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Slinky And Netflix: Aha Moments That Changed The World

All great creations -- including the Slinky -- are born from a brilliant eureka moment.

All great creations -- including the Slinky -- are born from a brilliant eureka moment.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010 1:18 GMT

SAN DIEGO (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Every great invention has to start somewhere, and it usually begins with a brilliant aha moment.

Just ask Marlene Wagman-Geller, author of Eureka! The Surprising Stories Behind The Ideas That Shaped The World (Perigee), a new book that explores the bright brainstorms behind the world’s greatest creations.

Wagman-Geller says the Slinky, for instance, was invented by a Navy sailor during WWII when he noticed a spring falling from shelf to shelf aboard a ship.

He figured the spring could entertain his five kids at home for hours, and thus, the Slinky toy was born.

Another eureka moment was the day Netflix, the DVD rental service, was drummed up.

Wagman-Geller says Netflix founder Reed Hastings returned Apollo 13 to the video store six weeks late and was charged a $40 fee when he decided that movie rentals should work on a flat-rate instead, just like his gym fee.

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