Invention: Bullet Melting Vest

November 30th, 2006

Don’t worry – as I know nothing about chemistry or physics, this explanation will be very simple.

Take your average bullet made out of, say, some kind of metal.  Now, take this vest made from a ‘special’ material that’s chemically-reactive to bullet-metal.  The idea is that once the bullet and the vest come in contact, a very fast chemical reaction takes place that dissolves the bullet.  You know how certain metals explode when they come in contact with water?  Well, this is exactly not like that.  It’s more like if the bullet was made from soft fudge.

I’m not sure what the illustration is for.

Bullet Melting Vest

Invention: Lefty Pen

November 29th, 2006

Every Lefty knows that writing in English was invented by a Righty.  Righties probably wonder why Lefty handwriting tends to look terrible, and why Lefties always look awkward and lame while using a writing implement.

Here’s how writing works, for the preschoolers reading this: you hold a pencil (or crayon or sidewalk chalk) in your right hand, and pull your arm to the right, away from you, towards the end of a line.  Repeat until all lines are full and the teacher hands you a new page.  Yeah, sounds great – if you’re a Righty.  Because of Righty-bias, Lefties have to push the pencil towards the right – their hand covering what they’re writing the whole time.  Thus Lefties are in a continuous fog.

Get it?  Righties pull, Lefties push.  It’s hard to explain exactly why this means that Lefty handwriting has to look stupid, but it does.  If, however, Lefties could start on the right side of a page, and write towards the left, then Lefty writing would be beautiful and flawless.  That’s never going to happen because everyone would need a mirror to read Lefty handwriting.

Most Lefties have also had the experience of ball-point pens getting screwed-up.  The classic black Uni Ball pen is a good example of this.  A Lefty can use one of these pens for a little while, but eventually all of that pushing-motion scrapes up paper and dirties up the ball-rolling thing, or something.  I don’t really know exactly what’s going on, but it’s a serious problem that needs a remedy.

Hence: Lefty Pen

Lefty Pen

Shown at the angle a Lefty would be using it – the idea here is that the ball-point hits the surface the way it would if a Righty were using a regular pen.

Movie: Grave Robbers! (brainstorm)

November 28th, 2006

This idea is about a year old – found while scouring old notebooks for gems. It’s an idea-association for a story about 2 buddies that decide a great way to make money is by stealing long-forgotten jewelry and other junk from caskets.  I was unemployed at the time and it did seem like a pretty good idea.  But, I wasn’t totally confident that this was the best idea, so I set out to discover other possibilities for a story (involving cemeteries and loot).  My favorite part is the branch of crazy ideas that ends with ‘animal operated bakery’.  Sometimes, this is like Found! Magazine, but it’s just my own stuff.

Grave Robbing Brainstorm

Self Help Book: 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People

November 27th, 2006

Sure, you’ve heard of that one book.  It’s inspirational.  That’s great.

The problem with that book, however, is that my book is a lot better (and I haven’t even written it yet).  It will boil life down to its starkest whitest nakedest bones.  And it’s so simple that once you know the 7 things in life you should avoid, you won’t even need to read the rest of the book:

7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People  (or How to Fail at Everything)

  1. Be a Quitter – You don’t even have to wait for something to get difficult.  This goes great with #4.
  2. Make Excuses – This takes practice, but will become second-nature with a little effort.
  3. Be Lazy – Marijuana and alcohol are great ways to boost your lazy-index.
  4. Have No Goals – A tricky one, but here’s a mantra that might help: “I suck”
  5. Be Disagreeable – When you enter a conversation all positive ideas should wither and die before they’re even spoken.  Once perfected, your expression should be able to do this from across the room.
  6. Watch TV – You can supplement this with the Internet.  The important thing to remember is that anytime you’re left without distractions you run the risk of a new thought originating in your head.  This is bad.
  7. Spend Your 401k – Ideally you wouldn’t even have a 401k, but if you happen to have one already then you need to liquidate it immediately, take the tax hit, and buy yourself the most expensive and impractical item you can.

Remember, each habit is equally important.  You can’t skip any of them.  I’m serious – heed my words or you will fuck up and find yourself getting something done.  Then you’ll never be the ultimate loser you and I want you to be.

I can hear you now: “But I already have some money in the bank and my savings keeps growing!”.  Look, it’s too late.  You’ve failed at failing.  Nice going.  OK, it might not be too late, but you need to act fast.  Quit your job immediately, and apply for a new job at Wal Mart.  This is a virtual guarantee you’ll 1) Never be happy, and 2) Never be able to afford anything in life again.

Let me know how it goes.

Penguin 2.0

November 25th, 2006

If you saw that cute but overrated documentary March of The Penguins, then you were probably thinking the same thing I was: why are penguins so mal-adapted for everything? They can barely walk, they can’t fly, it’s a crap shoot whether their offspring die or live because not only can they not hold their eggs, they can’t even see them. I know what you’re going to say, though: at least evolution endowed the emperor penguin with the super-special ability of sliding down snowy hills on their bellies. I would not argue with you.

But, instead of feeling sorry for these cuddly mutants, let’s use a little technology to improve the penguin; or at least make its life a little less miserable and pointless. Here’s a few ideas:

Penguin 2.0



















Invention: Sunglasses that make you feel like you’re totally fucked-up, dude

November 24th, 2006


Life Filtering Glasses 







I try not to think too much about what’s ‘possible’ or ‘not possible’ using ‘today’s technology’.  In fact, I don’t care if something is possible within the laws that govern the universe.

These electronic glasses allow you to see the world through any number of ‘filtered’ ways.  Beyond simple tinting, they could manipulate the physical appearance of reality.  Think of it as Photoshop filters for life.  Imagine the world looking as if it were a Van Gough painting.  Imagine patterns of tiny dancing skeletons all over the place.  Why do you need to drop acid if you can have your glasses do it for you? 


This could be done ‘today’ by having stereo video cameras mounted on the glasses, feeding into a computer and software running real-time calculations on the image-data and projecting the results back onto small LCD screens in front of the eyes.  Of course this would all have to be done in real-time.  And obviously, it’d be a lot cooler if they looked like regular aviator sunglasses and not a dorky gadget on your face.

Process Documentary: Where Tires Come From

November 23rd, 2006

An animated documentary film following the entire process of manufacturing an automobile tire – beginning with the raw materials and calculating every bit of energy used along the way.

This sketch focuses on the oil used (and exaust/pollutants) during different steps in the process.  A real map of energy and waste produced for a tire would be vastly more complicated.  For example: what about all of the oil used for electricity and fuel to manufacture each of the machines used along the way?  And the energy used in making the macines that made the machines?
















Self Help Book: Liberate Yourself From What Confines You

November 21st, 2006

or How to Break Out of a Maximum Security Prison

This would be based on documented escapes, floor plans, theoretical escape routes, near-escapes, using well known prisons as examples. 

Chapters (not in any order):

  1. Bribery – of other inmates and staff.  (Money, drugs, sexual favors…)
  2. General Do’s and Dont’s – don’t kill anyone unnecessarily, and don’t tell anyone what you’re up to unless you trust them.  Join a gang for protection.
  3. How to fashion tools and weapons from everyday objects (including hardness charts of various materials, so you know if it’s even possible to use a stainless steel spoon to dig through poured concrete )
  4. Layouts of well-known prisons (based on blue prints, inmate sketches, aerial photos…)
  5. What to say if you’re caught in the act
  6. Don’t be discouraged if you fail the first time (and get thrown into solitary)
  7. How to self-inflict a serious but non-fatal injury and get taken to a hospital
  8. How to escape from guarded hospitals
  9. Cryptography, and how to encode messages (to other inmates and through mail/e-mail)
  10. How to make money selling drugs, booze, and cigarettes

While You’re On The Lam: 

  1. Edible plants
  2. How to purify stream water
  3. How to catch wild animals, clean, and eat them
  4. General boy-scout type stuff
  5. How to avoid detection by infrared cameras (think Predator)
  6. What to say and not say to a beat-cop who asks you for your ID.
  7. How to establish a new identity
  8. How to steal someone else’s


 Sorry, no awesome drawing for this one.

Relaxation Video

November 21st, 2006


Relaxation Video

You’ve had a long, stressful day.  There’s mouse droppings in your cupboard, the hot water in your apartment went out again, no one was home when your Amazon shipment arrived, so you have to wait in line at the post office on the weekend, your roommates friends are sleeping on the living room floor, your dog is snacking on a bloody tampon it found in the bathroom trash…etc.

What you need is a way to unwind, to blow off some steam, to relax.  Sure, have a beer, but you know sometimes that just gets you even more riled up.  Pop a pill?  Sure, maybe.  But what you need is the calming comfort of a Relaxation Video.  Yeah!  Imagine cute little bunnies bouncing through a field, playing with daises, munching on giant carrots, all in slo-mo.  Yeah, or kittens playing with balls of yarn.  How about some majestic snowy mountain-peaks? 

Feeling better already?

15$ + shipping and handling for the DVD. 

Game: Falling Cheese

November 20th, 2006

I’ve been carrying this around for a while, but it’s such a brilliant idea I had to add it.

Mouse Cheese










What’s going on here?

This mouse is stuck on this teeter-totter contraption, as pieces of cheese continuously fall on either end, threatening to throw the balance off.

A cat (or other mouse predator – mongoose maybe?) roams below and cheese falls on his head (when this happens you get extra points.)

This is a very lo-fi idea – I tried to get the Flash guys at work to make it for me, and although I could see through their sarcastic mocking that they were really in love with the idea, they told me it was stupid and refused to help me.

I imagine this would have some really great physics.

Design notes:

The mouse could eat the cheese, but if he ate too much would throw up, offsetting the balance again.  As the platform leans to one side, the cheese begins sliding down the slope, so the mouse would need to run to the other side to regain balance.

The original idea called for poo, rather than cheese.  I don’t know why.

Browser Plug-in: Visual Browsing History Map

November 19th, 2006

This would be a map showing you the history of your web-browsing for a particular session.  You could click on any of the thumbnails to revisit a site you’ve already been to.  It’s a visual chronology of your browsing, which also keeps track of back-button presses.

Visual Browsing History Map










Notice point 2 – this is a google search results page

The top-most 3 represents a link you chose from a google search. (these would all be thumbnails of the actual pages visited)

Then you hit the ‘back’ button, and clicked the middle 3 (another link from the google search).

From there you clicked another link – the top-most 4You didn’t like that page, so you hit ‘back’ twice – leaving you back at 2.

From there you clicked another google link (the bottom 3), then another page…ok you get it.


Invention: Wi-fi Headphones

November 18th, 2006

Imagine a pair of headphones that have built in wi-fi (they can connect to the internet). This could create a number of ways to listen to audio wirelessly. You could listen to internet radio for example.

Wi-Fi Headphones

But here’s what I would want to do:
1. Leave my computer on at home (with iTunes shared or Red Chair softwares Audigen, or something)
2. The headphones constantly search for an open wi-fi hot spot
3. When a wi-fi hotspot is found the headphones connect to my home computer’s music collection.
4. I use a little remote control gadget attached to the headphones to peruse my music collection.

This way you could have a huge collection of music at home, and be able to listen to it anywhere you go, and not be dependent on an expensive hard-drive-based-gadget (ie. Ipod). There could also be a buffering system where the devices downloads the songs to internal memory, so if you temporarily lose signal you’ll still be able to listen without interruption.

Futuristically, you could even share other types of media, like photos or even movies, all over wi-fi (though you’d need a little video screen with wi-fi, rather than, or in addition to, the headphones), and it could all be coming from a Media Center-type PC/hard drive in your living room. The idea is to leave all you media at home.

Invention: Eat Steak One-Handed With a Knork

November 17th, 2006

The Knork (nork)

Knork (nork)

Mosquito Bites

November 16th, 2006

Cherry filled chocolate candy in the shape of a mosquito.  I have a lame drawing of this one, but imagine like an advent calender type-chocolate, with cherry goo inside.

Not exactly an invention…

November 15th, 2006

just a good idea.

Cleansing Cannon