Yesterday, inventor Ignacio Marc Asperas of Melville, NY was granted the US patent for an "apparatus for facilitating the construction of a snow man/woman," a.k.a. a snowman-shaped shell with which to cover with snow. That's a bizarre idea, but what truly makes this patent required reading is its totally non-technical language. Here are Asperas' thoughts on...
..."The History Of The Snowman."
The history of the snow man or snow woman is unknown. But, I have to say this. Whoever the first person was to think to form snow into a human figure was a genius. For untold years thereafter, children and adults alike have been thrilled and received joy in making and watching others make snowmen, err women. You know what I mean. At any rate, what is remarkable is that no one has ever thought, or at least reduced to practice, a way to make snow people easy and fun. I have done an abbreviated patent search and there is nothing relating to the subject of creating a snowman. Unbelievable since it is so much fun and considering the effort involved. But, if no one has thought of it, well, no one has thought of it.
...the difficulties of snowman building.
Another problem in the art is that there is often not enough snow. With the first snow fall of the winter, ushers into each of us elatement and joy of running outside and playing in the snow. Unfortunately, all of this enthusiasm is lost on a lack of snow. The first snow fall usually never sticks. We can also drag in global warming here as a culprit for seemingly declining snow levels. But this patent attorney won't reach that far. The point is, wouldn't it be great if we could build a snow man of decent size with relatively less or little snow fall.
...the historical forces leading up to this invention.
It is said that the most ingenius ideas are the most simple in design. The Wheel. The Toaster oven. And, yes, now the ultimate Snow Man. Of course, in hindsight the wheel is not so inventive, but at the time it was an earth-shattering innovation. I do not pretend that the ultimate Snow Man will be as revolutionary to the advancement of mankind, but I do contend that as far as I know no one has ever conceived and reduced to practice such an apparatus.
You can read the entire illuminating treatise here. As the inventor notes, "The following is not a joke patent."
[Spotted on Improbable Research]