My Two Cents: Europeans hard at work on weird inventions

Technology is advancing so rapidly that it’s being applied in ways that haven’t even been considered by most Americans. The Europeans, however, are another matter, as these items taken from actual (by which I mean I did not make them up) news briefs would seem to suggest.

For example, a German research center has begun looking into medicine-enriched clothes that could treat ailments and help cure diseases, a researcher said earlier this year.

Dirk Hoefer, senior researcher at Germany’s Hohenstein medical research center and someone who obviously thinks outside the box, said they were working on developing microcapsules to treat skin diseases, such as eczema, with materials woven into clothing. They would be activated on contact with the patient’s skin.

Leave it to the Germans to bring the fashion and pharmaceutical industries together – literally – which is something I don’t think the average person would have come up with. I mean clothes and medicine would seem to mix about as well as oil and water.

Then again, Germany is the country known for lots of beer drinking and freeways with no speed limits.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old German schoolgirl has come up with a little something she calls a “merciless bed.” (INSERT YOUR OWN NAZI JOKE HERE.) The invention is designed to ensure that sleepyheads get up in the morning. The bed gradually raises the mattress after an alarm rings. After five minutes, the bed’s occupant is rolled onto the floor.

Of course, those truly dedicated to sleeping in would simply relocate the bed’s mattress, pillow and blanket to the floor and go right back to dreamland.

And finally, just last week controversial Italian fertility doctor Severino “Frankenstein” Antinori said at a press conference that a woman pregnant with a cloned embryo was due to give birth in January.

(Okay, a cloned embryo isn’t exactly an invention per se, but rather the engineering of a human life.)

Antinori then declined to give any details about her, which is an odd thing to do when you call a press conference, because the press shows up and tends to ask questions.

Then again, he could be making up the whole thing, which would be very controversial indeed.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who enjoys sleeping in way too much to ever purchase a “merciless bed” – gets in his two cents worth in spite of the old saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.