The man behind the scooter revolution

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Like so many inventions, the scooter was a child of necessity: Specifically, the need to get a bratwurst without looking like an idiot.

One night in 1990, Wim Ouboter, a Dutch-Swiss banker and amateur craftsman, was “in the mood for a St. Gallen bratwurst at the Sternengrill in Zurich,” or so the story goes. He wanted to get from his house to the brat place and then to a bar, stat, but the stops seemed too far apart to walk, and too close to drive. What he really needed, Ouboter decided, was a mode of transportation that would let him swiftly cover that micro-distance. A bike seemed like too much trouble to take out of the garage. What he wanted was a kick scooter.

Ouboter was a big fan of the mode—he came from a self-described family of “scooter freaks,” and he and his siblings had enjoyed hurtling down hills on clunky wooden kickboards as kids. For a brat-to-beer trip, though, he needed a grown-up upgrade—something durable enough to handle an adult rider, but also small and inconspicuous. “The problem is, if you’re a big guy and you’re riding such a small scooter, people will look at you weird,” he told me. “So you have to make it collapsible in order to bring it into a bar afterwards.

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Real Life ‘Edward Scissorhands’

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A Funky New Hair Styler
A stylist has emulated Edward Scissorhands by inventing a set of razor sharp ‘clawz’ which he claims will revolutionize hair cutting. Valentino LoSauro says his devices cut hair twice as fast as normal scissors.

Mr LoSauro spent two years and £150,000 developing his invention. “The idea came to me in the late 90’s,” he said. I am a pianist as well as a hairdresser and wanted to combine that light fingered touch with my styling. (Pics)

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Lil Guppie Multi-Tool

Lil Guppie Multi-Tool

 If you know what’s good for you, don’t mess with the fish

In most situations a guppy isn’t going to help you get a whole lot accomplished. Sure, they’re cute and small, but generally don’t do very much other than look cute and small. The Lil Guppie Multi-tool, however, is a fish of a different kind. Easy to carry, packed with tools, great for making light repairs – not to mention that it’s cute and small, too.

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