Saturday, January 12, 2008

live local internet TV!

Jeez, can I get some live local TV on anything other than a TV set around here? Advertise all you want, I wanted to watch the Seahawks play the Packers today, but we don't have a TV set anymore. We do our viewing on our new iMac or the DVD projector, but sometimes I need to see live TV. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see the downside to letting me log in to King 5 and watch the news, live, just like the rest of the city can. Is it bandwidth? Heck, store it and stream it 10 minutes later if you want, I don't care if it's live-live. On the upside, I am forced to leave my lovely home and meet up with "people" in the "outside world" when I need live TV, so I guess you could say it's a community building thing. Eh, I want TV on my computer (without buying a TV converter box or iTV or anything extra).

Early Dating Glossary

It seems odd to think I missed this before. When I was searching the planet for my mate via the internet, I said a lot about myself and a lot about what I want in a partner. What I didn't say much of was how I interpret the world. That would have made things a bit easier, to put my stuff out there in plain view, translated as well as I could manage, for my future partner to understand.

Now that I have found her (and married her, had a beautiful child with her), I realize also that it took us a long time to really be able to healthfully communicate. Really, it sometimes came down to definitions of words. What does love mean, what does family mean, what does pain mean, what does dinner mean? It would be a great exercise to literally make a glossary of terms that each partner (or potential partner) could define for themselves and thereby define for the other. A little dictionary, a personal Wikipedia. Perhaps one could add photos and stories about the definitions, maybe it could be done online as well as scrapbook style (on paper). Maybe it could be an art project for the two of you, something you could certainly look back on, and maybe even update as your definitions change. Yeah, I think you feel me now...

Idea Genetics

More of a theory: Since my father was an inventor at Battelle, he had a bunch of ideas that kicked around in his head before he died. He patented many of them, but many lay dormant in his mind, trapped by the brain cancer that befell him. I think somehow those ideas were built into his genes, and therefore they might be also in mine. Perhaps deep in the structure of the neurons themselves lies a set of pathways that have been laid but not traveled upon. It could be possible that there are ideas in my head that are actually his, or perhaps his father's or grandfather's. It's another reason I feel compelled to generate new ideas and now to share them globally. I owe it to thinkers, I owe it to myself and my ancestors to open up the gates and let the stuff flow like a monsoon in the desert. Sure, not all the ideas are good ones (that horseshoe thing was a real lulu), but I believe the family gift is to give them away.

Town Trash Tourism

I just watched an episode of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel (via Netflix) and it was all about trash. It showed trash being picked up in San Francisco and where it eventually went, from compost to recycling and everything in between. People love that stuff, and more and more it's something that every child should be exposed to. The city should give you an end-to-end tour of trash, showing exactly what goes where and what your actual consumption impact is, in the town you live in. I want to visit the landfill where my waste goes, see the compost system where my yard-waste bin empties into, watch my recycling get sorted and re-used; and I want to show my kid.

Singularity Club

The Singularity is coming: computers will eventually think like and then better than humans. Until then, humans will be trying to think like computers and some will augment their own brains with computers to do so. Google the AI Singularity. It might take a few years, and in the meantime people should be gathering up in small groups to discuss what the Singularity will bring and come up with ways to leverage that new power for good. What we should try to have the machines do when they awake is figure out the global warming problem, and do it so that humans can actually solve the thing themselves. After that, sky's the limit. What would you do if you had free access to a hive-mind computer that could literally and logically answer almost any question you had, even give you therapeutic advice? That day is coming, and it's going to be very weird indeed. Some say the thing already exists in embryonic form: it's a series of tubes called the internets!


Seattle has a city tour on a crazy boat-bus called the Duck. It can go on land and sea, with a guy or gal on the microphone telling people what happened when and why our town is cool. I want that, biodiesel powered, cooler looking, with an ecological backbone. The thing would take eco-tourists to our new excellent library with its energy-efficient design, stop by the newly greenly architected local libraries with their green roofs, swing down to UW fisheries for a look at what we're doing to save the salmon, and catch a mini solar tour of homes that are off grid in the city. If this idea worked out locally, you could simply copy the thing in other cities and franchise the concept. You'd be served yummy organic fair trade shade grown coffee, and visit the roaster that made it. It would be biodiesel powered, and you could visit the local biodiesel coop that made the fuel.

Bonus tracks: The same vehicles could run on rails and take the winery tour as well, showcasing our sustainable wineries and breweries. I won't call it a "drunk bus" but someone else might...could be the tour that brings in the most cash, methinks...

Could also be adapted to be entirely off-grid and mostly human-powered. You've seen those beach cars that 8 people sit in and bike around town, if you slapped on some sails, solar panels and a small biodiesel powered outboard motor for emergencies, you'd have an even more sustainable ride for the water part of the trip.
Aqua Eco Tours.

Newborn Velcro(tm) sleeves

It could only come at 3:16am from the father of a newborn baby. The Velcro sleeves are a very simple upgrade to baby clothes that have a dot of velcro on the wrist and the other dot on the hip of a "onesie" outfit. While feeding, newborns often flail their hands around, smacking themselves and their parents in the process. They wake themselves up, scratch themselves and their mother's nipples while breastfeeding, and generally make their lives much harder, unwittingly. With their arms gently and humanely detained, this problem is solved. A kinder kind of swaddling if you will.