#2802: Bushine

It costs my Council millions to buy stainless steel lamp-posts. They do this partly because the cost of using the conventional steel ones is heightened by the need to be constantly repainting them.

Today’s invention offers a simple alternative.

In areas which have trees, why not just mount street lights on the trunks of those trees?

They would be no darker than with the current low voltage lamps and there would be limited maintenance costs associated with the odd broken branch.

#2801: CheeseSqueezer

If you have a plague of domestic mice, then catching them humanely and walking them to a safe new home around the corner is not an option.

Today’s invention is a new multi-kill mousetrap which is powered by a mouse.

1. A mouse is attracted to the cheese (orange) placed beside the exercise wheel (pink) in a box. He runs on this for a while and a gear train (dark blue) allows the wheel and platform to rack-and-pinion (pale blue) its way upward.

2. As the platform rises, other mice can wander in towards a second piece of cheese on the floor of the box.

At a certain height, a catch is released, allowing the platform to fall down on whatever mice are below.

The whole system is ready to run again at once, assuming occasional removal of dead mice and replenishment of bait.

#2800: Puzzlevel

Once again my irrational jigsaw dislike surfaces.

One of my main objections is that jigsaws, when completed, look like a picture covered in black squiggly lines.

Various techniques now exist for cutting hard substances with very high precision (such as laser cutting or wire EDM).

Jigsaw makers are such skinflints that they are happy selling nothing but cardboard crap.

Today’s invention is to create jigsaws in something like metal sheet, so that when completed, the fit between pieces is so good that no seams can be seen.

#2799: ExtraTime

Today’s invention is to have a quartz watch which lasts n times longer than usual, so that there is a lessened tendency to throw a perfectly good watch away.

It would have space in the casing for n normal cells.

In addition, circuitry would detect when the current cell was running down and switch to using a fresh one.

#2798: Stockstill

When a handgun is being fired, the hammer strikes the bullet casing which is higher than the handgrip. This results in a slight torque which causes the barrel of the weapon to point downwards, very slightly off target, before the powder ignites.

Today’s invention is a way to overcome this source of inaccuracy.

Here the trigger (red) is located above the barrel (green), so that when the hammer (blue) strikes, its action is directly in line with the centre of gripping forces, lessening the above effect.

#2797: LowerTowers

Today’s invention is to equip future aircraft carriers with towers which can be withdrawn beneath the flight deck.

Just as in Gerry Anderson’s Marineville, when the vessel is under attack, all of those huge windows of the bridge and flight control room descend beneath the armoured deck, or at least leave only slit windows exposed.

Moving these towers up and down could be achieved using lifts of the type already used to move aircraft below deck.

#2796: Cafilter

I use a cafetiere to make strong coffee.

Sometimes the pressure developed when plunging the filter is really too high for safety.

Today’s invention is a low-cost, pressure-regulating cafetiere filter.

There is a seal unit (red) and a fine mesh (blue), as usual.

In addition, we have two steel discs with radial segments removed from each (pink and green). Turning the pink relative to the green, exposes more or less area for the coffee to flow through.

When pressing down on the pink sphere, if it stops moving down, rotate the sphere about the vertical axis. This will spin the pink disc relative to the green disk (which is in contact with the coffee grounds).

This relieves the pressure and caffeination can continue.

#2795: Warmchair

Sometimes it’s nice for those of us with bad backs or muscle aches to have a heated seat.

This is common in cars, so today’s invention extends the idea to one’s house.

You could, of course, just insert an electric blanket into an armchair and plug it in.

This might easily become unsafe after repeated use, however.

Imagine instead that the armchair is fitted with two large copper plates, one for the back and one for the seat. These would be connected by some very fat, insulated copper cables to any nearby radiator and clamped to the hot surface.

Over time, the seat becomes pleasantly warm, with no risk of fire or electrocution.

#2794: HelicoptAir

It seems that drying cherry orchards is an activity that can really only be done by hovering a helicopter overhead.

Today’s invention uses the same idea, except that it’s applied to the important business of commercial marquees.

When you hire a big tent, a part of the cost has to cover the work involved in avoiding loading it into a truck whilst wet.

Today’s invention is therefore to use a large remote control helicopter to fly a number of programmed passes over any such rental tent, in order to dry it out before packing and transporting.

The UAV downdraft might be supplemented by having a small hot air balloon gas bottle and burner aboard so that the air flow could be heated.

#2793: SpineSpinner

It seems odd to me that normal helicopters have rotor blades whose downwash is obstructed by having a big wide fuselage beneath them.

Today’s invention is a helicopter with a blade-like backbone which does not obstruct the airflow downwards.

This would have a low cargo-carrying capacity, but, with a pressurised cabin, it would be useful in eg very high altitude mountain rescue applications, where efficient downforce is at a premium in the thin atmosphere.