Our inventions are low in pretty, high in practical.Yasu+Junko
Until the late 19th century, people used a variety of unpleasant items to clean up in the loo, including leaves and corncobs. Then, in the late 1880s, New York inventor Seth Wheeler wrapped narrow perforated strips of paper around cardboard tubes. And a happy ending has been had by all!
Some comedians still work clean.NBC/Getty Images
“I called a discount exterminator. A guy came by with a rolled-up magazine.”—Will Shriner
“I spilled spot remover on my dog, and now he’s gone.”—Steven Wright
“I constantly walk into a room, and I don’t remember why. But for some reason, I think there’s going to be a clue in the fridge. “—Caroline Rhea
“I was the best man at the wedding. If I’m the best man, why is she marrying him?”—Jerry Seinfeld
We have our own way of measuring stuff, and we’re sticking with it.Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images
Under the metric system used in other countries, the rock band Nine Inch Nails would be called Two Point Two Eight Six Decimeter Nails—just one more reason our
system rocks, according to blogger Christopher Rife.
• A fine work of speculative fiction: Ray Bradbury’s Celsius 232.78.
• Football fans’ favorite flick: The Longest 0.9144 Meters.
• The “thing in the room”: a 362.9 kilogram gorilla. See what we mean?