Celebrity inventions patently absurd

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

When Google launched a beta version of its Patent Search, it looked like another fine way to kill time reading about monkey-shaped camera bags and the like. But who has the time? Over at Engadget they've found someone: the blogger at Ironic Sans, who used the tool to track down a list of patents by celebrities.

Eighties rock shredder Eddie Van Halen has a patent for a musical instrument support, designed to allow him to use both hands on the frets while he remains standing. And Michael Jackson and his team apparently patented a "method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion": a shoe design that allows him to lean his entire body without falling.

There are some useful inventions mentioned as well, including actress Hedy Lamarr's patent of a frequency-hopping secret communication system that served as the basis for modern communication technologies like Wi-Fi and cordless telephones.

We've always been able to tolerate celebrities being richer, more famous and, with the exception of Iggy Pop, better looking than we are. But smarter? This is too much.