Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Food Branding Yourself

I'm no chef, I will tell you now. But I am known for two things: eggs and cereal.
I do both well. I would like to add another food skill someday. It's a big deal, to know what food you can make for yourself and others that is edible or even good to eat. It's a tool you can use your whole life. It should be part of Home Economics in high school. It's your food signature. Doesn't need to be fancy, but must in a pinch be able to suffice as an entire meal if possible. Should be adaptable in terms of economics, i.e, should be able to be made cheap *and* fancy. If you blend well, create your own signature smoothie if you must. But have that one thing you can pull out in a pinch. The life you save could be your own...

Anonymous Family Suggestion Box

Needs an interested third party to translate and equalize the suggestions so you can't tell which family member made them. Requires some flexibility and understanding for sure. It's just another tool for a family to make sure each member can be heard. Some people do this live, I think it's called "talking", but I can't be sure. The suggestion box would be great for those who don't do the "talking" thing, but still need to communicate their needs. Could be done via a website if you needs to get your digits on, yo. A family Wiki page, sure enough. Maybe the anonymizer is on the website. Maybe the goal is to eventually not be anonymous...

Home Vital Sign Aggregation

After having my friend help me with my recent home inspection, it occurred to me that I'd like to have a lot more data at my disposal about my home. Easy stuff that should be logged: Temperature rise and fall, humidity levels, air pressure (positive or negative), power loss and gain. Some home automation systems do a few items listed, but not all of them. I want to know what happens when I light a fire in the fireplace, what happens to my home when I'm away for a month, what things happen to my home at night. I don't need to be emailed about it (all the time), but I'd like to see all these stats on a secure website. It's more than just electrical usage, but it certainly includes that as well. It's about knowing what kind of shape your house is in, the current fitness of your dwelling. It's probably a $500 item, with a bunch of good sensors and a USB connection, but I'm not the engineer nor marketing guy. Should come with all new homes, should be subsidized by the power company, yo.

Self-sustaining Community Centers

I'm sure this is already happening, but not fast enough. We need to give a big upgrade to our community centers (if there is one in your community!). A great way to do this would be to get a grant (or legislation) going to subsidize the creation of a local community power plant, right on top of your community center.

A combination of solar, wind, geothermal, wave, and biofuel power sources would be optimized for the local climate and come at a low low cost. It would be a learning center as well as a community gathering place. My local center has a pool, classrooms, gym, and a reception hall. It certainly could use another draw, and also could serve to quit "drawing" on the power grid. It needs to be a beacon for the neighborhood, a light among the nations if you will. If you build it (right), they will come...

Vital Signs PDA kit

I want a full-spectrum real-time analysis of myself, in a kit, on the cheap. I want wires that are easy to stick and unstick, and a software/hardware interface that is usable and smart. Temperature, blood pressure, skin resistance, heart rate/pulse, the works. Collect the data on a standard issue PDA/Smartphone and let me analyze my own data. Not so that I can diagnose my own diseases, but to observe myself more clearly. Meditation help, stress reduction, jogging companion.

Thermal Camera Nightclub

Okay, it's off my normal greenie base, but it's cool:
I've just done a home inspection and sustainability plan for my house. A key to getting a proper sustainable path to efficiency laid out is to get good data. A full home inspection is excellent.

The fun part was today's thermal scanning camera work. You point this very expensive camera around the house and it shows in very vivid color the ingress and egress of air in your home, the places where you are leaking invisible energy. It shows where your windows are leaking heat and pulling in cold. And, it's TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL.

I was looking at the images and thinking, man would that be a funky display to show on a screen in a nightclub. Turns out the cameraman (if you will) had in fact brought it inadvertently into a bar, and voila! You can tell who's actually *hot* for you! Imagine that stuff, writ large, writhing around, sweat showing up vividly first as hot, then as cold, the works. Better by far than a black light, methinks, but you could toss that into the mix, too! Funkadelic, fo sho!