Wednesday, November 23, 2005

select inventions

I think I understand the potential foolishness of sharing my invention ideas in such a public forum. But I also think I know the value of having such a public record should an idea be stolen. Let's be clear here, you have been warned--don't steal my ideas; now, I'm not opposed to working with others to bring these ideas to life, in fact I welcome it, I need some collaboration. It has been a disheartening lack of collaboration with certain authors whose last names rhyme with 'bowling' that has stymied my (and his or her) progress on a novel in a series I'm working on, but that's another story. I am pretty excited about these inventions, for the most part they have been gathering dust, though whenever I reconsider them, I get excited all over again. I welcome any feedback to push or refine the ideas, or tell me your inventions--maybe we can collaborate? OK, here they are:

1. Transfer pen: OK, this is a pen-shaped device that can replace, or at least change how we might think about computer networking, the conventional computer 'mouse', and conventional electronic file storage. It works like this: I notice some files on your computer desktop. I want to get one. In the past, I would have to have you save it to a disk, or e-mail it, or I would have to search through the files on a network to locate it. Not with the transfer pen. I bring my transfer pen, I place the tip of the pen on the icon of the file on the screen, it "picks up" the file, and it is now stored on the transfer pen! When I return to my computer, I simply place the tip of the transfer pen on my desktop, and I successfully upload the file onto my computer. I can also use the transfer pen to manipulate icons on my desktop; I can draw, write, or use it in any way I use my conventional mouse. Dang, I really need to draw a picture here to illustrate how it functions. Please, please use your imagination(s). To proceed from here, I really need someone who knows how to make a transfer pen, or get it one step closer. Know anyone?

2. Human flying (this idea is the roughest--but still extremely exciting): OK, this is basically a device that lets humans fly. It's not an airplane, it would use technology like a hover-craft, only it wouldn't require any extra devices or gear, and any kid could "hook up" and fly. Wouldn't you like to fly? Wouldn't you be willing to pay a pretty penny to be able to fly? So would I. And so would millions of people around the world. To proceed from here, I really need someone who knows how to build a more fitting hover-craft type of device without extraneous gear or devices.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

etiquette journal: ballgames

I want to make a collection of etiquette journal entries. The idea is to provide basic guidelines and rubrics for improved etiquette. The first one is about etiquette at ballgames.

I think the first thing about etiquette at ballgames is that some people have really good food and other people don't. For example, at one ballgame, we had carrots, but the people next to us had my favorite pizza: pepperoni and sausage. Maybe one rule for etiquette at ballgames is that you could offer your neighbors a unit of your food (e.g. a half a sandwich, or a slice of pizza). People who really want your food don't always have the courage to ask, so good etiquette would be to offer them a taste. So even a comment like: "Would you like a taste of my hotdog/sandwich/pizza?" can go a long way. In retrospect, I probably should have offered them some carrots. But I thought I did.

The next thing about etiquette at ballgames concerns the vending and lines. Some people like a lot of condiments on their hotdogs, for example. If someone is in front of you in the line, it is because they got there first (usually--though if they didn't then an entirely different set of rules applies--etiquette can be complicated!) If someone got in the line before you, that means that they deserve to be in front of you. For the person in the front of the line, it doesn't really matter the length or the make-up of the line behind. And it is rude to say things like: "Hey, you're hogging all the catsup." or "Did you use the rest of the mustard because you needed like an inch thick of mustard, and now my 6 year old can't have any?" or "Hey there is a line behind you, do you really need that much relish?" I know that some people really do need that much relish, because it is delicious.

Related to the previous two things, if you have a hotdog, and you don't finish it, rather than waste it, you could ask your neighbor if he wants the rest of it. But often, your neighbor won't want to ask something like: "Are you going to finish that hotdog?" or "Could I please have the rest of your hotdog?" Remember etiquette involves a host of complications. For example, at ballgames, you often have never met your neighbor sitting next to you. The only bond you have is your team spirit if you are both cheering for the same team. And he/she may not be honest if you give a choice like: "Should I throw this away, or do you really want the rest of it?" So the best etiquette I think is to say something like: "I'm going to leave for a little bit, I really don't mind if you eat the rest of my hotdog, or if you throw it away, or give it to someone else. There will really be no way for me to know how it disappeared if it is gone when I come back, and I won't inquire after where it went either."