Do You Know This Mad Scientist?


If you are a dear reader of the gringa’s musings, then you are probably a fan of science and technology. That would also mean it’s highly likely that you find “gadgets” and inventions interesting. Pretty much everyone knows that Benjamin Franklin gets credit for discovering electricity and Edison with inventing the light bulb. But what we think we know about inventors might just be all wrong or sorely lacking. Have you heard of any of these folks:

Garrett Morgan: Curly headed folk everywhere owe a word of thanks to Mr. Morgan for inventing the first hair-straightening product. Seamstresses may not be aware that he holds a patent on sewing machine upgrades. And if you are fond of avoiding fender benders, a round of applause to the inventor of our modern traffic signals. Survivors of WWII are probably very familiar with, perhaps, his greatest contribution to mankind, the gas mask. So, thanks, Garrett Morgan, a great American inventor!

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Mary Phelps Jacobs: The gringa’s not so sure she really wants to say thank you to good, ol’, clever Mary. On the one hand she did rescue women from having to wear torturous corsets by inventing the modern bra-contraption. But, as far as the gringa’s concerned, a bra only minimizes the torture, not really doing away with physical discomfort altogether. But, for the early 1900s, an uncomfortable bra was certainly a liberating invention. About the only thing the gringa is willing to stuff her girls into is a spandex sports bra. Anything else is just cruel and my motto is, “No pain, no pain!”

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Dr. Charles Drew: An African-American surgeon responded to the desperate need for plasma and blood to save the lives of soldiers during WWII. He is credited with inventing the technology of what we commonly call a “blood bank”.

Stephanie Kwolek: When you imagine soldiers or law enforcement officers donning their bullet-proof vests, it may never occur to you to wonder who came up with such an idea. And, if you did indulge your curiosity, chances are you wouldn’t guess that it was actually a woman who invented Kevlar. It would seem more likely that men within the military establishment would come up with this. But, back in 1965, a female chemist rolled out her formula that resulted in the invention of an essential piece of safety gear that protects soldiers and police officers everywhere.

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So, dear readers, no matter who you are or what your humble situation might be, keep cracking away in your labs. The world NEEDS amazing minds like yours and the gadgets and gizmos you create!

Sources, Image & Video Credits: 

Skin Trends

Amazing Women In History

Biography

Women Inventors

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The Secret Success of the Swiss


Although Silicone Valley in the United States gets worldwide accolades as the primary source for innovation, Switzerland may actually have left the gringa’s country in its dust.  In fact, it may have been running circles around every technologically advanced nation since 2008 and no one has been aware of it. The gringa supposes that Switzerland simply prefers a low profile and is loathe to toot its own horn.

To discover just how amazing Swiss minds are, you have to dig into the reports generated by Cornell University, the graduate school INSEAD that has campuses in France, Singapore & Abu Dhabi, as well as reports generated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Their collaborative efforts can be seen in an annual report called the Global Innovation Index. There is more to making the list than simply coming up with cool gizmos and devices. To be a winner a country must also lead in areas of: business sophistication, creativity, commitment to knowledge and creativity, infrastructure, and research.  The latest top 10 winners:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. United Kingdom
  4. United States
  5. Finland
  6. Singapore
  7. Ireland
  8. Denmark
  9. Netherlands
  10. Germany

But why does Switzerland keep winning? It seems that Switzerland consistently delivers with regard to patents, technological inventions and programs that recruit and develop new talent.

Patents:  The European Patent Office  recorded, on average, 873 patent applications for every one million Swiss inhabitants. The Netherlands and Sweden came in second and third. It seems that the current generation of Nords are incredibly creative.

Inventions:  What might some of these patents be for with regard to the latest developments in technology?  The Nords put their money where their reputation is, investing heavily in Swiss entrepreneurs and aspiring inventors who have made their country proud with products like: Mouse Scanner by CES; Doodle -digital scheduling platform serving 20 million people (for a culture linked with precision timekeeping this comes as no surprise to the gringa); CleanSpace One, a robot waste collector for use in ridding the galaxy of space junk developed by Swiss Space Center at Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology.

Recruitment & Development: Switzerland aggressively seed funds entrepreneurs. For example, a student at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Johannes Reck, became CEO of his own start-up while still living in the dorms of Switzerland’s premier technical school of higher learning. He launched GetYourGuide, an online service to help people plan holiday and destination activities. Soon after launch, rather than Reck pitching his idea to investors, a local bank actually approached him and made an offer for seed funding. Within four years Reck’s idea has brought in more than $10 million in revenue to a country that invested $2 million in a Swiss citizen with an idea.

Entrepreneur hopefuls or geeks who have dreams of hitting it big with the next trendy gizmo or gadget, you may want to set your eyes on immigrating to Switzerland. But don’t expect it to be a short, easy road to travel. To become a naturalized Swiss citizen you must:

  • Live in Switzerland for at least 12 years before applying for citizenship.
  • Any years spent living in Switzerland between the ages of 10-20 count as double.
  • In 2017 a new law may come into effect reducing the required number of years to 10.
  • Obey Swiss law and customs.
  • Pose no danger to national security.
  • Meet the additional citizenship requirements of your local municipality.
  • Submit citizenship application & schedule an interview.
  • Pass citizenship test that is either written or verbal.

In addition to the basic requirements, living in Switzerland is not cheap. However, one aspect to a high standard of living is the corresponding quality of life enjoyed. To maintain a competitive edge in a society of high achievers, being multi-lingual is almost a necessity. There are four languages commonly spoken within Switzerland and to succeed in business, entrepreneurs would do well to master all four: English, French, German, and Italian.

One great thing for up and coming innovators in Switzerland is that this tiny country boasts a marvelous business practice. The Swiss regard mentorship very highly. There are frequent events that pair entrepreneurs with mentors as well as investors. These are two key relationships that virtually guarantee success for a bright, ambitious young adult. So, young students and aspiring CEOs, rather than look westward toward the sunken landscape of Silicone Valley, the gringa says lift your eyes upwards toward the heights of the Swiss Alps. That is where success secretly abides.

Sources:

www.businessinsider.com

www.finfacts.ie

www.swissinfo.ch

thenextweb.com

Image Credit: lauralyndlt.files.wordpress.com