#2846: Electrickery

I’ve been thinking about electric car conversions. They seem pretty complicated.

Here is a quick and dirty idea that I’ve suggested to my heroes at Garage 54

Throw away every part of a petrol engine apart from the crankshaft and the generator. Attach a big battery to the generator and run it backwards as a motor, driving the prop shaft(s).

We might need to duct some more air over the generator, maybe 😉

There you go. Will it work? Over to you Товарищи!

#2841: Disgustopper

In the sphere of non-lethal weapons, I want to create something that will make an assailant think twice, but not actually kill them.

One way to achieve this would be to make a blank round to be used in a conventional firearm but with very little propellant on board.

This would also incorporate a plug of heatproof wadding and some form of food substrate for insects.

When the gun is fired, the wadding protects a small package of insects (eg lice, fleas, ticks or small cockroaches) as they are thrown at the body of an attacker.

This would so distract them, via disgust/itching that the person under attack would gain crucial seconds and be able to sprint away to safety.

(This might also be achieved using a can of compressed air and a small reservoir of insects driven by entrainment into the air flow).

#2837: Meta’nk

I’m interested in any processes that stop wars -without fighting, if possible.

One such approach is to deceive an enemy by using inflatable models of eg tanks.

Today’s invention is to equip real tanks with a rapidly inflatable outer skin, which makes them look like false, inflatable tanks.

This could be inflated using exhaust gas and would fool enough enemy reconnaisance observers to gain some kind of military advantage.

The material of this skin could be made to disguise eg the infra red signature of the tank within.

#2828: MESSage

Today’s invention is a marketing tool for manufacturers of dirtbikes of all kinds.

It consists of a rear mudguard with a stencil of the manufacturer’s logo cut out of it.

Riders would be seen to ride through a pool of muddy water and emerge with the backs of their shirts ‘painted’ with the relevant logo.

#2817: Irreversibilitext

Many writers have discovered that the use of pen and paper, or even a typewriter, is somehow superior to a word processor.

Whilst the latter is super convenient and allows easy redrafting, maybe this actually presents a problem.

Writing some things in pen removes the ability easily to delete and refresh them…There is something about the irreversibility of ink that requires a commitment from the writer and so the limited opportunity for editing results in higher quality communication.

Today’s invention is therefore a wordpress plug-in or word processing programme that disallows any deletion of text.

#2816: Replinthing

Today’s invention is inspired by this digital artist.

If there is a statue in your town depicting someone who is now deemed politically incorrect, simply
a) perform a laser scan of the statue
b) use that to design a thin shell which might be clipped together over the offending statue.

This shell, which could be pre-weathered to have a patina of age, could portray someone who is a more modern hero, until they too become unacceptable, for some reason.

#2811: Accelink

Tank tracks are very heavy and moving them about at speed is costly.

Today’s invention aims to reduce the weight of a tank’s tracks by almost 50%.

At any instant, the tank wheels stand on tracks in contact with the ground as normal.

As a track link rises past the rear idler wheel, it disconnects and is accelerated along a track (blue) from there to the drive sprocket at the front. There, it couples itself, in the manner of a train carriage, to the link which is just about to leave the sprocket.

In this way, there is only ever one track link on the top half of the track.

#2796: Odourescue

Humans have a stereo sense of smell that subconsciously guides navigation. Who knew?

Today’s invention attempts to make use of this fact for explorers, soldiers or anyone navigating an unknown environment without a map.

If the explorer needed to find water or fruit or the sea or human habitation, in an emergency, they would don a pair of goggles containing two pipes: one running to each nostril from each side of the goggles.

This would provide enhanced stereo smell capability (just as artillery range finders do for stereo vision).

They would then calmly feel which direction to take and this would improve their chances of reaching safety significantly.

#2783: Ktwotower

I feel a bit sorry for people who climb K2 but never reach the highest point on the Earth’s surface.

Today’s invention allows them to climb higher than Everest.

It takes the form of a giant weather balloon, carried deflated. Since the atmosphere is so thin at 8000m+, only a small amount of gas from the oxygen bottles already carried would allow such a balloon to go aloft (on a reasonably good weather day).

Climbers would pay out 250m of rope as the balloon rose. This would have many loops attached of the type that mountaineers already use on rock climbs.

Using these, a climber could, under his/own steam, complete K2 with a final climb to a height greater than that of Everest.

#2776: RaceFace

Racing drivers make a brave attempt to promote their personal ‘brand’ at every possible opportunity.

This is thwarted a bit by having to wear a helmet which hides their face.

Some of the ‘special’ helmet designs are seriously ugly and most are almost unrecognisable, especially with the drivers seated so low in their cars.

Today’s invention seeks to help poor, underexposed racing drivers. It consists, for each driver, of a large scale caricature made of skin-coloured foam rubber, stuck on the outside of their helmet.

This avoids obscuring their view any more than the various visors and cages currently do.

It also allows the crowd to recognise drivers by their face so that whatever they are selling, in the paddock, or on TV gets better identified with them as a personality.