John B. Goodenough, Michael Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry following their groundbreaking work developing lithium-ion batteries – the batteries which come in smartphones and other commonplace technology. The three laureates received the prize together from the Swedish Royal Academy of Science.
Where Are Lithium-Ion Batteries Used?
Lithium-ion batteries are used on various devices, from smartphones to laptops to electric cars. The three scientists have played an integral role in the development of the technology so that larger batteries could be manufactured and used for the storage of significant amounts of renewable energy that is generated either by wind or the sun. Their goal is to bring humanity one step closer to the fossil-fuel-free way of life.
Their Contribution to the Development of Lithium-Ion Batteries
British-American chemist Michael Stanley Whittingham has been working on lithium-ion batteries since the 1970s. During the oil crisis, he started looking for ways to generate energy that doesn’t involve the usage of fossil fuel. He began by researching superconductors and discovered a material rich in energy. He used his findings to fabricate a battery from metallic lithium, which was “too explosive” to be mass-produced.
John Bannister Goodenough is an American materials scientist who doubled the lithium battery’s potential by increasing its powerful properties. It was his work with cobalt oxide during the 1980s that proved that lithium ions could produce much more energy than the initially estimated two volts. By creating the right conditions, he managed to generate as much as four volts, and that was the breakthrough that propelled the technology into what it is today.
In 1985, Japanese chemist Akira Yoshino used Goodenough cathode to make the technology safer and create the world’s first commercial viable lithium-ion battery. He used petroleum coke and carbon material to manufacture a lightweight, hardwearing battery that could be charged multiple times before deteriorating.
The work of these three brilliant men allowed the invention of batteries that aren’t based upon chemical reactions. Instead, they create energy by allowing lithium-ions to flow back and forth between the anode and cathode.
Where do the best ideas come from? Is it pure creativity? Or is it down to luck? Maybe it’s a combination of the two. At any rate, it seems like the strangest innovations come from the unlikeliest of places. Whether it is a new invention or a cool-looking design, it makes you wonder how people came up with such a unique idea. Here are some cool examples.
Five Star View
This genius restaurant came up with the coolest idea in order to enhance the dining experience for its customers. Basically, all it did was install this angled mirror, which allows customers to watch what the chefs are making for them and the skills they are using in the process.
While it’s unclear exactly how the chefs feel about this, there is no denying that this feature must be entertaining for whoever’s sitting at the bar. It’s definitely cheaper than doing the same thing with TVs.
Let’s face it, most automobile retailers are going to use standard tables for where managers and employees can conduct their business on. However, it seems like this luxury car dealership does things a little differently.
The designers of this branch came up with a pretty cool idea, re-purposing an old Rolls Royce into a dealership’s reception desk. Even if it might not be a Rolls Royce dealership, there is certainly something inspirational about it. At the very least, it’s a beautiful homage.
A Pocket for Everything
It sure does get annoying having to cram all of your shower appliances into the same shelf. Either that or they simply have to rest on the floor, and that can prove to get grimy with time. That’s where the following shower curtain comes into play.
Whoever designed this came up with a great idea of adding pockets to the curtain. That way, every bottle and sponge you need has its own dedicated compartment. Also, less mildew will build up in those mesh pockets.
Home Is Where the Tissues Are
It’s amazing how something can play tricks on the human eye, making you think it is one thing when it is actually something else entirely. Someone designed a tissue dispenser that resembles a house with smoke coming out of the chimney.
However, the smoke in question is actually the tissues. Is there a chance that it could be difficult to reload this dispenser? Possibly. However, it’s much more aesthetically pleasing than just a cardboard box.
Give Me All the Baby Yodas
There is no denying that Baby Yoda has taken over the internet in recent times. Even people who are not fans of Star Wars can’t help but adore the cute little alien from the TV series The Mandalorian.
This person came up with a neat little idea of creating a paper snowflake using the design of Baby Yoda, the TV show’s helmet-wearing main character Din Djarin and the Mandalorian symbol. Whoever designed this has some serious Jedi reflexes.
A Cracking Idea
This idea is less about the end result as it is about the thought and care that went into it, to begin with. Who would think that it is a good idea to take a saltine, crochet a lace doily around it and put it into a glass frame?
One thing is for sure, there is something extremely aesthetically pleasing about it. All of those strings perfectly weaving in and out of corner holes of the saltine is nothing short of impressive.
The Bare Necessities
It is perfectly normal to pass by a gas station and see a sign that shows the price of both regular gas and diesel – it’s just a foregone conclusion at this stage.
It’s to ensure that drivers always have an idea of how much they are expected to pay to refill their engines, even if prices end up fluctuating. However, never in our lives have we seen one of these signs also show the price of milk. This station knows its customers.
It shouldn’t take you too long to work out what is going on here. There are many families out there who had to carry stuff up and down the home via the stairs.
For those of us who can’t afford to have an elevator installed into our homes for this purpose, the following idea might be an easier alternative, from a financial point of view. This hook-and-pull system allows the family to carry heavy things up to the balcony.
What a Masterpiece
Institutions, museums and all kinds of venues work very hard to try and cater to their customers who have impairments of all kinds. Take this art gallery, for example, who came up with an awesome idea for their blind patrons.
They basically put Braille representations of artwork on display which allows customers to feel the art to get an idea of how it looks. The following example shows Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, a masterpiece in the world of art.
What About Ernie?
While this might not be the most mindblowing idea on this list, it’s interesting to think that someone would be inspired to make a onesie of this specific character, above all others. They designed the full-body costume of the classic Sesame Street character, Bert.
As previously said, there are definitely more original ideas on this list. With that said though, there is no denying that it makes the wearer of the suit look exactly like Bert. We just wonder if they also made an Ernie suit.
This Needs to Become a Thing
Anyone who enjoys going to a sports bar is bound to face the following problem. You’re watching your favorite team play while you enjoy some drinks with your friends. However, you can’t wait until half-time to go to the bathroom.
It seems like the owner of this bar came up with the solution to that problem. That’s right, install TVs into the single-occupant bathrooms. The only problem is that people might be too comfortable to leave the bathroom!
It’s Not What it Looks Like
It’s so easy to make dents in those plastic cups and it seems like this person also made one here, right? Right? Wrong. It turns out that the following plastic cup isn’t plastic at all. It is actually a mug made out of porcelain and designed to resemble a plastic cup.
The intentional dent adds to the authentic look of it. It might be one of the least necessary ideas on this list, but it’s a cool thing to have around the house.
Size Doesn’t Matter
You would be justified to believe that this is some sort of hoax or an optical illusion. In reality, though, this is simply a really skinny building, which was built in London, England, of all places.
While this might seem like a useful, space-effective idea, we hope the architect took into consideration how much of an impact wind will have on the building. If a strong-enough breeze collides with that house, it looks like it’ll simply topple over.
It’s All Uphill From Here
Now if this isn’t a good idea, we don’t know what is. Apparently, in parts of Norway, planners came up with an ingenious idea to save bike riders the hassle of having to ride up steep hills. This is a public bike escalator, which we would probably compare to a T-bar on a ski hill.
Except, instead of being for skiers, it’s for cyclists. Parts of Norway are home to some truly steep hills so it seems like there is a demand for these escalators.
The Ultimate Library Carpet
Libraries aren’t necessarily the most stimulating places in the world. In order to really get the juices flowing, you need to open up a book and start doing some reading. However, some libraries have some neat little ideas, like this one.
This carpet is made out of small pieces from book pages. The likelihood is that the library took a bunch of books that were no longer useable and they made a whole design for the carpet.
The Force is Strong With This Sandcastle
There are some truly impressive sandcastles out there. While this might not be the very best one, we can’t help but awe at what it is supposed to be. Anyone who is a fan of Star Wars knows that this is supposed to be the Millenium Falcon, which Han Solo used to fly with his partner in crime Chewbacca.
The pebbles and seashells certainly add another dimension to it. It’s ironic seeing that we first saw the Falcon on sandy Tatooine.
This seems like an awesome idea but one that our generation is not quite ready for yet. The gimmick is as follows: you essentially wear a onesie that has pillows attached to the back of them.
Depending on the one you wear, you’ll be able to adjust to virtually any type of hard surface, allowing one to stay comfortable in public. Ultimately though, who wants to wear pajamas out and about? Maybe with a few more drafts, this idea could actually work.
Where Retro Meets Future
Whoever thought of this idea needs to win some sort of award right now. Basically, this engineer took a pair of fenders from the classic VW Beetle and converted them into a pair of motorbikes!
While they don’t exactly look like the most comfortable vehicles in the world, there is no denying that they are cute to look at. It just goes to show how one can take something and transform it into something completely different.
Striking Out at the Bodega
You might be thinking to yourself the following: “Why does this bowling ally have shopping shelves on either side of it?” The answer is pretty simple actually. This isn’t a bowling alley. On the contrary, this is a bodega and the owner has used the flooring from bowling lanes for each of the aisles.
This is the most important question though: what came first, the bowling alley or the bodega? Also, do staff play bowling after they close?
Spiders Are Forever
Believe it or not, but there are actually quite a lot of people out there who have spiders for pets. This arachnid was once the beloved pet of a particular owner. However, they ended up passing away and the owner was determined to immortalize her in some sort of way.
So, they came up with the idea of having her coated in copper. Moreover, the owner replaced the abdomen with crystal. Now, the owner can wear his beloved spider around his neck wherever he goes.
What started off as a funny idea by this guy ended up turning into a full-on tradition. Basically, the man in this collage of photos made a T-shirt by printing a photo of himself from the previous year.
Then, he started taking a photo of himself wearing the previous year’s T-shirt and the tradition just kept on going. It has been six years so far, but this guy plans to keep on going for as long as he can.
Not all of us have a feature in our home that doubles as a light and as a ceiling fan. However, those of us who do have faced the same issue for years now. How do you remember which switch turns on the light and which one turns on the fan?
While this solution isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing idea on this list, the beauty is in its simplicity. Basically, the switch for the fan has little propellers at the end of it, while the light switch has a tiny lightbulb!
A Window of Opportunity
Things are not always the way they seem and the wall paint on the side of this building is a perfect example of this. It almost looks like it could have been something drawn in the classic movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
However, it turns out that the wall was painted in a way that only makes it look as if it is an animated background. We’re not entirely sure where this building actually is. One thing is for sure though, it’s cool.
Biggest Robot Ever?
There are some truly unique looking buildings located around the world, with some of the strangest ones being found in Bangkok, of all places. The capital of Thailand is actually home to a building that is reminiscent of a gigantic robot.
While tourists might hope that this structure comes to life like some sort of transformer, think again. It might be known as the Robot Building, but it turns out that it’s actually just a bank. It was inspired by the architect’s son’s toy.
One Way to Solve a Puzzle
The brilliant idea behind this photo isn’t the creation of the puzzle itself, but the way that the person who bought it ended up putting it together. Puzzles shouldn’t be that complicated, right? All you have to do is connect the pieces together so that you can see the end result in its entirety.
However, this person decided to do things a little differently, simply grouping together the pieces of similar color schemes and creating the shape of a horse.
Anyone who rides a bike certainly likes to live life in a free kind of way. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when cyclists decide to give their two-wheel modes of transport a strange makeover. This guy came up with the idea of adding a wooden frame to his bike, that looked more like a boomerang than anything else.
Or, if you want to get a little darker, you could accuse him of some sort of copyright infringement against one of the world’s leading shoe manufacturers…
Don’t you just love it when someone decides to paint a structure to make it resemble a wild animal? This construction team decided that it made perfect sense to paint their crane in the colors of a giraffe. This might be in part due to its slight resemblance to the long-necked creature.
It is standing on four legs and it’s “neck” is very long. Let’s face it though – it does stick out like a sore thumb and it isn’t the prettiest thing to look at.
This Went Accordion to Plan
Did you ever think that the connecting bendy part of extended buses kind of looks like the middle part of an accordion? Yes, we did too! Well, it turns out that a designer finally decided to capitalize on this comparison and actually add the design of an accordion to either end, as can be seen in this photo.
Unfortunately, though, the bus doesn’t actually play cheap street music while driving around the city, it’s just for show.
You would be surprised just how many weird shapes have been made into combs. There seems to be all sorts of gimmicky combs available to purchase. However, how many of them actually work because of what they are based on? This comb, which is based on the skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex is perfect for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the “teeth” of the comb resemble the teeth of the dinosaur in question. And secondly, you can actually open the “mouth” of the T-Rex!
There are a million and one ways to eat a banana. You can peel it, cut it into pieces, make banana bread out of it. The list just goes on and on and on. However, never in our lives have we seen a person eat a banana quite like this before.
What is so genius about this idea is that the eater in question is essentially using the banana peel as a bowl to eat the nutritious goodness from. We can get behind this, for sure.
The Anti-Lego Slippers
For years, the pain caused by stepping on a tiny Lego brick that’s been lying around the house has been a problem for many parents. In 2015 Lego came to the rescue, they teamed up with a French advertising company and created a limited edition of extra-padded slippers to protect the parent’s feet.
1,500 Anti-Lego Slippers were distributed randomly to people who had filled out a Christmas wish-list on the Lego French website. So, you might be able to get it on eBay if you’re lucky.
An Unforgettable Pillow Fight
Designer Bryan Ku has created a playful take on the most harmless battle. Instead of using regular pillows, kids and adults can use these fun weapon shaped pillows to play with around the house.
These awesome weapons are made from stuffed fabrics so they dosn’t hurt your opponent, plus you can use different weapons such as axes, grenades and pirate swords. That sounds like a fun activity you can do at home!
Change the Weather in Your Room
Another innovative creator is Richard Clarkson, who created a cloud-shaped lamp to give you the feeling you have your very own cloud in your apartment! That’s not all.
The lamp can turn into thunderclouds, and it includes a built-in-acoustic system that allows you to enjoy the presence of a thundercloud in your room without taking the risk of going out when it’s cold. How cool is that?
Losing nails, bolts, and screws is pretty common, especially if you’re doing everyday things like hanging a picture on the wall or if you’re sewing that’s a mess on its own. The Magwear Magnetic Wristband can definitely help you with that.
This is a brilliant idea and actually well-executed, it’s a great solution to keep things as tidy as possible because when you’ve got screws rolling around the house it’s always a challenge to find and pick up the back up before someone steps on them…
The Loch Ness Pot Monster
If you want to spice up your soup a little by adding a Scottish legend to it, then you should get the Loch Ness monster ladle. You can use it to scoop up the soup from your pot! Not only is it super cute, but it’s a fun way to get your kids to drink some nutritious soup.
Go ahead and give it a try! Well, it’s fun for adults too, who doesn’t like to drink a Loch Ness monster themed soup?
Your Personal Barista and Alarm Clock
Who knew that was possible? A British creative designer, Joshua Renouf made every coffee addict’s dream come true. “The Barisieur”, is a coffee brewing machine and it also includes an alarm clock.
This machine will literally serve you a cup of coffee in the morning, imagine what it’ll be like to wake up to the incredible smell of your favorite coffee, in the comfort of your bedroom!
A Smart Plate
This amazing idea came from Annet Bruli, a Dutch social designer who wanted to make a positive impact on people struggling to become healthier. This plate is designed to have sections that visually divide your food with the sufficient amount needed for each.
This is perfect for portion control when you’re just about to embark on your weight loss journey. If you want to switch to a healthier lifestyle this can definitely do the trick until you start getting the hang of it!
A Mattress Made for Cuddling
The struggle of having no leeway in the mattress for your arm when you’re cuddling your significant other is a world-known problem. Well, this special mattress is a real game-changer, who would have thought you could put your arm in a fold inside your mattress?
This is probably one of the best ideas that were made possible! Cuddling your bae is now looking more promising, plus you won’t feel that annoying pressure on your arm as if it’s going to fall off from your body.
Multitasking Made Right
If you were looking for a two-way solution for staying fit while taking your toddler on a nice ride outside, then this tricycle is the perfect solution for all of the parents out there who want to stay active!
This is suitable for toddlers from the age of one to five years old. So why not take your toddler and dog for a stroll at the same time? This is definitely a fun way to stay active!
Separating Yolk Like a Boss
Separating the yolk from the rest of the egg can be a struggle for some of us, but there are a lot of patents and inventions to make things easier. There are plenty more fish in the sea but boy, you’ve never seen this little fishy silicon contraption.
Who hasn’t dreamt of having a fish helping out in the kitchen? Whoever created this silicon shaped fish really thought of it all!
It can be quite daunting reading a book and realizing that after reading 100 pages, you still have another 300 to go. That’s where this publisher comes into play. Instead of adding page numbers, they thought of an ingenious idea where each page of the book shows the percentage of how much you have read so far.
Not only does it ensure that you remember where in the book you reached, but it also provides a sense of achievement, giving the reader a progress bar.
The World of Card Games
Upon first glance, it might not seem so obvious what the “unique idea” was in this photo that the person came up with. However, if you look a little closer, it becomes increasingly clear. Basically, if you put this deck of cards together in order, it forms a map.
It’s something out of a treasure hunt movie, where the hero puts together some pieces that helps them locate the prize. We’re not entirely sure what the map is showing, but as we said, it’s a great idea.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants around the world with unique designs in their bathrooms. The following photo is a classic example of this, quite literally. Of course, cassette tapes are very much a thing of the past and are, by all accounts, vintage.
So this bar came up with a cool idea to line the wall of its bathrooms with tapes from a variety of music genres. Customers are able to inspect which of their favorite bands have been included in the design.
The Master of Camouflage
The uploader of this photo wrote the following caption for it: “My mom painted this outlet to match the rocks.” That’s all we needed to understand the masterful craftsmanship behind this awesome idea.
This woman absolutely nailed it, quite literally, making the outlet blend into the background with this seamless form of camouflage. It just goes to show how our eyes can deceive us. Thankfully, the outlet is still obvious enough to see so that one can use it.
Who Needs a Clock?
You would think that maybe this is the kind of creation that we no longer need these days. However, that takes nothing away from how awesome of an idea it is. Basically, it is a 3D-printed sundial that actually displays the time in the shadow. Don’t ask us how this actually works.
All we know is that there is some sort of magic at play here. And all they need to do now is make one that can fit in our pockets.