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The Japanese art of Chindogu (etc).

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Inventors are by definition, different.

If they thought just the same as everyone else, they'd never come up with the ideas they do. Thinking "outside the square" is what it's all about.

Little wonder then that this is how we perceive the inventor - a bit of an eccentric.

This perception is echoed in many ways in our society. Kids just love inventors. The art of discovery is a fundamental part of being a kid... learning, experimenting, trying things out. Before television got a stranglehold on our young, comic books were populated with an abundance of characters depicting eccentric ingenuity. Gyro Gearloose of Duckburg and Professor Calculus of the Tintin comics would surely be two of the more famous examples.
Even in these days of TV and video, characters like McGyver and the nerdy dad in "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" carry on this tradition.

Invention is about mystery and discovery, hopes and dreams. Schemes of great cunning and bright ideas. We admire inventors, but perhaps at times we feel intimidated by their genius, and can only laugh at their oddity in self-defence. After all, most of us at some time or other have nurtured hopes of inventing something and becoming hugely wealthy as a result. And some do. (but why not me?)

For some, laughing at the eccentricity of the inventor goes a step beyond.
To these people invention is all about eccentricity... (or perhaps just plain stupidity.)
It's as if the whole concept of coming up with something new deserves mocking, so they set out whole-heartedly to prove the point by attempting to invent the most useless and stupid things imagineable.

Believe it or not, this is apparently a national pastime in Japan.
It's called "Chindogu". And it even has rules!

Check this out - birdbrains or what?




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