Patently Silly

Patently Silly is a hilarious weblog devoted to exposing some of the more ridiculous patents issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office. Okay, I can maybe understand issuing a patent for the cordless jump rope (maybe), but the American Flag Bandage? This Sun Mask Towel?

Yes, this ingenious contraption is the Sun Mask Towel. I invented this

for Halloween in the second grade, actually, though I should have

secured the patent at that time. You may laugh, but try using a regular

towel as a sun mask, and you'll understand the utility of the cutouts

for your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Sure to restore your faith in American innovation, the nutcracker pictured below is the most stylish use of a female leg since the lamp in A Christmas Story. Surely the product of a male inventor?

Or, in the vein of expository titles like Snakes on a Plane, there is this patent: Amusement Device That Senses Odorous Gases in a Bathroom:

A novelty device that makes humorous statements when a person is having a bowel movement in a confined bathroom. Within the device is a gas sensor for detecting at least one gas emitted during a bowel movement. The device also includes a speaker for transmitting an audible message. When gases from a bowel movement are detected, audible statements are transmitted and synchronized movements are effected in the automated character.

The configuration of a canary in a birdcage was selected because canaries were often used by miners to detect the presence of gas in coal mines. Once activated, a humorous audible message is broadcast. The massage may say "What a stench! Somebody open the window! There are rules against cruelty to animals!" A countless number of messages can be used. The canary may drop over dead.