Some things might have been better off not being invented. Now we're not denying that these come with some good ... convenience, connectedness, etc. We're just saying... sometimes the bad seems to outweigh the good.
So here's our list of the top 10 things the world might be better off without.
Invented in 1855 by ingenious Alexander Parks and revealed at London's Great International Exhibition in London in 1862. Parks combined natural materials, like chewing gum and shellac, with chemically modified rubber, collagen, and nitrocellulose to create Parkesine which eventually grew into today's plastic. Parkesine gradually replaced wood, stone, horn, bone, leather, paper, metal, glass, and ceramic because of it's infinite indestructiblity. Unfortunately, Parks didn't consider the environmental ramifications while in his lab which lead to today's increase in cancers, toxic waste, and even the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, (or Pacific Trash Vortex) an island comprised of plastic and junk approximately the size of Texas, located in the North Pacific Ocean.
2. Neck Ties
The noose of formal wear was invented to the dismay of gentleman during the 17th century in Croatia. Today's neck tie originated from the Croatian word "hrvati" and the French word "cravat." Historians suspect men during the 1600's originally donned the "cravat" to disguise ring around the collar and dingy shirts. The neck tie has been best desribed as one of the most uncomfortable, pointless, and hazardous articles of clothing known to affect a wearer's health. Critics of the neck tie cite entanglement, infection, vasoconstriction, an increased glacoma risk, and of course, sheer frustration, when tying or wearing a neck tie.
3. Cell Phones
The most pervasive, accountability measuring, electronic device known to modern man was invented in 1973 in Motorola's offices by Martin Cooper. Development of the nearly limitless cell phone services of today, reaching approximately 4.6 billion people in 2009, loosely began with Alexander Graham Bell's radiophone on February 19, 1880. Bell and his assistant, Charles Sumner Tainter, made their first wireless telephone call via "photophone" using light to transmit sound in a process similar to today's fiber optic communication in an effort to increase communications between land and ships at sea. Unfortunately, Bell and Tainter didn't factor in protection from interruptions caused by weather and the idea was shelved. Bell's photophone resurfaced with a new name, the "radiotelephone," in the 1936 article of Popular Mechanics. The first official "radiotelephone" call occurred thirty years later during World War 2 thereby eliminated modern man's rights to go completely "off the radar."
Today's most common form of birth control and first line of defense against sexually transmittable disease has existed for 12,000-15,000 years per archeologist findings of painted condom like devices in the French cave Grotte des Combarrelles. The first recorded testimonials of contraceptives were by ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilzations. Females were often responsible for the family planning aspect of coital relations, often using pessiaries and amulets to prevent pregnancy, until the legend of Minos in 150 AD. Antonius Liberalis described Minos' curse, described as "semen containing serpents and scorpions." In an attempt to protect his partner, Minos donned a goat's bladder and inadvertently created a trend still popular today. As Christianity spread, contraceptive usage was swept under the rug until 15th century Chinese and Japanese men employed oiled silk paper, lamb intestines, tortoise shell, and animal horns as "glans condoms." A surge in a syphillis epidemic among French soldiers during 1494 which spread to Asia and killed thousands was publicized in Gabriele Falloppio's De Morbo Gallico in 1564. Fallioppio described extreme measures to protect males from syphillis to prevent "The French Disease." Later that century, in 1655, Leondarus Lessius, Catholic theologian and author of De iustitia et iure, rendered penis coverings immoral. Within 11 years, the English Birth Rate Commission determined "condons" decreased fertility and first documented the word. In the 1700's, criticism expanded as condom use increase. Physician Daniel Turner condemed their use, as contraception was considered immoral and asked England's Parliament to render condoms illegal for their ineffective protection from syphillis, detrimental affect on sensation, and increased sex with unsafe partners. During the American Revolutionary War era linen condoms were replaced skin condoms soaked in lye or sulphur, and the first rubber condom was manufactured in 1855. In 1870, E. Lambert and Son of Dalston, England, formed the first major condom manufacturing company and in 1882, German immigrant Julius Schmidt founded Julius Schmid, Inc., the largest and longest running condom business in the United States. Schmid later borrowed a manufacturing technique from Julius Fromm's brand, "Fromm's Act," and used glass molds and raw rubber solutions to create "rubbers" which are still available today in Germany. Schmid's brand, Shieks and Ramses available until the late 1990's. The Youngs Rubber Company invented the first latex condom in 1920, which became the present day Trojan brand. Despite attempts at improving initial prototypes, the condom still faces controversy and little has developed to increase sensation. Complaints from the 1800's still ring true today.
It began with corsets and girdles. The ever present problem of lifting, supporting, and separating the female's breasts dates back to the Minoan era during 7th century BCE. Wall paintings in Crete depicted female atheletes donning brassiere or bikini-esque attire, though going bare breasted was more typical of that time period. Indian women under the rule of King Harshavardhana during 1st centruy CE often wore brassieres and strategically enhanced shirts to support their mammalia. Females in Greece often wore an apodesmos, stethedesmos, or mastodeton to exercise during the Archaic period between 8th to 6th century BC to 146 BC. Ancient Roman females wore strophium or mamillare, a simple band of cloth or leather, to bind the breasts and compete in Spartan sports. Wealthy Chinese women of the Ming Dynasty expelled upon ancient wisdom using a cloth "dudou," complete with styles similar to present day cups and straps from 1368-1644. The Qing Dynasty carried on the tradition from 1644 to 1912 with other cultures quickly following suit. During the Middle Ages, the edict of Strasburg declared: "No woman will support the bust by the disposition of a blouse of tightened dress." To the dismay of many, following the 16th century, wealthy women snugly squeezed into corsets, busks, and stays which eventually developed into girdle like breast holders. Early in the 20th century, today's bra was born. And women have been uncomfortable since. Women of the French Empire, the Victorian Era, and the Eduardian Era squeezed their girls into all kinds of restraints despite warnings from physicians indicating the health risks involved until 1874. That year a courageous group stepped forward prompting women to 'burn the corsets' under the authority of Elizabeth Stuart Phelps and the National Dress Reform Association. In 1876, Olivia Flynt, a dressmaker, filed four patents for the "true Corset" and "Flynt Waist." Flynt's designs focused upon large breasted women and the need for "hygienic" corsets, and earned her a bronze medal at the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanics Association two years later. In the same year France's Herminie Cadolle created the archetype for today's bra with the "corselet gorge" or "le bien-etre." The design supported the waist, much like the corset "designed to sustain the bosom and supported by the shoulders." Cadolle's design was showcased at the Great Exhibition of 1889. Four years later, in America, Marie Tucek filed for the patent rights for (but failed to market) an underwire bra similar to those worn today, with pockets for each breast, metal supports, and shoulder straps held together with hook and eye clasps. A 19 year old socialite named Mary Phelps Jacob, frustrated by the whalebone support peeking out of her evening gown, enlisted her maid to whip up a pair of silk handkerchiefs with pink ribbon and cord, and went on to patent the "Backless Brassiere" which became the first U.S. manufactured bra. Jacob later sold the patent to Warners Brothers Corset Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, who manufactured the "Crosby" bra and earned $15 million dollars over thirty years of business. During WWI,Sears and Robuck Company seized the opportunity to market the "bust girdle" in the back pages of their popular catalog. During the 1920's bras were designed to flatten the female breast at the height of the Flapper generation. Ida Rosenthal, and her husband William, devised the concept of cup size in 1922 in a landmark move with a $4500 dollar investment geared toward women of all ages and size. The Rosenthal's founded the Maidenform manufacturing company in 1924, under the orginal name Boyishform, and later patented the first nursing bra, full figure bra, and seamed "uplift" bra in 1927. Three years later, manufacturing and marketing bras grew into a huge industry that carried through until the 1960s when 400 New York Radical Women and feminists attacked "instruments of torture" with an organized burning of corsets, bras, makeup, curlers, girdles, hairspray, and high heels. And the rest is history as approximately 75% to 90% of women throughout the world wear bras, while others (comfortably) do not.
6. Paris Hilton
Paris Whitney Hilton, the American socialite, heiress, model, designer, perfumiere, fame whore, drug abuser, and telvision, movie, and sex tape star, is perhaps one of the notorious and unnecessary "celebutantes" on the planet. Paris is the 29 year old great granddaughter of Hilton Hotel founder Conrad Hilton. It seems all she was sent here to do was look almost pretty, behave ignorantly, and evade any kind of responsibility. Lacking any marketable talent, Hilton has secured her notch in notriety with a series of bad boyfriends, drug arrests, and skany media manipulations. We're thinking Paris needs to scrub her image as much as she needs to scrub the paint off of her face, then channel her resources into charitable organizations or something purposely useful...
Derived from the greek word "bombos," an onomatopoetic phrase translates aptly to the English word for "boom," bombs make a blast. The blow up devices have detonated for over a century, with the intent to shock, heat, fragment, and harm living organisms. The first bomb drop was executed by Austria in 1849 during the siege of Venice when 200 explosives dropped from unmanned balloons in a mission most would consider a flop. The Italians soon bombed Arabs in what is presently Libya by using soldiers to drop bombs by hand from an aircraft in 1911. On September 8, 1915 German Zeppelin's dropped 4,000 pounds of explosives and incendiary bombs over London, England. On September 16, 1920 American's on Wall Street in New York's financial district suffered the first terrorist attack on US soil when a horse drawn and bomb laden wagon blew up 38 people and injured 400 others, through the use of cast iron slugs. While the Italians were blowing up Libya, physicsist Ernest Rutherford discovered nuclear fission with Niels Bohr expanding the idea of quantum behavior in 1913. The pair paved the way for Rutherford, Henri Becquerel, Marie Curie, and Pierre Curie to expand Albert Einstein's mass energy equivalence theory to ultimately determine the principle neuclei undergo radioactive decay. Physicist James Chadwick, Enrico Fermi, and collegues uncovered a 94 proton element called Hesperiumthe after studying the effect of neutrons bombarding with uranium in 1934. In 1934, Ida Noddack, a German chemist, furthered Chadwick's theory with "the nucleus breaks up into several large fragments." Four years later, in December of 1938, Germany's Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann published results of the detection of barium after bombarding uranium with neutrons with results confirmed in January 1939. Hahn earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for nuclear fission in 1944 which led Herbert L. Anderson, Eugene T. Booth, John R. Dunning, Enrico Fermi, G. Norris Glasoe, and Francis G. Slack to Columbia University. On January 25, 1939 the first stateside nuclear fission experiment succeeded and news quickly spread world wide. The U.S. military planned and devised atomic weaponry in 1942 with the Manhattan Project, and dozens of sites scattered throughout the U.S., to create industrial sized nuclear reactors, uranium enrichment, bomb development, and bomb design under the direction of Physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. The first atomic bomb known as "Trinity" was tested in July 1945 in the sands of the New Mexico desert and in August 1945, the bombs were used in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, and the world has been under constant threat since.
8. Fast Food
Quick Service Restaurants (a.k.a. fast food chains) were created to cook and serve the masses quickly at low cost for urban areas. Ancient Roman cities first devised the concept with bread and wine vendors selling food from street stands, with old East Asian cities offering street side noodle shops, Middle Eastern cities offering flatbread and falafel, West Africans selling ready made brochettes, and Indian culures serving vada pav, panipuri, and dahi vada. Pre-modern Europeans offered wine soaked bread and cooked vegetables from popinas, and during the Middle Ages heavily populated areas offered pies, pasties, flans, waffles, wafers, pancakes, and prepared meat through street vendors. John Montagu, a heavy gambler and hard worker and the fourth Earl of Sandwich, used his ingenuity in 1762 when he slapped dried meat between two slices of bread to create England's most famed fast food: the sandwich. Stateside, the fast food trend was similar to that overseas until the automobile became popular in 1916 when Walter Anderson founded the first White Castle hamburger chain-restaurant in Witchita, Kansas. Anderson was later joined by business partner Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in founding second official drive in restaurant in 1921. A trend soon followed with A&W Root Beer's founder Howard Johnson franchising the first fast food restaurant with standardized menus, signage, and promotional advertising in 1935. Five years later, brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald expanded upon Anderson's techniques and estabilished the first McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Eight years later, the McDonald brothers created the "Speedee Service System" with a mascot called "Speedee" who was eventually replaced by the ever popular first ever trademarked clown "Ronald McDonald" in 1967. Presently, McDonald's owns and operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide and serves 58 million customers daily. Unfortunately, the nutritional offerings at most fast food estabilishments have adversely and significantly impacted health.
9. Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck, American conservative radio and FOX News talk show host, political author, entrepreneur, former drug abuser, and Restoring Honor organizer is one thing we wish was never invented. His wide on screen antics, controversial and screaming loud point of view, paired with his exaggerated body language and generally irritating behavior goes against reason. Beck's self titled show has 3 million viewers. Beck sold 6 NY Times best sellers, earns $2 million per year, and owns a website with 5 million unique visitors per month despite his massive hypocrisy, headspinning rhetoric, and sheer lunacy. Supporters cast him as a "stalwart defender of traditional America" with critics claiming he's stark raving mad and using his celebrity status to spread madness.
We all know the danger of late night television viewing. You nod off and are startled awake by the sound of Tony Little's pony tail flapping, while he huskily quips: "You can do it. Go for it. You're advanced." The curious and rousing infomercial phenomenon began in the U.S. between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. as a replacement for stations that completely sign off air in the early hours when many are sleeping and spread to Europe in the form of teleshopping. The 28-30 minute long advertisements are geared toward coersion, persuasion, and impeccible timing, rather than clear, hard facts. Stats from tapebeat.com suggest that U.S. consumers have purchased over $150 billion dollars worth of merchandise sold through the enticing lure of infomercials. Stats were not offered in terms of buyer's remorse.