Many times I see products which make me ask, "What were they thinking?" Here is a list of the weirdest and strangest products:
They put the flashlight on the other end of the pen, pointing away from the pen point. So you can't see what you are writing in the dark.
Another version is a keychain with a flashlight on the other end - pointed away from the keyhole.
The correct primary colors of pigment have been known since 1934. They are magenta, yellow, and cyan (see image at right). These primary colors are based on the science of color vision.
So why do art companies still provide sets designed around the obsolete primaries? Excepting use with certain kinds of oil paints, the old primaries (red, yellow, and blue - see lower image) are useless. The new primaries work with almost all media.
Yet they still make these nice sets of colored pencils, crayons, chalks, and/or watercolors with the old primary colors in mind, and make the following mistakes in constructing them;
Why do these companies put out such stupid art sets? See my article:
Teach the Correct Color Theory in School
This was a set of concentric conical rings that can be pulled tight to form a coffeepot. It was based on a collapsible drinking cup that was also intended for carrying in a knapsack for camping.
The problem is that it could collapse while you are using it. When heat was applied, the segments expanded at different rates and it collapsed, spilling the hot water into the campfire (and maybe on the user). This rarely happened with the drinking cup.
A collapsible dishpan that works the same way is being sold. It will probably collapse by itself in the same way.
A set of collapsible measuring cups that works the same way is being sold. I wonder how accurately they measure each time they are expanded. And will this cup collapse if it is put down?
This was sold to be a safety grab bar used for entering and leaving a bathtub. It has lock levers that increase the suction. The photo shows it attached to a tiled wall.
The page author bought one of these. It pulled the tiles off the bathroom wall when a handicapped person tried to use it.
Various kinds of items are sold with monogram letters on them, including wall hangings, trivets, draperies, plates, silverware, glasses, bedspreads, seat covers, etc. The problem is that they offer only 12 to 16 letters of the alphabet. If your surname is Quillen, Ulrich, or Zimmermann, you are out of luck.
These are items similar to the monogrammed items above. Like the monograms, the vendor provides only 8, 12, or 16 teams, instead of all of the teams in the NFL. The logos of other sports, other leagues, and college teams are also sold in the same way. But if your team is not on the list of available logos, you can't have one with your team on it.
The poster in a record store said "Tuba Mirum". With a picture of a tuba???
The phrase "Tuba Mirum" is in Latin. It means "Wonderful trumpet". The Latin word "tuba" means "trumpet". The phrase has nothing to do with the musical instrument we call a tuba. Tuba Mirum is a part of the Requiem Mass used in the Catholic Church.
(Update - the page author found out that this poster was made to sell a CD made by a tuba player. It does not contain any part of the Requiem Mass.)
Many kitchen devices are sold that are intended to make only one kind of food. These include pizza cooker, lasagna cooker, egg poacher, devilled egg filler, butter melter, banana peeler, peach shaver, corn butterer, wine cork remover, salad spinner, etc.
Most people can do these things with the kitchen equipment they already have. They don't need special devices to make each kind of food. And often there is often no room to store all of these special devices in a small kitchen.
This is a roll of plastic that fits under the door, with half of the roll on each side. It prevents drafts from going under the door. It works fine if the door is indoors, or if another door or a portico (porch overhang) keeps rain off the device. But if the door is exposed to rain, it brings rain water into the house.
Most of those nice looking winter boots they sell are not waterproof. When the snow melts, your feet get very wet. And in some cases, getting the boots wet makes them fall apart.
On the other hand, boots that are waterproof don't keep your feet warm.
These include pencil boxes, food containers, CD carriers, cosmetic cases, and other kinds of containers. They are all made of a cheap flexible plastic.
The problem is that the hinges wear out and break off. Then the container becomes useless.
These 11-inch to 13-inch ceiling lamps are generally shaped like women's breasts, and they are sold in pairs in a package that makes them look like a huge bra. I wonder how many people bought them because they subconsciously saw boobs.
A marketing booby trap?
The problem with this is in the instructions. It tells the person cooking it how to thaw and cut up the chicken. Then it tells the cook to "stir the vegetables into the meat." At that time, the vegetables are still frozen into a solid block.
The problem is evident when you look at the picture on the box. The caption
Nice keyboards, except that the decals they made the letters out of rub off the keyboard keys, leaving you puzzled about which key is which. Mold the letters into the keytops.
For many people, it comes with a built-in enema.
This kind of "Swiss-Army tool" has 10 or more tools built into one device. The problem is that combining the tools makes each tool harder to use. Also, you can't use two of the tools in the set at the opposite ends of the same bolt.
They don't make cell phones any safer to use while driving, because the cell phone removes the driver's brain from the road.
It looks like a good idea until you try it:
Once you set it up and fill it up with items (videos in the page author's case) it will never again be folded up unless you put it in the moving van to move to another house.
Keep using it in the same place and see the hole worn in the rug.
Violates many state laws that prohibit keeping prescription drugs in anything other than the original bottle with the prescription label on it.
This is supposed to be a lunch you can carry with you, make in a microwave oven, and eat while you walk. However, it was not nearly as easy to prepare as it looks in the pictoral instructions:
These work well when they are new, but they rarely last longer than two years. The following are the most common reasons these lights fail so early.
The suction cup always lets go at the most inopportune time. An indoor-outdoor thermometer held by suction cups fell and broke, spilling the colored liquids on the rug. Also, a pretty sun catcher on another window fell and shattered.
When you take a drink, the cookie or the teabag falls out onto your lap.
This clips onto a bare lightbulb to hide the bulb and socket. But it won't work with a compact fluorescent squiggle bulb.
This causes the toilet bowl to light up when it is approached at night. The first problem is that you need other light to use the toilet anyway. The second problem is when unsuspecting Uncle Ralph with the heart condition is surprised by the sudden light, has a heart attack and dies.
This works well - too well. Airplane pilots have reported blinding laser strikes from these devices.
There are non-laser versions that are safe.
What do you do if the places you need these most are places where the sun never shines?
In some houses, there are no available corners. In the page author's house, there are few available corners. Every corner has a doorway, a closet, a window, a fixture (e.g. sink), a kitchen counter, an appliance hookup (e.g. washing machine) or something else that keeps it from containing a storage device. Each bedroom has one corner for the bed. There are only three corners left that are not inside closets, and they are already occupied.
Some houses have no swinging doors. They have arches, sliding doors, pocket doors, accordion doors, open entrances to halls, stairways, and other kinds of doorways. Some swinging doors open against adjacent walls, leaving no room for the storage devices. The page author's house has only 4 swinging interior doors, and all of them open against adjacent walls.
There are several problems with this:
There are several problems with this:
This keeps people who do not have or want cell phones or who have the wrong cell phones from accessing the device or contest.
Internet connections are not needed for most devices. Internet connections can cause the following troubles:
This has most of the disadvantages of a product with menus and remote controls.
Such products include air filters, sink drain cleaners, special lamps (e.g. LED), computer printers, tape recorders, house cleaning devices, pet waste collection devices, pet toys, scented items, and other products that use accessories that are used up.
When the company discontinues the product and its accessories, the product you bought will soon become useless.
Many companies are selling "safety" devices for bicycles which are illegal to use as directed on bicycles in most states:
These "childproof" bottle caps require such excessive strength or dexterity that geriatric patients cannot open them. They have to find strong dexterous children to open them.
These confuse drivers who use the lights to determine the amount of braking. They might make sense when free-flowing traffic has to stop suddenly. But in bumper-to-bumper traffic, they quickly become annoying.
The product does not taste the same with salt sprinkled on it as it tastes with the salt mixed into the recipe. Removing the salt from all products to satisfy the few with low-salt diets is just plain wrong.