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Or, the plastic tubing could be withdrawn after the cast dries, leaving an “access channel” that spirals around the limb.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

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.

Free Range Living

One of the little daydreams I have is that someday, I’ll get to pick a location and then build a town from scratch.

I think about this because whenever I see something in a town or city that I don’t like, I think to myself, “when I built a city, I won’t do that.”

But so, I just thought of a name for my town: Free Range. Wouldn’t it be great? Here’s why:

  • The library would be named The Free Range Library
  • Every product grown or produced in town could be advertised as Free Range
  • The high school’s mascot could be a Chicken (which I like for many reasons)
  • I would invite Flatbread Pizza to open a store there, because I’ve always referred to their food as Free Range Pizza

Oh man, I can’t wait. Of course, my town’s police force probably wouldn’t like the inevitable nickname.

Spring in Winter

Robin in snowYesterday when I woke up, I heard birds chirping. I know it’s a bit early for a sign of spring (and the crows never seem to stop cawing), but it was a nice sound to wake up to. Every year, I never realize that I miss birds chirping until I hear them again for the first time.

I See You Weren’t Paying Attention

This is a photo from the recent plane ditching in the Hudson River (since no one got hurt, it’s okay to joke). It seems obvious to me which person in this photo was not paying attention during the pre-flight safety instruction:

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.


I would like to open a custom shoe store called Solemates, and all it would do is build shoes to replace a shoe that is missing from the pair.

It turns out there is already a shoe store in Chicago by this name, but I bet they sell pairs. How common.

Perhaps if this takes off, we could also branch out into making matches to missing socks and gloves, or missing game pieces or playing cards, to recomplete the sets. I just need to get my hands on a 3D printer.

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