My own, personal Question Of the Day–Why, more than 119 years after Francis Robbins Upton filed his patent for an electric smoke detector/fire alarm, hasn't anyone improved that little plastic box on my ceiling to the point where it can differentiate between potentially life-threatening situations and say, a smoldering crumb or a rapidly boiling pot of water or even the steam from a really hot shower?
And speaking of smoldering crumbs–in July of 1909, Frank Shailor filed the first US patent for an electric toaster. The idea had been kicking around for some time and the toaster went through so many incarnations that even the Toaster Museum doesn't know for sure who truly invented the first electric toaster, but in 1926 the Waters Genter company definitely began selling the Toastmaster 1-A-1, which promised to pop-up automatically when the bread was toasted.
So why, again after a hundred years or so, hasn't anyone invented an automatic toaster that actually does what it promises to do–that is, toast (both sides of) the bread evenly, consistently, and then pop up after the maillard reaction has worked its carmelizing wonders on the surface of the bread but before carbonization sets in?
Does your toaster live up to its claims? Do I just keep buying really pathetic excuses for kitchen appliances? I'm ready to go back to tearing off chunks of bread, spearing them with a long stick, and roasting them over an open fire. If nothing else, it would cut back on the amount of slicing I'd have to do.