The Modern Marvels Invent Now(R) Challenge Names Top 25 Inventions of 2006

Panel of famed inventors and experts narrows group of 4,000+ inventors and

their ideas to top 25

Mar 21, 2006, 00:00 ET from The History Channel

    NEW YORK, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The History Channel(R) and Invent
 Now(R) Inc., a subsidiary of the National Inventors Hall of Fame(R)
 Foundation, announced today the 25 semi-finalists of the Modern Marvels Invent
 Now(R) Challenge, a national competition that provides an opportunity for
 independent inventors to be recognized and to influence the ever-changing face
 of invention.  The Challenge, which is named in part for Modern Marvels(R),
 The History Channel's long-running signature series that showcases this
 nation's passion for ingenuity and innovation, is searching for America's next
 great invention idea. The semi-finalists, who hail from 17 states across the
 U.S. and range in age from 19 to 80, were chosen from nearly 4,300 submissions
 entered, a number that confirms that the inventive spirit in America is alive
 and well.  This spring, the Challenge will ultimately name the invention of
 one of these 25 semi-finalists as the 2006 Modern Marvel of the Year during
 Modern Marvels: Great Inventions Week on The History Channel May 24-27th.
     (Logo: )
     A panel of judges that included inventors, technologists and experts from
 the National Inventors Hall of Fame and The History Channel chose inventions
 that cover a breadth of categories -- from household inventions to sporting
 goods -- with medical and construction, tools and hardware ranking the highest
 among the semi-finalists.  All of the inventors' ideas are true modern marvels
 that will not only impact the lives of the inventors, but if brought to
 fruition, could also have dramatic global implications.  The semi-finalists
 range from a doctor who found a breakthrough in bladder management that will
 prevent infections and save millions of dollars in antibiotics, to a
 firefighter who created a 360-degree fire-resistant light that will help
 firefighters, divers and the military save lives daily, to an engineer who
 found a way to turn fly ash into durable, cost effective bricks, a process
 that has great economic and environmental implications.  (See "Meet the Semi-
 Finalists" below for full details.)
     "These semi-finalists represent the dreamers in America who have the
 tenacity to pursue their ideas in order to make an impact on the way all of us
 live-just like their predecessors, Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison," said Judy
 Klein-Frimer, Co-Creator of the Challenge for The History Channel.  "Our
 signature series, Modern Marvels, showcases everyday inventors of our past
 whose contributions remain vital to us today, so we are proud to support
 everyday inventors of the present who will have a significant impact on
 advancing our quality of life in the future."
     The Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge will showcase the inventions of
 the semi-finalists through an upcoming national exposition. The exposition
 will travel to the California Science Center in Los Angeles (April 7-15th),
 the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago (April 20-30th), the Museum of
 Science in Boston (May 5-14th) and culminate at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand
 Central Terminal in New York City (May 22-27th).  The 25 semi-finalists will
 also be invited to attend a one-day invention seminar while in New York to
 help further develop their invention ideas (May 25th).  The exposition will
 then travel to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, OH where it will
 be on display through August 2006.
     "For over thirty years, the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation has
 been recognizing the world's most influential inventors," said Jeffrey
 Dollinger, President of Invent Now, Inc.  "We've always believed that the
 inventive spirit present in our Hall of Fame Inductees exists in everyday
 people across the country, and the incredible response of entries to this
 Challenge provides evidence that there are thousands of everyday inventors out
 there just looking for their ideas to be recognized."
     Famed inventor, Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple based on his invention
 of the personal computer, agreed that today's inventors need an outlet.  "In a
 country where our focus on science and technology is dramatically shrinking,
 competitions such as this are critical in providing a platform for everyday
 inventors."  He added, "It was the science fairs and school competitions that
 motivated me as a young inventor and ultimately helped to make me believe my
 invention could become a ubiquitous tool."
     The winner along with the four other finalists will be announced at the
 New York exhibition event and have their invention ideas and stories featured
 during Modern Marvels: Great Inventions Week on The History Channel (May 24-
 27th) at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST, which will include brand-new episodes on the
 inventions of Benjamin Franklin and '80s Tech among others.  The Challenge
 winner will have his or her idea named the 2006 Modern Marvel of the Year and
 will receive a $25,000 grant.  Viewers can catch the highly successful series,
 Modern Marvels, on The History Channel Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
     Log on to for more information on the semi-
 finalists and the Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge.
     Meet the Semi-Finalists (Alphabetical Order)
     1.  Brent W. Crutchfield, Veterinary Student, Greensboro, NC
         Quick-See: Quick-See uses paper coated with thermo-chromic ink set to
         change color allowing people to cut their pets' nails at the
         appropriate place. The artery and nerve within the quick of the nail
         causes the color to change over the area not to be cut.
     2.  Dr. David L. Cull, Surgeon, Greenville, SC
         Hemoaccess Valve System: The Hemoaccess Valve System is a device that
         is able to regulate blood flow in arteriovenous (AV) grafts which are
         used to connect patients with kidney failure to a dialysis machine.
     3.  Robert E. Fischer, CEO, Optics One Incorporated, Westlake Village, CA
         Light Pipe: A new flashlight innovation that behaves like a
         kaleidoscope, creating near perfect light uniformity at the output end
         of the pipe.
     4.  Dr. David E. Flinchbaugh, Doctor, Orlando, FL
         UroCycler Bladder Management System: This invention allows patients
         who must wear an indwelling urinary catheter to regain nearly normal
         bladder function and live healthier lives by preventing dangerous
         infections, painful muscle spasms and encrustation, thus saving
         hundreds of dollars in unnecessary antibiotics.
     5.  Matthew C. Grossman, Student, Austin, TX
         Shift Bicycle: This bicycle is intended to help small children learn
         to balance on their own without the crutch of training wheels and the
         worry of skinned knees. The bicycle features two rear wheels that are
         spread apart at slow speeds to provide critical stability, and as the
         rider gains speed, the two rear wheels merge together to act as one
         wheel until the rider reduces speed and consequently returns the
         bicycle to the two wheel configuration.
     6.  Carol S. Grove, Patternmaker, Brooklyn, NY
         Contour Clone: The Contour Clone is made up of pairs of strips of
         plastic that slide over each other and lock, making perfect fitting
         garment patterns for all body types allowing a complex shape like the
         human body to be made two-dimensional.
     7.  Greg Hart, Realtor, Galloway, OH
         Candlewatch: Candlewatch is an automatic candle snuffer that sits on
         top of a candle and uses a timer to snuff out the candle flame,
         avoiding potentially dangerous fires.
     8.  Donald P. Hilliard, Electrical Engineer, Camarillo, CA
         Precision Parachute Recovery System: An automated GPS-guided parafoil
         recovery system for precision landing of payloads that guarantees a
         safe non-destructive landing at the desired location.
     9.  Kristin A. Hrabar, Retail, Aberdeen, NJ
         Illuminated Nutdriver: This new nutdriver hand tool uses two forms of
         light to assist the user in dark places (to avoid holding a tool and a
     10. Dr. Sundaresan Jayaraman, Professor, Atlanta, GA
         Wearable Motherboard (Smart Shirt): This invention is a flexible,
         wearable and comfortable garment with sensors for "unobtrusively"
         monitoring a variety of vital signs, including heart rate, respiration
         rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), body temperature, and pulse oximetry
     11. Russell D. Keller, Truck Driver, Oklahoma, OK
         Drag Vent: An air diversion device captures a flow of air from above a
         roadway vehicle and forcibly diverts the captured air to the center of
         the low pressure area at the rear of the vehicle, thus reducing the
         amount of drag force applied to the vehicle and increasing the
         vehicles efficiency of operation.
     12. Robert C. Kelly, Firefighter, Burlingame, CA
         Resc-hue Lite Line: The Resc-hue Lite Line is a waterproof, fire-
         resistant light that is based on electroluminescence principals and
         provides 360-degree lighting when firefighters, divers, the military
         or anyone in a low light environment needs it most.
     13. Behrokh Khoshnevis, Professor of Industrial Assistance Engineering,
          Los Angeles, CA
         Contour Crafting: Contour Crafting is a computerized fabrication
         technology for the automated construction of whole structures as well
         as sub-components, allowing a single house or colony of houses to be
         automatically constructed in a single run.
     14. Randal J. Kwapis, Computer Engineer, New Boston, MI
         Typhoon: The Typhoon is an everyday manual wheelchair that utilizes
         shock-absorbing technology to make the chair easier to propel over
         rough terrain like grass and gravel.
     15. Henry Liu, Retired Professor of Engineering, Columbia, MO
         Durable Fly Ash Bricks: This new process transforms fly ash, which is
         the dust collected from the smoke generated from coal combustion at
         power plants, into durable bricks.
     16. Justin D. Marty, Inventor, Salt Lake City, UT
         Quad Zipper: The Quad Zipper, which functions by disconnecting two
         parallel rows of zipper tape and reconnecting the two adjacent rows of
         zipper tape, allows a garment such as a jacket to transform from a
         jacket, to a blanket, to a vest, without the user ever needing to
         remove the original jacket.
     17. W. Denney Pate, P.E., Engineer, Tallahassee, FL
         Cable-Stay Cradle System: The Cable-Stay Cradle System directly
         impacts the service life of a bridge. The system allows for a
         continuous stay to be carried from a bridge deck through the pylon and
         back to the bridge deck. This process eliminates anchorages in the
         pylon and prevents interaction among the strands of the stay, thus
         increasing the service life of the bridge.
     18. Dr. Hugh S. McLaughlin, Doctor, Groton, MA
         Activated Carbon Facilitated Oxidation (AC FOX): AC FOX is a new
         phenomenon whereby activated carbon exhibits a slow oxidation in air
         over a temperature range of 150 to 375 degrees Celsius. The phenomenon
         can be used for applications including oxidation of vapor phase
         organics, destruction of organic liquids, regeneration of spent
         activated carbon and industrial heat & power generation applications.
     19. Stuart Minica, Mechanical Engineer, La Vernia, TX
         Magnetic Levitation Arrow Rest (Air-Rest): An arrow literally floats
         on air, only touching the bowstring of a bow, by a special arrangement
         of rare earth magnets to achieve magnetic levitation.
     20. Joe M. Salazar, Master Technician, Lufkin, TX
         Brake Alert: Brake Alert is a visual color indicator for vehicles
         equipped with air brakes that attaches to the slack adjuster designed
         to alert truck drivers in plenty of time to service air brakes.
     21. Dr. Daniel M. Schuman, Doctor, Henderson, NV
         SinuClear Microlaser Hand Tool: Multi-purpose surgical-hand tool to
         work around delicate vital body structures without causing injury to
         the healthy tissue.  The tool has a dual therapeutic and diagnostic
     22. Wayne D. Schwartz, Rancher, Spivey, KS
         Pro-Treiner: This remote controlled equine training system consists of
         a compact electromechanical device that emulates the way that reins
         control a horse. A power unit attaches to the horse's saddle with
         flexible lines that extend from the power unit to the horse's bridle.
     23. Robert P. Slager, Hearing Business Distributor, Portage, MI
         Liperator: The Liperator increases the possibility for better
         understanding of a telephone conversation by a hard-of-hearing person
         through use of sound from the phone line to generate realistic lip
         movements viewed on a screen by the listener.
     24. David R. Ward, Inventor, Ashland, OR
         Strawjet: The Strawjet is a farm implement that processes straw
         (wheat, flax, sunflower, tobacco, hemp, etc.) in the field after the
         plant has been harvested, into a mat, similar to a large bamboo window
         blind. This is used to construct composite building panels in much the
         same way as fiberglass or carbon fiber, but uses a binder made from
         paper pulp, clay, and cement rather than plastic resin.
     25. Sean G. Westcott, Engineer, Eugene, OR
         Solar-Powered Bus Stop Light: The Solar-Powered Bus Stop Light allows
         a waiting passenger who sees an approaching bus to press a button
         located on the bus stop pole, illuminating a light that signals the
         driver to stop.
     About The History Channel
     The History Channel(R) is one of the leading cable television networks
 featuring compelling original, non-fiction specials and series that bring
 history to life in a powerful and entertaining manner across multiple
 platforms.  The network provides an inviting place where people experience
 history in new and exciting ways enabling them to connect their lives today to
 the great lives and events of the past that provide a blueprint for the
 future. The History Channel has earned six News and Documentary Emmy(R) Awards
 and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television
 Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to
 historic preservation and history education. The History Channel reaches more
 than 89 million Nielsen subscribers. The website is located at
     About the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation
     The not-for-profit National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation is the
 premier organization in America dedicated to honoring and fostering creativity
 and invention.  Each year a new class of inventors is inducted into the Hall
 of Fame in recognition of their patented inventions that make human, social,
 and economic progress possible.  Founded in 1973 by the U.S. Patent and
 Trademark Office and the National Council of Intellectual Property Law
 Associations, the Hall's permanent home is Akron, Ohio, where the inventors in
 the Hall are honored and from where it administers its national programs and
 subsidiaries, including Camp Invention(R), Club Invention(R), the Collegiate
 Inventors Competition(R), Invent Now(R)Inc., and Inventive Education(R), Inc.
     Additional Partners
     Known for its annual "Coolest Inventions" issue and ongoing editorial
 coverage of innovation in America, TIME Magazine has joined The History
 Channel and the National Inventors Hall of Fame as the media partner for the
 Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge. The United States Patent and Trademark
 Office is also supporting the Challenge. Additional partners include the
 American Society of Civil Engineers, DeLorme Publishing, Inc., Intellectual
 Property Owners Association and the Licensing Executives Society.

SOURCE The History Channel