Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

A quick look at everything that tickled my fancy this past week.

Let There Be Light:

Israeli researchers have discovered a new property of light: its ability to branch flow.

As the Times of Israel puts it:

“In an accidental breakthrough made while blowing kids’ soap bubbles, Israeli scientists have observed light behaving in a ‘beautiful’ manner never before seen by the human eye.

They captured the process on camera and wrote an academic paper declaring themselves the first people to see a physical phenomenon called ‘branched flow’ in action, which will be the cover story in Thursday’s edition of the renowned journal Nature.”

Interestingly, it could, “lead to a new area of physics…[where] the light from branched flow will be useful in medical diagnosis…[and] could bring about more pinpointed examination of blood vessels and veins, and could also be developed to ‘steer the flow of liquid’ inside the body to remedy some health issues.”

Better Queues: 

Netflix chills out, finally gives the people what they want: the ability to remove titles from their continue watching queue that they clearly have no interest in continuing to view due to the fact that they stopped viewing it in the first place!

As Deadline puts it:

“Netflix subscribers are celebrating the service’s latest innovation: the ‘Remove from row’ feature.

While it’s not exactly a game-changer, the feature is a fantastic way to remove annoying — or possibly embarrassing — content that keeps popping up in the ‘Continue Watching’ row.”

Netflix - Apps on Google Play

Higher Education:

COVID-19 may have forced everyone to turn to remote learning to finish their school years but one man in Japan took things to the extreme by going to a remote area of Japan to obtain the world’s first master’s degree in ninja studies!

CNN explains:

“A Japanese man has become the first person in the world to hold a master’s degree in ninja studies, after completing a graduate course that involved learning basic martial arts and how to stealthily climb mountains.

Genichi Mitsuhashi, 45, spent two years studying the history, traditions and fighting techniques of ninjas — the mysterious covert agents of feudal Japan — at the country’s Mie University.

Known for their secrecy and high levels of skill, ninjas were masters of espionage, sabotage, assassination and guerrilla warfare dating back to at least the 14th century. Yet Mitsuhashi said ninjas were also independent farmers, and he moved to the mountainous province of Iga, 220 miles from the Japanese capital Tokyo, to better understand how they lived.”
BBVA quiere convertir a sus empleados en 'ninjas digitales'


Amazing Hummingbirds:

The other day I almost got decapitated while reading outside, nearly the victim of an accidental Hummingbird flyby.  But that’s not why Hummingbirds are amazing.  They’re amazing because they can see colors that we can’t even fathom.

As Wired puts it:

“The tests showed that the birds could see every nonspectral color that the researchers threw at them. Color pairs that were closer together in hue resulted in more mistaken visits but still beat the 50/50 odds of the control experiments.

As an additional plausibility check, the researchers scanned databases of precisely measured colors that appear in plants and birds. These nonspectral colors are quite common in nature, accounting for 30 percent of bird plumage colors and 35 percent of plant colors in the databases. So it would certainly make sense that hummingbirds (and other birds) are able to see these colors in their environment.

And the researchers do think this study is generalizable beyond just the broad-tailed hummingbirds that volunteered for it. Many things are poorly understood about the physiology of eyesight across bird species, much less the neural processing of signals from those color cones in the eye, but what we do know suggests hummingbirds are probably representative. ‘Although these experiments were performed with hummingbirds,’ the team writes, ‘our findings are likely relevant to all diurnal, tetrachromatic birds and probably to many fish, reptiles, and invertebrates.'”

a hummingbird

Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?

Read Full Post »

Quarantining has been a struggle for a lot of frustrated people who are bored, lonely, going stir crazy, and suffering from Skin Hunger.  For others it’s been a blessing in disguise, an opportunity to learn new skills, discover new passions, uncover hidden talents, and explore their creativity.

As we pass the half way point of the year I thought this would be a good time to take a quick break and look at the best content to come out of the quarantine so far.  Without further adieu I present to you the Quarantine Awards for the first half of 2020!  In no particular order…

Sarah Cooper’s Trump Impersonations:

We laugh so we won’t cry.


The Great Indoors:

These miniature characters are having the time of their life.  At least someone is…


Stuntmen fighting COVID remotely:

Transition videos that linked people in different locations became all the rage.  Here’s the video that started it all.


Mark Rober’s Squirrel Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course:

Move over Bill Nye the Science Guy!  Mark Rober is the science educator we all deserve.


Indoor Skiing:

Making the best of a bad situation.


Bookcase Credibility:

It’s important when appearing on TV remotely to position yourself in front of a bookcase to add a dash of credibility to your expertise.  It’s also important to make fun of those people on Twitter.

capture 4


National Treasure:

The Cleveland Indians did the best thing they’ve done since they starred in the movie Major League.  They snuck images of actor Nicolas Cage into 39 of their lineup cards last year and no one noticed! National Treasure meets National Pastime.

The Cleveland Indians' Brilliant Social Media Team Hid Nicolas ...


Finding Creative Ways to Social Distance:

Top prize goes to these neighbors who converted their fence into a social distancing friendly table.


Fake Plane Challenge:

Just because we couldn’t go anywhere doesn’t mean that we still couldn’t travel.


Rooftop Tennis:

The Olympics may have been postponed but that didn’t stop these neighbors from engaging in a rooftop tennis match.


Rube Goldberg Machines:

Useless machines that make things more complicated, not less, were a staple of quarantine.  And this 70 step basketball trick shot was at the top of the list:


Cat Art Gallery:

Everyone knows that if you want to win the Internet you need to feature cats.  This time it’s an art gallery for an injured cat that couldn’t go outside.


The Office Slack:

Miss your office? Or better yet miss The Office?  Then this slack channel that recreated entire Office episodes has got you covered.

How to Watch The Office Season 1 Episodes in Slack | Collider


Post It Note Art: 

And last but not least a special shout out to my friend Mike Zulla who gained international celebrity thanks to his Post It Note Art.

Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?!

Read Full Post »

This may be the worst year ever
Another one like it I hope never

Tormenting us; the throes of a global pandemic
Everywhere at once, young and old getting sick

There is nothing to do, nowhere to go
An enemy we can’t see, our greatest foe

To stop the virus we have to be responsible
Wash our hands as much as possible

As worry mounts in our heart
We try to stand six feet apart

It’s an epic struggle likely to last for much longer
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?

Hope not found. Spread unlikely to fade
Rumors abound. Was it man made?

First wave. Second wave. Third?
Caused by a bat which isn’t really a bird?

It all started in the mysterious Wuhan
Chance of returning to normal now gone

We all wish that corona never did arrive
Against all odds how will we survive?

But wait, there is even more
Another story rocking us to our core

Systemic Racism and police brutality spiraling out of control
This is no laughing matter. No time for HAHA or LOL

Possessions can be replaced, a life can’t
That is why we raise our voices, rave and rant

Some of us are brave enough to march for a Dream
Others can only stand on the sidelines and scream

We all want to live in a better world, a safer place
So we ask for police reform while trying to protect our face

Really, it’s an honest and simple question
One we ask while facing a Great Depression

All the risk we are assuming
Life on hold, not yet resuming

No justice, no peace
Protesting that will not cease

Black Lives Matter is the message
A path to peace the desired passage

Until then, please wear a mask
It’s all that I ask!

It’s literally the least you can do
I would do the same for you

Together we can defeat racism and COVID
About that I do not kid

But wait, that’s not all
Controversy by the Washington Mall

Protesting the actions of a cop
Citizens teargassed for a photo op

These are scary times indeed
Lead by a President that doesn’t read

Instead he fires off tweets
Amidst chaos in the streets

More concerned about poll numbers that dip
Trying to preserve a balance of power about to tip

Through it all injustices mount
Too many too count

What has the world come to?
Depressing thoughts, feeling blue

I don’t want to die
Or let out another cry

I want to live forever
Fear never

Don’t we all want the same thing?!
The better life that equality could bring

The wish is simple. To be loved, seen, heard
All of us, from every jock to every nerd

It’s really quite simple to understand
Let it be known across the land

That we are stronger together
With every race, religion, and gender

Easier said than done
Hard work, not a lot of fun

Difficult and challenging times
Serious material for simple rhymes

But I know we can pull together and survive
Or better yet, emerge stronger, able to thrive

For there is a better tomorrow in our future
Of that I am quite sure

I feel it in my core
Good times once more

Mysteries of the Universe will again unravel
As we spread our wings, globe trot and travel

Friends and family will reunite
At all times, day and night

We’ll see familiar faces
And return to favorite places

All of our problems we will solve
In large part thanks to our resolve

2020 may be worst year there has ever been
No matter what we did we just couldn’t win

But in our future lies a better tomorrow
One filled with love, without any sorrow

It won’t be easy, but we will find a better way
The Dawn of a New Era, the start of a new day

And we’ll do it by working together as one; you’ll see
Pulling through these dark times thanks to you and me

Read Full Post »

If we don’t have normal traffic patterns during the pandemic then why are we still following normal traffic laws? Let’s open up the HOV lane for use by everyone 24/7.  No more rush hour restrictions if there’s no more rush hour.

What you need to know to drive in the new HOV lanes in Las Vegas ...


I find it interesting when watching a slow motion sports replay (say of a home run being hit or a slam dunk occurring) how differently people in the crowd react for there are usually some people who start reacting several microseconds before anyone else.  Are they just paying more attention or are they physically able to react quicker than others?  And if so, is there a way to tap into this ability and share it with everyone else?

Crowd reactions to the monster DeAndre Jordan dunk - CBSSports.com

I hate that I am getting constantly forced to watch the same five commercials over and over and over again while streaming Star Trek Discovery on CBS.  There should be a limit to how many times the same commercial can be shown within a certain time period.  And if this is an intentional ploy just to get you to pay extra for a commercial less version of the app then this practice should be outright outlawed.

CBS All Access Subscription Plans and Pricing

I wish there was a way to know where parking spots are.  I hate when I grab the first parking spot I see at a popular hiking spot (out of fear of not being able to find a spot closer to the trail head) or wait for a spot to open in a full lot when there could be other places I could park nearby.  Having the ability to search for individual parking spots or be directed to alternate parking locations would be a total game changer.

Amid coronavirus outbreak, Arizonans find little social distance ...

It bothers me that we have to pay to check our bags in the cargo hold when flying.  This seems illogical to me.  On a full flight, assuming most people have carry on bags, a lot of time will be wasted after the overhead bin space fills up, causing the remaining passengers to scramble to tag their bags so that they may be placed in the cargo hold.  This colossal waste of time is probably the #1 reason why flights don’t take off on time.  And yet airlines make us pay a penalty to check our bags ahead of time, an action that saves them time and money.  How does this make sense?! If anything the people who should be paying extra are the people who insist on carrying their bags onto the flight.  For the convenience of not having to wait in baggage claim after their flight lands they should pay a “convenience fee” to bring their bags on board.  Everyone else who doesn’t mind waiting can bring a bag for free.

6 smart ways to avoid checked bag fees every time you fly ...

Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?

Read Full Post »

A look back at a few noteworthy items from the past week related to the COVID-19 global pandemic:

Netflix Party – This Chrome extension enables you to watch Netflix with your friends regardless of where they may be.  It does this by syncing up playback, allowing anyone to hit play/pause, and adding in a group chat feature.  A useful trick during these difficult times where “Netflix and Chill” has turned into “Netflix to not be ill”.

Netflix Party

VESper Ventilators – With hospitals across the country dealing with shortages of masks, ventilators, and other important medical supplies we’ve been hearing countless stories of DIY engineering hacks designed to make materials last longer and supplies stretch further.  Thankfully, there’s a better solution in the works.  One that could make it possible to share one ventilator with four patients.

Standing Six Feet Apart In Stores – CDC guidelines suggest that we stand six feet apart but that’s not something that most people were adhering to on their own.  Go somewhere crowded, like a grocery stores, and you’d still see people crowding each other on checkout lines.  That’s why I thought it would be a great idea if stores actually put markers on the floor to direct people where to stand and it looks like its finally happening.  Albertsons grocery stores are even implementing this policy as a matter of course across their entire nationwide network of stores.  As they state on their website:

“The company is installing designated waiting points through floor markers positioned throughout the store, especially at check stands and stations where people most often congregate, like the service deli, bakeries and pharmacy areas. Customers will also be asked to wait until the customer in front of them has finished collecting their groceries before unloading their groceries at the check stand. ”

six feet apart « MyConfinedSpace

Little Free Pantries – You may have seen Little Free Libraries pop up in your neighborhood.  You know, those cute little boxes, about the size of a microwave, filled with books and operating by the honor system.  See something you like? Feel free to take it.  Have something you don’t want anymore? You now have the perfect place to drop it off.  But thanks to COVID-19 those libraries have now been converted into pantries.  Filled with food items, cleaning supplies, and other necessities that may very well help your neighbors survive the weeks to come.  As the slogan goes, “Take what you need.  Bring what you can.”

You can find out more at: http://www.littlefreepantry.org/.

Little Free Pantries is a Food Bank on Your Lawn - Mothering

Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?


Read Full Post »

Sometimes I come up with great ideas too.

Adult Education – For most of us we tend to stop learning once we’re done receiving our primary education, either after finishing high school or after completing a Bachelors or Master’s degree.  Of course we still “learn” new things throughout life, either through osmosis, our social networks, shows and movies, the occasional book, or nowadays the ever popular podcast method.  But we’re not actively studying random facts outside of our chosen professions just for the hell of it like we did when we were in grade school.  If we do learn something new as adults it’s highly likely that what we’re learning is going to tie in with what we’re already interested in and conform with our already firmly established worldviews.  Taking the time to gather all the relevant facts, to learn both sides of an issue, to stay informed on every issue, just doesn’t happen all that often.

That’s why fake news spreads so easily.  Why there is so much political upheaval. Why there are so many Climate Change deniers.  Why there are Flat Earthers.  We have all become victims of our cognitive biases, refusing to change our worldviews even when presented with compelling new evidence, choosing to believe that which we grew up believing, that which adheres to how we already perceive the world.  Our only hope for a better future, a cleaner future, a future with less hate, is to become more open-minded, to become skilled in the art of learning new facts, to get to the point where it becomes second-nature to always learn new things and accept new facts, even paradigm shifting facts that change the way the world works.

In order for that to happen we need to change how we learn.  No longer can it be acceptable for people to shut down their minds and coast through life once they are done with their formal schooling.  No longer can it be acceptable for people to reside in online filter bubbles that reinforce their personal beliefs.  No longer can life-long learning be considered an optional pursuit, something left to academics, nerds, and bored retirees.  Instead we need to establish a culture based around continuing education.  Based around the constant pursuit of obtaining the latest knowledge, across all walks of life.

Antiquing Board Game – Patchwork is a two player game where you compete to build a quilt out of oddly shaped Tetris like pieces while collecting buttons.  Believe me, it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds.  This got me thinking though.  If someone can make a board game about quilting then surely I could make a game out of something equally obscure, yet close to my heart.  A game about antiquing.

Here’s how it would work.  Each game would come equipped with multiple game boards depicting various settings where one might go antiquing.  There might be a house undergoing an estate sale, an actual antique shop, a garage sale,  a junk yard, a local swap meet, etc.  Whatever the case may be.

Each of these boards would be littered with random items and players would be tasked with collecting items from an assigned shopping list without going over budget as they navigate their way across the board with alternating dice rolls.  The key to the game would be to move about the board as efficiently as possible, to collect all the items on your list before your opponent collects all the items on their list.

Now here’s where things get interesting.  Also scattered throughout the board would be certain obstacles.  You may be forced to sell an item that you already collected in order to pay one of your bills.  Or your opponent may have an opportunity to swap out something from your collection for something that they don’t have a need for.  You may even be in a race to be the first to collect an item that you both need.  But have no fear.  If you pass by one of the conveniently located pawn shops you’ll be able to swap or buy back anything you need.

Sylin’ and Profilin’ – An algorithm that helps us fill out our online dating profiles.  Such a program would craft the perfect profile for us, customizing a series of standard templates based on our specific interests.  It would even select our best pictures for us using facial recognition software that culls our social media platforms.  No more awkward bathroom selfies or group shots where you can’t tell who it is that you’re supposed to be looking at.  Instead only the best, quirkiest, most fun-loving pictures would get selected.  The pictures that show who you really are, not who you want to portray.

In fact, by removing our ability to sell ourselves we’d be stripping away everything that’s wrong with online dating.  Carefully crafted selfies, humble brags, and hey look at me antics would all be devalued.  Instead of coming across like we’re trying too hard we’d all become genuine versions of ourselves, our true essence boiled down to a series of ones and zeros by an emotionless algorithm that knows us better than we know ourselves.

DoorStash – This reverse food delivery service would partner with DoorDash, Uber Eats, GrubHub, and all the rest to take leftover food to homeless shelters and food pantries.  The infrastructure to pull this off already exists.  We just need to connect the dots.

Reverse Trailers – What I’m envisioning is a way for people to watch the equivalent of movie or TV show highlights.  A reverse trailer of sorts that gives away the entire plot in two minutes or less. Spoiler alerts be gone.  The spoiler is now the whole point.  Considering how much content now exists this may be the only way to keep pace.

Books, Looks & Hooks – In regular speed dating eligible bachelors play a glorified game of musical chairs, rotating from table to table in five minute increments, trying to make a good first impression while speaking about any topic they can think of.  Books, looks, and hooks would be more focused.  No ice breakers necessary.  No corny pickup lines needed.  Instead, the only thing you are allowed to comment on or talk about is the book that the lady has chosen to bring with her.

Image result for great ideas

Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?

Read Full Post »

Art Hunt: Like Product Hunt, but for discovering artistic and creative talent.  Musicians, photographers, writers, whatever the case may be.  Unique Etsy storefronts would qualify.  Ditto for unheralded Instagram accounts, little known blogs, and YouTube accounts deserving of a wider audience.  Anyone and everyone with an overactive imagination and an underappreciated talent.

Robot Consumers: Forget about the Information Age.  We live in the Information Overload Age.  With the barriers to entry having been lowered everyone and their mother is now a content creator.  There’s just one problem: if we’re all busy making content who is left to consume it?  That’s where robot consumers would come in, automatically liking, sharing, and commenting on our work to help it go viral.  A better, more thoughtful version of click farms.

Creative Outlet Malls: What I’m envisioning is a multi-purpose facility specifically designed to cater to the needs of the modern citizen.  There would be recording studios so that you could create content for your podcast or YouTube channel.  Computers that you can use to write the next great American novel as well as printers and a whole suite of editing and publishing services.  Meeting rooms to brainstorm business ideas with your friends.  Modular rooms that can be rearranged to fit the needs of any startup.  A space for open mic nights and musical performances to give people a platform to show off their talent and art gallery space to give artists and photographers an opportunity to show what they can do.

Nexus Lexis: A museum dedicated to all things literary.   A place where you can marvel at Shakespeare’s folios, view beautifully written letters to loved ones from Civil War soldiers, gawk at the work of impressive wordsmiths like famed poet Emily Dickinson and discover the inner dialogue of great thinkers like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  There would be entire wings dedicated to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and every other genre you can think of.  Famous contemporary authors could host book readings and signings.  Scholars could host events to discuss the evolution of paper from its humble beginnings in the Far East.  There could even be character actors sprinkled throughout the museum, interacting with guests while doing their best Edgar Allen Poe impersonations.  Quote the Raven.  Nevermore.

Mental Health Fitness Tracker: It could measure your memory capacity, your spatial awareness, your powers of deduction, your reflex time, your tiredness, your general mental aptitude, etc.  For instance, imagine using this information to make the potential life-saving decision to not drive home late at night because of warning signs indicating that you would be at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.  Or imagine making the decision to read a book over watching TV because your visual cortex was already dangerously overworked for the day while the logic and reasoning part of your brain wasn’t getting enough attention.  Or better yet, imagine studying for a test and finding out when you could stop, because you found out that the memory stores in your brain were filled up and that studying more wouldn’t make any more of a difference.

Pages: Anyone can set up a page and use it to announce to the world what they would want to be “hired” for.  Now this isn’t strictly a job platform although you could use this service for that if you really wanted to.  Nor is it a dating app, although, once again, if you wanted to use it to find dates you could.  Rather the point of Pages would be to find anyone you are looking for.  That could be a fill-in for your softball team, a babysitter, someone to go hiking with, or someone to help you move.

For instance, my Pages profile would announce that I’m available for public speaking gigs.  Someone else might announce that they’re down to fill in on your bar trivia team or to round out a golfing foursome.  Others might broadcast the fact that they are a wedding singer looking for gigs or a photographer looking for work during wedding season.

The Sigmund: What if your diary or journal could write back to you?  That’s the premise behind The Sigmund, a new concept for an interactive, AI-infused smart journal, named after the greatest couch therapist of all-time, Sigmund Freud.

Here’s how it would work.  Rather than tell off your ex, complain about your co-workers to your spouse, or burden your friends with deep existential thoughts about the meaning of life, you can instead just express yourself within the pages of The Sigmund, the same way that millions of people have interacted with diaries and journals for millennia.  But here’s where things get interesting.  Instead of just writing on a static page or even in a smart journal capable of transferring your writings to the cloud, you would instead be writing inside of a journal that an AI would be actively scanning.  Able to make sense of natural language this AI would take clues from your ruminations and over time serve up advice and recommendations to ease you through your troubling times.

Do Not Disturb Wearable: What if there was a way that we could let people (store clerks, guys hanging out in bars, subway strap-hangers, etc.) know that we didn’t want to be bothered at that moment.  A simple on/off wearable would suffice, similar to those buttons used in all you can eat Brazilian steakhouses to let the waiters know if you want to be served or not.

Proximity Alert Wearable: People are oblivious.  No one pays attention, watches where they are going, or has any spatial awareness.  Wouldn’t it be great then if we invented a wearable device that would beep or somehow let you know when you are too close to someone?  Think of it like the sensors that are becoming more and more standard in cars these days that alert you when you are getting close to backing into something or when you are venturing too far outside your lane.  If we had those for walking maybe we wouldn’t bump into each other as much.

Social Memory App: A way to quickly and easily keep track of which of your friends share similar interests and who you’ve already told certain things to or discussed certain things with.

PlatformPass: MoviePass for TV platforms.  A monthly subscription service (say $20 a month) that will get you limited access to every streaming platform that there is.  If you’re a Netflix power user you’d still need to keep your Netflix subscription to ensure that you’ll be able to watch obscure documentaries to your heart’s content.  But if you’re not into all that, and you only want to binge watch House of Cards or Orange is the New Black when they come out, then you’d be covered with this cross platform pass that will let you binge watch a limited number of shows per platform per month.

Spacebook: A new take on social media that would be all about learning and self-improvement.  Users would be banned from posting about themselves and their daily lives.

Instead the only things that you could post would be items that were either educational or informative.  The more thought provoking the better.  Book and podcast recommendations.  Interesting articles.  Self-improvement content.  News about cool new products.  Conversations would naturally spring up around topics not people.  You wouldn’t even have a public wall that people could post on.  Instead, you’d have a private dashboard, that only you could see, that would track your progress towards becoming a better person.  Monitoring your progress towards meeting your fitness and educational goals while providing you with motivational quotes to help inspire you along the way.  I’d call this site Spacebook.  A personal space for you to continue your development as a person.

National Park Volunteers: Similar to volunteer firefighters these would be trained “professionals” who can step up in times when there is great need like during natural disasters, government shutdowns, or other crisis.  Being on hand to guide visitors, provide medical assistance, alert authorities to any issues, and keep a watchful eye over restricted areas.

Image result for ideas

Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?

Read Full Post »

The other day I was thinking about how weird it was that I could hear myself thinking internally.  Not only can I say something out loud so that others can hear me but I can also then pause, and say that exact same statement to myself so that only I can hear it.  This phenomenon isn’t unique to me and it really isn’t even a phenomenon at all.  It’s called your inner voice and it’s something that we all experience.  But this got me thinking.  Specifically, I happened upon a line of thinking that went something like this: if I’m capable of talking to myself, what if I could talk to someone else internally; and what if that someone else, or something else, was an advanced intelligence?

Usually, hearing a voice inside your head has a negative social stigma.  It’s not something that you’d want to admit to your neighbors.  But what if there was an implantable device, a literal voice inside your head, that helped you navigate your way through life?  That scanned your surroundings and gave you advice about what to do next.  That reminded you about the things you have to do.  That could answer questions that you may have so that you never again have to go through life ill prepared.  Not only might you admit that to your neighbors, you’d positively be brimming with joy about it.

Just consider the possibilities.  You could receive turn by turn directions while driving without having to take your eyes off the road.  You could ask yourself, “who is that?” when running into an acquaintance on the street thereby impressing them that you remembered their name.  If you happen to meet someone and get their phone number you don’t have to worry about trying to remember it by repeating it over and over again.  You’d just have to repeat it once and ask your new best friend to remember it for you.  Perhaps the implant could even act like Steve Martin in Roseanne and feed romantic lines to you.

Furthermore, if you have an idea you don’t have to write it down.  You just have to say it to yourself.  Journals would soon become a thing of the past.  You wouldn’t need to collect your thoughts when they’re already being collected for you.  If you get into a car accident or a skirmish with someone and there’s a legal proceeding, the data collected by this implantable device, i.e. what your dopamine levels were, what your heart rate was, whether or not you were scared or excited, what you were thinking, would all be on record and admissible in court.

Speaking to this artificially intelligent entity without verbalizing commands might be the closest thing that we ever come as a species to communicating telepathically.  Or perhaps, if two people both have these implants maybe there could be a way for them to communicate to each other through Bluetooth and make it so that we were really are communicating telepathically.

Not only that but loneliness might soon become a thing of the past if we have a friend that we can banter with at all times.  Crime rates might dwindle as well, if whenever we’re thinking about doing something illegal there’s a forceful voice inside our heads telling us not to.

Of course all of this is just conjecture on my part.  I have no idea if any of this is even remotely possible.  But I’d like to think that is.  The technology sure seems to be progressing in the right direction.  For instance, we have brain prosthetics that enable people to control robotic limbs with their thoughts.  We’ve conducted tests that prove that it’s possible for two people hooked up to brain to brain interfaces to control each other’s actions.  We’re working on cortical modems and neural dust that might enable us to access the internet directly from our minds.  If Ray Kurzweil is to be believed we’re not too far away from getting to the point where we can download our consciousness’s into computers so that we can live forever.  Computers themselves are advancing to the point where thanks to neural nets they can understand natural language and draw conclusions on their own accord.  Our understanding of DNA, genetics, and biology continues to progress as well as thanks in large part to the development of the CRISPR-CAS-9 gene editing technique.  Throw in 4-D printing, programmable matter, and Moore’s Law and it may not be a stretch to say that this outlandish claim would be possible.  In fact, it may even be inevitable at this rate.

Image result for voice inside my head cartoon

Read Full Post »

Here’s a quick look at everything I’ve been thinking about lately:

The Oscars are getting criticized for adding a new category called “Achievement in Popular Film”, which is a way for the Academy to acknowledge the accomplishments of a movie that isn’t critically acclaimed yet still becomes a blockbuster.  Black Panther would have swept this award last year. Infinity War will likely be the favorite this year.  But there’s a different category that I wish they would add an award for: Achievement in an Opening Credit Sequence.  These montages set the mood for the movie or make me completely lose interest in it before it starts.  Some of them are really quite spectacular.  It’s time that we acknowledged their greatness.

I always try to slip on my shoes, even if the laces are already tied, and even if they aren’t slip-ons, rather than just untie them and retie them like a normal person.  I’m sure I can’t be the only one who does this.  Perhaps sneaker and shoe companies should consider this phenomenon when designing shoes and make the back heel of shoes collapsible so as to make them easier to slide on.

I wish there was an IMDB for writers so that I could know what my favorite authors were working on next.

Here’s a new dating concept: Escape room dating.  Put groups of 6-8 single people in an Escape room (3 or 4 members of each sex) and set them loose to try and problem solve their way out of the room.  It’ll be a fun ice-breaker as you’ll get to see everyone in a relaxed atmosphere.  You’ll also get to see how everyone responds to pressure and how well they can play with others.  You can rule out dating the hyper-competitive know-it-alls and give a chance to the shy, quiet type that you worked really well with, the same person who you might have otherwise never spoken to if not for the game.

Here’ a new restaurant concept: Roast master.  A restaurant specializing in Roast Beef, where the theme of the restaurant is insult comedy.  Comedy Central Roasts play in the waiting room while you wait for your table and live roast battles take place on the stage while you dine.  In between battles, the waiters and bus boys come around to serve you food, refill your drinks, and insult you to your face.  On the way out you can try to throw a tomato at a heckler just like at a Renaissance Festival or get revenge on your waiter while they sit in a dunk tank hurling even more insults in your direction.

Speaking of roasts I think it would be great if Comedy Central roasted a regular person, not just an over the hill celebrity like Bruce Willis.  The knock on this idea is that comedians wouldn’t be interested in roasting someone they didn’t know, and the audience wouldn’t watch a roast when they wouldn’t know any of the inside jokes, etc.  But as Roast Battle shows you don’t necessarily need to know the person to laugh at a good insult.  Plus you could minimize some of that by introducing the roastee via a video montage at the beginning of the show.  I would even volunteer myself to be the very first roastee!

One of my biggest pet peeves is that some of the photos that I take, which look great when viewed on my phone, don’t translate into the smaller window frame on Instagram.  Case in point: a recent full length shot of a 200 foot tall tree in Olympic National Park.  When viewed on my phone’s gallery you can see the whole tree.  When trying to post to Instagram you have to crop out half the tree if you want to post the image.  This is annoying.  I wish there was a way when lining up the shot that I can see what portion of it was going to fit on Instagram.  Perhaps I could have changed the angle of my shot accordingly.  I wonder then if there is a way to create a plug-in that you could download that would overlay an Instagram optimization frame over your phone’s view finder.

Is it just me or are electric razors really loud?  I feel like I’m disturbing my neighbors every time I shave in the morning.  If I was married I would most definitely be disturbing my spouse.  Perhaps we should invent a silencer for electric razors to muffle the sound?

Speaking of neighbors I think it would be cool if there was a way to create a CB radio network for apartment buildings, like there is for truckers, so that you could communicate with your neighbors.  This way you can send out an open-ended message to anyone in the neighborhood that you are down to hang out to watch the big-game if anyone wanted to come over, or, more importantly, so that you can yell at a noisy neighbor to keep it down, without having to confront them face to face.

Considering how much we use our hands throughout the day (and how dirty they could get) doesn’t it make more sense to greet one another, not with a handshake, but by touching our shoes together?  As popular as soccer is around the world I’m surprised there aren’t more greetings that involve foot to foot contact.

Image result for roast battle

Is a roast themed restaurant the Greatest Idea Ever?


Read Full Post »

Here’s a quick look at some of the things I’ve been thinking about lately:

  • People are oblivious.  No one pays attention, watches where they are going, or has any spatial awareness.  Wouldn’t it be great then if we invented a wearable device that would beep or somehow let you know when you are too close to someone?  Think of it like the sensors that are becoming more and more standard in cars these days that alert you when you are getting close to backing into something or when you are venturing too far outside your lane.  If we had those for walking maybe we wouldn’t bump into each other as much or otherwise piss each other off as much.


  • When I was riding my bike through the back roads behind the Garden of Versailles recently I encountered a family of horses who were having a bad day, or at least that’s what my perception of their experience was.  You see, these horses were just getting absolutely hounded by annoying flies and there was nothing they could do about it.  What a miserable existence this must be for wildlife and livestock alike.  Just standing there, day after day, with hundreds of flies all up in their shit.  Why can’t we do something about this?! Would it be possible to invent a bug spray for animals?! Has anyone ever looked into this? Does anyone care enough to do it now?  Animals need our help! Maybe even animal sunscreen while we’re at it.


  • Why are pens and pencils sold as one size fits all? Everyone’s hands are different sizes.  A grown man would feel more comfortable using a pencil of a certain width and height that a child wouldn’t even be able to grip.  Wouldn’t it make sense then to invent an adjustable height writing utensil?!


  • Perhaps one way to make the NBA more fair is to limit how many minutes someone can play in a particular game.  So, instead of LeBron James leading his team to 8 straight NBA Finals and instead of the Warriors winning the championship every year, you’d instead have a situation where the best teams would be the deepest teams or the teams that manage the playing time of their star players the best.  This is how some youth leagues are run, where kids are paying to play and so everyone has to play a somewhat equal amount.  Perhaps this could work in the NBA as well.


  • It bothers me that AM and FM stations are on different dials on the car radio.  I get that they are on different frequencies but why should I have to toggle between two different settings to get to them?  Wouldn’t it be easier to just put them together on one dial that scrolls through all stations in numerical order?


  • Did you know that if you travel to another country you may not be able to charge your phone?! Some countries have different outlets and so your charger may not work.  This is crazy! Let’s create a universal outlet standard and implement that standard around the world.  We shouldn’t have to travel internationally with special adapters.


  • When I was in London recently I couldn’t watch HBO even though I am a paying customer.  I get that HBO isn’t available to stream in the UK but shouldn’t that rule just apply to people who live there and who otherwise would have to pay for cable?  Why would it also apply to people just passing through who want to use their account to watch something on an iPad?  This is worse than the MLB app not letting let you stream games in your home market.

Related image

If we had a spatial awareness wearable device we wouldn’t bump into each other as much.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »