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59642.  Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:11 am Reply with quote

Question: What do the following have in common: wheelclamps, cheeseburgers, outdoor Christmas lights and a rhinoceros called Mshindi that can paint?

Answer: They all hailed from Denver, Colorado.

Notes: The 'Denver Boot' is the original name for the beloved wheel clamp. Invented in 1953 by a Denver Symphony Orchestra musician named Frank Marugg (who also built his own violin). In Scotland, wheel-clamping on private land is illegal. It was banned by the case of Black v Carmichael 1992 SCCR 709, when wheel-clamping was found to constitute extortion and theft.

The first cheeseburger patent was filed in March 1935 by Louis Ballast, who operated the Humpty Dumpty Barrel Drive in in Denver.* Despite this, Denver's residents are some of the thinnest in America.

In 1919, local resident D.D. Sturgeon was the first to decorate a tree in his backyard with Christmas lights:
It all started on Christmas Eve 1914, when young David Sturgeon was too ill to come downstairs to see the family tree. To make the night a little brighter for his sick grandson, pioneer electrician D.D. Sturgeon dipped some clear light bulbs in red and green paint and strung them outside on an evergreen tree visible from the boy’s room.

The glowing tree pleased not only the boy, but the entire city of Denver. People came by horse-drawn carriage from miles away to see the brilliant, shining tree. The Denver Post covered the story, creating the first written record of electric outdoor Christmas lights.

Denver Zoo houses the only known example of a rhinoceros that can paint with a brush. Mshindi paints a couple of times a month as a part of her 'environment enrichment' and her works are auctioned off to help support a rhino conservation project in Kenya. Here are a couple.

Other Denver inventions include the Ice Cream Soda, floral delivery (by a Mr John Valentine), juvenile court, shopping centers and Shredded Wheat.



*There's an extraordinary fact about 'a cheeseburger' - something to do with its price relative to another commonplace item, or something... but I can't quite remember what it was. Anybody?

59643.  Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:12 am Reply with quote

Angle Grinder Man
One British man became so annoyed at having his car clamped, that he removed one with an angle grinder. He operates as a self-styled superhero called Angle-Grinder Man, offering to remove clamps for free with his angle grinder. Said the blue-leotarded one:
"I may not be able to single-handedly and totally cast off the repressive shackles of a corrupt government - but I can cut off your wheel-clamps for you."

When originally clamped himself, he taped a photograph of the sawed-up clamp to his windshield, along with a note saying, "Please don't clamp me because I've got an extremely sensitive nature."

His website originally read:
This is the Web-Site of Angle-Grinder Man, the world’s first wheel-clamp and speed camera vigilante cum subversive superhero philanthropist entertainer type personage. A big welcome to all good, decent, law-unabiding citizens. Godspeed to you and your four-wheeled, petrol-driven chariots.

The purpose of my site is two-fold: Firstly it serves to publicise and promote my free wheel-clamp removal service. Secondly, it is intended as a forum to consolidate and galvanise public opinion and give voice to the frustrated and disenfranchised silent majority on the issues of wheel-clamping, congestion charging, speed cameras, etc.



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