The Widdershins

Invent This!

Posted on: August 16, 2017

It’s a crazy world out there folks. I don’t have to actually say that, of course. It’s always been crazy to some degree, but the current degree is basically hell. But did you know that the first dishwasher was invented by a woman? I know that seems random and it is. I just wanted to change the subject from the madness of the world with something to distract us for a minute or two and wasn’t sure of a graceful way to do it.

So anyway, Josephine Cochrane (1839-1913) from Ashtabula County, OH, was the co-inventor of the first automatic dishwasher. (Her maternal grandfather, John Fitch, apparently invented the steamboat!) Cochrane designed the first model of the dishwasher in the shed behind her house.


To build the machine, she first measured the dishes and built wire compartments, each specially designed to fit either plates, cups, or saucers. The compartments were placed inside a wheel that lay flat inside a copper boiler. A motor turned the wheel while hot soapy water squirted up from the bottom of the boiler and rained down on the dishes. Her dishwasher was the first to use water pressure instead of scrubbers to clean the dishes inside the machine.

Mass production on this modern marvel started in 1897 at the Garis-Cochran factory, though the dishwasher didn’t become common until the 1950’s.

Did you know that Hedy Lamarr invented a bunch of things? One of the most talented and gorgeous of all Hollywood actresses spent her life inventing things. Like trying to improve the traffic light and a pill to make carbonated water (not a successes.) Howard Hughes thought she was a genius and funded a lot of her “tinkering,” like a new design she made of plane wings that made them less square and made planes fly faster.

During World War II, Lamarr learned that radio-controlled torpedoes, which could 220px-Hedy_lamarr_-_1940.jpgbe important in the naval war, could easily be jammed, thereby causing the torpedo to go off course. With the knowledge she had gained about torpedoes from her first husband, she came up with the idea of somehow creating a frequency-hopping signal that could not be tracked or jammed. She contacted her friend, composer and pianist George Antheil, to help her develop a device for doing that, and he succeeded by synchronizing a miniaturized player-piano mechanism with radio signals. They drafted designs for the frequency-hopping system which they patented.

Though Lamarr got a patent for her invention, the US military was too busy at the time (world war and all) and didn’t accept inventions from outside the military. However, in 1962 (during Cuban Missile Crises) a revised design of her invention appeared on US Navy ships. Lamarr and Antheil were posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. This invention laid the foundation for WiFi and GPS.

Do you have a home security system? You should thank Marie Van Brittan Brown. She was born in Queens, NY in 1922 and she invented a security system in 1966 that included cameras that fed a signal to a monitor. Residents could also unlatch the door by remote. Brown said she was inspired to invent this because of the long time it would take the police to arrive after being called by residents. She died in 1999; her invention lives on and keeps people safe in their homes around the world.

United States Navy rear admiral Grace Murray Hopper was a pioneer of computer engineering. She believed that computer codes could be written in English. Many years of research led to the creation of COBOL, the high-level programming language still in use today. Though she was not personally involved in the creation of COBOL, it was her research that led to it and she is commonly referred to as “the (grand)mother of COBOL.”

This is an open thread.



125 Responses to "Invent This!"

@1, battering rams?! These fascist terrorists are more crazy than …. Words fail me.

Because of course they are.

@3> I’m shocked and not shocked at the same time!

Some good news:

This is helpful for perspective. The only story told by these statutes is one of a revisionist history.


@7, definite picture of white supremacy activity.

DYB, Love the post! I did know about Hedy Lamarr but not the others. Thanks for sharing those stories!

Fredster, looked at your link to RP on last thread. Very funny, esp the part about John McCain.

DYB, great post! Grace Hopper is especially revered in my field, and I loved the info about Hedy Lamarr and her partnership with Georges Antheil.

Dump’s CEO councils are now both disbanded, and the backlash against the Nazi insanity is growing YUGE, with Confederate statues coming down everywhere.

I am waiting for the sainted General Kelly, the man of such amazing integrity, to resign from the very, very White House.

Any minute now.

Did you guys hear that Baltimore took down four confederate statues in the early AM hours?

Way to go Baltimore. I’m still so angry over the insanity @ Charlottesville that I think they should do the same, then chop the statue up into little pieces, and when that mob returns, they should sprinkle the pieces all over them by helicopter.

@1, Good lord, they’re probably doing this all over.

@6, I did not know Los Angeles had a confederate memorial!?!?

@7, very interesting.

From your link D, not too many folks knew this about Gracie:

One evening in 1945 while working on the Mark II, Hopper and her colleagues encountered a problem. They took the machine apart and found a large moth. Although the term “bug” had been used by engineers since the 19th century to describe a mechanical malfunction, Hopper was the first to refer to a computer problem as a “bug” and to speak of “debugging” a computer.






I loved Charles Pierce’s take on the Senate primary in Bama yesterday.

I especially liked this part:

In Alabama, it is literally possible for someone to fall off a turnip truck,

Love the post, DYB! I’ve always been bewildered by the phrase “the best thing since sliced bread!” It ain’t that hard to slice bread. I’d personally like to thank Josephine Cochrane for the invention of the dishwasher.

KKK in Georgia:

The Stone Mountain Memorial Association this week denied a Ku Klux Klan request to burn a cross at the park, citing the trouble at a “pro-white” rally last year.

Joey Hobbs, a Dublin man with the Sacred Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, wanted to hold a “lighting” ceremony on Oct. 21 with 20 participants, according to the application. This would’ve been to commemorate the KKK’s 1915 revival, which began with a flaming cross atop Stone Mountain on the evening of Thanksgiving.

@20: I can’t believe I climbed up that damned thing in my younger days. (Took the cable car deal back down)

Trae Crowder has a few words to say about Charlottesville. (adult language used)

For some reason the video won’t embed. (Oh hell it was my ad blocker deal!)

GAgal @19, Ditto! 🙂

@20, they’re more emboldened than ever now, thanks to their prez & veep.

@18, scary stuff! Oh goody. Judge Roy.

@24: Oh yes indeed on Judge Roy. He actually came in first so it’s probably going to be up to the Brooks supporters to give Big Luther a chance. As of yesterday, Brooks had not endorsed either one of them.

And then after that race, comes the general where the designated sacrificial virgin Democrat will be in the race.

What percentage of the vote did Roy “I am the sole occupant of my Universe” Moore get? My google-fu seems to be broken today. All I find are articles gushing about how special Alabama is. :rollseyes:

D, thanks for this post. I just love these types of stories. Truly Renaissance Women. I had no idea about most of these. This is the kind of thing that makes times like these bearable. Thanks for your thoughtfulness in writing this.

If Bannon isn’t fired over this, he is blackmailing Dolt 45 or the Mercers have some dark, dark dirt just straining at the leash to get out. Bannon actually says, “The North Koreans have us over a barrel militarily,” or close to that. He calls the Alt-right losers and clowns. He talks about replacing personnel at State and DoD.

It is inexplicable. It is positively Moochish.

@26, Mr. Moore significantly outpolled Mr. Strange, taking 39.6 percent of the vote to the senator’s 32.1 percent, with 91 percent of precincts reporting as of 11:35 p.m. Eastern time. Representative Mo Brooks, a hard-line conservative, finished third with 19.8 percent of the vote.

These percentages didn’t significantly change.

Gah! DYB, I’ve been so outraged over Trump and Nazi scum that I forgot to compliment you on your post. I knew about Adm Grace Hopper, and IIRC learned about the inventor of the dishwasher (many thanks to her), but not the others.

Time for a cute and funny animal pic!



@32, hmm, was supposed to be a tweet of a quokka, but obviously I don’t code well enough.

@29: Thanks for adding that info Prolix.

@32: I was just getting ready to ask you what on earth that critter was.

Other image from that twitter account.


Here’s your entertainment this evening. From the jury voir dire for the arsewipe Shkreli’s trial.


Interesting and quick read here on confederate statues and the thoughts on them from one Robert E. Lee.

“my conviction is, that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; [and] of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labour.”

the court: Okay. Is that your attitude toward anyone charged with a crime who has not been proven guilty?

juror no. 59: It’s my attitude toward his entire demeanor, what he has done to people.

the court: All right. We are going to excuse you, sir.

juror no. 59: And he disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.

Dayum! Don’t mess with that Wu-Tang Clan, I guess.

The eight year old kid is excited and really looking forward to the eclipse next week. Not because of the actual eclipse of course – but because he has the day off from school.

Just wait until he sees it though. This is gonna be good.

@40: You’ll have to let us know afterwards how it went.

You know, all these breathless pundits (ALL of them) really irk me. After years of birther crap, then Stump’s announcement he’s running while calling Mexicans rapist, etc… and they are so stunned. Geez…

Interesting piece and good read here about the beginnings of David Duke’s rise, written by a good guy from Louisiana.

With Grace Hopper – because I don’t really understand computers beside from Apple products (which are made for dummies) – so hers was the shortest because I had no idea what I was talking about there! 🙂

Prolix, is there really a chance that Bannon will be fired? I feel like the more time passes the less likely Dump is to offer sacrificial lambs.

@45: No need to offer an apology or explanation. Look at this way DYB, you learned something today you didn’t know previously.

Thanks for the numbers, Prolix! So I guess this means it’s a Mo(o)re-Strange runoff. It def couldn’t get more strange than that. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

@46, if this interview doesn’t get Bannon fired nothing will. The part about North Korea alone is just toxic. It undercuts everything. Kim Jong Un most likely will jump on it and ride it like a new found UNicorn (couldn’t help myself). Bannon talks like he is in charge — that will piss off Dolt 45 the most. It is undoubtedly an affront to both Kelly and Mad Dawg.

Kelly has a must attend staff meeting in the mornings. I wouldn’t want to be Bannon. Saying he wanted more violence has to register with someone.

@48, Moore over Strange would indeed be “unpresidented” since Dolt had no Brook for Moore, strangely enough. (that is so bad)

@46 & @48 It tells me that Bannon knows he is getting fired. He’s just going to create some more strategic chaos on the way out. I won’t be the least bit satisfied until Gorka, his wife, Stephen Miller – and oh yeah – President Pig leave the WH.

Funny how Stump has gotten away with being ‘unprecedented’ for two years because he’s special. Ya’ know what would be really unprecedented? Remove an insane man from the WH and allow the winner of the popular vote to take the office. But Nooo.. Constitution, electoral college, blah blah blah… Only Trump gets to be unprecedented. Who died and made him God? Oh, I forgot. Jesus.

I really don’t think Bannon will get fired… I just can’t imagine that. It would be like firing Kushypoop, like cutting off his own arm. I just don’t see it. But I hope you are all right!

Russian media watchdog (they have one?) requests that Daily Stormer be removed from Russian internet. (Russians really do hate Nazis and they only accepted that web-site is to annoy Americans. But they really do hate Nazis. So it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and if the Russian government takes a position on this.)

Great post, DYB. It may not be the most important invention, but I use one of them daily.
Just saw Angela Rye on CNN making her (and Trump’s) case that there is no difference between Washington and Robert E. Lee, thereby giving cover for people to say, ” See, the Democrats really are nuts.”
Allies like Rye, Sanders, Nina Turner, etc. do our cause a world of harm.

Fredster, thanks for posting the pic of the quokka. I couldn’t see the photo after I posted the tweet. Weird.

I don’t think Trump will fire Bannon. He gets into a tantrum if people tell him what he should do.

@60: Oh no problem at all. 🙂

No one said anything about my comment and link at 38 on Robert E. Lee.

I think if anyone needed any justification to remove these statues there it is. Lee himself did not believe there should be any statues of the confederate military figures.

@64, Fredster, I read it quickly very late last night and didn’t understand it then. Good catch, though, I hope someone tweets it to dump.

@31, I love that!

@42, Ditto GAgal!

DYB, do you know of any film digital editing programs for mac that you would recommend?

DYB @ 56, Bannon looks like someone who lived a lot of years in a porn and meth house.

Bet this goes over well with Rohrabacher’s Republican buddies. And he thinks WikiLeaks should get a press pass to WH press pool.

Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year’s election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who is friendly to Russia and chairs an important House subcommittee on Eurasia policy, became the first American congressman to meet with Assange during a three-hour private gathering at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been holed up for years.

@66 socalannie> How fancy of a project are you talking about? The primary professional editing software is Avid Media Composer (my personal favorite.) The other one making inroads currently is Adobe Premiere, which may be a bit more beginner-friendly. But both are very similar in design and function (Premiere was no doubt modeled on Avid.)

I think Apple might still have iMovie built into its operating system for the most basic editing. I personally really really really really dislike it though. 🙂

@70, about damn time.

@64, I read the Lee comment about not commemorating the Civil War, and think it’s a very thoughtful and appropriate observation.

Have been more tired than usual lately, and definitely don’t comment on everything I have a reaction to.

@73, my eyes!!!

DYB @69, Thanks for that info. My kid is taking editing, which seems to intimidate him for some reason, so I was thinking of getting a program for him (and me cuz I’m interested) to work on at home. He has a MacBook Pro. His Film Dept finally got new computers and editing software, and his class is using Avid on macs, so we’re glad to hear that it has your stamp of approval!

Agree about iMovie!

White power sign, too.

@76: annie, since Laker is going to use it for a class, whichever program you decide to get, check to see if you can get it with an education discount.

@72: Luna, for all of the ones who want to shout “history”, let Lee’s own words be thrown into their faces.

@78, Fredster, thanks for the reminder!

@77, Disgusting pair! Rohrabacher is a horrible piece of crap, praying he loses his seat.

Oh, hubs told me its on the news that Rohrabacher met with Assange!!! Assange claims the stuff he posted about the Dems didn’t come from Russia. Assange trying to make Russia look innocent of interfering in the election!

“Who drove the car into the crowd? Hillary’s emails?”

“I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark. I wasn’t confused.”

Rohrabacher isn’t even trying to hide his treason. Just out in the open. Oy!

We all know Assange is a liar. That info didn’t come from anywhere else.

Also, it’s just coming out that Dump called Heather Heyer’s family during her funeral, insisting they interrupt her funeral to talk to him.

Another quote from Tina Fey in that sketch at 81>\

“The next time when you see a bunch of white boys in polo shirts screaming about taking our country back and you want to scream: it’s not our country, we stole it. We stole it from the Native Americans. And when they have a peaceful protest at Standing Rock we shoot at them with rubber bullets, but we let you chinless turds march the streets with semi-automatic weapons.”

A great thread from twitter (which I saw, but here it is collected in an article) response to anyone who says Nazis were socialists.

Maybe you guys were right about Bannon. But the second half of this is chilling. What does Stephen Bannon outside of the constraints of the White House look like? One shudders to think.


Dump called Heather Heyer’s family during her funeral, insisting they interrupt her funeral to talk to him.

He is the lowest of the low. Hope they said “Fuck you” and hung up.

@89> From what I understand Heather’s mother refused to speak to him and now says she has no desire to speak to him at all.

@86, I started to read that and then got so angry and so sad at the same time. Stopped reading. Later I’ll go back.

@87, hope their example starts an avalanche.

Bannon’s out (you guys were right.) Now what?

Hope Gorka, his Mrs and Miller are next.

Bannon’s out, yeehaw!!

Hmmm, did not think Trump would axe Bannon. Glad if it’s really happening, though I’d bet Bannon will still be causing as much evil as he can.

I think Joy Reid is right. Bannon will crucify 45 via breitbart. This may get VERY ugly especially if they tune up the White Nationalists.

@97, exposing more of their ghastly underbellies. We can only hope they turn on each other and not on others, and that communities are prepared to shut them down at marches and other violence.

Hey, all, I’m going to be away for a few days, going backpacking and out of internet access. Yes, there are really places without it. Time to get a rest from Trump & Co. for a while, enjoy nature, lug a heavy pack up a few thousand feet of elevation gain to build up muscle and bone strength (lol) and to practice self-care, with a bit of partial-eclipse (96%-97%) watching.

Take care, all of you, and stay safe!

@93-97: Oh he will definitely stir up the Breitbart crowd. Now I’m wondering what the Mercers will do.

in terms of the intellectual framework of the movement, I think most of the credit there really belongs with Steve Bannon.”

The adviser blamed “the globalists within the White House” for his ouster, adding, “This is a blow…. Everyone’s just devastated by it. It’s a hard one to take.”

I hope they are so devastated they all go drown themselves in the Potomac .

I was wrong about Bannon getting fired (he claims he resigned 2 weeks ago…) But…will he turn on Trump, unleash all his demons against him? Or will he continue to support him, and point his demons against the rest of us? I have no idea anymore!

Someone posted that Breitbart is pissed.

But I can’t predict anything anymore.

@87: If you didn’t think this could be any better, the first letter of each paragraph spells out “RESIST.”


This puts the last month in perspective. Just imagine missing it if the media had not been so fixated on email retention policies.


@100 OMG Fredster! I did not see that! That’s amazing!

At least Bannon will have more time for his aerobics.


@103 Prolix, I don’t drink alcohol, but I really wanted a drink in the middle of that. Or an entire cake, like Tina Fey.

@106, that is the thing, when you are in a deluge of 4 or 5 major new stories a day, people forget just how much nonsensical craziness has happened in a month.

An updated version of the Axios article that basically says Bannon (and Breitbart) are going “thermonuclear” on the “globalists” like McMaster, Cohn, Javanka, etc.

@104: I saw someone else point that out.

@108: Yep the Mercers will be involved with that according to that article.

Awww, did y’all see Mr. Rough-n-Tough Racist Nazi cry like a little baby at the thought that he might get arrested?

There’s an old Russian expression: “I thought we hit rock bottom. And then someone knocked from underneath.”

@113: Gee, I wonder if tRump asked for that help?

So long Bannon, you

Hell, even this smiling is better than you.

This is Bannon on his exit:

We went to see Dunkirk tonight. Heartbreaking. I wish all these gun-toting neo-nazis and kkk would be forced to see it before they go off on their stupid violent marches.

@121: Did you enjoy the movie annie?

I’ll have a new post for the morning around 10:30 eastern.
Also I saw over at sky dancing that Luna said she was taking a week off and heading to the mountains so we may have a quiet weekend around TW.

Yes, we did. It was very moving and tense.

I hope Luna has a great time.

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