Saturday, December 20, 2008

patent nonsense

Having just invented the mince pie flavoured cheesecake, here's another couple of inventions what I thought up in my head. The only significant difference is that I have a working prototype of the mince pie cheesecake (well, most of one as Hazel and I ate some of it); these are at the slightly more theoretical stage at present.

Screenless TVs for the blind

It's so simple it's brilliant. Clearly a blind person has no need for the costly cathode-ray nonsense (or plasma or LCD nonsense, take your pick) that comes with a standard television set, but, on the other hand, try picking up Channel 4 on the radio. So what's the answer? Just produce a unit that has the same aerial input business as the standard television, plus the output speakers for the whole sound business, but no screen. Hey presto - essentially the same experience if you're blind, but at a fraction of the cost. You'd need a corresponding change in the TV licensing laws to levy a lower charge for this kind of set. You'd also have to shelve any plans to invite your sighted friends round to watch the footy.

Self-powered cars

Clearly the fossil-fuel-powered car's days are numbered, sooner or later. Electric car technology is progressing, as are other options like biofuel and hydrogen cell technology. All of which is very exciting, but aren't we overlooking an obvious source of energy right under, quite literally, our noses? I mean, haven't you guys seen The Matrix? You remember, the human body creates more energy than, yadda yadda yadda, well, I can't remember the numbers, but it's a lot. So let's harness that energy in some way.

Now it doesn't have to be via the old electrodes in the brain, maybe there's a better way of doing it. Frankly I'm a bit sketchy about the details, but imagine the calorie-burning possibilities. Imagine losing weight while driving. Imagine losing more weight the faster and further you drive. Imagine driving non-stop from Edinburgh to Plymouth and arriving as a small waxy deposit on the driver's seat with a couple of sizzling electrodes sticking out of it.

Maybe something more direct like liposuction would work - plumb yourself in as you set off, and the car will take out as much fat as it needs to keep the engine running. I mean, you can run cars on chip fat with minimal modification, so why not arse fat? Again, you'd have to exercise a bit of caution; you don't want to be knocking it down a gear and flooring it to get past a lorry and getting sucked inside out.

So, sure, there's a few minor wrinkles to be ironed out. But surely a simultaneous solution to the energy crisis and the global obesity epidemic is worth checking out?

Also: you know that stuff they make the black box and the cockpit voice recorder out of on planes? You know, the stuff that always survives the plane crashes? Why don't they just make the whole plane out of that stuff? Eh? Eh? That's your actual observational comedy, right there.

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