Paul Fenwick

Perl Training Australia

The World's Worst Inventions
25 minutes, 11.5mb, recorded 2010-07-23
Paul Fenwick

Paul Fenwick's cautionary tale about bad inventions is a humorous talk on how things can go terribly wrong if inventors screw up because they didn't carefully think their way through the development and marketing of new inventions. Paul discusses asthma cigarettes, cocaine toothache drops for children, the Tempest Prognosticator, the use of leeches, and blood fuel devices as examples of poorly thought out inventions.

In the field of bad inventions, toys take center stage, as Paul explores Cabbage Patch "snack time kid" and the unintended consequences produced by this poorly thought out toy. Various forms of melty beads are looked at. Hear tales of the Atomic Energy Lab, which contained uranium ore and a comic book on how to split the atom.

Non-toy inventions such as a fire alarm trap to catch pranksters, a fresh air breathing device in case of smoke, as well as the 20 million dollar "acoustic kitty", all terible inventions based on good ideas. He wraps up with his talk on terrible inventions with his own invention that helps people to be more productive while driving their cars.

Paul Fenwick is the managing director of Perl Training Australia, and has been teaching computer science for over a decade. He is an internationally acclaimed presenter at conferences and user-groups worldwide, where he is well-known for his humour and off-beat topics. Paul is the author of Perl’s autodie pragma.

In his spare time, Paul’s interests include security, mycology, cycling, coffee, scuba diving, dressing like a pirate, and lexically-scoped user pragmata.


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