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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
If you appear in some team photo or other multi-person image, today’s invention allows you to differentiate yourself (and perhaps some friends) from all those other people whose names you may never have known anyway.
It consists of a small, self adhesive plastic lens which you can stick to the glass of a photo frame -over your own, minute facial image.
This allows you to become much more recognisable and thus prove that you were actually on that 2nd XI team in 1984; right next to old whatshisname.