind your own P's and Q's".

The Bearded Person Contest was held in Alaska this year and was won by an American for the first time!
No, it was not Miss Alaska!

The elephant is the only mammal that is not able to jump.

A healthy adult has over 1000 different bacteria colony types living in and on their body.

It takes the average person seven minutes to fall asleep.

I guess I'm not an average person then, it takes me at least half an hour to fall asleep, usually longer. How would they find out that average anyway? It seems like it's a difficult one to accurately measure.

commented: Brain activity :P +0

Did you know that the tongue of a giraffe can be as long as 45 cm?

The average swimming pool in Phoenix, Arizona, picks up 20 pounds of dust a year.

Monarch butterflies are rather poisonous. Don't eat them!

A elephant poops about 40 kg in one day.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous line in The Terminator 'I'll be back' was originally scripted as 'I'll come back'.