Friday, 29 February 2008

Absolute fuel and consumption indicator

I want to know how much petrol is in my car. Exactly. Not approximately half full. To the millilitre. Surely this is not beyond the realms of possibility?

If this information was present with an onboard computer, accurate fuel consumption could be displayed. If the cost of fuel were communicated to the computer (maybe via bluetooth at the petrol pump) the actual fuel cost (possibly using a weighted average due to variations in fuel costs) of any one journey could be displayed. And if insurance/tax/maintenance costs for the prior year and milage for the prior year were input (probably manually) then an estimated cost of a particular journey could be displayed.

Only then will I truely know whether to consider getting the bus.


If you're human, you hate ironing. I must be more human than most. Short of a (desired) social revolution whereby I get to go to work in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops, how can I make ironing less painful? One thing that makes ironing worse is the fact that every time I iron (which is every day as I am not one of these people that can stomach doing a batch run) I have to go and find the ironing board and set it up, and find the iron and set it up. What I want is an ironing station already set-up for me with an ironing board that folds down from the wall, with the iron plugged in next to it. All I need to do is switch on and go. Obviously two designs would be required to suit space needs, one that folds to the wall lengthways (pictured) and one sideways (a sideways folding one needs to fold out on some kind of support so the item of clothing can hang over the far side).

Another advantage of this idea is that ironing boards are unstable and fall over (if you're as clumsy as me).

An ironing station would be an excellent feature in hotels. The iron could be locked in (e.g. a locked cover over the plug socket) to stop people stealing stuff.

Reverse eBay

eBay (and others) enable people who have stuff to sell it. What about people who want stuff? People that can't find what they're looking for on eBay or the web (super-rare items), or can't be bothered to look? Wouldn't it be great if you could post what you want and the price you're willing to pay for it, and let sellers come to you. After all, they're making money, so they should be doing the hard work.

To do lists

Anyone else got a big long to do list? Full of stuff you'd rather not do? It occurs to me that putting stuff I want to do on my to do list makes going down it less of an arduous task.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Stress and lists

I've suffered from both stress and lists. It seems to me that stress is caused when you have a list of things to do and you keep skipping from one to another rather than grabbing the bull by the horns, taking the first item on the list and getting it done.

Total perspective vortex

Ever since reading the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy I've been in love with the concept of the total perspective vortex. At school I wanted it in a gun format so I could shoot arrogant people, now I'd rather it as a way of putting life's problems in perspective (they're pretty trivial really). When you think about it though, there's enough evidence of the enormity and complexity of the universe all around us. Certainly enough to overwhelm the mind of a simple man.

Guilt for who we are

I'm not heir to a billionaire's estate (that I know of, if your a billionaire and want to adopt me, that's fine by me) but I still feel guilty for the relative affluence I was born into being brought up in the middle class of a western country. It occurs to me that whilst I feel guilty for this, I feel no guilt about being above average intelligence (per the IQ test) and not being horrendously ugly. Money, innate ability and looks all have a part to play in determining out quality of life so it is irrational of me to feel guilt for only one (I'm using this as an excuse for feeling less guilty not more).

Pots with lids

I hereby admit to being the laziest person in the world: I get a pot out to cook pasta and I can't be bothered to root through the cupboard to find the lid, so I boil the water without a lid. The result: it takes longer and is worse for the environment. So how can this be cured? I know of no medication that can cure my laziness, but a pot with a built-in hinged lid would help encourage people (and me) from wasting energy. The diagram illustrates an unlidded pot, one with a single hinged lid, and one with a double hinged lid.

Thought of the day

Authors make things out to be more than they are.

Thought of the day

Bad laws make criminals of good people.

Thought of the day

Don't plan too far in advance, you never know what mood you'll be in.