The Worst Ideas. Updates every Monday!

Your weekly source for terrible ideas.

Tag: great idea

The true secret of DOGS—never need to walk your dog again! Tip number five will HORRIFY you.

Background:

Dogs! You sometimes need to walk them, but maybe you don’t want to.

Sure, you could walk your dog on a treadmill or giant hamster wheel inside the house (Fig 1), but maybe you still want to give your dog the authentic outdoor-walk experience. Currently: not possible.

turnspit-dog-ancient-times

Fig 1: Ancient people knew that a “turnspit dog” could be an all-natural eco-friendly power source for charging a cell phone. Image is from a historical woodcut.

Proposal:

A human on a dog walk typically provide two things: 1) navigation guidance and 2) the ability to pull on a dog’s leash if necessary.

As described below, we can easily replicate these two factors without requiring a human to go on the walk (Figs. 2a, 2b):

dog-harness

Fig 2: The dog will wear a  sweater-like harness (blue) with an attachment point at the top. This harness should also include a GPS tracker.

dog-leash

Fig 3: This attachment point will have an articulated set of powered joints coming out of it, which will support a false hand (green) that holds the leash (yellow). The hand can be remotely controlled to pull the leash in various directions. (The harness provides the support / counter-force to allow the hand to pull on the leash.)

Once the harness is properly attached, and the leash is affixed to the artificial hand, the dog is ready for a walk!

dog-backwarddog-forward

Fig 4: By extending the hand backward or forward, the dog will feel as if it is being pulled in that direction (although the harness/hand combination is not capable of pulling the entire dog in any direction at all).

We have two options for actually controlling the hand:

  1. The walk could be handled automatically by a computer (using the GPS data to control the hand
  2. Or a human operator could manually direct the leash-holding hand, as shown in figure 5.

dog-cam

Fig 5: A camera attachment will allow the dog operator to see where they are going. For the ultimate experience, a 360° camera could be attached to allow for immersive telepresence operation via VR goggles.

PROS: Now you can walk your dog while in the safety and comfort of your own house!

CONS: May cause the powerful dog-walking industry to collapse, so there will be lots of opposition from “Big Dog-Walking.”

dog-walks-itself

Supplementary Figure A: Artist’s original rendition of the dog-walking system. Captions are hand-lettered in ink.

sketch-dog-1

Supplementary Figure B: Material for a future patent filing.

sketch-dog-2

Supplementary Figure C: Additional material for a future patent filing. Original idea, do not steal.

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Amazing (possibly weird) trick to capture additional value in social network relationships graphs via more finely-grained “friend” buttons

The issue: Most social networks only allow you to “friend” or “unfriend” a person—a binary choice. Although a few networks have additional degrees of granularity (“co-workers” / “show only my public profile”), in general it is assumed that the relationship between individuals is symmetrical.

buttons-friend

Fig 1: The familiar but insufficiently expressive “friend” button.

Proposal: To capture additional asymmetrical relationships between individuals, we need to account for the case of:

1. “Friend” one way, unknown / indifferent relationship in the other direction

2. “Enemy” one way, any relationship in the other direction

We can label these buttons “stalk” and “vendetta” respectively, and greatly increase the amount of information available for data-mining in the relationship graph!

buttons-stalk-vendetta

Fig 2: Additional buttons in action. Now we have captured crucial but previously-ignored information between individuals!

 

And a final view of what the user interface might look like for such a site:

friend-photo

Fig 3: The final interface mockup

PROS: Increases ability of social networks to capture the complex relationships between individuals.

CONS: None, this is a great idea that your Internet-enabled business should implement immediately.

Amazing new alternative to kenneling for pets will shock and amaze you. Freeze-a-pet™

The issue:

Pet ownership can sometimes be problematic in today’s mobile society.

For example: if a person has to leave on a business trip and doesn’t have friends or family to take care of their dog / cat / capybara / etc., they have to deal with the hassle of kenneling their treasured beast. This can be expensive for the owner and unpleasant for the animal in question!

Background:

There are some frogs that can apparently survive in a state of suspended animation at near-freezing temperatures.

Also, bears are known to hibernate for months in the winter.

The proposal:

A “Freeze-A-Pet” would be a regular pet, except that it can hibernate when exposed to cold temperatures.

Presumably this type of pet could be created using the same “insert frog DNA into animal” technology used to create the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Easy!

pet-1-unfrozenFig 1. A photorealistic rendering of a “freeze-a-pet”-compatible cat. Not pictured: frog DNA.

So if a person needs to go on out of town for a while, they just stick their pet into their freezer (or perhaps fridge), and the pet hibernates until the owner returns. Problem solved!

pet-2-frozenFig 2. Artist’s rendition of a freeze-a-pet in hibernation, Han-Solo-style.

In the event of a power outage, the fridge could be programmed to pop the door open and (optionally) send a text message and/or sound an audible alarm.

PROS: Makes pet ownership much more feasible for busy individuals.

CONS: The kennel lobby (“Big Kennel”) would probably oppose any development in this field, which might make it hard to find funding and avoid regulatory hurdles.

The incredible plan to save the world with more Californias

The issue: Like the citizens of many states, Californians believe that their own state is great—so what could possibly be better than even more Californias? There is a novel plan afoot to turn one (1) full-sized California into six (6) fun-sized Californias, as documented in the following link:

1-original-six-californias-ballot-initiative-poster
Above: Figure 1: An original official promotional image

(not my image; see details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Californias )

This new California would consist of 4 Republican-leaning states and 2 Democratic-leaning states, instead of the single Democratic-leaning state that currently exists.

 

 

HOWEVER:

Instead of splitting California into just six states, with 12 Senate seats, I theorize that California should “shoot for the moon” and attempt to split itself into SIXTY states (with 120 Senate seats). Then, instead of just having a moderate six-fold increase in the state’s senatorial power, it would have a 60-fold increase.

With 120 Senate seats to the remaining states’ 98, California would be able to bend the remaining states of the union to its inexorable will.

 

2-sixty-californias

Above: Figure 2: Artist’s rendition of the hypothesized “Sixty Californias” initiative.

 

 

 

BUT PERHAPS EVEN:

The “Sixty States” still won’t give California a majority of the House of Representatives (CA would have somewhere between 60 and 120 representatives). In order to remedy that, a more drastic proposal must be put forward:

3-six-hundred-californias

Above: Figure 3: The optimistic “Six Hundred Californias” initiative.

Since every state must have a minimum of one (1) representative, the new 600-fold alliance of micro-Californias would easily have a majority of total House of Representative seats (in fact, it would require serious re-structuring, since the House is currently limited to 435 voting members).

 

CONCLUSION:

Instead of wasting their time attempting to split California into a mere six pieces, the voters should unite to make more dramatic change.

 

PROS: The legislative tyranny of this new assortment of mini-states would be absolute.

CONS: None per se, but it might be difficult to convince the other states to accept this partition.