Bill Nye, widely known as “Bill Nye the Science Guy”, is a scientist and television personality.
If you were in an elementary school science classroom during the mid-90’s, you’re probably familiar with his educational PBS television show that ran for five seasons:
The television show’s success positioned Nye as one of the most influential science educators of this generation.
His charismatic personality and contagious energy made it fun for children to learn about science. Even though the show ended in 1998, The Science Guy has continued to make waves in the entertainment and scientific community. Aside from television and teaching, Nye has proved to be a forward-thinker in other fields too, such as climate change and space travel.
But it doesn’t stop there.
In an interview with Fast Company in 2012, Nye recounted how he came up with the idea of an improved design for ballet slippers during the filming of an episode of his television show:
”We went to the Pacific Northwest Ballet. The Seattle ballet. These women, they’re 22 years old, and they have three or four surgeries already. They’re covering up their scars with makeup. I just got to thinking about it. The toe shoe has not changed in centuries. So I just got to thinking about it.”
Nye acted upon these observations and created an improved design for ballet shoes. This resulted in a patent titled, “Toe shoe”, which was filed in 2002.
Here’s an excerpt from the abstract:
“A toe shoe capable of providing support to a ballet dancer’s foot while dancing en pointe. The toe shoe preferably includes a toe box in the toe of the toe shoe, an upper, and an outer sole. Support structure within the toe shoe includes a longitudinal support member, a foot encirculating tubular sleeve, and/or a toe ridge.”
Nye also holds another patent which seems a little less obscure – an educational lens device that’s shaped to form a convex lens when filled with water.