Category Archives: Wasted Time

Idea #32: Perfect-Fit Shopping

I know, I know, I told you I would stop doing this but I just couldn’t help it.  The other day I had an idea and I just couldn’t get it out of my head so, despite the words from nearly a month ago, here comes another idea.

3-D Comparison, Perfect-Fit Shopping

3-D Comparison, Perfect-Fit Shopping

The idea came to me while shopping at E-mart (basically a Wal-Mart) and, in the middle of trying to decide between two different options, I became frustrated because I didn’t know which one would fit best in my room.  Similarly I thought that there have been many times before when I wasn’t sure if the color or design would match with my room or decor.  What if it was too big when I brought it home?  How inconvenient! Having to drag the entire purchase back to the store simply was out of the question.

Even with the internet at hand and being able to see things and compare their dimensions online before a purchase, from experience I can say that it doesn’t always work out the way you thought (quality of the product upon arrival may be different than you had imagined it when you saw the picture online)  On top of that, there are impulse-buys to consider.  Almost everyone is a victim of the impulse-buy.  Shopping with a friend or just out to get another carton of milk and BOOM! we nab a snickers bar, futon, TV, etc.  With almost no real thought put into the process we are sure to find that upon installation in our homes the entire product is questionably imperfect.

The solution?  Perfect-Fit Shopping.  Picture this, going into your favorite store and shopping for kitchen supplies, home decor, electronics, etc. and being able to instantly know how the product looks in your own home–without actually taking it home.  It would be something like this: Everyone would have a fully 3-Dimensional model of their home’s interior and it can be updated at any time the homeowner desires; Shopping centers like Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, or (insert your favorite store here) would have a 3-Dimensional Comparison Center within the store where shoppers can upload their home; Finally, products offered in the store would also have three-dimensional versions that could be uploaded in the Comparison Center.  Then, with all this in place, the shopper has simply to select the products at the store–after testing things like feel and sturdiness–and place them within their own house…all while never actually leaving the store!  It is the perfect way to be absolutely sure that what you are buying has everything you are looking for: Feel, look, quality, fit in the house, color coordination, you name it.

In the past merchants traveled to people’s homes where people could see and test everything they ever wanted without ever leaving their homes.  Today we have to travel many miles just to see what is offered but even when we get there we tend to be unsure if it will look or feel just as good once we return home.  Not to mention the mere cost of travel! I can’t wait until someone invents this.

Pros: Able to test the feel and quality of the object in the store, While remaining in the store we are also able to test the look and fit of the object in the exact setting of our homes, never have to return things simply because we didn’t like it after we got home, well-thought-out impulse buys, decreased spending on fuel for travel to and from the store, others?

Cons: The fact that my entire house is mapped out in 3-D and that I can access that from little more than a Wal-Mart is bit scary to say the least…

Idea #29: Unwanting

Waste. Waste. WASTE!  It is the problem of our age: Inefficiency. We are a culture that is absorbed with getting more and what er get more of tends to be incrementally less dependable as the years go on.  The new products that are developed break down faster than older products, food goes unused but perfectly edible still, smog, smoke, random “needs” that turn into forgotten dumpster fillers, college futons that cannot be taken home, books unread, computers with only the screen broken, iPods with slightly outdated features, mendable and still useful clothing, out-of-style furniture, and everything in between.  Waste. Waste. Waste.

Efficient Bunnies
Efficient Bunnies

It is a curse of being social and insecure: We desire to try what is popular and taste what is considered delicious.  To be known today means to be out and buying.  It is a corrupt system with total disregard for the future generation that will inherit it and the lost resources.  (Look up the short documentary called The Story of Stuff for a bit more in-depth look into this system) My point?  It should be obvious but let me throw in a strange fact.  Rabbits are fantastic creatures:  They are possibly one of the cleanest creatures on Earth.  They are constantly cleaning their fur, shedding and renewing their fur, not to mention (though it has nothing to do with cleanliness) near 360-degree vision and an ability to hop 2 to 4 times their own height, etc. etc.  Quite remarkable.  What is most remarkable is that bunnies will occasionally and for health reasons eat their own poop.  That’s right, fecal matter.  They eat it.  If you don’t believe me you can look it up. Bunnies are very resourceful.

So why aren’t we?  Continue reading

Idea #25: Hungry Floor

Sure we’ve got Roomba these days, but we still end up sweeping and mopping the floor.  Sure we have high-powered cleaning detergents, bleach, mop&glo, heck we even have Mr.Clean as well but we still have dirty floors that we can’t eat off of.  It’s a sad truth but even with such conveniences as these we still choose to break our backs with mops and brooms.  Is it really a good thing that children have to do such repetitive and non-creative chores?  WE should be spending our time doing things that we want to do and are a pleasure to us, and we should be able to do it without ridiculous inventions.

Hungry Floor

Hungry Floor

In some houses the heating system is wired through the floor.  This means that the way the room heats up is passive and slow but from the bottom up…in other words, feet are toasty on the ground.  A better example come from years spent with fish tanks.  There are two types of filtering systems that are used by most every owner of fish: the regular or external method or the under gravel method. The under gravel method has many advantages but the best part is that it has to be cleaned by the owner much less often than the external filter: every 6 months vs. once every 4 weeks or so.  It is a curiously effective way to maintain cleanliness in a fish tank.

So why not apply this same principle to our very own homes?!  Continue reading

Idea#24: Expandabook

Sitting down to read a good book is all fun and games of course.  It is pleasant when you can move at your own pace through a book, pausing, turning the pages when you reach the end of a page etc.etc.  What happens when you try to share that book with a friend though?  No, I’m not talking about you reading it first then handing it over to your buddy later.  I mean you both crack open the very same book and read it together.  What happens?  No matter what you think, if there are two people reading the same book the odds are heavily in favor of one person finishing before the other.  One person will reach the end of the page before the other. What happens next is wherein lies the problem of the day and the next idea: Wasted time while waiting for the other person to finish reading the rest of the page that you already read. Continue reading

Idea #23: Smart Stove

Sizzle sizzle splat!

Sizzle Sizzle Spat Spat!

I’m not sure if this has already been invented or not but this entry comes to you from my kitchen today.  Cookin’ up a nice big bowl of fettuccine for dinner  because it is easy  and delicious with olive oil and garlic when all of the sudden a ‘sizzle SIZZLE spat SPAT!’ sounds in my ear.  The pot that is filled with the boiling water and pasta has begun to boil on over the bot and is sizzling on the stove top, dancing withe the flames!

Of course the only thing to do at a time like that is to change something (because the old way wasn’t working).  I turned down the heat.  Problem solved…until the bubbles all but disappear because the flame is now too low and ineffective.  Turn up the heat again.  It’s a cycle that I cannot walk away from.  If I went to read a book while the water boils, I would never get past the first paragraph because the water would be continually boiling over.  Knit?  Forget about it.

Enter Smart Stove: A revolutionary piece of technology and a lot more hassle free do-whatever-you-want time.  Continue reading

Idea #22: Silly-Putty Furniture

In my room now there is a bed, a table, a couch, a shelf, and a couple chairs.  It’s a typical setup to expect from a typical person.  Like most people I too get tired of staying in one place for too long and that restlessness translates itself into my furniture as well.  Call it feng-shui (風水) but moving furniture around every so often is a real release for my emotions and a sort of cleansing of my soul.  It must take place.  The problem is that even though the furniture dances around the room every few months, it is still the same furniture.  Meaning there are only so many ways that I can rearrange it before it becomes something it already was.

Rearrage Your Thoughts
Rearrange Your Thoughts

To counter this problem and make way for more creativity the furniture should be malleable.  It should be moldable to our needs.  Not everyone wants a chair that sits exactly that way all the time nor a table at that exact height for every occasion.  Heck why not be able to have a table that can turn itself into a bed and then a couch and then a shelf?  Would it even be considered a table then in the first place?

Furniture would be flexible and shape-shifting blobs capable of becoming anything with only the push of a button or the touch of your hands.  If you want the table to rise then you only need think it and move it into place.  If you need a couch for four people instead of three you only need think it and stretch it and it is longer.  The kick to this invention is that the form of the stretched couch (its color, texture, and stiffness) would be no different from that of the pre-stretched couch; they would be exactly the same in every way save for length!  Continue reading

Idea #19: Single-Layer Winter Wear

Wake up any morning in winter and walk outside in your pjs.  Cold? For most of the world yes.  What do people do to fight the cold?  Layer up!  For example today I knew that I was going to have to be outside for most of the day and that it was going to be close to zero degrees (F).  Therefore, I dressed as if I was going to go downhill skiing: 2 tanktops, 1 sleeveless T-shirt, 2 regular T-shirts, 1 long-sleeved shirt/sweater, 1 hooded sweatshirt, 1 double breasted jacket, a bandana, a knit hat over the bandana, a scarf, two pairs of shorts underneath my jeans, and two pairs of socks.  That being said, my fingers were still cold because I had not brought my gloves.

In the end I (and everyone else in my tour) looked like a bunch of rolly poly Eskimos!  We were positively stuffed…and still cold.  The worst part is not the cold though, its the heat.  What do I mean?  Consider going from freezing cold temperatures to room temperature or a crowded bus with the heat turned on full blast next to your legs… get the picture? Suddenly you are no longer cold, you are burning-fever hot. The only option is to shed a few layers which is never easy to to on a crowded bus or in a crowded restaurant.

Single-Layer Joy

Single-Layer Joy

All I’m saying is that it is a waste of time and it still doesn’t get the job done.  I want to be able to walk outside in the winter wearing the exact same amount of clothing that I can in the summer and still feel warm (without moving to Playa del Carmen) If it is 40 degrees there should be clothing for that.  If it is 30 degrees then I should be able to reach into my closet and pull out a single shirt that will absolutely guarantee me warmth at that temperature.  20 degrees? Same. 10 degrees? Same. -20 degress? Why are you living there!?? Some kind of thread should be invented that could be woven into T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. that would not effect the style or feel much but will give that needed protection from the elements.

If it is cold I don’t want to think about how many layers I need to wear, one is enough.

Pros: No more wasted time putting on and taking off all those stupid layers of clothing, fewer things in the closet, no more worries about cold weather (warmth guaranteed!), no more headaches and fevers due to overheating when you move from freezing temperatures to heated rooms.

Cons: The likelihood of poor ventilation in these outfits leads one to consider the massive sweating problems that may ensue from overuse!

Idea #18: Silent Velcro

Velcro was invented somewhere in the mid-fifties.  As we all know, it is thanks to that single invention that we no longer depend on shoelaces at all.  The Great Shift, as it would be later known, from shoelace headaches to Velcro ease was a pivotal turning point in this nation’s, and indeed the world’s, history…

…just kidding.  Obviously velcro didn’t destroy the shoelace and today we still walk around wasting our time trying to ties our shoes every morning when we go to work, every evening when we go out to dinner or to the movies on the weekend.  Every day we throw away minutes doing an absolutely mundane and pointless task.  Why is it pointless?  Velcro does the same thing and it gets it done faster: SWOOSH, SLAM! done, your shoes are “tied”.  Why then, I ask, are we still using laces?  It may be because they look better, surely fashionistas everywhere will revel at the very thought of using only velcro from now on, but look at the ordinary person; ordinary people like the style and the feel of the shoe, they don’t think “oh great and it has laces so I can tie it, nice!”

Does velcro look childlike?  Probably.  We grew up dreaming of the day when we could retire our crappy kid shoes with the colorful velcro for the more adult-looking shoes with the fancy laces.  Little did we know of the woes.  In this way we all look at velcro and think, with a voice in our head that sounds similar to cooing in a baby’s ear, “Oh Velcro you’re so cuuuute!  SO cute!  Who’s the velcro?  Who is it!?  Yes! You are velcro!  So cute.” And move on happily to the skinny and annoying (but oh so sophisticated) laces.

Don’t believe me?  Here are a few quotes that I pulled right off the web about velcro:

i think velcro makes a foot look bigger and tied shoes make the foot look smaller

I really associate them with childhood.

You know what they really remind me of those shoes you wore as a kid (when you couldn’t lace your shoes)!

I like the look of the laces better and may wear the shoes around the office a bit.

People do see velcro as a child’s toy and ugly.  Then look at this next opinion and think again about velcro.  What do you think of the statement the salesman makes?

I’m looking into getting some shoes to use with my campus pedals (spd).
The salesman at my LBS is recommending velcro over laces. His reasoning is that the velcro doesn’t stretch like the laces, so you get more power to the pedal.

To sum things up, the comfort and practicality loose to what someone else besides yourself thinks.  Sure velcro has its other uses, but the question remains: Why don’t we use velcro more in our shoes today? Childlike-image aside, (and long story short) I say it’s the sound.  People don’t like the sound that velcro makes when you pull it apart, plain and simple.  It is loud and annoying and people just don’t want to be looked at in that way.  Magnets are silent options but they just don’t have the hold that velcro offers.  Somebody invent Silent Velcro now please!! (or tell me where I can buy some)

Pros: Less time wasted on tying your shoes, more time spent watering the grass

Cons: The added stealth might increase crime rates across the world

Idea #17: Self-adjusting Shoe laces

Darn Laces

Darn Laces

This morning I woke up and got ready for work.  As is customary in most cultures, I put on my shoes.  Today though, something had to be done.  I couldn’t just sit down and tie my shoes, no.  I had to take my laces and re-adjust them because one side had mysteriously become longer than the other side.  I don’t know what causes this freak phenomenon but it’s annoying.  It’s really annoying. I have to spend another 3 minutes of my time to loosen them up, calibrate them, check for tire pressure, and then tighten them in place again.  What a waste!

Give me shoelaces that I never have to re-adjust myself.  I want them to re-adjust themselves while I sleep.

…oh and don’t give me any velcro.

Pros: No more awkwardly big shoelace loop next to awkwardly small shoelace loops, less wasted time.

Cons: Shoe laces become too smart for their own good and leave the shoes completely in search for a new life and the promise of fame.

Idea #14: Sleep Slice

At long last, it’s bedtime.  No more worries.  Just lay down and let the world slip away for a few precious hours…

A Slice of Sleep

A Slice of Sleep

…wait!  If my hours are so precious then why am I letting them slip away?!  I may not want to worry about anything but why can’t I just use those hours to be productive, talk with a long lost friend, read a book, watch my favorite TV program, go for a walk, sit by the fire, knit, wash the dog, finish writing my novel, play a game of 1-on-1 with my cousin, eat ice cream, etc.etc.etc!?  Why are my only free hours of the day used to just lay in a coma-like state only to wake up the next morning realizing that my problems are closer than they were yesterday?

I’m tired of it (no pun intended).  There are biological reasons for the body needing its recommended 7-odd hours of sleep, sure, but there are a host of other reasons for us to stay up a bit longer.  The old adage, “We sleep for one-third of our lives” comes to mind.  One-third!?  Considering every human being can expect to see roughly 24,298 days, one-third of that is very significant.  That means that if we were to stay awake continuously for our entire life and just cancel out sleep all together, then we would live only to the wrinkly age of 16,199 days (approximately) or 44 years 5 months.

44 years 5 months!?  If someone dies before that age today it’s considered a “young death” and a tragedy, yet many of us will leave this life behind after seeing no more than that many years of sunlight.  If the fountain of youth will never be found then how about we find a well?  A well where the darkness of sleep can be cast into and never experienced in order so that we can experience the world for just a bit longer. There in that well we can cast our desire for sleep and choose to really live for 24,298 days out of our lives.

A sleep annihilator without negative effects may be bordering on impossible to conceive today but it may one day become true.  If not total annihilation then perhaps a reduction, say, in half of the necessary time needed for the body to feel completely rested.  Cut it in half and BOOM! everyone in the world can tack another eight-thousand or so days onto their lives.  Think of the things we can do with those days!  Sometimes we are so hinged and involved in an idea that we don’t want to sleep but we have to…no more.  Sometimes we are in the middle of an important study session before one of the most difficult tests of our lives but as the night goes on it becomes harder and harder to think straight…no more.

No more will people grumble to the coffee machine because the perfectly sized, dainty, and delicious slice of sleep that we get every night then will be enough to power us completely through our days.

Pros: More time to live and do what we want, better concentration and increased productivity, great and creative minds will be able to continue on projects for longer stints of time without needing sleep

Cons: Really negative side-effects (reverse-effect where aging actually occurs at a more rapid rate than before), decrease in or loss of dreams due to shorter/no REM cycle