#2494: PooPod

If you like to record images of yourself undertaking some exciting activity…like driving down a country road, then you will be faced with the problem of how to avoid having your precious camera stolen or contaminated when you set it up by the roadside (There is a sub-class of Homo Sapiens, now, that thinks it’s ok to parcel their animal waste and eg hang it from a tree).

Today’s invention is a housing which keeps your camera spotless and invulnerable to theft.

It consists of an opaque dog ‘poo’ bag. Insert the camera (eg this one) so that the handles are knotted around the lens, leaving its field of view clear. You might choose to add some plasticene to the bag for added realism. This can also act as a base to help stabilise and orientate the camera. You can press the bag into the plasticene, so that any rustling of the bag is minimised on the soundtrack.

Place the device pointing at your forthcoming heroic activity. It will be indistinguishable from all the other items of litter lying about, except for the fact that even ardent litter pickers will leave it alone.

Your camera will thus still be there when you return to collect it and with it, your precious footage.

#2491: Sidewiper

Hmm…not at all sure about this one. Today’s invention is intended to be a slipstream-powered wiper for the side windows of vehicles.

In practice, the lower half of this device would be shielded in a semicircular housing made of transparent plastic, to ensure that the rotation was continuous and unidirectional.

#2483: PlushPushes

It’s very easy for folk who want to help roll a broken-down classic to the roadside to seriously damage the paintwork or even dent the panels by pushing in the wrong places.

Today’s invention is for the very few who own cars so exotic that, when they break down, they must be handled with kid gloves.

So, imagine that the owner pulls from his or her boot a set of foam pads with embedded magnets (sorry, if you have carbon fibre bodywork, it’s quite tough enough to stand some pushing).

These are tailored to fit the panels exactly in especially strong locations. The magnets hold these pads firmly in place but don’t directly contact the paint.

Each pad has two, hand-shaped recesses, to ensure that people only shove the right areas. Some, for example those fitting on the doors with the windows down, could have handles embedded to help with pulling.

#2481: AmplerCamper

I don’t much like caravans (or camper vans, if you prefer). This is probably because, when driven on twisty UK roads, they tend to attract bad drivers who cling to their back ends and are afraid to overtake the combined length of van+car.

Nonetheless, I am a huge admirer of applied mathematicians. Today’s invention relates these diverse phenomena.

It seems that mathematicians have been trying to find the biggest rigid shape which can pass down a passage with right angle bends in it. A near-perfect solution is shown in pink in the diagram.

Today’s invention is to create caravans which have this shape when viewed from above. This allows them to have the largest possible floor area, whilst also being able to negotiate the right angled corners of one lane of a city road network.

#2476: Stirring Engine

I may have mentioned that patience does not come easily to me.

It’s a particular problem when dealing with people who have a loose grasp on the concept of urgency..or when I want some tea.

Today’s invention is a technology to speed up tea making (who can afford the time required by natural circulation, when active dunking would be faster?)

Here, I employ my love of thermodynamics by applying a Stirling engine in a novel and strangely satisfying way.

The (jasmine) tea bag string is applied to the engine’s crank so that the bag is oscillated through the hot water, hastening teatime.

#2469: PressupPacer

I have a problem counting whilst doing anything else. In particular, when attempting a number of press-ups, I tend to lose count (…3 is a number 😉

Today’s invention is an app which allows an exerciser to place their phone/tablet on the gym floor below their head.

As their nose touches the screen, the counter increments by one (but only if the frequency of press-ups is neither too low (resting in between) or too high (relying on momentum, rather than muscle strength).

An added bonus is that you can record amusing images of your face approaching and receding from the screen. Over time, the gasping, reddening and sweating should lessen -providing evidence of improving fitness, in theory.

#2457: Popamine

Pop music seems to have some kind of addictive element. This is important to its users as well as to its suppliers.

A similar addiction response is shown by people who get message alerts on their mobile devices. When that buzz or ping happens, they find it difficult not to check out the latest communication immediately. I’m guessing there is a small dopamine hit associated with each one.

Today’s invention is therefore an upgrade to the marketing of popular recordings.

New pop tunes would be composed using a variety of common message alert noises, arranged rhythmically to blend in with the original score almost subliminally.

A more advanced, and interactive, form of this would be to have your mobile play your personal friend-message alert in-time and in-tone with your earworm du jour.

#2456: Slimfork

If you’re naturally slim, it’s easy to underestimate how hard it can be to maintain a healthy weight. Even small sources of support can be valuable.

Today’s invention is a new form of fork that attempts to slow eating down and make it a bit more ‘mindful’.

The video is located here.

#2450: BugsLift

Who would have thought that insects could affect the economics of air travel. I’m still not really convinced by this article.

It did, however, inspire today’s invention.

Stephanie Joy Rosalia 5498771883_288acb20ec_z

Imagine coating a light aircraft in a form of lightweight, spray-on glue.

If you then fly through dense clouds of insects, a proportion of them will end up trapped by the adhesive but in an orientation which still allows them to flap their wings.

Let’s assume that insects have a mass of 0.1g and can exert a maximum upwards force equal to twice their bodyweight.

This means that a 5000kg aircraft would need about 26 million such insects to provide enough lift to allow it to hover.

Even if that is unattainable outside a locust swarm, insects could still provide a substantial proportion of the lift required to sustain an aircraft in flight, thus increasing fuel economy (albeit in a stupidly cruel way).