Ever wonder why Silicon Valley is bursting with new ideas that revolutionize the way people live all over the globe, while places like Saudi Arabia produce almost nothing novel at all? The gap between the two is hard to fathom, but as just one indicator, consider new patents: Silicon Valley, the epitome of explosive creativity, gave birth to over 13,300 new patents in 2010 alone (12 percent of all US patents). Saudi Arabia's 25 million people, on the other hand, hold about 15 US patents. Not per year, mind you. Total.Yes, this measure discounts local Saudi patents, but consider that in 2008, Israelis received 1,496 U.S. patents, roughly 208 patents per million inhabitants per year. Saudi Arabia's rate is about 0.6 per million (and again, total not annual).