German scientists created a steel version of Velcro that is said to be strong enough to support a building. Your kid’s sneakers will never come loose again.
When you think of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, you think of old-school oddities like abnormally large or small people, or a two-legged lamb, or even, to choose a fresher example, a bust of Kevin Bacon made out of real bacon. Such is the legacy of weirdness associated with the iconic creation of Robert Ripley, “the explorer, reporter, adventurer, illustrator, collector and seeker of the odd and unusual.” The modern-day incarnation of Ripley’s—though still interested in enormous bugs, shrunken heads, and monster sinkholes--also scours the world of technology for the oddball discovery. In its new book, Enter If You Dare!, Ripley’s features a number of tales of wild technology. A certain amount of wonderment makes sense, given Arthur C. Clarke’s famous line about sufficiently advanced technology seeming like magic, but some of it seems weird for the sake of weird, and the useful stuff will seem mundane in about five minutes. Nothing in there about big software projects done on time, though – that would simply be too much to believe.
Tim Moran is a freelance writer for Baseline magazine.
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