Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Some Inventive Ideas

The Obama administration is devoting a considerable amount of funds toward the development of new sources of renewable energy. Supposedly, this is to prevent catastrophic climate change while bailing us out of our current financial woes.

I don’t have any needs of that magnitude, but hey, as long as they’re spending all that money, there are a few other new inventions I’d like to see developed. Some of them are:

The Thoughtfulness Detector – Specially designed for the male significant other, this device would ring (or vibrate, depending on his preference) and give detailed instructions every time he has an opportunity to do something his female significant other would find really thoughtful.

If he happened to walk past a clothing store, it would ring and on screen would appear the words, “She enjoys that color scheme. Ask for it in a size 2; that’s too small but she’ll like the fact that you think it’s her size.”

The product is necessary because, in case you haven’t noticed, most of us can’t spot these opportunities on our own. If one of these devices could alert us to, say, seven opportunities to do something really selfless on a given day, even those of us with really full schedules should be able to do no less than three.

The Thoughtfulness Reminder – This would complement the above item, but would be meant for the above male customer’s other half. It would ring (or vibrate, depending on her preference) and give detailed descriptions of past selfless deeds he has done.

Preferably, it would be triggered every time the male has done something not so thoughtful and she’s giving him that look – you know, The Look – leaving them locked in a long period of uncomfortable silence. This product is necessary because pretty much every man has at one point experienced The Look, sought to change his behavior to avoid it in the future, and found that such efforts were to no avail.

Ideally, this product would allow her to weigh his past thoughtful deeds against his more current thoughtless one(s); whatever the outcome, it ought to at least break the standoff.

Intelligent Elevators –
When a handful of people are taking an elevator from the fourth floor to the basement, few things are more irritating than the guy – the one who has nothing that even the most bleeding-heart leftwing interest group would call a “handicap” – who gets on at floor 3 and off at floor 2.

Intelligent Elevators would be designed to instruct this person (through electric shocks, if necessary) that both the stairs and his legs are functioning perfectly well, and that he ought to employ them in conjunction.

The Project Potential Measuring Device –
There are any number of hobbies that a person can take up in their lifetime, uncertain of their outcome but hopeful they’ll be really good at it one day; who knows, maybe even good enough that it won’t just be a hobby.

The Project Potential Measuring Device would inform us of just what odds we face in beginning those hobbies; maybe it would relieve us of the pressure, but it might also cause us to redouble our efforts.

“If you bowl twice a week, you can dominate your Kiwanis club charity tournament, but anything else is unrealistic,” would be a sobering piece of advice for a 30-something upstanding member of the community.

“You can one day have a song featured on future edition of Guitar Hero, but only if you practice for eight hours a day for the next 10 years,” would be an illuminating reply to a teenager thinking of purchasing a Fender.

Automated Hate Mail Response – Those of us who write for publications would dearly love to reply personally to everyone who takes the time to belittle our ideas, our written proficiency and even our hereditary lineage. Unfortunately, most of us are too busy writing for publications to do so.

This program would depend on an advanced form of artificial intelligence we’ll call Artificial Wittiness (A.W.). With A.W, the Automated Hate Mail Response program would be able to seize upon key sentences or phrases and dispense pithy responses so that we don’t have to take the time to do so.

For example, in reply to the sentence, “No one cares what you have to say!” A.W. would send the automated reply of, “Except you, evidently.” If the hate mail contains a pointed query such as “How can you be so arrogant?” A.W. would respond “Probably because so many people think that my writing, love it or hate it, is worth sending an email over.”

A.W. would not, however, be able to reply to a sentences such as “You cant right to save you’re life!” And how could it? Even real wit fails.

The Presidential Policy Simulator –
This device would accurately simulate the long-term effects should Congress enact all of President Obama’s policy ideas. It’d be very useful for us, but I doubt he or any other president will authorize funding for it; it couldn’t be good for their career plans.

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