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A brainstorm in a snowstorm is a Blaster

With the marathon snowfall we've had, it's natural that a new shovel would make its way to the market this winter. The product: the Sidewalk Blaster, invented by Rich Settembre of Liverpool.

This 8 pound, 3- to 4-foot-long metal shovel uses the momentum from pushing and pulling to remove snow, rather than the usual lifting and throwing.

"I'm trying to change the traditional way of thinking about shoveling because people automatically think of lifting," Settembre said.

The idea for this new breed of shovel came to Settembre in March 2010 as he was trying to clear snow off the roof of his home without getting close to the edge. He went into his garage and found a piece of metal, a poll, and a few other materials to concoct a makeshift snow remover, and the concept was born.

The products "remove snow, slush, water, and other materials from roofs, sidewalks, and ice arenas" and are geared towards property owners, engineering departments, snow plowing companies, roofing contractors, and ice rink owners, although individuals may purchase them for their homes as well.

"It's a product of necessity," said Settembre of the Rink, Roof and Shovel Blasters, patent pending.

The name "Blaster" was chosen because it implies taking action against the endless Syracuse snowfall, and one feels empowered when they can get rid of the snow quickly and efficiently, explained Settembre. "'Blaster' sounds like you're getting a chance to get back at-and beat-the snow."

"The Rink Blaster is a 3-foot blade with a 6-foot handle that lets ice rink workers remove snow left from the Zamboni while standing off of the ice, eliminating needs for squeegees, and preventing slips and falls on the ice," explained Settembre.

The Roof Blaster is a4-foot blade with a 6- or 8-foot handle that allows an individual to push heavy snow off the roof at a safe distance-often 8- to ten-feet-away from the edge, minimizing the risk of falls, he said.

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