December 2, 2013 at 10:07pm
Immersive Language MMO Guilds
I wasted a lot of time playing MMOs (virtual world games). I tell people, “I could have learned another language!”
Which is true. But even better—why couldn’t I have learned another language while playing games? World of Warcraft servers are fully localized into 12 different languages with large native populations, complicated cooperative play, voice chat, and thousands of interactive quest lines. It’s silly, but probably the most immersive you can get without actually travelling to another country. And it’s fun.
What it needs is a support structure. Learning guilds with bilingual instructors and chat channels for help. Online lessons and scheduled chats using the guild voicechat servers.
I have a lot of dumb ideas, but I think this is actually a good one. I learn by needing to learn—cooperative games provide a need: No aggro al dragón!
November 29, 2013 at 6:29pm
I am part of the problem!
Double sided mattress.
Rotate your mattress twice a year. One side is hot for the winter and the other side is cool for the summer.
EDIT: I know more about mattresses now. Not flip the whole mattress, but have two sided comfort layer at the top that zips out and flips.
November 28, 2013 at 1:13am
Mann lake is having a Black Friday sale. 10% off bee supplies. That’s pretty good; bee stuff doesn’t usually go on sale.
November 26, 2013 at 11:21am
Okay, completely out of my depth here. But I was reading about the "toilet of the future" contest and here’s an idea that probably stinks. If you take recycled plastic scraps and put them in some sort of cotton candy machine like process, you could maybe make a plastic fluff. Packs small, expands big, really cheap.
Stuff the fluff into existing (urine only) latrine holes and pack to desired density. Hopefully the high surface area and capillary action (could the fluff be manufactured in pairs of matching strands at the right size to encourage wicking?) will promote evaporation and aerobic decomposition. If possible, pair with ducted ventilation.
Dunno if effective. But at least cheap, simple to use and transport.
November 14, 2013 at 11:05am
Nails that grip like screws?
I’m not a metallurgist, so this is probably bunk. But it would be neat to combine the grip strength of screws with the ease of nail guns. What if you had a refrigerated nailgun? Shoot slightly-smaller nails into slightly smaller holes that then expand with heat to provide a better and tighter grip with less chance of splitting your material. Maybe even better for materials that don’t squish enough to use standard nails in—say joining metal pieces?
What if you roughly alloyed two metals with different expansion rates? Or coated one with another? Too weak/expensive? Or could you create a nail that—once restored to normal temperature—looks and grips a lot like a screw at a microscopic level?
Packed my liquids for the TSA!
Test herbal supplements. Name names.
November 3, 2013 at 1:18am
Purse straps are crazy.
Purses like this. 2475 cubic inches of purse on a rounded strap the width of your finger. A slightly smaller men’s bag will have a flat strap that covers most of my palm, and it still cuts into my shoulder when loaded heavily. When my wife puts a laptop and two medical books in her purse, I don’t understand why her arm doesn’t just fall off.
I use a padded shoulder strap add-on for heavy stuff. Obviously a no-go for purses, but perhaps a hidden version could be made? Anchor it to a bra’s top strap. Bevel the edges so it doesn’t show through the clothes. A thin piece of leather is probably enough to prevent bruising. Additional strips of stiff fiber running along the shoulder would probably be even better.
This is probably a terrible idea; I have no idea what I’m talking about. But bags so heavy they hurt the body seem bad.
for future research: why do hair blow dryers cost so much more than heat guns? Is it all markup?