#1251: HandHoldall

I have noticed that schoolchildren are carrying ever increasing amounts of stuff with them (especially books, despite the one-laptop-per-child initiative). This can’t be good for a developing skeleton.

Today’s invention is therefore a schoolbag which has a handle hinged at one end. The handle requires that its sides be pressed together before the bag is lifted, in order to judge the strength of the user.

When next the bag is set down (detected by sensors within the base), the handle determines whether the bag has been carried for long enough to endanger the user’s joints. If so, the handle de-hinges for a preset period to give the user some time to recover.

The handle can also detect which hand is being used to lift the bag (by the relative pressure on each side) and thus can also encourage a change from left to right (by leaving the hinge open until the hand is changed).

Two such bags could even communicate wirelessly -to ensure eg that nearly equal loads had been placed in each.

#1239: PopPout

I’m disturbed to read about various lipsticks and lip salves which provide, apparently, a nice comfy haven for germs and bugs.

Today’s invention is therefore a pop-up pencil device which contains a number of single-use lipstick or lip salve pellets which, once used, are forced into the bottom end to make the next one available.

Each pellet would have just enough for one (or two) applications, so that no-one need be wiping their mouth with an infected microbiological substrate.

If the outer sleeve were made transparent, each of the pellets could be of a different colour, so that one could choose to coordinate with the mode du jour.

#1215: DamnedSpot

Today’s invention is another tool to help improve the handwashing of hospital medics (a New York Times article recently claimed that washing only happens about 1/3 as frequently as training requires).

All medical staff in contact with patients would wear a brightly coloured bracelet. This would contain an aerosol full of harmless, water soluble paint.

The bracelet would also contain a timer which would ensure that a small spot of bright paint was delivered onto the back of a medic’s hand, say every ten minutes throughout the day.

Appearance of the paint would remind wearers to wash their hands at once. Patients could raise an objection if either the bracelet wasn’t worn or there was a spot of paint on the hand of their examiner.