Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Trivia

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Secret Service codenames for the US Presidents

Harry S Truman
General or Supervise
Dwight Eisenhower
Scorecard or Providence
John F Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Pass Key
Jimmy Carter
Lock Master or Deacon
Ronald Reagan
George H W Bush
Bill Clinton
George W Bush
Tumbler, later Trailblazer
Barack Obama
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Celebrity Patents:

Kevin Costner holds the patent for a machine and process which filters oil out of seawater at oil spills. This is accomplished by what is called an Ocean Therapy Solution (OTS) oil separation turbine, which spins affected seawater to separate it from oil. BP ordered 32 of these devices after the Gukf oil spill.

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Zeppo Marx, the youngest of the Marx Brothers, invented a device for holding an A-bomb in place until released. Zeppo’s clamps held both A-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to end World War II. In 1969, Zeppo was part of a team that received a patent for a cardiac pulse rate monitor that was designed to let people with heart problems know if their pulse was shifting into a danger zone.

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In 1942 Hedy (not Hedley) Lamarr and composer George Antheil received a patent for a "secret communication system" that could use carrier waves of different frequencies to remotely control devices like zeppelins and torpedoes. The military used their invention extensively in World War II. It is this same technology, with minor modifications, that cell phones utilise today. Because a patent is only good for twenty years, Lamarr’s estate did not benefit financially from her invention, although the cell inventors did.

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Actor Gary Burghoff who played Radar on M*A*S*H invented a device he called "Chum Magic," a floating apparatus that fishermen can fill with chum to lure fish to their boats. He received a patent for the device in 1992.

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In the 1940s, Margaret Thatcher (later to be the PM of Great Britain) invented the first machine to produce soft-ice cream. Today, her invention is utilised at the local Dairy Queen and other ice cream parlours.

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In 1875 King Cakobau, the King of Fiji, and his retinue returned to Fiji after a state visit to Australia. Unfortunately they also brought with them measles, which swept through the populations of the Fijian islands. When the outbreak settled down, over 50,000 persons had died, between one third and one quarter of the population.  It gave rise to the concept of the “virgin soil epidemic”.

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