Eugene Polley has probably done more to foster laziness in America than most. His invention has allowed sofa spuds to remain stationary while flipping through hundreds of channels. Eugene Polley is the man who invented the TV remote control.

Ironically, the man who made it possible to remain on your duff for hours on end lived to the ripe old age of 96. The former Zenith engineer developed the "Flash-Matic" tv tuner in 1955. At the time, it was an expensive luxury item and not widely accepted. In the era of hundreds of tv channels, it is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Ask someone who has lost one.

Polley died of natural causes last weekend at a Chicago hospital. In addition to the tv remote control, Polley has 18 U.S. patents. He also helped develop push-button radios that were once popular in most cars, and the video disk, which was an early version of today's DVD.

If you're old enough, you remember what it was like to have to actually get up to change the channel. I am in that category, but am glad to be able to kick back in my recliner with a cold beverage and change the channel if the Tigers are stinking it up.

Eugene Polley, you were a difference maker.