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The drive to create

(China Daily)

09:46, May 08, 2012

Tang Zhenping drives his electric vehicle in Banjiehe village, Tongzhou district, Beijing. Wu Changqing / For China Daily

Is alive and well in China, where numerous TV programs and Internet sites popularize the latest devices produced by grassroots inventors. Wang Kaihao reports in Beijing.

If you enter the words cotton candy and hard drive in a Chinese search engine or micro blog site, you will get numerous results on how to turn a hard disc drive into a cotton candy machine. These show how a round metal tin filled with sugar can be set up on a hard drive, connected by six bicycle spokes. A box containing solid alcohol is set under the metal tin and when the sugar melts and is spun by the drive, cotton candy is created.

Its inventor, Lin Bin, a 39-year-old known as "Geek Mr Lin", has been running a hard drive repair store in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, for 12 years.

"I didn't expect to become a celebrity," he giggles. "I just made the machine for fun. My 10-year-old daughter always wants cotton candy when we go to the park, so she inspired me."

Lin has come up with numerous inventions over the years, including a scoring system in 2008 for Laser Strike - an outdoor team player game - and an air-disinfector made during the SARS outbreak in late 2002.

He's just one of many inventors who are popularizing their amazing creations across the country and are being feted on TV shows and blogs.

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