History Main / ReedRichardsIsUseless

27th Apr '17 12:55:37 PM Linda58
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* Averted in ''Series/{{Arrow}}''. Felicity was shot in the Season 4 midseason finale and left in a wheelchair. Within a few episodes, Curtis able to use advanced technology to invent a chip that will allow her [[StatusQuoIsGod to walk again]]. It apparently can't be reproduced, but the implications alone are staggering. The criticism this drew (see motivation 3 at the top of the page) from viewers and even the actress who plays Felicity demonstrates why this trope is usually played straight.
25th Apr '17 12:01:14 PM MasterFuzzy
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** In the William Hartnell era, full of 'pure historical' stories, much is made of how the Doctor is unwilling to change history, with virtually no justification given (especially as this only applies to events on Earth, and not other cultures). While this restriction is not explained, the other characters regard it as atrocious in-universe (particularly in "The Aztecs", where Barbara attempts to use time travel to end the Aztecs' human sacrifice, and "The Massacre", where Steven is outraged by the Doctor refusing to intervene in a genocide in France).
** The Pertwee era has a couple of stories ("The Green Death" and "Planet of the Spiders") which involve a [[GreenRocks Metebelis sapphire]], a stone capable of a variety of psychic effects including ''curing mental disabilities''. The Doctor gave it away as a wedding present, and its recipient sent it back to him, where he never uses it ever again (except for appearing as a prop amongst a bunch of CowTools in a typical Fourth Doctor [[{{Hammerspace}} pocket gag]] in "Genesis of the Daleks").

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** In the William Hartnell era, full of 'pure historical' stories, much is made of how the Doctor is unwilling to change history, with virtually no justification given (especially as this only applies to events on Earth, and not other cultures). While this restriction is not explained, the other characters regard it as atrocious in-universe (particularly in "The Aztecs", where Barbara attempts to use time travel to end the Aztecs' human sacrifice, and "The Massacre", where Steven is outraged by the Doctor refusing to intervene in a genocide in France).
France). Presumably, these are the fixed points that must happen, and which the later series discusses.
** The Pertwee era has a couple of stories ("The Green Death" and "Planet of the Spiders") which involve a [[GreenRocks Metebelis sapphire]], a stone capable of a variety of psychic effects including ''curing mental disabilities''. The Doctor gave it away as a wedding present, and its recipient sent it back to him, where he never uses it ever again (except for appearing as a prop amongst a bunch of CowTools in a typical Fourth Doctor [[{{Hammerspace}} pocket gag]] in "Genesis of the Daleks"). But considering [[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E5PlanetOfTheSpiders how much trouble they caused him, this isn't surprising]].



** The Time Lords zealously guard time travel from falling into the hands of other species, though this one is half fears of the damage other species would cause and half the Time Lords being selfish pompous jackasses.

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** The Time Lords zealously guard time travel from falling into the hands of other species, though this one is half fears of the damage other species would cause and half the Time Lords being selfish pompous jackasses. Considering the way some people abuse time travel, this isn't entirely unjustified. The Doctor also relates one example of where the Time Lords tried to help a neighboring planet by giving it advanced technology-the Time Lords got "kicked out at gunpoint. Then they went to war with each other, learnt how to split the atom, [[OneOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers discovered the toothbrush]] and finally split the planet."



* In an interesting {{sitcom}} example, the premise of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' is about young, incredibly smart geniuses working at Caltech and their adventures trying to navigate a normal life. They have specialties ranging into high-end theoretical and experimental physics and are depicted as giving lectures, having papers published and even going on scientific expeditions but it is nothing truly groundbreaking or would make them celebrities. This is lampshaded by Leonard in the third episode, when Penny asked if anything was new in the physics world his response was a bemused "Nothing" and explained that all basic physics concepts have been in place since the 1930s and most of physics work today is basically advanced theories that can't be proven, only internally consistent. The show does break out of this on a few occasions:

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* In an interesting {{sitcom}} example, the premise of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' is about young, incredibly smart geniuses working at Caltech and their adventures trying to navigate a normal life. They have specialties ranging into high-end theoretical and experimental physics and are depicted as giving lectures, having papers published and even going on scientific expeditions but it is nothing truly groundbreaking or would make them celebrities. This is lampshaded by Leonard in the third episode, when Penny asked if anything was new in the physics world his response was a bemused "Nothing" and explained that all basic physics concepts have been in place since the 1930s and most of physics work today is basically advanced theories that can't be proven, only internally consistent. The show does break out of this on a few occasions: occasions, but most of these are things which, even if they are implemented, wouldn't be particularly notable:
25th Apr '17 11:47:58 AM MasterFuzzy
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** In the modern day, this is true, but wizards are also stuck in the past, and they well remember the witch hunts of previous centuries. It's implied that they are afraid of another one, and judging from the stories of wise men and local healers one can find in the Middle Ages, they probably ''did'' assist Muggle civilization before the witch hunts and Statue of Secrecy.



** In ''Literature/DeadBeat'' it is implied that WWI was caused by a necromancer who wanted a lot of bodies to work with, so some wizards have been involved in history, so [[VillainsActHeroesReact the bad guys start events and the White Council trying to counteract them]].
** It's shown in later books that the White Council is stretched to the breaking point just keeping up with their war with the vampires, so attempting to take a proactive stance in the affairs of normal humans is something they don't have the resources for to begin with. ''Literature/ColdDays'' shows that it's not vampires the White Council and other forces responsible for the {{masquerade}} have to remain vigilant against, so much as {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.

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** In ''Literature/DeadBeat'' it is implied that WWI was caused by a necromancer who wanted a lot of bodies to work with, so some wizards have been involved in history, so history. [[VillainsActHeroesReact the The bad guys start events and the White Council trying tries to counteract them]].
them]].
** It's shown in later books that the White Council is stretched to the breaking point just keeping up with their war with the vampires, so attempting to take a proactive stance in the affairs of normal humans is something they don't have the resources for to begin with. ''Literature/ColdDays'' **''Literature/ColdDays'' shows that it's not vampires the White Council and other forces responsible for the {{masquerade}} have to remain vigilant against, so much as {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.Abomination}}s.
** In general, it should be noted that both monsters and wizards want to keep up TheMasquerade, as it's noted that while the average human can't do much against, say, a vampire, a whole bunch of them is another matter.
7th Apr '17 5:21:30 AM ChronoLegion
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* Lampshaded in an episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', where Thawne points out that Ray's dwarf star reactor could be used to cleanly power an entire city. Instead, Ray uses the technology to build himself the Atom suit, so he can play superhero. Even later, when he obtains enough of the alloy for a dozen suits, he still doesn't think to use the rest to help out humanity. This is despite the fact that he started out as a tech billionaire. Averted with Thawne himself in the world he creates using the Spear of Destiny. There, he is once again in charge of S.T.A.R. Labs (though with his own face and name this time) and is praised all over the world for helping to fix climate change, save the polar bears, and other global problems. True, he's still a murdering bastard, but at least he goes back to his roots of wanting to be the hero.

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* Lampshaded in an episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', where Thawne points out that Ray's dwarf star reactor could be used to cleanly power an entire city. Instead, Ray uses the technology to build himself the Atom suit, so he can play superhero. Even later, when he obtains enough of the alloy for a dozen suits, he still doesn't think to use the rest to help out humanity. This is despite the fact that he started out as a tech billionaire. Averted with Thawne himself in the world he creates using the Spear of Destiny. There, he is once again in charge of S.T.A.R. Labs (though with his own face and name this time) and is praised all over the world for helping to fix climate change, save the polar bears, and other global problems. True, he's still a murdering bastard, but at least he goes back to his roots of wanting to be the hero. Also averted in a Season 1 episode, where the Legends travel to the BadFuture not long before Savage takes over and discover that Ray's Atom tech has been "appropriated" by his younger brother Sydney after [[GoneToTheFuture Ray's disappearance]], and Sydney's descendants have used it to build Atom-like robots that serve as the police force of the [[OneNationUnderCopyright Kasnia Conglomerate]], enforcing the board's totalitarian rule. Ray isn't happy about how his tech is misused.
7th Apr '17 5:04:00 AM ChronoLegion
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* Alfred is constantly harping on this trope to Bruce throughout ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', pointing out that if he shared his innovations he could do as much or even more good in Gotham as he tries to as a masked vigilante. Somewhat subverted when a great deal of those innovations are stolen by Bane, including a fusion energy source Bruce had shelved for exactly the reasons it becomes used for.

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* Alfred is constantly harping on this trope to Bruce throughout ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', pointing out that if he shared his innovations he could do as much or even more good in Gotham as he tries to as a masked vigilante. Somewhat subverted when a great deal of those innovations are stolen by Bane, including a fusion energy source Bruce had shelved for exactly the reasons it becomes used for. Additionally, the whole reason Bruce was able to get his hands on the tech is because a lot of it was in the "dead end" department, usually things deemed impractical or too costly for mass production. For example, the [[CoolCar Tumbler]]'s purpose was to jump rivers and build temporary bridges. They were able to get the jumping to work but not the bridge-building, so the project was scrapped. The advanced bodysuit was deemed too costly for equipping every single soldier with it. On the other hand, Bruce also has no right to take that stuff, as it belongs to his company and investors rather than him personally. If it ever comes to light, then he'll be up on embezzlement charges.
7th Apr '17 4:59:53 AM ChronoLegion
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* In defence of the ''Franchise/{{Transformers|FilmSeries}}'' series, Optimus Prime says explicitly that [[YouAreNotReady humanity is not ready]] for the Autobots' advanced ''weaponry''. The same is ''not'' said about the Autobots' ''other'' significant technologies, such as (apparently) FTL travel, mindblowingly advanced computer miniaturisation, robotics, and fabrication. This is particularly egregious since in the first film Simmonds ''expressly'' says that ''much of humanity's'' best 20th century technologies -- from the CD player to the microwave to the internal combustion engine -- derives from what they learned studying a trapped an ''unconscious'' Transformer. Imagine how far they could have pushed if they had a consenting friendly one around to fill in the gaps. In the fourth film, one tech company manages to get their hands on "Transformium", the stuff Transformers are made of. Except their version is the raw stuff, giving it far more shapeshifting capability. We see it taking shapes like children's toys and handguns and [[spoiler:their own Transformers which they lose control of in short order]] -- wait, maybe Optimus was more right than we thought.

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* In defence of the ''Franchise/{{Transformers|FilmSeries}}'' series, Optimus Prime says explicitly that [[YouAreNotReady humanity is not ready]] for the Autobots' advanced ''weaponry''. The same is ''not'' said about the Autobots' ''other'' significant technologies, such as (apparently) FTL travel, mindblowingly advanced computer miniaturisation, robotics, and fabrication. This is particularly egregious since in the first film Simmonds ''expressly'' says that ''much of humanity's'' best 20th century technologies -- from the CD player to the microwave to the internal combustion engine -- derives from what they learned studying a trapped an ''unconscious'' Transformer. Imagine how far they could have pushed if they had a consenting friendly one around to fill in the gaps. In the fourth film, one tech company manages to get their hands on "Transformium", the stuff Transformers are made of. Except their version is the raw stuff, giving it far more shapeshifting capability. We see it taking shapes like children's toys and handguns and [[spoiler:their own Transformers which they lose control of in short order]] -- wait, maybe Optimus was more right than we thought. To be fair, though, the only reason [[spoiler:they lose control of Galvatron is because Megatron downloaded himself into the new body]].
7th Apr '17 4:48:49 AM ChronoLegion
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* Lampshaded in an episode of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow'', where Thawne points out that Ray's dwarf star reactor could be used to cleanly power an entire city. Instead, Ray uses the technology to build himself the Atom suit, so he can play superhero. Even later, when he obtains enough of the alloy for a dozen suits, he still doesn't think to use the rest to help out humanity. This is despite the fact that he started out as a tech billionaire. Averted with Thawne himself in the world he creates using the Spear of Destiny. There, he is once again in charge of S.T.A.R. Labs (though with his own face and name this time) and is praised all over the world for helping to fix climate change, save the polar bears, and other global problems. True, he's still a murdering bastard, but at least he goes back to his roots of wanting to be the hero.
6th Apr '17 7:49:12 PM merotoker
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* Justfied in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', where futuristic giant robots exist but most civilian technology isn't terribly more advanced than what we have in the real world. It's noted that the Evangelions are horrendously expensive to produce, and after Second Impact some countries can barely feed their citizens, much less create innovative new technologies. There's a bit of FridgeBrilliance with this in the manga: [[spoiler:in the reset world where Second Impact never occurred, the technology and fashion seem more in line with the ''real world'' version of the 21st century, rather than what the show predicted in the 90s]].

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* Justfied Justified in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', where futuristic giant robots exist but most civilian technology isn't terribly more advanced than what we have in the real world. It's noted that the Evangelions are horrendously expensive to produce, and after Second Impact some countries can barely feed their citizens, much less create innovative new technologies. There's a bit of FridgeBrilliance with this in the manga: [[spoiler:in the reset world where Second Impact never occurred, the technology and fashion seem more in line with the ''real world'' version of the 21st century, rather than what the show predicted in the 90s]].



** DoctorDoom has a healing ray machine that can regenerate full-body third-degree-burn patients to full health in a day. Being the bad guy, he hasn't released it. But Reed hasn't even tried to duplicate or reverse-engineer that project... and Reed not only knows about the device (it appeared in FANTASTIC FOUR VS. X-MEN), Reed's had possession of Doom's castle at least twice since that story arc. This gizmo appears to have been derived from Battleworld technologies that can revive people to full health so long as any remote spark of life still exists in their body, which makes the lack of creation of similar technology by Richards look even worse by comparison.

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** DoctorDoom ComicBook/DoctorDoom has a healing ray machine that can regenerate full-body third-degree-burn patients to full health in a day. Being the bad guy, he hasn't released it. But Reed hasn't even tried to duplicate or reverse-engineer that project... and Reed not only knows about the device (it appeared in FANTASTIC FOUR VS. X-MEN), Reed's had possession of Doom's castle at least twice since that story arc. This gizmo appears to have been derived from Battleworld technologies that can revive people to full health so long as any remote spark of life still exists in their body, which makes the lack of creation of similar technology by Richards look even worse by comparison.



* In ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'' # 9, some AIM agents stole some of ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'s blood to make manufacture bio-weapons. Iron Man then replied, "Do you realize how far we would advance as a technological species if we didn't have to put up with this every ten minutes?"

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* In ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'' # 9, some AIM agents stole some of ComicBook/{{Wolverine}}'s blood to make manufacture bio-weapons. Iron Man then replied, "Do you realize how far we would advance as a technological species if we didn't have to put up with this every ten minutes?"



* Originally, the Legacy Virus (a diseased specifically engineered to exterminate mutants) was created by writers as an analogy to the AIDS virus (which, according to a real-world [[UsefulNotes/ConspiracyTheories conspiracy theory]], was designed to exterminate homosexuals/drug users/people of African decent/communists/liberals/criminals/veterans/whatever else). The Legacy Virus was going to remain uncured until a real-life cure for AIDS was discovered. However, numerous fans complained that the inability of marvel's supergeniuses to cure the Legacy Virus made them look incompetent, and Marvel decided to go back on its original decision.

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* Originally, the Legacy Virus (a diseased specifically engineered to exterminate mutants) was created by writers as an analogy to the AIDS virus (which, according to a real-world [[UsefulNotes/ConspiracyTheories conspiracy theory]], UsefulNotes/{{conspiracy theor|ies}}y, was designed to exterminate homosexuals/drug users/people of African decent/communists/liberals/criminals/veterans/whatever else). The Legacy Virus was going to remain uncured until a real-life cure for AIDS was discovered. However, numerous fans complained that the inability of marvel's supergeniuses to cure the Legacy Virus made them look incompetent, and Marvel decided to go back on its original decision.



* Before Professor X and SelfDemonstrating/{{Magneto}} founded the X-Men, they offered their mutants to help government/industry solve numerous problems (i.e. the energy crisis, ending world hunger etc.). Government/industry declines the offer, not wanting to upset the status quo.

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* Before Professor X and SelfDemonstrating/{{Magneto}} ComicBook/{{Magneto}} founded the X-Men, they offered their mutants to help government/industry solve numerous problems (i.e. the energy crisis, ending world hunger etc.). Government/industry declines the offer, not wanting to upset the status quo.



** In ''Literature/JurassicPark'', In-Gen has perfected ancient DNA extraction and cloning technology enough to resurrect species that have been extinct for dozens of millions of years. All they want to do with it is a zoo/theme park hybrid with living dinosaurs, and little is said about actual scientific study done with the animals. Some characters do point out that they can't be sure that these animals are correct recreations of the dinosaurs of old, and it is explicitly stated that 1) the dinosaurs have behavioral problems derived from being brought into a world where they don't have parental guidance (and humans have no way of replicating or supplanting it) and there is not an ecosystem they can be successfully introduced to since many other organisms their specieses evolved with are not available and 2) escaped dinosaurs might become invasive species in modern ecosystems that aren't prepared to regulate their numbers. None of these problems would exist if In-Gen just plain forgot about the dinosaurs and directed their efforts into resurrecting species that have been driven to extinction in recent times, whose original ecosystems continue to exist, just with their place in them currently vacant, and that could be raised in captivity by similar living species; and by being much more recent there would be more uncorrupted genetic material available and they could be cloned more easily and successfully. The first novel goes as far as saying that In-Gen's first success was cloning a quagga in the early 80s, but we never get word that quaggas were returned to the wild in their native South Africa.

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** In ''Literature/JurassicPark'', In-Gen has perfected ancient DNA extraction and cloning technology enough to resurrect species that have been extinct for dozens of millions of years. All they want to do with it is a zoo/theme park hybrid with living dinosaurs, and little is said about actual scientific study done with the animals. Some characters do point out that they can't be sure that these animals are correct recreations of the dinosaurs of old, and it is explicitly stated that 1) the dinosaurs have behavioral problems derived from being brought into a world where they don't have parental guidance (and humans have no way of replicating or supplanting it) and there is not an ecosystem they can be successfully introduced to since many other organisms their specieses species evolved with are not available and 2) escaped dinosaurs might become invasive species in modern ecosystems that aren't prepared to regulate their numbers. None of these problems would exist if In-Gen just plain forgot about the dinosaurs and directed their efforts into resurrecting species that have been driven to extinction in recent times, whose original ecosystems continue to exist, just with their place in them currently vacant, and that could be raised in captivity by similar living species; and by being much more recent there would be more uncorrupted genetic material available and they could be cloned more easily and successfully. The first novel goes as far as saying that In-Gen's first success was cloning a quagga in the early 80s, but we never get word that quaggas were returned to the wild in their native South Africa.



* Jesus made one blind man see but didn't bother to cure blindness the world over. Presumably that's within his power.
** Indeed, much of the drama of that story is the local leaders [[LampshadeHanging wondering]] "Why would he only cure this bum, if he's so all-powerful? There must be an ulterior motive, ergo [[HeroWithBadPublicity Jesus is a scam]]."

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* Jesus UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} made one blind man see but didn't bother to cure blindness the world over. Presumably that's within his power.
**
power. Indeed, much of the drama of that story is the local leaders [[LampshadeHanging wondering]] "Why would he only cure this bum, if he's so all-powerful? There must be an ulterior motive, ergo [[HeroWithBadPublicity Jesus is a scam]]."



* In ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', once the protagonist [[MeaningfulName The Nameless One]] can raise party members at the end of the very first dungeon, he can ''always'' do so if that party member hasn't been removed entirely from the game by the player. Even the plotline deaths can be undone in the GoldenEnding, except for the [[spoiler:Nameless One's own death and acceptance of damnation]]. Given the EldritchAbomination, WorldHalfEmpty, TheUndead, TheLegionsOfHell, and all the other things arrayed against The Nameless One and cohorts, this isn't a GameBreaker. It's not even a DiscOneNuke.

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* In ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', once the protagonist [[MeaningfulName The Nameless One]] can raise party members at the end of the very first dungeon, he can ''always'' do so if that party member hasn't been removed entirely from the game by the player. Even the plotline deaths can be undone in the GoldenEnding, except for the [[spoiler:Nameless One's own death and acceptance of damnation]]. Given the EldritchAbomination, WorldHalfEmpty, CrapsackWorld, TheUndead, TheLegionsOfHell, and all the other things arrayed against The Nameless One and cohorts, this isn't a GameBreaker. It's not even a DiscOneNuke.
4th Apr '17 2:56:47 PM MeekGazelle
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* In ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', by 1958 Earth has been invaded by Martians, there was a huge scale Air-War in Europe prior to World War I, and Britain was controlled by [=IngSoc=] from 1945 through 1953, yet absolutely none of this has had any effect on the Cold War, World War II, or, in fact, anything regarding the general course of history. This is what happens when you combine all of fiction into one universe.

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* In ''ComicBook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', by 1958 Earth has been [[Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds invaded by Martians, Martians]], there was a huge scale Air-War in Europe prior to World War I, and [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Britain was controlled by [=IngSoc=] IngSoc from 1945 through 1953, 1953]], yet absolutely none of this has had any effect on the Cold War, World War II, or, in fact, anything regarding the general course of history. This is what happens when you combine all of fiction into one universe.
1st Apr '17 8:21:27 PM DustSnitch
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* Another novel by Shefner, ''The man with five "No"'s, or the confession of the simple-hearted'' (released in the US as ''The Unman''), has the (not particularly remarkable) main character meet several inventors during his life. One of them is a man who accidentally develops a youth serum when working on a drug that would prevent someone from dying by falling from a window (inspired by his baby brother's death). The drug turns out to be useless for its original purpose, as it has to be taken minutes before falling. An unexpected side effect of taking it and falling (or jumping) out of a window is the more youthful appearance of the person. When the news leaks, dozens of people demand to use the serum. Eventually, stressed out from the unending stream of people seeking the FountainOfYouth, he jumps out a window but forgets to take the drug (it is unclear whether the formula was lost, but it's not mass produced). Another person is a chemist who decides to help her father's liquor business. Inspired by the story of {{Jesus}} turning water into wine, she resolves to re-create it using chemical means. She succeeds and makes a number of bottles whose insides are coated in special chemicals that, when filled with water and exposed to sunlight for a few hours, turn into the chosen alcoholic beverage. Much to her dismay, her father condemns the invention, claiming it will destroy his business, as a customer only needs to buy a single bottle to keep a never-ending supply of a particular drink. She ends up not selling any of the bottles and dies before the end of the story, taking the secret to her grave (although, admittedly, the invention did cause quite a bit of trouble in the two cases it did get out).

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* Another novel by Shefner, ''The man with five "No"'s, or the confession of the simple-hearted'' (released in the US as ''The Unman''), has the (not particularly remarkable) main character meet several inventors during his life. One of them is a man who accidentally develops a youth serum when working on a drug that would prevent someone from dying by falling from a window (inspired by his baby brother's death). The drug turns out to be useless for its original purpose, as it has to be taken minutes before falling. An unexpected side effect of taking it and falling (or jumping) out of a window is the more youthful appearance of the person. When the news leaks, dozens of people demand to use the serum. Eventually, stressed out from the unending stream of people seeking the FountainOfYouth, he jumps out a window but forgets to take the drug (it is unclear whether the formula was lost, but it's not mass produced). Another person is a chemist who decides to help her father's liquor business. Inspired by the story of {{Jesus}} UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} turning water into wine, she resolves to re-create it using chemical means. She succeeds and makes a number of bottles whose insides are coated in special chemicals that, when filled with water and exposed to sunlight for a few hours, turn into the chosen alcoholic beverage. Much to her dismay, her father condemns the invention, claiming it will destroy his business, as a customer only needs to buy a single bottle to keep a never-ending supply of a particular drink. She ends up not selling any of the bottles and dies before the end of the story, taking the secret to her grave (although, admittedly, the invention did cause quite a bit of trouble in the two cases it did get out).
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