The Six Thinking Hats
In 1985, Maltese physician Dr Edward de Bono devised a concept known as the Six Thinking Hats, a method of problem-solving in a constructive way in preference to arguing and criticising, which can lead to bad feelings in addition to being circular. The technique can be adapted and is now used worldwide from schoolchildren to the most successful of companies. The hats comprise six different colours, each relating to a different way of thinking, and ‘wearing’ one hat at a time allows problems to be solved more efficiently and successfully, taking into account the ideas of everyone involved. White represents details and facts; red, problems and emotions; yellow, positive thinking; green, creativity; black, risks; and finally, blue represents process control. De Bono’s invention has changed the way in which many businesses problem-solve, and led the way to many successes.
The ‘Mente’ Headband
Dr Adrian Attard Trevisan, a Maltese researcher, invented the Mente Headband, launched in 2012 as an aid for autism. The headband is said to improve both focus and relaxation by being worn in 40-minute sessions during the day. Fitted with two electrodes that record brain signals, the headband can improve autistic children’s sensitivity to their surroundings by up to 500%, aiding children in being more favourably open-minded in situations that would normally cause stress and tension. Trevisan, who was 28 years old at the time of invention, has a doctorate in neuroscience and in human psychology, and is today the founder and board director of Umana Medical Technologies Ltd.
The Spiteri Water Pump
Invented by Joe Spiteri Sargent, the Spiteri Water Pump (SWP) won Spiteri a national prize during an awards ceremony at European parliament in Brussels in 2008. Producing energy 24/7, this fuel-free pump sits under the water surface and uses the naturally present latent hydrostatic energy to create a ‘waterfall’, which in turn produces electricity through a hydroelectric power system. The idea of the SWP came to Spiteri as he was embarking on a long drive during the time he lived in Canada back in 1989. It is said that the idea was inspired by former Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, who Spiteri recollected, saying, “If only Malta had some sort of waterfall, our electricity would be much cheaper.” The first working prototype of the SWP was constructed between 1991 and 1994 in a four-metre-deep water tank in the town of Luqa, Malta.
With several variations all over Europe, the pastizzi belongs to Malta, and with kiosks selling them all over the island, their popularity with both locals and tourists alike proves they are a culinary invention to be thankful for. These small, hot pastries are most commonly filled with either ricotta cheese or mushy peas and costing less than 40 cents each, they are perfect to grab and eat when you are on the move. The pastizzi is, without a doubt, the most popular fast food in Malta, with traffic often temporarily held up while drivers stop mid-road next to a kiosk to get their daily fix.