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April 2, 2009

Clever Inventions

Thursday Thirteen

I was thinking about inventions yesterday, and all the things I’m glad that some intelligent person or persons invented. Here are some of my favorites.

1. Hot and cold running water – I think one of life’s simple pleasures is a hot shower. I love being able to walk to a tap for a glass of water. I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in countries where people don’t have this luxury. Hot and cold running water is something that I never take for granted.

2. iPods – my iPod is the most basic sort you can buy, but I love it. I like being able to carry all my favorite songs with me where ever I go.

3. wheels – I love cycling every day. I love my orange and black bicycle. It would look pretty funny with square wheels and probably wouldn’t work very well either!

4. telephones – the ability to keep contact with friends and family all over the world is pretty amazing. Of course, sometimes the telephone is a PITA but on the whole, I think it’s an excellent invention.

5. chocolate – whoever managed to turn the cocoa bean into luscious chocolate has my vote.

6. ebooks – I like the immediacy of them, being able to download an ebook at any time of the day or night and the ability to take lots of books on holiday without breaking my back with a case of books.

7. washing machine – it makes washing day a breeze instead of an all day thing.

8. BBQ – nothing tastes better than a BBQ meal, eaten outside on a beautiful night.

9. computers – a computer makes writing so much easier. I can’t imagine what it must have been like typing a manuscript on a typewriter or by hand.

10. dishwasher – hubby and I didn’t have a dishwasher for a long time. When we moved to a new house, a dishwasher was part of the package. We’d hate to be without it now. It was hard to go back to handwashing dishes when it broke down. We arranged for the serviceman pretty quickly!

11. airplanes – I like to travel. I like it best when I’m on the ground but a plane comes in handy to get from point A to B.

12. muffins and cakes – when it comes to food, I’m always fascinated by how people discovered various food combinations. I know many were discovered by mistake, but some combinations just don’t seem obvious at first. I’m so glad blueberry muffins were invented.

13. Internet – I can’t imagine life without the internet for both my writing, for learning new things and for meeting new people and keeping up with friends and family.

Which inventions are you thankful for?


  1. Angeleque Ford

    Great Thurs 13. I agree with the majority of these. And # 8 – BBQ. There is a place here that has amazing barbecue. But the best is there BBQ fries. They slather the ribs and meat with so much sauce that it used to get on the fries. And people loved it so much that now they have it where you can just order BBQ fries. I think I know what I’m gonna get for dinner tomorrrow/tonight.

  2. Lanie Fuller

    I agree with a lot of these, too, and I’m so ditto’ing the computer and internet thing. I don’t think I could deal without either very well.

    Um… TV/cable/DVD players and electricity. You know, it’s kind of important if you want to use those other nifty inventions, LOL.

  3. Ms Menozzi

    I’m with you on the Internet thing – I really go through withdrawal when I return to the States and have to live without it! Argh!

    Fun list – but you’ve got me craving BBQ and there’s nothing I can do about it. Wah!

    Happy TT!

  4. Amy Gallow

    The steam engine started the long road to where we are now, begining with the simple condensing Newcomen cylinder, with its walking beam and leading to the super critical turbines that drive our most sophisticated power houses. Internal combustion engines (cars) eletricity(solar cells), propellors (wind generators) all owe their gensis to the first time man could produce portable power from the chemical reaction of fire.

  5. Maria

    LOL! I’m so simple.

    I really appreciate pencils.

  6. Cassandra Curtis

    Great list! Have you ever had BBQ squash? Very tasty for those of us who are vegetarians, but still love BBQ. Actually, most of my friends who are carnivores enjoy it as well…so long as they also get a juicy roasted haunch of meat with it! lol

    Our T13 is at: http://midnightmooncafe.blogspot.com

  7. Adelle Laudan

    I don’t have a dishwasher, unless you count my girls as one lol No IPod here either, my girls have MP4’s
    I concur on all the rest!
    Happy T13!

  8. Stephanie Adkins

    Amen, Shelley! Especially #5. LOL I love me some chocolate. Happy Thursday! *Hugs*

  9. Roberta Harwell

    Hello Shelley,

    I agree with everything on your list. I would have to add stove, microwave, vacuum cleaner (which I need to be using), air conditioning, etc.

    Have a great day.

  10. Brenda ND

    Yep, I enjoy all these things. When my kids were little I thought antibiotics were the best things ever created.

  11. julia

    I’m totally with you on the chocolate thing. When food has a complicated process towards creation, I always wonder whoever came up with it. I remember seeing this show about a jungle people who chopped parts of a tree, soaked the wood in water, let it dry, collected the resulting paste and used it for flour to make bread. ?!? Where did that come from?!?

    And I missed your ‘True Blood’ post – I adore that show! My husband and I just watched it a few months ago, all at once. LOVE it.

  12. Amy Ruttan

    Ultrasound, but that’s purely baby driven at the moment.

    I think of all the stuff they know NOW about prenatal health and how many babies are saved every year compared to when I was being born 31 years ago and it was a guessing game most of the time.

    And I agree with your TT choices for sure.

  13. Amy Ruttan

    OH and laroscopic surgery. Making recovery times less because you don’t need such a huge incision to fix small problems.


  14. jenn

    These are all great. I love the person who first put chocolate and peanut butter together!

  15. Shanna

    What a great list. It’s great to reflect on these things. I spent six months in Nepal last year, and a hot shower was something I didn’t know how much I missed until I got back and had my first one.

    I’ve been really hesitant to catch on the e-book craze, but I’m moving to South Korea in a few weeks, and with how much I read and how expensive I’ve heard English books are over there, I might have to start.

  16. Voronda

    Washer & Dryer. I just can’t imagine having to wash my clothes by hand unlike the pioneers we all ahve more than 2 outfits. Also, central air, as a southern girl I am thankful each and every summer for the air in my car and in the house!

    I love your list if not for the computer I would not have a job!!!(LOL)

  17. Alice Audrey

    I have lived in primitive conditions a few times, and I’ll tell you, the water thing? Huge. Having to walk down to the nearest water source for every drop of water used makes you not want to use much. Even having to pump it at the sink will change the way you view the stuff.

  18. Shelley Munro

    Angeleque – I love the smell of BBQ, although I’m vegetarian. Hubby cooks up some great stuff for me so I don’t miss out.

    Lanie – Electricity – it only has to go out and you realize how much we use it!

    Ms Menozzi – oops, sorry about that!

    Amy G – there are so many things that could go on my list. It was difficult choosing.

  19. Shelley Munro

    Maria – I thought of pens. They’re so much better than ink and a feather. I’m such a mucky puppy, even with a pen. Ink in a bottle is just asking for trouble. :lol:

    CC- no I haven’t tried squash but there’s so much you can do with vegetarian food and BBQ. I love a selection of veges done on the BBQ.

  20. Shelley Munro

    Adelle – daughters are good inventions and very good replacements for dishwashers!

    Stephanie – I love chocolate!

    Roberta – I’ve used the vacuum cleaner this week. It’s a good invention. Definitely!

    Brenda – there’s nothing worse than sick children!

    Julia – that’s what I mean. How did people think up half the food we eat. It’s a science.

    True Blood is great. I watched the 3rd episode yesterday, and I still have the theme song in my head!!

  21. Shelley Munro

    Inez – how could I forget toilet paper. You know people don’t use it in some countries though, right???

    Amy R – the pictures you posted on your blog are amazing.

    Jenn – chocolate is the greatest invention. :grin:

    Shanna – books are expensive here in NZ too, although probably not quite as bad as South Korea. Ebooks would definitely solve your problem. It might be a good idea to look at a reader before you leave the US (if it’s in your budget)

  22. Shelley Munro

    Voronda – I can’t imagine doing laundry all day either. It must have been terrible! I can’t imagine handwashing sheets etc.

    Alice – I’m with you on the water thing. It is a real luxury and one I never take for granted!!

  23. Susan Helene Gottfried

    Fleece. I am very thankful for fleece, even when the wind blows through it.

    There’s LOTS more, too. Guitars. Music of all sorts, including the music of nature. Tents. Backpacks. (Gee, is something on my mind, maybe???)

    Central AC.

    And whoever invented tankini tops and board short bottoms.

  24. Heather

    Mmm…chocolate and blueberry muffins — heaven on earth!

  25. Jamie

    My favorites: toilet paper, indoor plumbing and hot showers, and especially today as I have a cold– Puffs tissues with Vicks. :grin:
    Happy TT. My T13

  26. Marissa Alwin

    Reminds me of a joke… three men talking about greatest inventions. One said the light bulb, another said the engine, third said a thermos. When asked why he said… “it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold…” “what’s so great about that?” “How does it know?”

    Me– the Printing Press. The printed word! Look at all it has opened the world to.

  27. Lucy Woodhull


    It set women free.

  28. R.J. Lebeau

    I’ll go with shoes. For us dudes, they’re functional. For women, they’re like jewelry for the feet.

    And I’m with Jamie on the toilet paper and indoor plumbing thing. Can’t imagine being without those.

  29. Janice~

    Yep, I have to agree with most of those, and the electicity to run it all.

    Thank you Ben Franklin, Alexander G. Bell and all the other nerds that made it all possible.

    Happy TT.

  30. Anne Jones

    For me the more recent ones are audio books and spell check. Audio books allow me to do all sorts of very boring things (like washing the cloths) that other wise I’d put off forever.
    I really could not do my job without spell check. I’d probably be working in a fast food restaurant.

  31. Kathy

    I am glad for the internet. All kinds of info is out there. I am into genealogy and it would be so much harder if it was not for the internet!

  32. Shelley Munro

    Lucy – birth control is a good one. I hate to imagine life without birth control!!

    Marissa – LOL – I like it.

    Kathy – I’ve dabbled in a bit of genealogy as well. The internet is an awesome resource for research of this nature.

    RJ – shoes. They are like jewelry, aren’t they?

    Janice – I thought about adding electricity. I certainly wouldn’t want to be without it.

  33. Lauren Murphy

    Excellent list! I am lost without my internet. If it’s not working for some reason I come back and check every five minutes until it’s working again… or until The Man drags me out of the house in frustration.