The Number of the Day: 7,254,904

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William S. Nye, Science Guy, holds patent number 7,254,904—it's his improved ballet shoe.

Related Quote: Bill Nye on his invention: "We did a show on bones and muscles, and I'm standing there on the sidelines at the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and these women, these young women, these girls, have bloody shoes. And I kind of get to talking to them. And I talk to the ... it's not called a coach. That guy, the dance instructor, the class leader or whatever he's called...The women were all saying, 'This happens every day. I have to throw shoes away because they're bloody.' So I just got to thinking about it and I just realized that traditional pointe shoes — first of all, they're traditional. You can't mess with the look of them. And this business of the pain being part of the rite of passage, I totally get that. But there's another aspect to it, and that is they haven't changed in years and years and years, and so couldn't we make a new shoe? They're centuries old. And so what I like to say is Bill Nye's improved ballet shoe is to the old shoe as the Nike running shoe is to the Chuck Taylor Converse All Star Basketball shoes"

[Sources: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and The Seattle Times. See previous Numbers of the Day here.]

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July 27, 2010 - 10:35pm
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