invention


Polaroid Abandons Instant Photography – The Lede – Breaking News – New York Times Blog

It was a wonder in its time: A camera that spat out photos that developed themselves in a few minutes as you watched. You got to see them where and when you took them, not a week later when the prints came back from the drugstore.

But in a day when nearly every cellphone has a digital camera in it, “instant” photography long ago stopped being instant enough for most people. So today, the inevitable end of an era came: Polaroid is getting out of the Polaroid business.

The company, which stopped making instant cameras for consumers a year ago and for commercial use a year before that, said today that as soon as it had enough instant film manufactured to last it through 2009, it would stop making that, too. Three plants that make large-format instant film will close by the end of the quarter, and two that make consumer film packets will be shut by the end of the year, Bloomberg News reports.

I love Polaroid cameras – I still have one of them and a special slide printer. I also learned to make Polaroid transfers onto watercolor paper – really lovely prints with a vintage feel. Our family had one of the early B&W cameras that needed to have the rather smelly coating smeared on after it developed for preservation. The later color cameras were great fun at parties. It’s sad to see an entire industry die away.

Blogged with Flock

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Can baking soda curb global warming? | CNET News.com

Some scientists have proposed compressing carbon dioxide and sticking it in underground caves as a way to cut down on greenhouse gases. Joe David Jones wants to make baking soda out of it.

Jones, the founder and CEO of Skyonic, has come up with an industrial process called SkyMine that captures 90 percent of the carbon dioxide coming out of smoke stacks and mixes it with sodium hydroxide to make sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The energy required for the reaction to turn the chemicals into baking soda comes from the waste heat from the factory.

“It is cleaner than food-grade (baking soda),” he said.

The system also removes 97 percent of the heavy metals, as well as most of the sulfur and nitrogen compounds, Jones said.

I really hope there is something to this story – I’m all for more baked goods.

Blogged with Flock

Tags: , , , ,

NPR : The Birth of the Frito

This spot is part of the Hidden Kitchens series on NPR.

C.E. Doolin had big plans for this chip. He opened a Casa de Frito restaurant in Disneyland in 1955, and another one in Dallas. The restaurants were a sort of precursor to fast food, a hybrid between hamburgers and Mexican food.

When he invented the Frito, C.E. Doolin imagined them as a side dish, a handful to be served with soup and salad to complement a meal. He never imagined anyone would consume an entire king-size bag. He rarely ate them.

The broadcast is mostly an interview with Kaleta Doolin (C.E. Doolin’s daughter) and her husband. Recipes are included at the bottom of the page.

I must admit I’m not a big Frito fan (I prefer pretzels) but I love this kind of story – products invented by a person not a corporation.

Blogged with Flock

Tags: , , , ,