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Out of the Ordinary

John EdlundThe process of invention often produces creative solutions to interesting problems. While these new ideas may result in beautifully strange and useful products, it is their uniqueness that makes them so hard to fit into predefined categories, so hard to classify. That is why we have this section.

Canadarm2 It is easy to say that a hoe is a gardening implement or that a process for oilsands extraction can be seen as a development in resource extraction. How should we categorize, however, the remarkable technology used to assist in the construction of the International Space Station? How should we classify a garbage bin that prevents bears from getting in and, in doing so, helps to conserve their numbers and ensure public safety? Whimsical and clever, a suitcase that functions as a life preserver seems to elude categorization. Perhaps the best strategy is to let each invention in this section stand on its own.

None of the inventions profiled in this section are connected to each other in either purpose or design. As vastly different as they are, however, they do have one connection—a connection to Alberta’s inventive spirit and ingenious minds.

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