TLDNR: 3 Incredible Inventions to Change the World [Click for full post]
In fourth grade my school participated in something called The Invention Convention. The idea was that every elementary school student in the country would dream up an idea, create a working model, and be ranked by an elite group of third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers who were stupid enough to volunteer to judge the competition. My invention was for a new type of mailbox that had a tray attached to the door. When you opened the door the tray would slide out with your mail on it, making it easier to grab. I got the idea after watching my dad struggle to reach into our mailbox from the car which, while funny, seemed like a setup that could be improved upon. One time he was struggling to reach so much that he farted, which was another reason my invention would be useful, as I, riding shotgun that day, was in the direct line of fire.
My father had also participated in an Invention Convention when he was a kid, but only came up with a device called the Egg Crusher, which was a hammer, secured to a piece of wood, that would drop and smash an egg. He did not place well for the fairly obvious reason that crushing an egg, should you ever need to do that, is easy enough without a hammer-wood contraption. I was determined to reclaim my family’s good name with my sliding tray mailbox idea.
As I scanned the convention hall (gym), I was fairly confident. Most kids had egg crusher-level inventions on display: hastily made devices that served no real world purpose. Mine, on the other hand, was an improvement on a device everyone in my town used daily. When it came time for the awards I was defeated by the single stupidest one in the room: An automatic bed maker. The perfect invention for a stupid kid whose worldview consisted only of their own home. The winner, who shall remain nameless except that her name was Molly Bradley, proudly accepted the award for her foolish, impractical invention while I was left with nothing but a working prototype of a revolutionary device.
By the way, sliding tray mailboxes hit the market about two years later, leading me to believe that the Invention Convention is just a ploy to steal little kids’ ideas and create them before they’re smart enough to see they’ve been robbed. I still constantly think of inventions but now, many years older, I’m not naive enough to think I can personally benefit from my thoughts. As with the rigged Invention Convention, some huge corporation will just copy my idea and I will be stuck draining my savings trying to sue them. So now I invent for invention’s sake, or because I just want these products and ideas to exist. So go ahead and steal them. I’ll ask that you cut me in on the profits but you, like the thieves who stole my mailbox ideas, will probably just play dumb.
The Rolling Suitcase Seat
I travel a lot for shows and work which means I spend a lot of time standing around, miserable, draped in heavy luggage. Should I be lucky enough to score a seat somewhere, society dictates that I, as a healthy 20-something male, must give it up to literally anyone else. I don’t want to be rude so I’m almost always stuck standing in terminals, in trains, in waiting rooms, anywhere, which is annoying because I generally don’t like supporting my own weight. But what if I always had my own chair? What if my rolling suitcase could be turned into a little personal seat that I wouldn’t have to give up to anyone? Dream no longer!
All the elements are there: the top of the bag is the seat and the retractable handle is the back board. You don’t want your chair sliding all over the place so there is a kickstand-like device that will deploy a small set of legs, similar to how you park a moped. Finally! A way to not have to give old ladies a seat! [Continue reading]