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Long story about tenants from hell. The deal was we were transferring overseas for what we thought would only be a couple of years. The people who bought the property about a half mile away from us needed a place to stay while they built a house there. We still had some animals/livestock that we couldn’t take with us and they were supposed to take care of them while we were gone, pay the cost of the house insurance (something like $87 a month), maintain the place, & let us know if something needed to be fixed they couldn’t afford to fix. We had arrangements with a lawyer to check on the place (spoiler alert, he was a sucky lawyer who didn’t do his job) & some friends who were supposed to go over and check up and fix things (we always gave notice when the friend was supposed to go there). We ended up being stuck overseas longer than expected (govt wouldn’t transfer us back). After about 3–1/2″ hears the tenants stopped paying rent. We came back to visit on home leave after 4 years & they wouldn’t let us in certain parts of the house (that they had covered doorways with curtains) and didn’t want us to go into our workshop (which they actually were not allowed to use or go into). We did notice all of our X-mas tree farm had been cut down & fences were changed but they gave us some bs excuses about it & my parents didn’t want to make a big deal of it. They claimed our goats had all “got wormy & died” and that our cats died from “pining” for us. Later the man admitted they just didn’t feed the cats. We ended up being stuck overseas for 9 years. In that time the tenants decided they could get squatter’s rights and that we were never going to be able to come back. They burned a hole in the floor, put holes in the walls, stole electrical outlets, circuit breaker boxes, curtains, curtain rods, furniture they’d asked us to leave for them to use, our expensive wood stove, phone jacks, doors, doorknobs, tools, toys, etc. There was also the 1,000 board feet of oak lumber that was gone. They broke into a locked room in the workshop & stole my father’s rare coin collection as well as some of his military stuff. They also managed to break the drill press, put a huge pit in the concrete floor, break our tractor, break the lid to the septic tank (which they never had drained the entire 9 years), tampered with our plumbing & screwed it all up, tampered with the electrical & screwed it up, destroyed half of the porch, littered our yard with junk, & had about 20 dogs tied up around the yard. They also messed up our barn (they changed the goat pen to a dogfight ring) & stole our brooder boxes from the chicken house. Stuff that had been inside the workshop safely had been put outside & stepped on by the horse. They did something to the pond so it no longer held water & basically did over $60k worth of damage to the place. The carpets were never cleaned the entire time- we ended up just having to replace them. The house was full of mice, rats, and roaches. The place was absolutely filthy. We gave them 6 months notice when we finally got word we were being transferred (there had been some mistake where the supervisors didn’t realize how long we’d been overseas— legally they weren’t supposed to keep us there more than 5 years but there was some other fuckery going on with someone who had a grudge for my father not approving him for a promotion over a decade before— dude was literally throwing all of his transfer applications in the trash & pretending he never got them even when they were sent certified return receipt & had his signature). When the supervisors found out it had been 9 years they agreed to let us transfer back but my father still had to serve one last year in the mainland US before he hit mandatory retirement age. But, the govt wouldn’t pay for our belongings to stay in storage for a year while we were stateside so we had to move them into our house. It turns out that the neighbor’s son had built a house (having stolen a bunch of lumber & other stuff from us to build it) but the father & his wife were not living in it. At first they refused to leave but our friend told them they would *have* to leave because it was the agreement & that they couldn’t just live in our house when we came back since they weren’t paying rent. We were unaware at the time (and only found out years later) that at some point the neighbor got into a fight with my now best-friend’s late father and tried to murder him with a knife. He knew the DA so he got off with a slap on the wrist, but my friend’s father sued the crap out of him— which was why he stole so much of our stuff to sell. He & his son were extremely angry that we were coming back & that they had to move out. They had not kept up most of the part of the agreement— only 2 of our animals were still around (one cow and one horse). We used to grow hay on the property that was good to feed them but the yard had gone to seed. Too many weeds. After the 6 months notice we gave another 4 months notice and then a 6 weeks notice. We ended up being later than we thought getting back home (due to weather) so they got an additional 2 weeks to move out. They weren’t moved out when we got back. We had to stay at a friend’s house for another week while they moved their stuff out. Once they were out, they only gave us one key (and we think they had made copies). We moved in but they left their dogs, pigs, and sheep in our yard. We were ok with them coming back into the yard to feed them, but their dogs would bark all night long & keep us awake. We discovered termites in the barn and needed them treated. Told them to get their dogs out of the yard & get their pigs out so the pigs wouldn’t be hurt by the termite poison. They kept them in our yard for about 2 months after we moved back. They also continued to come back and enter the house when no one was home to cut our phone jacks, steal from our loose change jar (came back & it was empty & stuff had been moved), and rifle through our stuff. I changed the locks so they came back when we were at the store & kicked the door in (broke the door frame). Sometimes they would think we weren’t home & would come over to look for stuff to steal. I caught the jerk trying to steal a table from our porch- or what was left of the porch. They had somehow destroyed half of the porch. Some of our hollow concrete steps were missing as well- and windows were broken. I didn’t even mention the hallway & laundry room floor. It was absolutely destroyed. We’d had parquet flooring but it was all torn up and chunks of it were all over the place. The parquet floor in the kitchen was bubbled up, formica countertops were gouged, stained, torn & ruined. Freezer was broken, fridge was absolutely disgusting, and the oven was saturated with mouse pee and feces. Mice had been nesting in it. They also broke some of our cabinet drawers (looks like kids had used them as stepladders). Most of the stuff we left behind was either stolen or destroyed. My mother had to fight with the jerk to get back her desk he stole AFTER we moved back & he wasn’t supposed to be coming in. They had stolen her childhood bedroom nightstands & ruined them with some awful paint. They had altered the locked room in the workshop to have gun racks & basically messed up everything they touched. They left junk trucks & cars in our yard. Several months after we gave them written & verbal notice to remove them we ended up just having someone haul them off to a junkyard for scrap (apparently they weren’t happy about it but we’d been back for 2 years at that point so that stuff was abandoned). We had to pay someone to haul off some of their junk. I can’t remember if I mentioned they illegally changed the road sign to say their name but we got it changed back to the proper one (which really pissed them off) so they threw nails and screws in our driveway to pop our tires. We had like 32 flat tires within the first couple of years. Before my father returned the neighbor demanded that we let him grow a garden in our back pasture (mind you, it’s 31 acres of land) but we didn’t want him going that far back on the property & told him “No”. He got irate and started yelling at us insisting that we had to let him. He also lied and claimed he’d talked to my father on the phone and that my father had given him permission. I told him “Bullshit!” That was before we had realized the full extent of the damage and found out about the drugs & the dog fighting. We only found out later when talking to the retired sheriff (who had been his best friend). We also found out he filed a false claim against our insurance for an accident that happened on his own property- we lost our insurance because of it. But we were actually willing to let him plant stuff in our front 5 acres at that point. Turns out he was so adamant about it being the back because it wasn’t legal to grow & he didn’t want to get caught w/ it on his own property. They continued to try to steal from us for years, shot out back windows of our vehicles, and kept trying to find excuses to trespass. Oh, they also stole our packages— he would intercept FedEx & UPS drivers and specifically ask for our packages and the idiots would actually give them to him. I had to call and read them the riot act to say “never give my packages to my thieving neighbor”. The man’s wife left him because he beat her and he now lives in a small trailer on the property & has parkinson’s. His sons are in and out of trouble with the law. Which reminds me, the son never amended his address to be the right one. He still claims our address so we’ve had US Marshall’s, drug dealers, and bailbondsmen come out to our house looking for him. We suspect they were the ones who poisoned our dogs a couple years back. Fortunately, they don’t bother us as much these days, but they harassed us for YEARS after we moved back. We still haven’t fixed all of the damage they did to the house.
1. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur Built in the year 1835, the Rambagh Palace is one of the most stunning structures that beautifully showcase the royal heritage of ,Rajasthan,. ,It is the former residence where Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II lived with his queen Gayatri Devi,. It sprawls across an area of 48 acres and is regarded as one of the largest ,palace hotels in Rajasthan,. This classic heritage is restored by the Taj Group of Hotels and is elaborately decorated to perfection. The exquisite architecture, manicured gardens and fine dining restaurants stand true to its name ‘Jewel of Jaipur’. Today, the palace has been reputed as one of the most luxurious accommodations across the globe. The timeless interiors offer an experience like no other. The sandstone balustrades, the 18 the-century ballroom and the elaborate cenotaphs ignite imagination and take visitors back in time. ,There are a total of 78 air-conditioned suites and rooms adorned with period decor and impart an old world charm,. All the rooms are spacious and coupled with modern amenities such as mini bar, DVD player, high definition television, internet access, full sized mirror and what not. Take your royal stay to the next level by indulging in therapeutic treatments at the Jiva Spa. It will harmonise your mind and rejuvenate your soul. This heritage retreat has hosted celebrity guests including Lord Mountbatten, Jacqueline Kennedy and Prince Charles. No wonder, Rambagh Palace is the best place to soak up the modern luxury and savour Rajput hospitality. Price Range :, INR 24,000 – INR 4,00,000 Amenities 24*7 Front Desk Fine dining and Private Dining Options Indoor and Outdoor Pool Jiva Grande Spa Seating area with sofa Free Onsite Parking Luggage Storage Currency Exchange 2. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur The ,Taj Lake Palace, was a former palace of Maharana Jagat Singh II (royal dynasty of Mewar) which is now turned into a luxurious hotel. The foundation sprawls across an area of 4 acres. The palace stands erected on the island of Jag Niwas in Lake Pichola. It was constructed between 1743 and 1746 and was regarded as the pleasure resort of the Maharana. The Lake Palace was restored to its utmost glory by the Taj Group and became popular after the James Bond movie has been shot here. The breathtaking location offers the best views of the Aravalli Hills, ,City Palace, and the Jag Mandir. The fine restaurants serve a variety of signature specialties that delights the senses. But only resident guests are allowed to enter the spac,e. The Taj Lake Palace hotel has previously hosted guests like Lord Curzon and Jacqueline Kennedy. It is also the perfect venue for organizing a fairytale wedding or ,enjoying a magical honeymoon,. This heritage accommodation boasts 18 lavish suites and 65 grand rooms. ,Each of the rooms is uniquely sized with royal decor and dark teak furniture. The balconies adjoining the rooms offer majestic views of the lake and the surrounding hill. All the rooms include luxury bathing amenities, large flat screen television, DVD player, complimentary newspaper, internet access and so on. Indeed, this 19 the-century palace hotel lets guests immerse in the rich traditions and pleasures of the princely era. Suite at Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur Price Range :, INR 17,500 – INR 3,80,000 Amenities Butler Service Astrology Sessions Heritage Walks Forest Essential Toiletries Hot/Cold Spa Pool Shopping Arcade Electronic Safe 3. The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur Sitting on the bank of Lake Pichola, the ,Oberoi Udaivilas, is one of a kind. Set against a mesmerizing backdrop, landscaped gardens and stunning architecture, this heritage retreat offers a relaxing break from the chaos of daily life. The hotel spreads over an area of 30 acres and sits on the hunting ground of the royals which is over 190 years old. ,Travel and Leisure rated the Oberoi Udaivilas as the world’s best hotel in the year 2015. The Udaivilas offer such experiences that linger for a lifetime. The superior accommodations coupled with exotic dining and sincere hospitality invite guests and bring alive countless memories. Surya Mahal, the daytime dining space specializes in Indian as well as Western cuisine and offer mesmerizing views of the surrounding. Chandni, the open air dining area is known for its Indian traditional music and dance performances. The Oberoi Spa features private treatment rooms with stunning views of the lily pond. They also flaunt a spa suite specially designed for couples. Surya Mahal and Chandani Restaurant at Oberioi Udaivilas There are 4 luxurious suites, 1 Kohinoor suite and 87 lavish rooms that are a fusion of old and new. ,Each of the room is a thoughtful mix of Rajputana inspire motif, traditional wooden carved furniture and modern facilities. The spacious interior has a vibrant touch of colour and includes a cushioned window seat with an ensuite bathroom. The luxury suites are tastefully designed with a private pool and a dining space that offer the perfect setting to unwind and relax. Price Range :, INR 25,500 – INR 1,50,000 Amenities Butler Service Fitness Centre Private Terrace and Pool 24*7 In-Room Dining Marble Bathroom with a view Boat ride with wine Electronic Safe 4. Umaid Bhavan Palace, Jodhpur Umaid Bhavan Palace, is a five-star property which is an amalgamation of an enchanting past and present. This 20 the-century palace sits on the lap of Chittar Hill, the highest in ,Jodhpur,. It is the former home of the Jodhpur royal family and is ,rated as the sixth largest private residence across the globe., Umaid Bhavan Palace complex covers an area of 26 acres and is divided into three parts – the royal residence, luxury hotel and the museum. Treat your taste buds with the authentic Indian and European cuisines at the exotic dining spaces and pamper yourself with the rejuvenating therapies at the Jiva Grande Spa. For the health conscious guests, there is a yoga studio, well-equipped gym and a tennis court. If you want to discover the rich history of the palace, heritage walks can also be arranged on request Dining at Umaid Bhawan Palace Umaid Bhavan Palace has 70 iconic suites and rooms that come in the Art deco style,. The perfect blend of princely decor teamed with the latest conveniences makes them ideal for a royal retreat. All the rooms boast a well stocked mini bar, flat screen television and DVD player, bathtub and spa bath treatments. Price Range :, INR 21,000 – INR 4,00,000000 – INR 4,00,000 Amenities Indoor and Outdoor Pools Laundry Service Free Car Parking Currency Exchange Business Centre Concierge Multilingual Staff 5. The Leela Palace, New Delhi The Leela Palace, New Delhi opened the gates in 2011. The property is strategically located in Diplomatic Enclave, making it the ideal choice for business as well as leisure travellers. The luxurious hotel is a seamless blend of Lutyen architectural style and Indian culture. It is L.E.E.D Platinum certified and one of the top picks in the city where luxury meets greenery. The Leela Palace, New Delhi houses several chic restaurants that serve signature delicacies. Jamavar specializes in signature Indian dishes and its look is inspired by the historic Jamavar shawls. Megu offers Japanese specialities dipped in authentic flavours. Le Cirque is an exotic restaurant that serves the best Italian delicacies in town. The Library Bar offers the finest drinks and the Lobby Lounge serves pastries and cakes. This property also boasts a grand spa by ESPA that offer holistic therapies to both men and women. The rooms are spacious and start from 548 square feet. There are 194 grand rooms, 42 royal club rooms and 18 suites., All the rooms are air-conditioned and feature wooden furniture, floor to ceiling windows, a high-definition television, DVD player and more. There is also a rooftop temperature controlled swimming pool that offers panoramic views of the city. Price Range :, INR 11,000 – INR 3,50,000 Amenities 24*7Front Desk Shuttle Service Internet Access Fitness Centre Butler Services Banquet Currency Exchange Facilities for differently abled guests 6. Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala Kumarakom Lake Resort, is one of the finest luxury properties set amid the ,Kerala backwaters,. ,It has earned the title of the leading resort by the ‘World Travel Award’., This high-end resort sprawls over an area of 25 acres and comes with exclusive amenities and excellent services. It features a number of water activities, swimming pools, world-class dining options as well as ,specialized spa treatments,. Sunset boat-ride, village walks and cultural shows can also be arranged on request. The culinary options at the resort are delightful to the taste buds. It includes Thattukada, a traditional tea shop where guests can sip on a cup of tea amidst the luxuriant garden. The multi-cuisine restaurant named Ettukettu specializes in Chinese and Continental delicacies. Vembanad is a fine restaurant that offers typical Kerala seafood on the banks of the ,tranquil backwaters,. There are 59 exotic rooms and villas that are a replica of Manas, the 16 the-century traditional ,Kerala, homes., Each of the room as an aesthetic appeal and is carefully crafted with a courtyard and an open roofed bathroom. The air-conditioned accommodations with wooden ceiling and Asian style furniture offer ultimate comfort during your stay. Price Range :, INR 12,000 – INR 50,000 Amenities Swimming Pool Water Sports Free Wi-Fi Fitness Centre Indoor Games Complimentary Newspaper Well Stocked Bar 7. The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra If you are ,looking for an unforgettable holiday, with spectacular views of the legendary Taj Mahal, the ,Oberoi Amarvilas, is the place where you should head to.The exceptional location with the ,Taj Mahal, in the backdrop conjures amazing memories and offers adequate time to get personal with the symbol of love. The property is located at a distance of 600 metres from the iconic monument and is separated by a river gorge. The Mughal style architecture with intricate work is an example of its timeless beauty. The best part is, the hotel hasn’t undergone any renovation since it opened the gates in 2000. The property boasts a multi-tiered pool complex with sundecks and brightly coloured umbrellas. There is also a multi-cuisine dining space, a plush bar and an extravagant Indian restaurant that serves the best Indian dishes in Agra. Guests can also ,opt for spa treatments, at the Oberoi Spa and visit the fitness centre to charge up their mind and body. Car rentals are available at the tour desk. The rooms are inspired by Mughal architecture and complemented with the latest technologies. The premier rooms offer Taj Mahal view and feature a lavish king sized bed with ensuite bathroom. The deluxe suites have an adjoining balcony that offers private dining options with the Taj Mahal at the backdrop. The stylish interior and large windows are exclusive and unmistakably Oberoi. You can also take a ,Same Day Taj Mahal Tour By Car From Delhi Price Range :, INR 25,000 – INR 1,50,000 Amenities Butler Service Wake Up Service In-room safe Flat Screen Television DVD Player Private Seating Area Currency Exchange onsite 8. The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur Covering 32 acres of landscaped gardens,, ,the ,Oberoi Rajvilas, offers exquisite stay complemented with fine hospitality. It is located at the heart of the Pink City in the princely ,state of Rajasthan,. This high-end accommodation is known for housing a 280 years old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The property resembles a ,typical Rajasthani Fort, and chunks of ancient armoury are hung on the walls which look fascinating and pretty lost in time. This heritage hotel has raised the bar when it comes to the dining options in any of the Oberoi properties. Raj Mahal offers exotic Indian delicacies in the finest luxurious setting. Surya Mahal specializes in international cuisines and fine liquor. And the Rajwada Library Bar is completely dedicated to liquor and wines. There are 71 plush rooms, tents and villas that are designed with care and attention to every detail. ,All the rooms are spacious and give an experience of royal living. Other amenities include a private seating area, flat screen television, internet access, attached bathroom with a bathtub, toiletries and more. ,The Luxury and Kohinoor Villas comes with a private pool and flaunts the most romantic setting ,for honeymoon couples,., No doubt, this resort offers a stay that is warm yet unforgettable. Price Range :, INR 25,500 – INR 2,00,000 Amenities Shuttle Service Spa Treatments Gym and Fitness Centre Ticketing and Car Rentals Private Yoga Sessions Pool-Side Dinner 9. Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad Perched on a hilltop covering 32 acres of land, the Falaknuma Palace was the private residence of the Paigah family. After visiting Europe Sir Viqar-ul-Umra, the Hyderabad Prime Minister wanted to build a European styled residence for himself and laid the construction of this palace in 1884. He presented it to Mir Mahbub Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad in 1897. Taj Hotels restored the Falaknuma Palace and renovated it into a lavish five-star property in the year 2010. The palace turned hotel is a beautiful blend of Indian and colonial architectural style. It exudes aristocratic opulence and transport visitors to the bygone era when Hyderabad was ruled by the Nizam. This property boasts 6 dining options and the highlight is the Celeste that will take you on a culinary ride to magical Europe. Feel rejuvenated at the Jiva Spa and take a break from your daily life. The concierge service will be glad to arrange a tour around the city which is a mix of ancient heritage sites and modern lifestyle. Heritage walks through the former residence of the Nizam is also available on request. The Taj Falaknuma Palace flaunts 60 elegant rooms and suites that offer breathtaking views of the courtyard., All the rooms are tastefully designed and features fine wooden furniture, hand-painted motifs and oak wood flooring. The Nizam Suite has a private pool and offers all the latest conveniences so that you can live the life of a royal. Price Range :, INR 24,000 – INR 4,00,000 Amenities Butler Service Well stocked mini bar Forest Essential Toiletries Spa Treatment Complimentary Wi-Fi Swimming Pool Fitness Centre 10. The Leela Palace, Udaipur Sitting on the banks of Lake Pichola, the Leela Palace is a jewel that offers stunning views of the lake, Aravalli Hills and the magnificent City Palace. This premium property exemplifies the grand Rajasthani architecture and offers guests a taste of royal living. Undoubtedly, it is the place where luxury awaits. The contemporary interiors embellished with local artwork and a pool facing the lake offers the perfect setting for a princely experience. The large outdoor pool is attached to a hot tub where guests can relax and unwind. There are also 3 dining options that serve scrumptious Indian and international delicacies as well as fine liquors. Leela Palace, Udaipur boasts 8 iconic suites and 72 heritage rooms that evoke grandeur., Each of the rooms has a traditional Indian touch with a red and gold shade covered with elegant carpets. The ensuite bathroom comes with premium toiletries and a Jacuzzi. Apart from luxury, the conveniences include Wi-Fi, electronic safe and butler service. Price Range :, INR 17,000 – INR 1,00,000 Amenities Spa Treatment Tour Desk Business Centre Room Service Open –air plunge pool Fitness Centre
The dreams started about 1980. There were a series of dreams that I had about the same time (I’ll call them subsets for lack of a better term), I’ll try to remember all of them, because they all started around the same time, and ended around the same time and tied in somewhat with the main dream. (I still occasionally have little dreams about the subsets, which still triggers the intense longing I had, but all dreams of the main one stopped, which to this day breaks my heart because they were a very integral part of my life for about 10 years.) 1. ,The Main Dream My husband and I were traveling down the highway which we used to do frequently. (We did not have children at the time). I remember seeing the road sign US 60. (I do not know what state we were in). We were in the country, lots of open pasture and occasional stands of trees (not pines). Beautiful country. It must have been in the spring because the air was balmy, soft warm breeze, clouds on the horizon. We topped a rise and on the left was a beautiful mansion with well kept grounds with lots of shrubbery as landscaping, and some roses and other colorful flowers that I do not remember the names of. It was all open and not fenced in. It was like a post card, it was so beautiful. We commented to each other about it, and admired it at length. As we drew closer, it started to rain. I was surprised at how warm it felt on my skin. We pulled over and realized the house was directly to our left. There were two older ladies outside gardening. They saw us and gestured for us to come on over. We did, and pulled up a paved driveway onto a circular drive in front of the house. The house was red brick, with a covered porch that was held up by marble columns (not screened in). There was nice and comfortable porch furniture, three or four rockers with plump cushions and end tables between them. There was a two-seater porch swing also. (I do not remember too many details about the outside, except it was landscaped and had large windows and marble windowsills. There were functional wooden shutters on all of the windows. The house was at least two stories with an attic. It was not as vast as mansions go, but it was larger than a regular house. I think the one lady (they were sisters, and I don’t remember their names now, but I did then) said the house was about 12,000 square feet.) They asked if we were going to town and we said yes. They recommended a good hotel and invited us back. We did not go inside the first day. Time progressed in an actual way, but accelerated in some ways. I don’t remember which visit it was but we were finally admitted into the house for a tour. By this time we had visited several times, swam in their large pool, and had meals with them outside on the porch. I do not remember servants, though, the ladies served the meals. They were very good and consisted of vegetables, meats, fruits, and salads, and cakes and cookies for dessert along with iced tea for the meals and coffee for the desserts. All of the food was excellent and well presented, and all tasted very good. The sisters had no other family and said we were their family, and greatly welcomed our visits. When you walked in the front door, there was a tiled foyer, the ceiling was high (about 12 feet I would guess), vaulted, and had polished beams made of a medium color wood. The staircase was to our left and it was the same medium wood with a fancy railing and carpet rectangle treads. (I don’t quite remember the color of the treads). On the left on the other side of the stairs was what looked like a formal living room that was bright and airy with dark tan drapes and white sheers underneath, with wide tie-backs. The furniture was wood-framed with tan and cream patterned cushions, and a carpeted floor in a darker tan-light brown. There fancy table lamps and crystal and ceramic knick-knacks on the end and coffee tables. There was also a fireplace with pictures of the sisters from a long time ago. On the right was the formal dining room with dark polished wood chair rails on the wall (I don’t remember the wall color but the furniture was dark wood and highly polished.) There was a table that sat six persons, a sideboard, and a huge hand-carved china cabinet with glass doors. And full of china that was almost a translucent cream color with colored flowers and a gold ring around the edges. There was a candelabrum with a lace doily in the center of the table. Straight ahead was a hallway with wood floors and a carpet runner down the middle, that split off into several rooms; one was a formal library with wall-to-ceiling bookshelves and comfortable furniture, a fireplace and standing reading lamps. Light walls and dark polished wood, carpeted in a light color. Another room was a music room that had a baby grand piano, a spinet, and upright piano, a pipe organ and a more modern, smaller Hammond organ with a double keyboard. The curtains were burgundy velvet with wide tiebacks and rose-colored sheers underneath. I do not remember the color of the carpet. There were music books on a shelf and sheets of music on all of the instruments. I do not remember any other instruments but the room did have a fireplace whose mantle and woodwork was light in color and a marble base. I know there were other rooms, but I do not remember them. The kitchen was large bright and airy, with a black-and-white tile floor laid out like a checkerboard. There was a large metal-legged table that could easily seat six, that had a metal edging and a Formica top that was white with black pattern like someone upended a chocolate-syrup bottle and squeezed lines of it all over the white in loopy haphazard thin lines. The chairs were metal framed with vinyl cushions that matched the table. The appliances were white ceramic and older (1940’s I think), the sink was a white ceramic double sink with fancy metal faucets. The cabinets were white with black counter tops that had a white swirly pattern (almost like the opposite of the table, but the white swirls were not as defined.) It had fluorescent lighting (the circular kind, not the strips). The pool was out back, but I don’t remember what room we went through to get there, nor do I remember any real details about the pool except there was white concrete around it, blue liner, very large with crystal clear water, a grill, small tables and deck chairs, and a fancy low wall around the area. The upstairs had at least six bedrooms with bathrooms between each pair, and each room had furniture, carpeting and a fireplace. I do not remember any of those details, though I do remember that the house was spotless clean. Time continued to progress. The ladies had a small helicopter that I learned to fly, a nature walk that lead to a river and followed a 4-track train track that had a trestle that crossed the river at one point. You could see the town on the other side of the river. A canal ran along the back of the estate that fed into the river also, that became one of the subset dreams. The nature walk started out as a path through a wooded area, later it was renovated to a wooden walk way, after the main dream was over for some time, when we revisited the place, the nature walk had been paved with a low iron fence that ran the length, and fancy old-fashioned lamp posts at intervals along the path. It had also been widened and landscaped on either side with flowers and low bushes. I remember remarking to my husband how much it had changed. I remember crying about the changes for real after I awoke from that dream. These dreams and visits continued for some time without features that stood out, it was like normal, everyday, real life. (The intense feeling of longing I felt when I was awake, and the details of the dreams, kept my mind occupied every day, adding details to and embellishing certain events, so that it was if I was living an actual double life and having real memories of that life. I could look at pictures and picture albums and, when I revisited the dream, could find and see the pictures in the same detail in the same places I found them to begin with. The same with reading the books in the library, I could read passages clearly in the books, and go back, find the book, and turn to the correct page to read out loud to or show to my husband.) The weather changed with the seasons, wherever this house was had cold, snowy winters (some of the winters had heavy snow), and hot summers. The trees were beautiful in the autumn and bright green in the spring. Eventually, one of the sisters died, and we continued to visit the other one. I remember the grief, and remember talking about the funeral, but I do not remember dreaming about the actual funeral. Sometime later, the other sister died and the lawyer told us we inherited the estate and property. We continued to live there day by day and I started dreaming about exploring the house in detail. We found furniture and all kinds of knick-knacks and articles in the attic (things you would imagine in an attic.) We discovered the finished basement with a washer and dryer and a clothes rack for clean clothes. It was carpeted and paneled, and I remember one of the sisters told us they never had to worry about the basement flooding because the house was built at the top of a nice, rolling hill. One day, I was in the library and I noticed a flaw in the paneling (I just remembered the library had light colored, tongue-in-cheek, real wood paneling) and when I ran my fingers across it (I remember actually rubbing across it rather than lightly touching it) a whole section rolled back to expose a hidden staircase. I went and got my husband and together we went up the stairs. The passage was clean and free of dust which surprised me. At the top was a section of wall that looked like a dead end. But I felt around the door frame and found a lump near the middle of the right hand side. I pushed it, heard a click and that section slid into a pocket and opened up what at first I thought was just a furnished room. It ended up being a full two bedroom apartment, fully furnished with a kitchen and bathroom. The windows (there were two, one in the small living room and one in the larger bedroom) that were concealed by the eaves and gabled ends of the house. You could not tell they were windows from the outside. The whole apartment was paneled except the kitchen which had wall paper (tan, with a wood grain pattern). The attic space (on the outside of the apartment) was arranged so that you could not tell there was a whole walled-off section concealing the apartment. The room was fully furnished and had a light layer of dust. It was a little stuffy, but when the two windows were open and the passage was, a nice breeze came through. We found things hidden all over the house, papers, jewelry and other items in the drawers of the stored dressers, the apartment, and the beams of the entry way. (Since I haven’t had the dreams in 25 years, I don’t remember what all we found, (except a sheaf of bearer bonds that were worth quite a lot, and a container full of old, old coins) but I do remember being very excited and day-dreamed about all of this stuff after each dream.) I know that I spent time in that apartment frequently when I wanted to be by myself, a safe haven so to speak. We never did figure out why the apartment was there in the first place, but it was pretty, bright, and comfortable to be in. The dreams continued about this mansion, but the events were mundane, everyday life that involved our families, friends and siblings who were younger at the time. (You know, like family gatherings, mundane conversations with different people in various areas of the house, watching TV, having relations with husband, different things like that.) 2. ,Subset Dreams: The Nature Path As I described, the nature path started out as a packed dirt foot path that was almost hidden by brush at the beginning of the forest area that surrounded ¾ of the mansion estates. I found it by accident one day after we had moved into the house when I was wandering the periphery of the yard (The yard was about three acres of cleared land with a beautiful, thick lawn, with an occasional standalone tree, I remember one was an apple tree, one was a plum tree, and one of the trees was a huge oak tree that had a tire swing hanging from the lower branches near the back of the property.) I told my husband about the path, but this day he didn’t want to walk with me, so I went myself. It had to be in the summer, because it was very warm with crickets and frogs chirping, and an occasional whippoorwill in the forest. I wandered the path, for over a mile through bushes and trees, and though the path looked old and a little overgrown, it was wide enough for two people to comfortably walk side-by-side. I remember running across blackberries bushes full of fruit, and an occasional mulberry tree. The fruits were ripe, warm and sweet. After I walked (and munched, lol) for about two miles, I came to a clearing where I found a canal, or stream with a pebble bed and clear running water. It was wide and deep enough to wade, float, or canoe in and I made a note to myself to bring my canoe (that I didn’t know I had, but apparently I did, so I just went with it.) this day, I took my shoes and socks off and waded for a while, the water was cold to begin with, but soon was tolerable. I went back home and told my husband about it. A while later, I took a wagon with a small canoe and a towel and a paddle and went back to the canal. I had put a bathing suit on and played in the water for a bit before exploring in the canoe. I got in the boat and held on to the paddle, and let the current pull me forward. The day was very warm and sunny, I could feel and smell the sunshine on my skin, and feel the soft breeze flowing around me and lifting my hair off of my neck. There were all kinds and sizes of dragonflies around me. I drifted along for a while then I noticed I was moving faster, as I came into sight of the town on my left, there was a little drop off as the canal emptied into the river. I held on to the canoe as I shot down the drop off, and got a thrill as if I were dropping down a huge slide. I could feel the water spray and felt exhilarated by everything at that moment. I saw a concrete wall along the sides of the river waterway I was traveling, still not in the main part of the river. There along the left-hand side of the river was a train track (I couldn’t see how wide it was until I saw the trestle cross overhead, and then realized it had four tracks. I remember being thrilled because I love trains, especially the diesel engines, and I could (in real life) sit all day and watch the trains come and go. When I flowed into the main river, I noticed a tall building (a bank? Offices?) with a huge reflecting pond that faced me. It was really beautiful. I could see many buildings near the river, and I think it could have been the business section of the town. I loved the canal and waterway, and over the years of the dreams, traveled down it several times both day and night (the reflecting pond at night had a fountain and lights under the water and it was breathtaking) in all kinds of weather. It was a high point of my dreams. The Railway I followed the railway several times and discovered that it ran near the estate, and all the way through the town. I used to go there in the dreams and watch the trains, which were the diesel engines. Some were passenger trains; some were freight trains with several different kinds of cars. In the dream I would sit for hours watching the trains, waving at the drivers and the passengers. The Town This part is kind of fragmented. Part of the town had tall, older apartment buildings, some were in bad repair. One set was painted pink and I knew the name of that complex at that time because I would refer to it from time to time, it was one of the complexes that needed repairs and repainting. It had a strip mall in one part that had a handmade candy store, a deli and a bakery, as well as a laundry mat. There was a 7-11 at the end. I knew all of the store owners and would stop just to talk to them. Another section had a huge trailer park where the trailers were close together. Some of the trailers were taken care of, others weren’t. Many were for sale. On the other side of town was a square where there was a huge college (red brick with lots of classrooms, stairways, bathrooms, lockers, a teacher’s lounge, a cafeteria, and a snack shop, and many glass double-door exits), there was also a shopping center that had a small mall with a theater, an outlet store that carried clothing and other items, a Winn Dixie grocery store and a Bingo hall. In the dreams I utilized all of the stores and played Bingo regularly. I knew a lot of people there. There was also, one block over, a gas station, a convenience store (not 7-11), and a liquor store similar to ABC. This part of the shopping area faced the college back parking lot. (Somehow I had registered for classes in the college, but kept forgetting to go). A few blocks on the other side of the mall was the entrance to two major highways (which I knew where they led and I traveled them several times). On the left of the mall was the residential section, which started out with the apartment buildings, and as you went further from the mall, led to neighborhoods with large older-style houses some of which were well kept, others were not, then to smaller houses and yards. I knew my way around those streets as well and often walked home from the town using the sidewalks, instead of driving.)
Here are some ,good ideas, , if you want to know which businesses that can be started with little capital: Prepackaged school supplies based on the lists from the school districts Incubator site providing office space, hosting, etc. for startups that are seed funded. In-grocery store prep service (buy vegetables first and drop them off to be chopped to your specs – pick them up on the way to checkout) A website that you can submit your design and work with vendors to manufacture your own clothes line. Online discount brokerage that has no closing hours and provides access to all exchanges throughout the world and handles currency and legal issues automatically. Stamphead, where stamps can be custom made in the likeness of an avatar the user creates. Aggregator site for affiliate marketers to collect daily reports. Would work on a tiered pricing structure giving you more info the higher up you go. Basic would be for people like me who just want to know if they made something and how much; advanced would pull down all available data. A gadget to cook beans/lentils/vegetables/rice for the same amount of time (quicker than what can be done in a slow cooker.) Herbal Flavored Gum. MMM…rosemary. Church issued credit card with automatic 10% for religious tithing Brainstorm Consulting – Teach companies how to brainstorm Create a website for non-profits and a list of their projects/needs and a similar list for foundations. Its a central meeting place for people to look for funding from the right people. Tutorial videos for technological skills (word processing, internet applications, email) for people who don’t know how to navigate technology but need it. Website where musicians can collaborate on tracks Signs in restaurants on menus that list all the ingredients. Network of chefs that rotate being personal chefs Nuclear waste storage facilities completely removed from society. Hedge fund that makes bridge loans to homeowners facing foreclosure. Small-town / city – websites (through city and Chamber of Commerce) – most small town websites are terrible whistle ,It.com,: download audio of people whistling popular songs. A food service where you can email them your mom’s recipes and have them make it for you and deliver it during lunch time. Multiple camera angles on live television (especially for sports) or online viewing Replicate reality TV shows for foreign countries. SIM card swap service An alternative medicine or homeopathic online service that diagnoses your ailment and gives you the proper corresponding alternative treatment; also provides you with doctors in your area that treat with alternative medicines. Create the double snuggie. A company that installs a monitor at a building entry and hosts virtual door attendants. Web-based language tutors leveraging Skype and Google Docs for curriculum. Meal delivery in hospitals Web package for a school system that allows parents to see their kids’ school schedules, grades, lunches, sports activities Santa Delivery Service – A dressed Santa will come to your home during the holidays and deliver your gifts as Santa Presentation Consulting – Teach companies how to improve their presentations A website that boasts: Buy one product, have one mystery product of lesser value shipped to a friend for the cost of s&h. the user don’t know what they’ll get, but it will be fun as hell and keep the user in touch in an interesting way. Tribe Consulting – Help individuals (not companies) discover what Tribes they should lead and help them do it Music Box manufacturer that will turn any inanimate objects mailed to then into music boxes. Users buy direct online, picking from available stock. Added charge for sending in the you own inanimate object. Customer feedback software for mobile phones sold to marketers. Web-based rent-a-CFO. Application to sell to universities that allows students to access their transcripts online Exchange clothing (like ,PaperBackSwap. com,) for men’s & women’s clothing Monthly subscription service for unlimited ebooks on your ebook reader device. Rhapsody/Netflix model for ebooks. Cell phone made of biodegradable materials iPhone app that tells you odds for a poker hand Let’s Get Coffee – for couples; pairing service similar to matchmaking service “It’s Just Lunch” to help couples find other couples with similar friends A service that discounts newspapers after 8pm the day of print. I do not want to buy a NYTimes for $5 at the end of the day. Nonprofit that takes old CD electronics to developing countries A unified affiliate marketing program for every store on the web. Contest company for small local businesses Website mock-ups for people seeking VC funding Grocery delivery service for college campuses: Fresh direct for dorm rooms. Independent calorie testing company – A company that actually does testing on food for consumers to determine calorie content Earplugs that go deeper into your ears but don’t hurt them. Online transcription service for conference calls – leveraging Amazon Mechanical Turk. Google for video & audio – Dragonspeak -> voice to text -> with searchable tags A service that just vacuums and dust your apartment. A way to ensure that each person can only create one account on a website, without having to sacrifice anonymity. A small flap or cover (separate or built-in) for computers and technology with little lights that flash when they sleep (so you can sleep.) Crutches that stand upright by themselves. The base would have feet that fold up or spring out so you don’t have to lay them on the ground where they get in the way and people trip over them, etc. Interior Design on a Budget – for people who still want their homes to look good but can’t afford Restoration Hardware – client defines a set budget and consultants design using budget pieces from TJMaxx or Marshall’s or odds & ends shops Landscaping business specializing only on LEED rooftop gardens. Company that records your voice message and other digital forms of media and sends it out into space as a message in a space bottle. Fireplace rehab – clean, paint, resurface, whatever to make it pretty. Big in places where same brick as outside the house is used for the fireplace and it’s not attractive (I’ve had two houses now like this.) “How to live on a small budget” website written by college students for college student for all sizable college towns sponsored by local merchant coupons. Someone/service that keeps inventory in a household (products, cleaning, etc.) A drink company that brings the Shirley Temple back – the best drink ever! Online Firewood Sales – Sell firewood online directly to consumers and business On-click online data storage and streaming of a clients entire media library. (never lose anything again and have anywhere anytime access) Charge by the GB and bandwidth. Provide conversion services from CD to MP3. Cupcake Shop (fresh and creative cupcakes) A mobile job fair in a tractor trailer that pulls up in the parking lots of offices of businesses performing massive layoffs. You then make money by renting out space in the trailer to companies in similar industries. Online Professional Wrestling Memorabilia Store – Sell pro wrestling memorabilia online directly to consumers Software to manage energy sales back to the grid generated by home systems. Analytics software for customer profiling, not just click analysis. Disposable mittens made from biodegradable materials in vending machines at supermarkets. OnlineConfessions. com,. read other confessions and share the you own anonymously. Instant Flash builder, providing motion templates with easy upload graphic and text to fit template animation. Technology licensing agency. Consulting business creating a series of Squidoo lenses for an author on and around specific book titles. Pitch to publicists and literary agents, as well as directly to authors. Hire voice actors to read popular blogs to create podcasts where they don’t yet exist (“Best of the Blogosphere Podcast”) Personalized cereal boxes (to celebrate child’s achievements) Local business-sponsored community bike program Antique wedding jewelry shopping – another eco/reuse theme. Rather than buy something new that requires mining and blood diamonds, get an antique that comes with a story (about the long marriage of the previous couple, of course). We find it for you in the style you think you want. Surgery-specific recovery packs in hospital (if Sucrets and a can of cranberry juice is better than water & crackers, that pack exists) Personal lessons for using your cell phone features Venture capital consulting for startups. A company that makes hybrid fruits. Instead of drinking a lime pomegranate drink you can eat a lime granite. Photography studio that casts you as characters from movies Centralized web portal for university technology transfer offices. A service that gives well-known business people a public email address, so that if an email get sent there you can read the email and then read the response. The idea being that it will give you insight into the mind of the person and what made them successful, and it will also teach you how to write good emails and learn email etiquette. A technology/service that Preachers/Rabbi’s/Clergy can use that creates a way to gather feedback during the service from the attendees. Online flower shop with one-hour delivery A non-profit that provides credit consulting for youth and impoverished. Local fresh restaurant that opens off-peak hours to hold cooking classes to locals. Fractional Ownership of Technological Conference Room in Office Complex Rent-a-wife – a woman who cleans, cooks, does laundry, picks up dry cleaning, mail, etc but without the emotional relationship. Project management website for volunteer shift scheduling – church nurseries, hospital auxiliary members, protest marches, etc. Pencil sharpener type device to grind down dog toenails An iPhone app that allows you to search a database of unique and obscure beers and drinks Glow in the dark non-toxic washable paint that you can spray on your kids/pets when they are trick-or-treating so they don’t get hit by a car. A party planner for kids birthday parties, but with educational and fun activities. Instant Ad builder where sexy templates are linked with creative common photos. Spring Shadows – program where kids can shadow business people for a short two weeks internship to see what they want to major in once they go to college and what they might want to do once they graduate GPS / location based meetup based on pre-selected preferences (i.e. – Manchester United) A paperless hospital. Whack-a-Mole style game with political figures Automatic thank you notes, sent to contacts as a postcard generated from uploaded contact lists. On the card is a highly realistic signature that users digitally upload. National Restaurant Customer Service Association – traveling customer service training system Artists’ Playground. This is a building that has rooms setup for ceramics, painting, silk screenings, theater, writing, open mic, dance, photography, etc. This building will also have social areas for people to mingle over coffee and healthy foods. People pay a monthly membership to have access and it is also rented out for events. Concierge services for an office building. Sell as a value add to the building managers or to the specific businesses as a benefit for their employees. A place where people could go to eat/study but would HAVE to do it at the same table with a stranger. It would encourage us to talk to/meet new and interesting people. Street Bar – bar inside a huge vehicle that drives you around Feng Shui website where you upload your floor plan and other details and get a recommendation on how to construct your space. Web-based rapid prototyping service that allows amateur product designers to test their designs and have our RP machines “print” their products in 3D. Training company that teaches people to be brave. Retractable spikes for boots to walk on the ice on sidewalks Recipe Subscription Business – Subscribe to the website and pay for premium recipes Online eulogies (recorded by your friends before you die) Software that automates Search Engine Optimization without registering as black hat. iPhone app that is specifically for ski maps. Shows number of runs made and has lots of cool interactive features. Even shows which runs are groomed. Every ski resort would need their own app. Probably provide the app for free and the ski resort pays an arm and a leg for being featured in the app. Publisher of web-based children’s games. Horoscope porn site that provides the user with a personalized video stream based on preconceived notions assigned to your “sign”. A travel company that arranges people to stay at others houses. Slow cooker meals in a bag – drop it in and forget it A travel mug that’s not plastic or aluminum (ceramic) but with a rubber lid (tight-sealing), that has a good grip. Most travel mugs retain the smell of the material and give the liquid a strange taste after a while. Also, something that doesn’t allow Tupperware to smell. Employee monitoring service that provides detailed reports on employee’s online and offline activities. – include hardware scrubbing and “forensic” proof removal of data, footprints and histories. Tattoo parlor for pets Story Consulting – Help companies define and refine their story and teach them how to tell it A service that tells your neighbors to be quiet (nicely). They will draft a letter or note and send it to your neighbor so you can be the objective third party. Graffiti generator .com, where friends can type in text and, using different styles and palettes, create a tag-like version of their name, poems, etc. Internet and webcam set up for seniors to communicate with grandkids Theme restaurant – Karaoke in front of a live band Graph consultants – Company that specializes in making effective graphs from any data you give them. A conflict negotiation service (online or regular) where you submit a problem and we provide an answer School real estate rental company – Company that specializes in renting out underutilized school rooms during the summer Tuning rooms for entry level home theaters Build Your Own Perfume Shop. Front door cleaning service – get rid of all the stuff that gets left on your door every day before you get home A company that sells framed book covers, so that you can hang the covers of your favorite books on the wall of your office. Standing in line for people Brainstorming. com, – put in an idea and gives you 10 ideas Chewing gum that is good for braces and dentures. Glass repair company – Company that specializes in repairing scratches or slightly broken glass Twitter third party app to help drivers find vacant parking spaces in crowded metro areas; sponsored by local merchants and advertising. Make your own batch of whiskey – takes 12 years, you pick flavors and types of oak barrels at the distillery, pickup in 12 years Franchise business consulting that helps large franchisees improve their businesses. Repossession agency for the most dangerous jobs in foreign lands. Digital tombstones that serve rich multimedia messages and memories of the deceased. Marketing and Advertising agency that excels at telling stories. A site like intrade that would allow investors to make bets on analytics type data, like the number of page views Wikipedia will get next January, or how many copies Malcolm Gladwell’s new book will sell. A service that pairs you with the right tools and helps you find a career by pairing you with the right resources (NOT an uninformed headhunter) Web portal to help large corporations source physical building contractors for specialized facilities. A company that digs your car out of the snow and removes snow from your driveway and starts car in the morning. A trend of the month club, where each month you get mailed something hip with a glossy booklet explaining how cool that item is about to become. Limited to 5,000 people. Gives you a cool story to tell yourself for the rest of the month, and something to talk about with your friends. Come to your house alterations Custom adventures using Virtual Reality goggles and a windfan (i.e. – basejumping a waterfall or the Grand Canyon) Performance art as advertising – i.e. Cirqu de Soleil actors selling an item / brand Service to teach doctors how to use technology to reach out to patients Company working with magazines to help them develop a social networking presences A pill that gradually dies body hair. Technology scout for large corporations that looks for acquisitions. Create book trailers for small publishers/authors to place on YouTube IP Scanner. Scans images straight to flickr or similar service. Great for archiving family pictures or kids drawings. Independent account fraud company – A company does regular checkups of your online accounts (like social networking sites) to check for fraudulent activity Web-based devil’s advocate service for startups looking for someone to critique their ideas. Perhaps also provides referrals to cheap services for startups, like cheap graphics design, cheap business plan feedback, etc. A half refrigerator/freezer/microwave in the trunk of a car. That way, wherever you go in the car, you can always have food handy. How great for road trips. Pandora for spin bikes A non-profit that documents the stories told by elderly in nursing homes. A company that will apply your logo in glow-in-the dark removable paint around a town so it appears at night. Replication service for clothing items – make you a new pair just like the old pair Improve soft contacts so you can wear for 1 year at a time. An online counseling program via webcam (for therapists, inmates) Not-for-profit that works with people to help cure their acne. Service that takes your text messages from your phone to your computer Fast food restaurants with healthy, organic and tasty foods. Similarly, healthy foods in cafeterias and grocery stores in low-socioeconomic areas. Software company that builds marketing dashboards sold to CMOs, brand officers, etc. A Build Your Own Robot Shop. A store that sells all inflatable products. So, for example, large inflatable cushions that kids can use to make play forts that compress flat afterwards. Good for Manhattan apartments where you buy a 30 dollar toy that takes up $800 of floor space. Offshore software development company based in China. A company that will sell a large digital frame for close to free and then provide a service for a fee that sends artwork to the digital frame every week. Desk mounted lighting systems for video chat The Black Cow (least innovative product) A way to turn recipes on the web into peapod orders. A way to turn the customized diets that Weight Watchers or WebMD create into a peapod order. Online petition forms with compliant signature verification software. Customer service solution for general contractors that allows them to put in notes and they’re generated as an email or voicemail to customer to provide them with regular reports on how the work is going and what is holding things up Networked home alarm systems so that neighbors can check on each other’s homes during break-ins. Scavenger Hunts, Inc. – We setup pre-defined scavenger hunts for small business team building (like a mini Amazing Race) or even for kid’s birthday parties (in a local park) Eyeglasses that you can adjust to the light. Not that they adjust on their own. Worst, etc. Clipping service for high school athletes parents EZPass for humans on public transportation (key fob?) A company that creates baseball trading card style packets for restaurant chains. A cleaning service using only eco friendly products Custom Hypnosis CD Business – Customers go to a studio and record their own voice reading self-hypnosis scripts Online Suspenders store – Company sells nothing but suspenders A non-profit that supports poor on using technology in classes taught by young freelance artists. Online Antique Appraisal Service – Send pictures of your antiques online to have them appraised Microbrewery with high-octane beers with boutique labels that cost as much as good wines Technology consulting for venture firms. Harmonica ,It. com,: download audio of people playing popular songs on the harmonica. A site that aggregates naturopathic medicines that have been shown to work to peer reviewed journals, but which for whatever reason aren’t prescribed by mainstream doctors. The site would then show the medicines proven effective for each condition, with a link to the journal article or clinical data or whatever. A hyperlocal iPhone app to find food, but for a series of use cases more specific than what Zagats and yelp are designed for. For example, list the best 3 food places within one mile of each highway exit that take less than 20 minutes. Or what wine tastings are within 10 miles of me within the next week. Anti-drug education program for inner city schools. In conjunction with a touring program that sends a message to parents across the country. Food consulting company that helps local restaurants with calorie measurement and other health issues – and publishes calorie, fat, vitamin data to third party apps on smart phones. Mushroom/compost farm that uses the Matter of Trust “lasagna” to eat cleaned up oil spills Company working with small local newspapers helping them develop a social network presence Giant Magnadoodle for teachers Computer Remote Technician – Fixes your computer by remotely connecting to your PC or Mac Conference organizing company that handles all the logistics of creating and running conferences for other organizations. Retro-fitting older school buses with seats with seatbelts Online Town Hall Speed dating online. Adopt a prisoner “charity” that allows people to adopt an inmate and assure that they are visited and receive cards/letters on important dates. Prius Cab Fleet (,www.greenfares. com,) Buzz-monitoring of brands with software tools sold to enterprises and brand managers. The Purple Cow (most innovative product) Feng Shui experts that tells you the best way to put your stuff/furniture in your house. Expert roommate negotiator – Expert negotiator specializing in solving roommate disagreements Rent a scout that gives you a good idea of your child’s sports potential Book packaging for great college writing and emerging writers. Online Palm Readings – Readings done via Skype Self-righting picture hanger Website for online job searching with IM capabilities so you can ask questions to other people searching or people who are advertising. An IMDB for people who have won awards. I want to a quick way to find the professors with the most citations in any given subject, the chefs in the area with the best Zagats reviews, the local high school football players with the most touchdowns, etc. A digital coloring book. SMS messaging for television tickers scrolling at the bottom of popular shows. A website that users can program in advance to take some action if some event happens. For example, a national chain of tire stores could send an email reminding its customers to get their snowtires on two days before the first predicted snowfall of the season in that user’s zipcode. Garanimals for adult men Dating Consulting – individualized service on how to find, meet and date quality people Boat or Yacht share program. DeadCells Art: mail your old, hated cell phones to a factory that smashes it and returns it to the user as framed work of art. Girls Getaway – a company that sets up ‘girls week / weekend’ vacations (shopping, Broadway shows, hiking, wine tasting, etc.) Toilet seat covers for public toilets that don’t fall off the seats. For younger students, nap time is often hard to relax and in a bright room. There should be a company that creates comfortable nap time products for kids. A company that you can hire that will come to your town and make a 4 show realty series that you can show to your friends or play on local stations. A service that manages the risk of house swapping. Build the you own ,Barbie. com,. Pay $100 to dress and color the you own doll. Twitter or SMS restaurant reservations Digital family whiteboard on fridge (like an iTablet for the family) A website that connects people with Objects of Sociability. For example, you have a group of friends you want to do something with and it connects you with an open hibachi table or a deep sea fishing boat rental. You can also rent objects of sociability, so for example you could rent a bread maker or a super nice tea set with 30 looseleaf teas. It would also connect people to third places that would be suitable for, say, a first date. Dissolvable contacts that deliver medicine to the eye overnight A charity that works with major retailers to encourage buyers to bring in their old clothes for a discount. The company will then take the clothes from the retailer and send to a third world country or American red cross. TV Show Summary Service – Brief summaries of your favorite shows are e-mailed to you in case you missed them. Globalization consultancy. Creating a website community for freelance professors (professional educators with a specific expertise; different from tutors in the sense that they are not preparing students for a certain test or “actual class”) to connect with students who want to be educated via an alternative route. The ideal site would essentially be a hub for professor profiles/portfolios with a variety of mediums for conversation between the students and the professors for hire. comments/rating system (no anonymity including a record of that person’s comments rates so you can get a better picture of who is saying what). The idea is similar to something like pick a prof. that most college kids use now to pick their classes; however, the emphasis with pick a prof is typically to pick easy classes to graduate where as this would be an effort to allow professors and students to negotiate the value of the education without going through the university as a middle man. Monetization routes: site advertisements, membership fees for students and/or profs, selling books written by professors for commission Build Your Own Back Pack Shop. Group dating website. Online mentoring program for students of all ages (Pen pals that teach each other skills online.) Citizen journalism website. A website that teaches kids how to do quant trading. The site would come with a data feed, dozens of pre-packaged statistical tests that could be deployed or combined in various ways, and the ability to do backtesting to see if this strategy would have been effective on previous data. Designer bibs for patients during their teeth cleaning. This could be a cartoon design for kids or pattern for adults. RingTone ,this. com,: upload audio and have computer-like versions automatically generated and sent to the you cell phone as a ringtone. A book about the history of the internet made from recycled phone books. A cutting-edge fashion company that tells the story of wearable computing. A virtual interior decorator that will make suggestions via digital photographs. A company like 800CEOREAD that does bulk book rentals. So for example you could rent 1,000 copies of Jeff Jarvis’s new book for a month instead of purchasing them. A company that sells high quality sawdust / sand in bulk to put on the floor of restaurants or bars. The company would then be responsible for removing the old material and replacing it when necessary. IP Camera security company – software solution – offsite remotely recording Military Peak Performance Consulting – Consult the military on matters of peak performance (nutrition/stress management/etc.) An event planning organization that markets to stay-at-home moms with big ideas, eager to share there inventions and business ideas with other mothers. Educational youth iPhone games An automatic dimming light bulb coated in that same stuff that is on glasses that the user wear on the you face. Frozen venison shipping store – Company that specializes in shipping the best venison across the country A safe vice for your head when you have a headache (made from strong fabric maybe) Apprenticeship management company for high profile business personalities. Celebrity voice wake up calls Obama TARP consulting for financial institutions. For Americans book series – Cricket for Americans, Bollywood for Americans, World History for Americans, French Film for Americans – would be topics that go outside our country to hopefully explain that the rest of the world isn’t just like us, nor should it be A consulting company that works with aerobic instructors to trademark their exercise routine. Webcam security set up to watch kids, dogs, older parents A recipe holding cell online for all your recipes to edit, print, and send to friends. A small handheld set up to video chat only via satellite. A business model that implements a ‘couples fare’ if you are in a long distance relationship you register for a year deal where you get specialized pricing and discounts. iPhone app that has similar features to Nike plus (who doesn’t have an app yet). For runners. Pace, speed, etc. All reports back to a website that has monthly subscription cost Network of restaurants where chefs rotate Agency that trains people for doctor’s offices. Doctor’s offices need etiquette training for their employees desperately. A service that transfers CDs -> LPs (not the other way around) Organic grapes and wine brokerage. If you’re doing home exchanges, a personal website devoted to you and your trip and all of its details. It will have an itinerary on a main page so you don’t have to access your email to see it and it has all the details there. Collectibles investment club. After Party Art where the user send in bottles collected from special gatherings to a factory that melts and shapes glass into guest gifts. Stickers for backpacks (stick well to nylon, etc.) Roomba type toy for dog to chase around house. Should move faster, be fairly indestructible and make appropriate noises. An online toy that introduces children to audio mixing through a Mr. Potato Head-like interface. Add a nose, add an instrument to the band! Children’s school that finds the right balance between Marine Corps boot camp methods, Montessori methods, and liberal arts education – located half the year in big cities worldwide and half the year in wilderness camp setting. Dashboard painting of car interiors Amusement park based on video games Personal chef for a day. A formalized service where you can call and get a chef with a specific specialty to come and cook a few days worth of food. In cities, this would be very popular and in demand. After party cleaning crew Fence store – Sells nothing but designer fences with custom designs Investment bank that helps non-profits tap the public market with stock listings. An invite only site that allows friends to create video playlists from Hulu, the userTube and third party programming. Online Astrology Readings – Readings done via Skype Gym review company – Company that reviews gyms and creates a guide like ZAGAT that we sell Netflix for freshwater aquariums. If you get bored of some of your old fish you can swap them out for new ones. Phone booth style device that you walk into and it steam presses your clothes A website that you can put in a characteristics of a person and it will come up with an avatar. A store for really obscure food products that change regularly. Every time a customer checks out, you ask them if there are any products that we don’t know about that we should know about, and if there is then the customer ten dollars off their bill and that product shows up in the store within a week or two. Maybe even more narrow than just foods in general, so for example a store for niche meats that come from animals you’ve never heard of. Religious Karaoke Bar – Bar where only religious songs allowed to be sung, and no alcohol Soda Pop flavored mochi balls. A sophisticated website that uses an eHarmony-like algorithm to match nannies and families Solid state lighting retrofits of vintage light fixtures (art deco, 40’s 50’s 60’s fixtures) get them at Goodwill and other second hand shops and turn them into $300 “green works or retro art” A dating service where only your friends can set you up on dates. Fractional Ownership of Season Tickets / Box Seats Affordable home matting and framing kit Consumer fingerprinting business – Company provides trained experts to apply fingerprints tests for household events A relocation service for Americans looking to permanently move to a new location for global opportunities. Website where musicians can collaborate on lyrics Roomba for the backyard to pick up dog poop and enzyme it. Or it works with the Doggie Doolie and dumps the poop in it on a regular basis. Fish Burial Kit. Mail in your old mixtapes and get a playlist sent to you via email with a digital version of that mix. A not-for-profit that pairs experts with eager and willing pupils for an apprenticeship program. Actor research consulting service – Consulting service for actors to be setup with people who can mentor them in research for their roles Automatic documentary maker, where families upload clips, photos and music from their special occasions generating a smooth transition clip that captures the essence of the moment. Executive Power nap business – Locations where executives can take a 20 minute energizer nap during the day Graphic novels based on video games Professional protesters agency. Lip reading school – School that teaches students how to read lips Digital Workflow Consulting – “We’ll get your precious memories (files) into the cloud” Brand of energy ice cream. Cereal Bar (cereal the way you like it with “extras” – open late) Sell web stats back to website owners who are computer illiterate (Google Analytics) Anti-inflammatory Hot Sauce Firefox Plugin for Autosave Clipboard Undercover Teenager – hire a teenager to spy on your kid iPhone app that uses the GPS to measure amount of accumulated gains in altitude for climbers, hikers, skiers. Pay at the pump carbon offsets Roof-mounted Active Denial System (pain ray) to keep deer out of your garden. Or possibly a sounder laser. The system would be mounted next to a camera with an image recognition system that could pick out a deer. Netflix for conversation pieces. Get bored of your coffee table book and send it back for another. Box removal after people move – green message of recycling Relationship Hotline – Relationship experts answer phone calls 24/7 Age verification company – A company that solely does research to verify someone’s age (little league baseball would be a big client) Campaign Suite -> Political Suite – set of web apps – all the good things Obama did in a “package” A seminar business that trains people to be tribe leaders. Mobile software for a picture-based wishlist. When you see something you like at a store, you can take a picture of it and record the info about it either so you can comparison shop or someone can shop for you. Might replace the print-out-20-sheets-of-info gift registries in places like Target. An Urban Dictionary for texting. Salon for blind people Picture book series for adults explaining technology topics Closet organization for adult men – Garanimalize their clothing for them after the fact Vision board builder site that provides a virtual design for users to focus on their goals daily. A website that teaches you about what is involved in the day-to-day training for different sports, so you can make an intelligent decision about what sport to take up instead of just choosing based on what it looks like on TV. Has links to where you can go to take up a sport as a beginner, what the competition structure looks like, how far you typically have to travel, etc. Can drive traffic to consultants who help get kids recruited to college, to genetic testing firms, to sports physiology labs, etc. DeadTV Art: mail your old, hated TV sets to a factory that smashes it and returns it to the user as framed work of art. Organic vitamin pills and supplements for vegetarians sold through health stores. Teach companies how improv comedy can help them in their business (comfort zone, setup your partner) Herb garden planting – plan, plant and basically get your herb garden going. Legal Advice Hotline – Legal staff and call center charges consumers to call in for advice charge per hour A website for elementary and middle school kids that helps them build a portfolio of their best artwork, writing, sports accomplishments, etc. A data aggregator of global statistics on death, destruction, catastrophes, violations of human rights, freedom in media, etc. There is so much attention put on the middle east. It would be interesting to see and compare what is happening in your neighbor Jelly Belly for gum Team in Training – supporting a family or village instead of a cause Filmmakers café-It would be great to have a place that people could go and use a TV and DVD player in a cool coffee house setting–similar to how the internet cafes are run…It could be a place where people could just leisurely watch something midday and also people can meet and discuss their work and others’ work while watching through it. Website that allows people to share clothes and shoes (fractional closet ownership) iPhone app that measures the speed of a pitch. Utilizing the built in accelerometer, you throw the phone as fast as you can. When you pick it back up it tells you the speed of your throw. This pairs well with the iPhone insurance idea. A site that gives you a step-by-step system to build a large web presence and a large group of followers, and makes it easy to track how many people are reading your blog, commenting, sending you emails, etc. so you can work on growing your number of followers and increasing your influence as efficiently as possible. Gives you detailed instructions each step of the way based on your performance. Affordable set top box with video chat (less functionality and cheaper than Media Center) Robotics sports entertainment company – Create robotic athletes that play sports using AI, charge for admission A storytelling site that markets to families who want easy ways to archive the voices of their elders. Interactive billboard advertisements with codes for coupons sent to mobile phones (mobile-location-based-presence advertising). One stop shop custom photo labs – bring in digital pictures and you have access to Photoshop expert, printing matting, framing, A village in china that paints portraits of pop culture icons as various dog breeds. Look, Obama as a GreyHound! Fish babies. Specifically market a female and a male fish capable of mating to customers interested in seeing the miracle happen at home. A consumer hotline to advise people on electronic purchases and installation on a $ per minute basis. BestOf. com, A website that only sells one specific type of each product…but you know its the best. Create YouTube channel with local restaurant reviews (or any kind of local business) Words sewn into a certain brand of clothes – need to find people with same clothes to spell out a word or phrase on the website to win a prize (like McDonald’s Monopoly but with clothes and a website) Public bathrooms that you pay to use. There is a room attendant for your bags. A bio-degradable “plastic” to be used in developing countries where outsiders come in and drink lots of things in plastic bottles because they can’t drink the water. These countries don’t have trash and thus no way to deal with the plastic trash Westerners bring with them. A free live music concert video site streaming a huge archive with limited commercial breaks. Portable safety landing zone for emergency extractions sold to government first responders. A mentoring program (website) that connects entrepreneurs with specific mentors they seek. Art co-op that sells memberships and the art travels among the homes of the members. Kind of a Netflix for art, maybe. Art to eventually be sold at auction via exclusive contract with Sotherby’s and profit made. Could be sold as a shared-art program or as an investment co-op. Or both. Senior friend – hire people to come by to spend 30 minutes just hanging with your older relative who live away from you. Website that generates naming and branding ideas Travel agency that shows you dying civilizations A service that provides specific enthusiastic people who want to volunteer or have time to go engage with people at nursing homes and doing activities with them. Private investigation company for restaurant employees – Restaurant companies pay to have PI’s investigate whether employees are washing their hands in the bathroom A service that takes your records and digitizes them into MP3’s. Unique Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties – we work with you to design a fun, unique bachelor or bachelorette party experience A singer/song-writer could offer to write, record, and perform personalized songs for people’s special occasions (anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, or just because). Many would love to have the ability to write, record, and perform an original song for a special someone, but they just don’t have what it takes musically. Then, there are those of us who do have the ability but don’t know how to market themselves. Outsourced sales staff for high-ticket items. Manufacturer of flying cars (courtesy of Tim Draper). Mobile app with hospital floor plans, maps, info about area restaurants, etc. Digital Painted Blinds. Every time a dorm student closes their blinds, the window becomes a poster of rotating images he/she uploads from a flash drive. A service of highly trained babysitters specialized in all ages that you could call upon last minute any night of the week A service where people are employed to talk specifically to antisocial or shy people at a party (they’ll feel better about themselves and will be more likely to open up next time with their new confidence.) Live Tutor (online tutoring via webcam, chat) The “C-Games” – like the X-games, but real people and celebrities compete in wacky (think Japanese game show) events & all $$ goes to charity A website that aggregates tastemakers. Collect the people who do for other things what Fred Wilson does for music. Give them a really good platform. Give them points for picking up on trends before they go mainstream. A consulting company that creates tribes for your business. USB stick into a cell phone site that allows people to upload stock video in HD for use by other filmmakers. Low cost per minute. 50/50 split between site and uploader when a purchase is made. Positive news TV channel (PNN) – TV news network that only plays positive TV programming, nothing negative Grocery checkout efficiency consulting service – Company consults grocery stores on their checkout process to increase efficiency 10% for the world – an association of businesses who add 10% to their prices and donate the 10% to charity. Traveling Poker school – weekend intensive poker school – get some pros Assist business people (authors, bloggers, executives) organize speeches and presentations – establish relationships with many venues & marketing channels Baby fitness class company – Organize fitness classes for babies and their parents iPhone app that is a recorder (like the ocarina app, but more familiar). Globalization import-export trading company. Really good collaboration software for creating mindmaps, with version control that’s as easy to use as Wikipedia’s history tab. Uses the same open data format as FreeMind. English speaking, US educated virtual assistant Restaurant where you cook alongside the chef , choose your ingredients and learn a new technique. A virtual world future’s exchange, so you can bet on how much a Linden dollar will be worth in US dollars six months from now. Script Assistants-A business that assists screenwriters as they are developing their script by aggregating credible/hard to find reference material that is diverse. Often a young (or firsttime) screenwriter has a great idea and may not know what to reference to develop their idea. This business would evaluate the theme/tone/genre of the script and assist in coming up with a solid and effective reference package pulling from books/TV/movies/screenplays. Web cam at school events so you can see your kid when you can’t make it Use Google Earth to determine green improvements to a given residence A personal education coach-they pick blogs, books, resources for you to learn based on your personal interests and career goals. They gather all the materials and for you and make recommendations on the best way for learning the material. Non-profit that takes old technology items (computers, monitors, phones) to make them usable for non-profit use – clean off the software, ensure it has all the pieces, etc.) We come to your house to list only your good stuff on eBay or Amazon so you don’t have to bring it to a store. You could have a portable photo studio in the van so the product never leaves the premises until they have cash in hand after the sale. Charge a commission and have college students working for you. All electronic gadgets in one. Phone charger, mp3 player, computer, radio, watch) should all be able to be charged by the computer. (Travelsize/lightweight.) Gold reclamation service from old electronics A guitar pedals that make exotic animal noises. Kids choose a week’s worth of lunches online with their parents and a van delivers them everyday at lunchtime. An organization devoted specifically to growing awareness over an obscure problem that no one really looks at (i.e. kids that grow up in negative environments and what that does to them as adults.) Fractional Ownership of Segway 3D personalized bubblehead dolls ordered over the Internet based on submitted photos and scans. Art for the blind – Company that translates art into some type of Braille system where blind people can appreciate it. A place online that has all your usernames and passwords for all of your bank accounts, bill paying (cell phone, grocery, utilities)…keeps track of them. Vanity audiobook company for ,Lulu. com, authors Website that allows groups to document their lottery ticket purchases and each individual members’ shares to avoid problems when they win – there are a lot of winners beside the jackpot winner. Wikipedia search hotline for those who don’t have access to the internet and simply want quick answers to their inquiries sent to them as SMS texts. Build Your own Mardi Gras mask site. RSS Batches – supported with ads (so you can subscribe to a batch of the top 10 marketing blogs and in addition to the feeds you get an occasional relevant and anticipated ad) Philanthropic tourism – pay a huge fee with part of it going to help the people you visit Grocery store with only junk food Headphone buds that look like headphones but that are really powerful earplugs so people can’t tell the difference. A store completely filled with weird vending machines. Offer private curbside recycling service in towns where it isn’t offered. For a monthly fee, provide a container and service it once a week. All the contents are taken to the city’s collection site. Marketing Awards (like the Oscars, potentially online) A private site where corporations hire street artists to Tag over their build boards in an ongoing campaign to draw attention to the location of the sign. Then at its peak awareness, replace it. And start the process again. Online judge dispute resolution – Submit your disagreements onliine and for a fee a judge will email you back the verdict on who is right Steroid scandal consultant – Firm specializes in advising baseball players that are in the midst of a steroid scandal Casino Airlines – Airline that has casino games on the plane as soon as the plane gets over the sea Trade ,Ya. com, where users trade their personal goods for other user’s crap. A drive through fast food place that has healthy sandwiches. A laundromat/video arcade – Play video games with your kids as you wait for your clothes to be done A crowd-sourced social filter. So you type in something you think would be funny to say or do to someone else, and the site tells you whether it’s actually a good idea or whether it would be wildly inappropriate. Instead of cryogenic freezing of bodies, store genetic signatures and compile multimedia memories. Change Consulting – Teach companies how to change – “stories of change” workshops Website that is an aggregator of all the charities that celebrities support and how you can get involved. To-go food materials that are 100% recyclable such as a straw. Company that anonymizes current case studies from real companies facing real struggles that others can subscribe to to be aware of current day challenges, sold as subscriptions. Delivery service of food from local restaurants that don’t offer delivery Restaurant of the month club – diners pay $100 – get $200 gift certificates for a rotating set of restaurants Police texting alerts-in case of an emergency you can text the police instead of calling them. An application that is a Thesaurus for your phone. Will you marry ,me. com,, that allows viewers to share video of wedding proposals and live stream real ones. Neighborhood phone book Travel agency for the rich and famous. Improv comedy coach comes to dinner parties or can order “Improv Party” DVD set Mobile pet neuter vans. A software that will allow you to change the channel and adjust the lights in the room through you computer. Etiquette guides for various social media Start a multi-level marketing company that specializes in sex toy parties for men. Snow Man kit: a packaged snow man parts, encouraging fun times building a Snowman with family and friends. Biodegradable. A digital book reader that provides an OED, so that readers can look up words as they come across them. Web-based portal that allows people to invest in or fund movie scripts written by new writers and allows studios to scout for good stories. FamousNoses. com,, pick the you favorite hollywood star and get a rubber version of their beak for the you own! Online Executive Betting System – Online trading system that allows you to trade CEOs like securities to make money Create your own ice cream flavors Tech adventures. Expensive one and multiday adventures where we put the players in scenarios where they get to play with the latest cool technology…night vision…robots…James bond type stuff. Real life role playing game. A PhD site where students and teachers post thesis. Casual escrow service – Escrow service for more casual transactions, like between family or friends A software program that functions like Pandora for television programs. A company that creates baseball trading card style packets for fashion designer lines. Government sign business consultant – Company finds infrastructure signs (roads, bridges, etc.) that are ineffective or misleading that by fixing will save the government money Stacked Twitter iPhone App (like TweetDeck or PeopleBrowsr for the iPhone) A place where kids can go and dress up like their favorite childhood book. There will be a set and costumes to dress up. Perfect for birthday parties. A car sharing service that manages the risk and coordination of sharing a car in major cities. Video messaging service where people can tape their messages (birthdays, holidays, etc.) and they give us the content from their own camera and we edit them and send them to the people they love. A not-for-profit company that works with the NYC government to spray paint North/south/east/west signs on the street or on a sign outside the subway stations to help the directionally challenged. A YouTube VC firm, that will invest money in people who are willing to do stupid stuff on video in hopes that the video will go viral and they will make a profit. AngryClickers. com,: a streaming site that allows users to cue live face punches in an online fight. This is sick. Job swap board for stay at home moms – I’ll do your laundry if you do my grocery shopping. A high school homework site that markets to the schools and teachers who want to know what their neighbors require and post best-of results. Bicycle that generates electricity to run the club Interview practice company – A company that will do mock interviews with you and give you feedback on your performance. A website or iPhone app that finds places for large groups to hang out in real time. So for example if you’re wandering around union square with fifteen friends at night, find the nearest ten places that can accommodate that many people right now. In store sales (for the next 60 minutes – x is 50% off – sent via SMS to customers who have signed up) Design agency for Second Life and other digital worlds. Private Security Insurance – promise trained “Blackwater-esque” security in the event of civil disturbance. Green Architecture Best Practices Community Nap stations throughout the city. To integrate it into our culture, we can introduce them through napping stations similar to coffee houses. Video creation for local businesses to put on YouTube Install digital screens on shopping carts and sell advertising to national packaged goods companies. This would replace the current printed adds on the shopping carts. Grocery store shares in ad revenue. The carts could be location aware and tell you about products you were close to. Company that creates widgets that advertise high-end jobs on the most influential and specialized bloggers in the areas of tech, medical, finance, etc. Pillow case store – Store that only sells customers a large variety of custom pillow cases Tactical fire arms training for urban environments. Be a sports team mascot for day A digital medicine cabinet where patients upload their latest prescriptions and receive automatic feeds that relevant Google alerts. Dedicated sms/twitter service responding to shopping people about “greenness”/ethics of products. Software to build social graphs based by comprehensively integrating all the different online and offline social networks.
UPDATE: This is a long answer, and it’s been collapsed once for lack of attribution. There is no way to attribute the findings contained herein, as they are all my own. What you see here is my personal list of interesting inventions and technologies. Some of them I found through my work, others I found in the technology and new-gadget press over the years. Some, in fact, my wife bought for me. All of these are items I have either personally tried, had experience with or read about on the same pages I link to for each item, and I receive no compensation, perks or attention for having compiled them. As Malcolm Gladwell described in his book ‘,The Tipping Point,,’ there is a type of person, whom Gladwell calls a ‘maven,’ who collects information and from whom others get said information. I have been informed that I fit this description. This is not an inappropriate attempt at viral advertising, nor is it unattributed research. This is just a Gladwellian maven, industrial engineer and safety manager doing what we do, and my only hope in posting it was that other people, who are or may later face problems these technologies have helped me solve over the years, may also be helped by them. I earn nothing but perhaps an upvote for this, that and the satisfaction that my amusing little gadget-list may help, or at least amuse, my fellow humans. After all, I’m an engineer. Collecting gadgets is one of our favorite activities. The Toolbox The best multimeter ever – ,Mooshimeter Most multimeters are the size of wallet or a book, and can only display information in a string of digits. You must be within a foot or two of what you want to measure, have three hands, and the meter can’t save the information it displays any better than binoculars can. The Mooshimeter changes all that. It’s a bit smaller than a normal meter, runs for six months on two AA batteries and connects wirelessly to your cell phone. This means you can tuck it under the hood of your car and monitor that finicky electrical hiccup while driving down the highway at eighty miles per hour. It also records up to six months of data, so you could record voltage and current (yes, both at once) on a given circuit breaker to compare spring vs summer AC usage at home. The auto ranging display also makes diagnostics much simpler by showing complicated information in a simple graphical format. Take a look at the link above to see all the details. Armored heat seeing cellphone – ,Cat S60 -This phone is does everything you expect a good Android phone to do, and so much more. If the Nexus series phones were a team of trendy sedans, the S60 would be a mad max armored truck. It can survive a six foot drop onto concrete and a one hour swim in the 16ft deep end of the pool. This thing can literally see in the dark; not night vision or by amplified star light, no, it see’s the heat emitted by everything around it. Animals in the dark, overheated machinery in a factory, hot water pipes hidden behind a wall, they literally glow in the S60s thermal camera. If you work with your hands it doesn’t take long to find uses for this technology. Handyman? See drafts and missing insulation through walls, trace water pipes, check for overheated circuits in a breaker box and find out where that infernal drip of cold water is coming from. Police officer? See which cars have been driven recently by their glow and track suspects in total darkness by body heat and the hand prints they leave whenever they touch something. Parent? Find your daughters pet when they get lost in the woods or hide in the crawlspace. Take your sons temperature when he’s sick or help him get the oven temperature right to bake cookies. GammaPix is a free ap for Apple and Android phones that uses the CCD camera in the pone as a crude geiger counter to detect nuclear radiation. It takes about 60 seconds to get a reading, but if you have a phone, you now also have a radiation meter. Seriously, who ,doesn’t, want this? Steel wire banding tool strong enough to clamp a hydraulic hose on – ,Clamp tight Clamp tight is like having hundreds of high quality stainless steel hose clamps, zip ties, and fasteners of every time, yet still it still fits in your toolbox. This thing was developed for use on ocean sailing boats as there tend to be very few hardware stores floating out at sea, and boats break down like everything else. To use it, you wrap the wire around the piece to be secured, then around the tool. Turning the bolt pulls the slack out of the wire then rotating the tool locks the wire down like a giant copy of the wire tie that holds a bread bag closed. It does have one obvious weaknesses – you have to have enough clearance to rotate the tool, so some automotive repairs are out of the question because there just isn’t enough room. Overall though, it would be tough to find a more compact and lighter way to repair so many different breakdowns. Nice self-contained butane soldering iron the size of a highlighter – ,Weller, $50 I can’t vouch for this one personally, but a small reliable iron that heats up in seconds and can be used on no notice anywhere it’s needed is a huge help. How often have you needed an iron, but not had a ready plug and stand for it where you were working under the dashboard of the car? 1800 Lumen, rechargeable flashlight by ,Nitecore ,$55 Growing up, ‘flashlight’ was a word that meant ‘that big heavy plastic thing we keep in the kitchen drawer that glows a dim yellow and always has dead batteries when we need it’. No more. Nitecore makes a variety of good lights, but this is the one I keep clipped to the lip of my pocket. Because I work with my hands, I like to be able to see what I’m working on, and ,very, few things break down in the middle of a well lit work bench in the garage. When something needs attention, it always seems to be at night, up underneath a dashboard, deep in a computer cabinet, or some similar difficult to see location. Since I got this light I’ve never had trouble seeing what I’m doing. It has the usual high/medium/low settings with some flashing options for emergency use, and when I need everything it can do, 1800 lumens is as bright as four car headlights. The battery usually goes a month or two between charges, and any 18650 charger can recharge it in a few hours. $300 CNC Laser cutter/etcher ,tool These $300 laser cutters have become available recently on Ebay, and they offer remarkable utility at a very reasonable price. Various ,reviews, are available; the user interface takes some getting used to, and the mirrors often need alignment after being shipped in from overseas, but after that the cutter will cut and etch words, pictures and just about anything else onto an area the size of printer paper (about 8 by 12 inches). The cutter can be used to make puzzles, pet tags, precision cut wood and plastic, etch metal and glass, etc. A very helpful maker tool. There’s even ,an upgraded controller, for those who want it. Paper thin microscope lens that sticks to your cell phone - ,Blips The link says it all – this thin slip of plastic the size of a post-it note will turn your cell phone camera into a microscope. Useful for outdoor adventurers, detectives, teachers and anyone else interested in the world around them. $6.50 tiny pocket telescope you can carry everywhere - ,DX This inexpensive tool weighs next to nothing and is tiny enough to fit in anywhere. Good for tracing wiring in a high ceiling, aircraft or bird watching, hiking, playing spy with the kids, etc. Pipe style building materials that use electrical conduit at $3.50 per 10ft section – ,Maker Pipe There are many build systems that can be used to build anything, but most of them like ,80/20, cost a fortune (think $15 per ft!). Maker pipe uses simple, inexpensive clamps plus cheap 3/4inch electrical conduit to build nearly anything you could imagine. If you need to build anything from carts to furniture to equipment, give this one a look. Must have Chemical identification – ,WISER web site, and ,WISER app, download WISER is a chemical identification book long carried by firefighters who need to quickly find out: “what’s in that burning tanker truck, and what will it do to us?” The book used to cost less than $20, but today the entire program is available for free download as the WISER app. If you ever find yourself facing a mystery chemical spill, do you want to be one of the clueless people wondering what to do, or do you want to be the person who looks up the chemical in the first thirty seconds and tells everyone what it is and what you have to do next? The app is free and will happily wait on your cell phone until you need it; don’t be clueless, be WISER. Industrial and special purpose tools Laser paint scraper and cleaning tool – ,P Laser, and in action ,video An interesting scraping process similar to sand blasting, CO2 blasting and bead blasting. I can’t vouch for this product, but I’ve never seen anything else like it either (as of 2016). MAD ,speakers for extreme distance, volume and clarity Planar speakers, like the ones above are very different from standard paper cone speakers. If normal cone speakers are like light bulbs spreading out in all directions, planar speakers are like lasers. Where cone speakers fade out over distance and interfere with each other, planar speakers can be heard at ridiculous distances, and over other noises. Probably their neatest trick is that in a noisy 90 dB environment, this speaker can clearly be heard an understood even at 80 dB. EBS 260 ,Handheld printer, - - - ,Video This is a handheld printer that allows you to print just about anything on just about anything else. It only does one color at a time, but its remarkably fast and simple to use, especially for complex data that needs to be flawlessly loaded from an inventory control system. On site, eco-friendly cleaning and sanitizing liquids from saltwater – ,Pathosans, - ,video - If you use cleaning chemicals in any significant quantity, you need to watch this video and check out this system. Just as your water softener uses salt to remove minerals from your drinking water, this system uses bulk salt and tap water to produce huge quantities of cleaning chemicals and sanitizing liquid on site. The process is simple but clever: electrical current is used to split the salt apart in salt water. Salt (sodium chloride) in water is split and filtered to become sodium water (Patho clean) and chloride water (Patho sans). Patho clean is good for scrubbing carpets, washing surfaces, etc while Patho sans kills germs wherever it goes. Agricultural companies use Pathosans units to sterilize live animal contact surfaces and hotel chains use it to produce cheap and effective cleaning products. The cost of the cleaner and sanitizer is around five cents per gallon. The machine itself commands a high price, but if your business buys its cleaner/sterilizer in 55 gallon drums, this system stands a good chance of saving you a lot of money. Wave glider,, an ocean drone that can cross oceans and is powered by wave action These inventors figured out that while waves make the surface of the water go up and down, they have zero effect on the deeper water. The torpedo shaped bottom has fins that ratchet it forward every time it’s hauled up and down by the surface drone bobbing on the waves above. They work in very small waves and category 5 hurricanes equally well and so can be used to take readings, monitor for science/defense, or conceivably to transport illicit cargo from one continent to another. Industrial forklift crash prevention – sees around blind corners and runs on batteries – ,Collision Sentry This handy gadget runs on D batteries and uses magnets to stick to metal racking at blind 90 degree corners. When someone approaches from one side nothing happens, but when someone approaches from both sides simultaneously the device lights up a flashing warning to prevent a collision. Interesting ring knife for people who open a lot of packages – ,Handy Safety Knife This product is intended for people who use hand knives to open a lot of packages. It is inexpensive, disposable, and always to hand. There are plenty of places these would be unsuitable (any workplace with powered conveyors or equipment comes to mind), but the idea is so unique it deserves to be included for the one person who has the problem this tool answers. Two way radios for $15 instead of $300, – It turns out that two way radios have gotten a lot cheaper over the years, but just as a teenager can charge grandma money to fix her computer, so the contractors that most companies get their radios from are not in a hurry to tell everyone how easy the job has become. BaoFeng radios cost between $15 and $30, and do everything you expect from a walkie-talkie, but unlike what you’re probably using now, BaoFeng uses better equipment and lithium ion batteries standard. This translates into much longer run times and better performance. The ,simple $15 radio, and ,more complicated $30,radio can be found here, along with the ,cable, used to program them. This link ,here, discusses how to do it. Rust prevention in ,existing concrete structures, courtesy of NASA NASA has a lot of concrete structures near the coast, and saltwater corrosion is a problem for them. So they figured out a way to rust proof metal after it had been encased in concrete for years. If you have any concrete structure that’s showing its age, take a look at this link. The ,Bad AXX, – an improved ax for fire fighters - $250 to $300 This is a Swiss army knife for firefighting: it’s a step up to high windows, it’s a repelling anchor point to get you off the roof when it’s on fire and collapsing, its wrench to shut off gas lines and open fire hydrants, it holds you’re forced entry tool, and the head cuts without ever getting stuck. It’s real and in production – ,check out the video,. Travel A handy power strip for world travel – ,Power donut A power strip that is tiny, travels easily, and adapts to different electrical systems around the world. Medical tools - ,Link to more medical tools Emergency blood stopping powder, a must have for first aid kits - ,Celox, and ,how to use This product is used to keep someone alive long enough for the ambulance to arrive in the event of severe bleeding. It ,forms a jell, to stop blood flow at the injury and comes as powder packages, bandages, or a syringe full of the powder for gunshot wounds. Pioneered in the US military, this is one of several good haemostatic products that are must haves for any serious first aid kit. If you own a gun or a knife, does it really make sense to be totally unprepared for the results of gun and knife wounds? Emergency blood stopping pack – a second choice after Celox - ,QuikClot, and ,how to use QuickClot stops severe bleeding by absorbing the water out of blood, thus causing the clotting agents to become super concentrated at the injury site and stop the bleeding faster. As with Celox above, this will help keep someone alive long enough for the paramedics to arrive and save them. Liquid band aid – a cheap, generic must have for first aid kits – ,example link This is a generic product for minor to moderate injuries that sterilizes a cut and protects the injury site like a band aid. Good for use on tight locations that flex where band aids wouldn’t work. Because of its utility and tiny size it’s a good addition to any first aid kit. Betadine – inexpensive sanitizing solution for cuts used by EMT’s - ,Link In the old days parents used to use iodine or alcohol to clean and sterilize small cuts and scrapes (hydrogen peroxide will bubble dirt out of a wound, but it does not sterilize). Today we all have access to the same inexpensive product nurses and surgeons use; Betadine. It cleans and sterilizes wounds with much less burning than the old options, and most of us are familiar with it already as the brown skin staining wipe that doctors use before drawing blood. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or ,TMS, – a new treatment for depression, OCD, and ,Autism, – ,Related tech TMS is a revolutionary new tool that uses very strong magnetic fields to induce current flows near the surface of the brain. It’s essentially a big capacitor bank and a hand held coil employed for ten to twenty minute sessions to treat Depression and other mental conditions. Its painless, has virtually no side effects and is FDA cleared for a few conditions, but it’s in its infancy as a treatment. Promising studies have shown its potential to improve OCD, Autism and several other conditions. 3D4Medical, – awesome free to $50 anatomy app Amazing anatomy software good enough to train doctors but simple enough for consumers to use. ,Incredibly complex 3D anatomical models, that can be sliced, searched and moved to understand how our bodies should work and how they can fail. When you talk to an auto mechanic, the smart consumer brings the manual along to show what’s wrong. Is your body less important than your car? Ultrasound for your cell phone – $2000 ,Butterfly IQ The consensus among many physicians is that ultrasound is becoming the new stethoscope (examples and ,ultrasound how to videos,). It can do all the same tasks, but much better, as well as catching a lot of other conditions. The new Butterfly IQ ultrasound scanner dumps the old piezoelectric emitter for a new chip that can do the job of all external probes, has on board signal processing, runs for 2 hours and links to your smartphone. You wouldn’t wear a blindfold to clinic because you’re such a great doctor that you don’t need your eyes: why leave ultrasound imaging in radiology when you can tuck it into your pocket and improve your patient outcomes? Tech off the grid Clean burning hyper efficient ,cook stove, – ,see video The Aprovecho Research center and ,Envirofit, designs and sells extremely efficient cook stoves for camping and long term use in the third world. These stoves have a core made from lightweight clay that reflects heat back into the fire box, allowing a few sticks and twigs to burn hot and clean with no smoke. The top of the stove is built to channel the hot gasses onto the cooking pot for maximum heat transfer with minimal fuel. To first world campers this translates into a neat (if heavy) stove that can burn almost any handy material to boil water and cook. For church groups and other organizations working in the third world these stoves are a way to ,drastically, reduce expenditures of time and money on fuel for cooking – ,see video,. For large orders, the stoves can be shipped in by cargo canister at prices as low as $5 a stove for the bare clay core that actually makes the unit work. Anyone that has to think about where their cooking fuel comes from could benefit from this technology. A light that runs on gravity like a grandfather clock – ,Gravity light Gravity light is a small generator that uses a sack full or rocks to produce electricity for simple indoor lighting. Just like a grandfather clock, as the weights descend their energy turns the mechanism, in this case turning a generator to drive the lights. While campers can use this product, it is intended for the third world where indoor lighting after dark means kids can learn to read and go to school. Anyone living without electricity could benefit from this product. Clean drinking water from any source - ,Lifestraw Access to safe drinking water is essential to health, and many of the worst diseases spread via contaminated water. The lifestraw family of products is invaluable to hikers and those working in the third world because it allows anyone to turn dirty water into clean safe water. The absence of safe water doesn’t just kill and sicken people, it drags down their finances, ensuring that those in crushing poverty stay there caring for the sick rather than using that time and money to send children to school. Freshwater from saltwater – the ,water cone,. A simple plastic cone that makes 1.5Lts of freshwater from saltwater. Water transportation from river to home – ,Water wheel In some areas of the world, even getting water to the home for cooking and bathing is a major job that pulls time away from education and other productive tasks. The water wheel cuts that time in half and improves quality of life. Fold-a-scope The one dollar paper microscope that fits in your pocket and is ,good enough for lab tests,. The Paperfuge A centrifuge that works anywhere without power and achieves 125,000 RPMs. Under development for malaria testing. ,Development documents on how to build one,. Also, here’ s a video interview with the inventor explaining them: Kitchen Tools Portable drink carbonator – ,Bubble Cap A hand held drink carbonator that accepts standard CO2 bottles and standard soda bottles unlike the SodaStream. Parents corner $100 Life saving product to prevent SIDS in infants - ,Snuza Hero, - If you or someone you know has a child under a year old, this is the most important thing on this page. The Snuza Hero clips onto an infant’s diaper to monitor motion and breathing. If no movement or breathing is detected for 15 seconds the device vibrates to wake the baby, but if nothing is detected by 20 seconds it sets of a loud alarm. When SIDS kills a baby, all too often it happens in the middle of the night when both parents are asleep and it’s completely silent. Without some kind of alarm it’s almost impossible to intervene in time, so this can be the most important $100 spent on your baby. It saved our daughter’s life, and a quick read through the product reviews shows many more parents with similar saves. Kingii flotation wrist band, $90 After losing a relative to drowning, this engineer designed a wrist band that uses common CO2 cylinders to inflate an air bag for emergency flotation. Unlike a bulky life vest, this thing can be worn easily in or around water, and if used in an emergency it can be easily repacked and reloaded after saving a life. It’s suitable for kids and adults, and easy insurance when working around treacherous bodies of water. Roughly 372,000 people drown every year, and $90 seems a small price to protect those you care about. Wetsuits for kids, $35 Most kids love the water, but little little kids inevitably end up shivering and cold even at indoor pools that are comfortable for adults. The problem is that children have lots of surface area to lose heat through, but very little volume, meaning they get cold very quickly and can’t swim as long as they’d like. A wetsuit ,like this one, fixes that problem and drastically reduces the area needing sunscreen as well. If you’d like to guarantee your child sleeps soundly through the night, consider one of these to turn a one hour trip into a real afternoon outing. Free math and school tutoring - ,Khan academy, - ,promo video Khan Academy helps anyone at any level learn about math, science, and a variety of other school subjects using recorded lectures by skilled professors combined with interactive tests and automated tutoring. It’s hard to oversell this site; everything is free to use, nearly all subjects are covered, you can log in as a student, parent or teacher to monitor progress, and the site even has test prep for all the major tests like SAT and MCAT. The math section that started the site is particularly clever – when a student first logs in they take a ten question test that helps the program figure out their skill level, and then it suggests new math topics and tracks progress while periodically refreshing old topics as well. If you know anyone in school as a student, parent or teacher, tell them about this program. ,Odds are good they’ll thank you for it,. Modern States . org is a way to earn your ,first year college for free,. Also, the ‘big three’ as mentioned by Lee Knott derserve a mention here: “The “Big Three” are regionally-accredited colleges that award massive amounts of credits via testing. They are THE most flexible way to get your degree, both in terms of time and credit. You could start from 0 credits and get your entire degree in less than a year. Most state colleges will limit you to 30 hours, but you used to be able to test out of your entire BA/BS degree via testing. You would do 60 hours via CLEP and then the last 60 hours via a GRE subject test. Charter Oak is a state university in CT, Thomas Edison is a state university in NJ, and Excelsior is a former state university in NY. Same regional accreditation as Yale, Princeton, and Columbia This means there’s no residency requirement. It’s more limited now, and I believe all three require you to take a capstone class online with them before graduating. But think about being able to aggregate credit from a number of different sources. You can transfer in any regionally-accredited classes, DANTES, CLEP, ALEC, StraighterLine, Saylor, ACE-accredited, even free FEMA credits. That means if you take continuing education courses for work you will probably get college credit as well. You can also do a “portfolio” and get credit. This means demonstrating mastery that you learned outside of formal education. Perhaps you play guitar or piano. You write up a portfolio proposal, record yourself, get credit. Some of the colleges also offer credit banking services. Say you haven’t graduated from anywhere, but you have significant credits. Transfer them all to one college and have them all transcripted on one official transcript. They are perfect schools for people who move a lot, military, older adults, and homeschoolers. Many homeschoolers earn their BS through Thomas Edison State while they are still in high school. Lots of them use free Saylor classes to fulfill both high school and college credit. To get ACE credit, you pay $25 and take a proctored exam online.” The drug talk – “,Licit and Illicit Drugs by consumer reports,” The do’s and don’ts of drugs are usually right up there with the ‘sex talk’ when it comes to uncomfortable conversations parents really need to get right, but often put off or miss altogether. Fortunately, consumer reports wrote an excellent book on the topic which is available for free online. The organization has a well earned reputation for impartiality, and it shows as the book talks about what each drug does, how it was discovered, and how it got to be legal or illegal. Having the facts makes smart choices possible, and this free resource is a must read for anyone over ten. $1.25 calculator wrist watch loved by grade school kids – ,Link Kids 5th grade and younger find these to be the height of fashion and prestige. If you want to reward a child with an inexpensive gift that will help them academically, search Google for ‘calculator watch’ and order a few. How to get started in life and live well on less - ,Poorcraft,. Unless you’re lucky enough to start life as a millionaire, most of us have to start out on very small incomes working long hours at unpleasant jobs. There are scams and businesses beyond count built to take advantage of the young and un-educated. If you or someone you know earns less than $50,000 a year, spend $5 and get this book. It’s an easy-to-read graphic novel packed to the brim with useful tricks and tips, plus plenty of humor to keep things interesting. (Cartoon thanks to ,xkcd,) Kerbal Space Program - ,Link This game is a great way to build STEM interest in children and adults as you run a space agency for the ‘Kerbals’ and try to land on the moon or go to mars. All technology in the game also exists in the real world, rockets can be built from parts like Lego bricks and all the physics are as close to real as they can make them. Google ,Sky,, ,Moon, and ,Mars, + ,Stuff in space,, ,Impact earth,, ,LightYear FM,, ,Chronozoom,, the ,100,000 stars, project and the ,scale of our solar system, and the ,scale of the nearest stars,. Bit of an astronomy dump here, but if you want to learn about our universe or teach your children, these are excellent resources. Google Sky, Moon and Mars let you explore these places in the same way Google earth explores the globe. LightYear FM shows how far into space various radio shows have gone, Chronozoom shows the entire history of the universe and the 100,000 stars project is an accurate, searchable 3D model of the nearest 100,000 stars to the earth, and the ‘scale of the solar system’ video shows how small we are by building a huge model in the desert. FanFiction.net, and ,Archive of our Own This is a good way to encourage reading and incentivize writing practice. For any book, movie or TV show, there are fans who write stories about the canon, such as ‘what if she did this?’ or ‘what if this happened this way?’. These works of ‘fan fiction’ can read just like the original work, or can be very different with only characters from the original work. Everyone enjoys some kind of media, and ,FanFiction, is a good way to get them reading about something they already like. In many cases, the instant availability of interesting reading material on any internet capable device boosts reading skills and sets up a situation where writing is undertaken enthusiastically and for fun. We’ve all seen people type out angry rants when ‘someone is wrong on the internet’. Fan fiction sets up situations where the reader will find a story about characters they’re very invested in and say ‘This story is awful! I could write a better story that this!’. And they do. And the posted story gets comments about what the brand-new author needs to work on. And so they write some more to show them, show them all. After several months the same student who had to be forced to write a three page paper will be feverishly banging out ten page chapters twice a month to keep their fans happy. NSF test The National Science Foundation periodically surveys the public to see what they know about science, and the results usually aren’t pretty. The link above is to the ten question NSF test and a series of answers, essentially a canned lesson plan for anyone running a science class at any grade level. The printed test fits on a single sheet of paper and can be used to quickly find out how much your students know and catch up those who have holes in their understanding. +Chemistry article referencing the ,periodic table, and ,nuclear table How different ,engines work Anyone teaching STEM classes or with an interest in engines may find these animated diagrams useful. They’re not the most detailed, but they cover many different basic types of engines. ,This link, shows the standard four cylinder auto engine in more detail. And this link shows more of the peripheral systems like cooling. ,Mechanical link,. Bizarre wheels for projects, forklifts and robots – ,Mecanum Wheel Mecanum Wheels are wheels that allow a vehicle to slide sideways by counter-rotating its wheels. They’re used on forklifts that work in narrow aisles, and in other specialty applications. Anyone building a wheeled robot for a competition should be aware of these because of the performance edge they provide. Fun projects The ,Long Now, foundation building a ,clock, that will run for 10,000 years. The long now is a society dedicated to long term thinking, which involves several projects including a four story tall stainless steel clock that will run for 10,000 years, a project to record all human languages, and another to record old computer operating systems for backwards compatibility. Hundred year ,time capsule for a dollar A simple article on how to build a time capsule from a wine bottle that will last for one hundred years or more. This is a quick afternoon project that lets anyone from grade school kids to adults send a message to people decades or centuries in the future. Free satellite TV for $250 of ,equipment It turns out that free to air satellite TV is still around, and $250 worth of equipment will get you everything you need to watch it. This is a Ku band system (think direct TV sized) and mounts anywhere with a clear view of the southern sky. The programs are a mishmash of low budget shows and international content, but there are hundreds of channels, and they work anywhere you can see the sky. This package is understandably popular with members of the armed forces who want access to their own TV programming while stationed abroad. They also sell the old huge C band dish systems (8 ft across and larger) that still pick up content as well as direct downlink video received by news trucks. Programming varies wildly, but there are some reliable shows – Nebraska, for example, broadcasts their PBS stations down on C band. Telecom – ,how antennas work, + ,satellite coverage map, + ,how bandwidth works,+ ,KU vs C band pro con, + Jumping shoes that give 6 ft of air – ,Kangaroo shoes Know as ‘acro stilts’, ‘power striders’ or ‘kangaroo shoes’, these toys allow for ,ridiculous jumps and let anyone run faster than the world’s fastest sprinter,. They use a composite spring very much like the flexible part of a compound bow and arrow to greatly increase the efficiency of running and jumping, and like skate boarders, are popular for the tricks skilled users do with them. Kniterate, – a $5000 automatic knitting machine / cloth printer For those who do serious amounts of knitting or want to design their own clothes, this home machine allows you to program and create whatever you want from common yarn. Seaboard, – a $2000 to $9000 ,keyboard, with silicone keys that let you bend musical notes while you play. Software defined radio – see and hear everything on every channel with this ,thumb stick We all know AM and FM radio from cars, and some know more types of radio like citizens band, ham radio, etc, but until recently, receiving on more than one channel required many different radios. Not anymore. ,Software defined radio, uses a computer to translate the signal, and this model costs $25, is the size of thumb drive, yet can receive anything from 500 Kh up to 1.7 Gh. In automotive terms, this would be like a car that could fly, drive, float on the water, dive under the water, rocket into space, yet it fit in your back pocket and cost $25. If you’ve ever thought about dabbling with radio, it’s never been cheaper or easier than this. A bee hive that ,dispenses honey through a tap, – no mess, simple and easy. Not something I ever thought about before seeing this, but smoking out bees and opening up a hive of angry stinging insects isn’t the easiest way to get honey, especially considering the resulting comb still has to be scraped and filtered. These guys figured out how to get bees to fill an artificial honeycomb with honey, and it can literally be emptied with a tap. Learn to knit… ,steel rings, into medieval body armor – ,ringlord.com Anyone into the ,SCA, may find this old news, but some people still make armor and jewelry out of steel rings called chainmail. This site sells everything necessary to weave just about anything you want to make. Incredibly powerful magnets designed for particle accelerators – ,United Nuclear For all your incredibly powerful magnet needs. These magnets were intended for use in physics labs, and while prices range from $80 to $200, they are strong enough to amputate an arm if careful handling is not used. Magnetic wedding rings for magicians – ,Super magnet man These magnetic rings look and feel like normal jewelry, but can be used in magic acts. I have been informed that it is theoretically possible for a cashier to use one to demagnetize a particularly abusive or obnoxious customer’s debit card, though I don’t know of anyone who has. While there are many potential applications, take care not to touch your wallet while wearing one. Multitool business card – about $1 per card to be remembered by clients/employers – ,Card, + ,Label, (Avery 5317) Business cards tend to lead short lives, but they don’t have to. The listed multitools are the size of business cards, yet they can perform a variety of useful functions, and with the addition of the linked label, they can easily become unusual, useful business cards. If you think it’s worth one dollar to have a client keep your card in their wallet for the next five years, consider some of these. (My then-fiancee made my first batch for me as a college graduation present. Not only have they proved impressive for networking and business purposes, but my wife still designs all my business stationery.) Gallium, – the inexpensive liquid metal that turns aluminum to mush. This one is largely self-explanatory – ,got something aluminum you don’t want in one piece anymore,? Try Gallium! Ultimate privacy monitor – no one can see your computer screen but you! – ,Hack how to This clever hack is useful for those who need a privacy monitor. Essentially, all monitors have a thin skin of polarizing plastic in the display to produce a useable image. If you take the monitor apart, peel off this layer and apply it to a set of glasses, only the person wearing the glasses can see the screen – everyone else just sees a blank white light. Millennium-Disk or M-Disk ,$5 a disk,, ,$50 for the burner drive An M disk is a CD, DVD, or Blue ray disk made from a stone like material that will read in any conventional drive but ,retains its data for 1000 years,. Most disk media becomes unreadable after a few years of storage, and the same holds true for magnetic hard drives and solid state drives like thumb sticks. Up till recently there wasn’t any way to preserve digital material short of constantly transferring it from one machine to another. Now it’s possible to send video and photos into the future through time capsules, well wishes with our lost loved ones through coffins, or just archive important documents for years to come. What do you want the world to remember when you’re gone? Home, construction and architecture Buy a $2000 cargo/shipping container for an indestructible backyard shed - ,Link Cargo canisters are ugly but very durable and less expensive than most methods of construction. Suitable for backyard sheds, or even as the basis for tiny homes and ,larger structures,, it can be useful to know this is an option. Color changing heat sensitive tile for showers – ,Moving color Most of us have seen that black plastic that changes color like a mood ring when held in a warm hand. It turns out someone made them into bathroom tiles that change from black to a rainbow of vibrant colors when the hot water comes on. In ,floor heating tubes, for very cheap winter solar heating (no solar cells needed) If you ever build your own home, remember this trick. Home heating is usually done with forced air through ducts, but this requires a very small area to be very hot (the firebox of the furnace). We all know burning gas and oil gets expensive, but most of the time it’s our only option; solar concentrators can heat water to 150 degrees F, or even 180, but they can’t approach the high temperatures needed for a forced air furnace firebox. However, if you cast plastic water tubing into the floor of the building when its being built, now you have a very larger area that only needs to be warm in order to heat the whole house. A ,solar hot water panel, made up of black copper pipe encased in vacuum tubes can be hooked directly to the system to heat your entire house for free even in the dead of winter. ICF (,Insulated Concrete Forms,) are lego blocks for building concrete homes (,watch a one day build,) For anyone building a new home, ICF blocks are a great way to increase build speed, lower cost, improve insulations and finish with a much stronger structure than a wood only build would provide. To quote some statistics, a home build with ICF blocks can save 70% on energy bills, lower insurances costs by 10%, has 75% less outside air infiltration, is 10 times stronger and 3 times quieter than a wood home, comes with a 4 hour fire rating is literally ,bullet proof,! ,Floor example,. ,Roof example,. Hunting, ballistics and security related Z-Modo home ,camera system Trying to secure a home or business is never easy; almost by definition anything that gets broken/stolen happens when you aren’t looking. An eight camera system with DVR is a good fix for this, and Z-Modo makes many fine systems for around $200 to $300. Have you ever heard of a break-in that cost less than $300? Normally when you find out about a break in it’s far too late to intervene, and in most jurisdictions the police need three to six months to get the results back on a fingerprint search, and that’s assuming there are prints to find and the person leaving them already has a record with prints to search for. If someone gave you an assignment at your job would you still remember three months later? By contrast, an eight camera system deters some break ins, and if a break in does occur, it preserves video of everything that is taken, and everyone involved. The police normally have a pretty good feel for who is causing problems in a neighborhood, but can’t do much about it without clear evidence. With a camera system you can run the video back while you wait for the police to arrive, and then play them the video with everyone’s faces. Quite often the result is “Hey, I know that guy! Wait here while we go pay him a visit.” In this way a camera system can permanently remove bad actors from a neighborhood and help everyone sleep better. Krav Maga This is an unarmed combat system developed by what became the ,Israeli army, to deal with ,NAZIs, in the 1930s. This is not a ‘martial art’ full of training dances and karate chops against empty air, it’s a way to ,take down an attacker trying to kill/rape you,. It was built to defend an oppressed minority from F-ing ,NAZIs, ,and it works,, so it’s ideal for children, women, and many others. The slingshot channel. Yes, ,this is a thing,. If you want to see things hit by overpowered homemade slingshots built by an engineer/body builder and his wife, take a look. How to build a potato cannon for fun and ballistics demonstrations – ,spud gun, & ,Pumpkin chucking For everyone who ever wondered how to build an air cannon to throw potatoes, here is an expert. See also ,Pumpkin chucking, for similar designs. Pocket sized slingshot $20– ,Pocket shot A remarkably tiny slingshot that still throws for distance. Super compact Taser $300- ,Pulse A recent shooting taser that is a nice mix of small size and functionality. Cheap disposable pepper cannon $40– ,Pepper blaster, - ,test video A tiny but highly effective way to deliver capsaicin to the face as cheaply as possible. While not a firearm, the device uses percussion caps to propel the pepper sludge, meaning it works at any temperature, in the rain in the wind, and doesn’t need to be charged up like a battery or a pressure can. Blackpowder derringer $180– yes ,they still make them An interesting tiny firearm that loads just as it did in the 1850s. World’s smallest full power bow $900– ,Liberty Bow, - ,test video This manufacture figured out that compound bows no longer need the heavy aluminum bar between the spring arms, so they removed it to create a bow with a 70lb draw weight that fits easily in a backpack. Pricy, but interesting. Computer tools Run a ‘who is’ search to find out who owns a website –eg, ,slanted news vs propaganda There are many sites on the web that purport to say something, but are owned by someone who has every reason to lie. A ‘who is’ search is a way to quickly find out who owns the website you’re reading. For example, if a web page claims solar panels cause cancer, a ‘who is’ search might reveal it to be owned by British Petroleum. Find old versions of software to roll back bad updates – ,Old version Sometimes it’s handy to be able to undo a bad software update, or re-install a program for the distant past; Old version allows you to do just that, simply and easily. Google ,Earth, and Google ,Maps, to navigate and explore our world These are known to almost everyone, but on the off chance someone hasn’t heard of Google maps, or its portable 3D parent Google Earth, take a look. Navigation and exploration has never been simpler. Aircraft and pilots Yes, you can ,fly small planes if you want to Aircraft are not solely the domain of the rich and famous. You can buy or build an aircraft for the price of a luxury car, and with a small propeller driven plane, your time is suddenly much more valuable. Draw a circle on a map with your home at the center and a radius of 8 hours driving. That’s about what most of us can do in a weekend; anything outside that circle is out of reach, or requires careful advanced planning. With an aircraft, that circle suddenly grows to 1000 or 2000 miles. Someone living in DC can hop into their plane after 5PM on a Friday and be relaxing on the beach in Florida before the sun sets. Cars and automotive Tesla, model S, X and 3 – The best car ever (as rated by consumer reports). By now most people have heard of Tesla motors and their three production cars, but if you’re one of ,today’s lucky 10,000, then read on. Tesla makes two $50,000 cars – a sedan and an SUV and one $35,000 sedan and they are the safest cars on earth as rated by multiple agencies. And they’re the fastest production cars in existence. And they’re all electric, silent and have a +200 mile range. And they come with autodrive standard, meaning the day self driving cars are legalized in your state, you already own one. Consumer reports has been rating cars for more than fifty years, and not only did the Tesla score higher than any other car or truck ever, they rated it the best car ever. Stories about it abound, like the time an insurance company tried to test the rollover strength of the roof and the car ,broke their hydraulic car crusher,. Automotive ,DashCam, by ‘Boomyours” for $60 This strangely named camera of Russian manufacture is an indispensable tool for any car. When paired with a ,$5 micro SD card and adapter, (not included, must be purchased separately or it won’t run), the camera suction cups to the windshield like a GPS and records everything happening inside the car and visible through the front window. It starts up as soon as the car starts, records about a month of driving, and automatically overwrites the oldest videos so no action is required by the user, just plug it in and forget it. If you are hit by another driver, now you have video of the other person’s mistake and no amount of lawyers can change who is at fault. “It was my fault because I was on my phone? No, actually, the video clearly shows you hit me and I was not on my phone. That, and the GPS and G-force data shows where, when and how hard you hit my car.” In addition to crash uses, the camera also records what happens during a traffic stop, and many users find the police are more polite when they are being recorded. If not, well, you now have video of exactly what happened and YouTube is free. Finally, the micro-SD to SD card adaptor allows you to quickly pull the card after a hit and run, put the video onto the responding officer’s laptop, and show them exactly what happened within minutes of the accident, resulting in an APB and a much higher chance of catching the hit and run driver. RainX, to improve visibility in wet/snowy conditions - $3 bottle lasts for many years Most people already know about RainX, but if you are one of ,today’s lucky 10,000, to whom this is news, then read on. Being able to see while driving is pretty important, and RainX makes the task much easier, especially in hard rain or snow. Basically it’s ,a wax you rub onto your windshield, in two minutes using a paper napkin or whatever you have handy in the car. Just as water beads up and runs off a waxed car, the same thing works on glass. The bottle above doesn’t leak like the spray bottles do, and can be tucked into the door compartment and re-applied every three months or so. One $3 bottle will often outlast the car it’s kept in, and it’s a cheap way to reduce the risk of a road accident. BlueTooth OBD2 car ,diagnostic scanner for $7 This tool links to your Smartphone using the Torque app and allows you to read and reset trouble codes and check engine lights. It’s a cheap but invaluable tool, and great to have in any glove box. Convert your car to run on French fry grease – ,Golden Fuels For those interested in free fuel, Golden Fuels sells all the equipment needed to run your diesel truck on waste vegetable oil. The process is simple enough, mainly centered around filtering, and if you find yourself driving many miles in a diesel truck, using McDonalds as a fuel stop can be quite appealing. Thank you for reading, I hope you found something interesting : )