Category Archives: products

Making Better Casts

I’ve never had a cast, but I always hear how much they make the skin underneath itch. What if they were made with plastic tubing embedded in them, next to the skin? That way, cold or hot water could be run through it, which might relieve the itch.

Or, the plastic tubing could be withdrawn after the cast dries, leaving an “access channel” that spirals around the limb. Then, when the itching starts, you could snake in a long pipe cleaner or something like that to scratch it. As long as the channel isn’t very big, the cast itself should still remain strong and rigid.

That seems to make sense to me. Here are two enjoyable cast-related photos for you:

accident slings

accident slings

Anatomical Cast Illustrations

Anatomical Cast Illustrations

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Grocery Shopping 2.0

I think a great idea for a website startup would be a grocery shopping organizer. I think stores could pay to have their entire stock uploaded to the site, and then it could also display coupons and sales and whatnot.

The website visitors would be average shoppers. They’d enter everything on their shopping list, and the website would order it according to the store layout, and print out a new list/store map to plan the most efficient shopping route.

People could also categorize items, as buy-every-time essentials, things to look for if they’re in stock, back-up items, special treats, etc. They could save their lists, and maybe even remind themselves to buy things once a month or on some other schedule. Their account would also accept a feed from Twitter, so they could update their lists with things like #shopping buy eggs any time.

I know dot-coms are passe, but this idea seems like it would be solid enough to successfully make money. Stores would benefit by promoting to people who save their lists in their profiles, and by offering coupons and things, and shoppers would benefit by not wasting time.

Of course, everything I know about retail tells me that grocery stores would never go for this, because they want you to wander around and spend as much time in the store as possible, in the hopes that you’ll buy things just because you can’t find the things you actually want. Which, incidentally, is how I got this idea.

Snow Melting Machine

I don’t mind shoveling so much. The only time I have a problem with it is when I run out of places to put the snow.

I need to invent some kind of machine that you can shovel snow into (instead of just flinging it to the side of the driveway) that will melt the snow. Water is much less voluminous than snow, so a large area of snow could be melted into easy-to-handle milk gallon jugs, to be disposed of elsewhere. Or, if the melting machine also includes some kind of filtering or boiling process, it would probably be drinkable water – better than spring water, it’d be snow water.

I envision this machine having a big hopper or funnel on top, and the empty jug at the bottom. It would have some kind of heating elements inside of it to melt the snow. To protect the heating elements, the bottom of the funnel/hopper would have a grate of some kind, that would let powdery now fall through but would hold up the larger chunks until they melted a bit.

I can see this whole idea being a messy disaster, but man, having to walk shovelfuls of snow down the street to find a place to dump it is a pain.