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Mon, May. 4th, 2009, 08:05 am
April Idea Shower - Remedial school #3

Persistence of vision Pasties.

I don't think I need to explain further.

Thu, Apr. 30th, 2009, 07:58 pm
April Idea Shower - Remedial school #2

Scrolling minesweeper.

I just got done reading this and anyone who games and has children growing up who they would like to introduce to games really should take a look.  It's a fascinating article about making games more meaningful.  While I was reading it, I thought of this idea for a game.

Basically, it would be an app for the iphone or any other touch based smartphone device.  You are a civilian who needs to walk down a path.  That path happens to be littered w/ landmines.  You are given 4 spaces, 20 wide, and it's the traditional minesweeper formula.  You need to find a path for the civilian to successfully make their way further down the trail.  After the initial 4x20 is cleared, the screen starts to scroll and the character starts to walk.  The player must keep ahead of the mines, and if they don't the civilian keeps walking straight ahead, and eventually, will hit a mine.  As the game progesses, the scrolling will get faster and faster.  I haven't decided if it will have an end point, or if the character will eventually reach their destination.

Wow, that is a really depressing idea for a game.

Thu, Apr. 30th, 2009, 01:51 pm
April Idea Shower - Remedial school #1

Self portrait periscope.

I hate facebook and myspace pictures.  Mitch Clem said it best.  I also like to take family pictures, and unless we can find a servant to take them for us, one needs to stay behind the camera, or set that infernal timer.  I hate that timer too.  It is impossible to reliably get any sort of decent picture because people get so damned tense waiting for the camera to take the damned picture, and you can't be sure you got yourself centered. 

What I want to do, is make a periscope type attachment that would go onto the back of a digital camera with a LCD display.  It would then arch around and, via a set of mirrors, show the subjects the composition of the picture that is going to be taken. 

Thu, Apr. 30th, 2009, 07:34 am
April Idea Shower #30

Alright, last day, this has been fun as hell, and I'm really glad I did this.  I've still got a couple ideas in my head that I'll probably post later as remedial school entries, we'll see.

Grain Mill table

Another brewing entry.  When we bought our house, we never got the key to the shed, and since it was winter, decided to wait to get it open until it got a bit warmer.  When I finally flagged down a cop to use a pair of bolt cutters to take down the Masterlock, I discovered some interesting items.  The coolest of which was an electric lawn mower.  I received a lawn mower from my father-in-law for Father's day last year, so I didn't have much use for it, but I have an idea of what I want to do w/ it now. 

I have since removed the electric motor from the deck, and want to mount it to my grain mill (used to crush grain for brewing).  Since the grain mill should run at max 100 RPM and the mower runs at 4000, I will need to gear it down via a belt.  I can install both the motor and the mill to the top of a small table, mounted on casters.  Above the mill, I will have a hopper, so I don't have to worry about overflowing the mill when I pour the grain into it.  Underneath the table will be the bucket that will catch the milled grain. 

Wed, Apr. 29th, 2009, 06:52 am
April Idea Shower #29

And then there were two.

I want to make a TV-B-Gone throwie.  Think of the fun you could have placing one of these in a discrete location at the local Circuit City Best Buy.  It would be automated to send the OFF signal at random intervals, kind of like this annoying little beeper.  If it was actually thrown, you would need to put a couple of TV-B-Gones together so that you'd increase the likelyhood of the infrared hitting the TV's sensor. 

Tue, Apr. 28th, 2009, 07:35 am
April Idea Shower #28

The twitter wall, where people can Twitter comments about a particular hashtagged event to a large monitor or LCD projector for everyone at said event to see, is a fascinating concept to me.  I've seen a couple times where it has been used to great or not so great success at events.  One issue that tends to come up, though, is that people get a bit too comfortable w/ the anonymity that a medium like that provides.  This invites all sorts of issues that are commonly present on forums, the most detrimentally, of course, being trolls.  With augmented reality becoming more and more viable, as illustrated in the now famous TED Talk, and to a lesser extent THIS example, I would like to find a way to combine the two mediums.  Specifically, when someone registers for an event, they would give their twitter user ID, and in turn receive a badge.  This badge would contain a 2D barcode. 

The twitter wall would then be split into two screens, the first containing the standard display of recent tweets, and the second, displaying a live view of the event either overhead or from different angles around the room.  Each tweet would be color coded, and when the camera found the Twitterer's corresponding tag, they would be highlighted with the color. 

This, of course could be easily circumvented, and I'm not sure how to get the tags to be reliably read (maybe RFID would work better?), or if you could do anything about Twitterers that are not at the event physically, but it would be a step toward a modicum of accountability.

Mon, Apr. 27th, 2009, 01:58 pm
April Idea Shower #27

Final four posts for this topic. We'll see if I can actually continue to blog after this is over... I don't know that normally I have all that much to say.

This idea is a combination of two separate ones that I've found online recently. I love barbecue, and usually the only outlet I have is via a small shop on Uni and Dale in St Paul.  I want to make my own, and have been trying to scout out one of those big 55 gallon steel drum charcoal grills that would be up for the task, but as of yet to no avail.  Alton Brown has a method, though, that might temporarily suit my needs.  Basically, you use a small electric coil burner and terra cotta pots.  The details, or as best as I've found them are here.  There are two methods of smoking, cold and hot, and Alton's smoker works really well for hot, but lacks the accoutrements necessary for cold.  To do that, we can run a large diameter piece of high temp tubing into a clean stainless trashcan that has a hole in the bottom.  The tube goes into there, and smoke comes out, into the can, moving up through the meat and out the vented lid.  If needed, you could put a bit of water into the bottom of the can to further cool the smoke. 

Sat, Apr. 25th, 2009, 08:13 pm
April Idea Shower #25

Wii remote controlled golf caddy.

I enjoy playing golf on occasion, but do not like to pay for a cart. My idea is to make a collapsible three-wheeled golf caddy and motorize it so it can be controlled with a wiimote. This way, I can have the relatively small wiimote in a holster, and control the cart from a distance so I don't have to be next to it after my swing.

Fri, Apr. 24th, 2009, 02:35 pm
April Idea Shower #24

Now that I've got a yard, as well as two vacant lots next door (that I need to be restrained physically before purchasing) I have been getting all of these ideas about creating a little farm inside the city. We've already got the garden (15'x30' this year), and I've looked into building both a rabbit hutch as well as a chicken coop in order to have hassenpfeffer and fresh fried chicken or souffle at will. Now the city is on the verge of making my next future obsession a reality: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/43075517.html

Killer, Bees! Now all I need to do is find me a couple bees and make myself a bee box!

Then I can build a hive box and get fresh honey! I smell a mead session in my immediate future.

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