Friday, June 29, 2007

Five things someone really needs to invent (Alternate title: Where's my damn hover-car already?)

Some people are big-thinker types with genuinely genius ideas. I am not one of those people. Not usually, anyway. Here, however, are five things that I truly think this world needs... five things someone should invent, like, NOW.

  1. A perfume search engine that would help me pick a scent based on the smells I like and the other perfumes I've liked in the past. Sounds simple enough, right? But wait. There's more. After I've found some promising results, I would like the site to be able to send me samples of my search results for a nominal fee, so I don't have to invest $60+ in a perfume I don't actually like nor go hunting all over town to try them out. Surely I cannot be the only person with this idea on my wish list. Has someone already invented it and forgotten to tell me?

  2. An above-car messaging system to allow me to communicate with nearby drivers. I am envisioning some sort of large lighted display with scrolling text, inputted by voice recognition, of course (reading while driving might be distracting enough; I'm surely not advocating driver-seat typing as well). This system could serve many purposes, from the obvious cursing and reprimanding bad behavior to some not-so-subtle flirting with the very attractive man in the next lane to helpful tips such as "Hey buddy; mind turning your blinker off?" or "Dude! Lights would be good here!" I suppose this system would likely just fuel road rage, but I can't help wanting it anyway. Instead, I have to simply hope that the jackass in the black pickup who tried to run me out of my lane on my way home last night (and then had the nerve to honk at me and flip me off when I didn't successfully make my car vaporize for him) actually reads my blog, because this is the only venue through which I can say to him, "Excuse me, sir, but would you like me to define the word YIELD for you?!? Because obviously you're not quite sure what it means!" Um, yes. Like I said. Rage. Maybe it's best not to pursue this idea after all.

  3. Health clubs that are powered by the energy generated from the people working out within the building. Seriously, if impoverished countries can install merry-go-rounds that pump clean water to a village through the power generated by the kids playing on it, and if a clever Brit can install plates in a road to capture kinetic energy from passing cars and use it to power nearby traffic signals and street lights, why can't we fuel a building using the people-power generated from a treadmill or elliptical inside? How awesome would that be? Al Gore would be so pleased. Come on, science! Let's get moving on this!

  4. A helpful and effective personal shopping service at a store I can actually afford. Sure, the ladies at Macy's or Nordstrom would be happy to help me figure out what a thirty-something who's averse to gauchos and formal shorts should be incorporating into her wardrobe for maximum style and versatility, but it's hard to mix and match when I can afford only one piece. I'm not suggesting a style guide service at Target or Old Navy, but... wait. Actually maybe I am. Hmm.

  5. And finally, just because I am having a ridiculous time maintaining any sort of willpower and sticking to any type of sensible eating plan, could someone please genetically engineer carrots and broccoli so that they taste like cookie dough and mashed potatoes? That'd be great. Thanks.


3carnations said...

Mashed potatoes sound good.

That's all I've got to say. :)

Anonymous said...

You, my friend, are brilliant. I want all of these things, too, and the world would be a much better place with them. GET TO WORK, SCIENCE, INDEED.

L Sass said...

How about we just outlaw formal shorts?

I'm writing my congressman right now.

lizgwiz said...

Those are all very good ideas. I particularly like number one, since I get a little dizzy when I actually try to sniff more than a couple of scents at the perfume counter. Sensory overload!

shelleycoughlin said...

My brilliant idea was to make an advent birth control calendar, with the little doors you get to open up? And bits of chocolate to eat with that Ortho. Genius, right?! No one would ever forget to take their birth control if they got a little piece of chocolate with each one.

At least it's better than my pinHata, where people walk around with pinata hats on and others get to try to knock it off for prizes. The lawsuits on that one might get a bit pricey, though.

Anonymous said...

The car communication system reminds me of a comedian who once said that people's license plate numbers should be their cell phone numbers.

Your ideas are all pretty much brilliant, though, up to and including a personal shopping service for Target and Old Navy. Make me look like one of those models where people are all, "Which one is wearing the bargain outfit?" and people are all, "I CAN'T TELL!"

Anonymous said...

I love your list. The people-powered gym = AMAZING! And I think the perfume website might be your million-dollar idea!

Whiskeymarie said...

I'm totally working on the broccoli-cookie dough thing. I'll keep you updated.
Right now the best I can do is caramelized broccoli ice cream. It kind of tastes like cabbage-y cinnamon rolls.

Stefanie said...

3Cs--They DO sound good. And since I posted that, I have been thinking about mashed potatoes all day. I know what I'm having for dinner tonight...

GG--Woo. Know any scientists? :-)

L Sass--That sounds like a great idea to me. (Also, I am wondering what sort of response I would get if I actually DID write a letter about that... It would give some intern a good laugh, anyway, I'm sure.)

Liz--Exactly. You can't even distinguish between scents after smelling three or four. Plus, you really have to wear a scent for a while to see how long it lasts and how it changes with your body chemistry. I need take-home samples, dammit!

NPW--You are hilarious. I love the advent calendar idea, except that I'd have a hard time fitting the pill pack in my purse that way. And pinata hats? Awesome. Ouch... but awesome. :-)

Nabbalicious--Oh, I would love to be that girl... the one in the fabulous outfit that looks like it cost a fortune. My friends do sort of think I have a secret portal to some special Target because I'm always finding cute things that they swear they didn't see there, but really it's not nearly the same thing.

Abbersnail--I must confess I probably didn't come up with the gym idea myself; I probably read it somewhere in combination with that water pump story, but I really don't remember for sure. And I definitely think the perfume site is a good idea. Do you know anyone who would buy it from me for a million dollars?? :-)

Whiskeymarie--Ew. I am sorry, but cabbagey cinnamon rolls sound worse than broccoli. Keep working on it, though. I have faith in you!

Anonymous said...

Boy, if you could do number five you would be a jagillionaire.

Sue said...

Love the car message idea, but it would definitely add to road rage murders. But the perfume thing might be possible, check out this site (pretty close anyway);

Stefanie said...

BK--I know, right? Too bad I was an English major instead of Food Science.

Sue--That's a cool site; thanks! Still not exactly what I need, but a fun starting point, anyway.

Anonymous said...

See, I always thought it'd be great if license plate numbers doubled as phone numbers so that you could call the person in front of you and ask him/her why they're an asshole.