Business Idea: College Crap Capsule

storage signEveryone knows what a time capsule is, right – you put a bunch of junk in it, don’t open it for twenty years, and then enjoy going through the junk again.

I think this would be a perfect business model for a storage company – especially when the target market is college seniors.

When I was in college (’92-’96), my roommates and I accumulated all kinds of Miscellaneous Debris. When we get together now, we often talk about cool stuff we had, and wish we still had it. Of course the realities of life mean you can’t keep all that stuff – and really, you certainly don’t need all that stuff, but it still is fun to reminisce.

So, this company would help with that. When someone graduates college, instead of throwing away all the cool stuff, or instead of trying to keep it and then getting rid of it slowly as you move, get married, etc., the business model would be that they would create a “college capsule” that this company would keep and store for you. The, after 20 years or whatever, you’d get it back and enjoy remembering it all and reliving college life.

I think that would be neat, however, there would be some problems. First, it would probably be A Lot of junk, so whatever storage facility the company used would need to be huge. Second, I think you’d need to have the person check in with the company every five years or something, just to make sure the company could re-locate them when the 20 year period was over. Which would be too bad. I think many people would have forgotten entirely that they did this, and how great would it be for them for the company to show up with their capsule one day out of the blue? That seems like the fun part of a time capsule – not knowing what’s inside.

Words to Live By

Keep Calm and Carry OnHere’s a collection of “words to live by” that I’ve heard during my life – some I try to follow, others I just remember for whatever reason. Bonus life points to anyone who can cite the sources:

Love may fail, but courtesy prevails.

  1. Bones heal.
  2. Chicks dig scars.
  3. Pain is temporary.
  4. Glory is forever.

Drive fast, take chances.

  • Show up early
  • Work hard
  • Leave things better than you found them

Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes

  • The Lord loves a working man
  • Don’t trust whitey
  • If you catch is, see a doctor and get rid of it

Adventure, excitement, a Jedi craves not these things.

[if you ever sing the National Anthem before a sporting event]
Sing it fast, sign it straight, and don’t mess up the words.

Know the Gender of Your Baked Goods

Boy brownieOnce upon a time, my friend Banjo Mike’s daughters explained to me how to tell if your piece of pizza was a boy or a girl. This was my first experience in sexing food (and even I will admit that it seemed based on suspiciously flimsy grounds).

However, did you know that there really are gender differences between things like brownies, cookies, and M&Ms? It’s quite easy to tell: the boy ones have nuts, and the girl ones don’t.

Rules of the Office Candy Dish

Candy Bowl on office deskWhile there is some literature already devoted to the office candy bowl (does it make your coworkers fat, fatter, or just happy), I wanted to lay down some rules as to the mechanics of candy dish protocol:

  1. If you have two bowls on the same desk, they should not contain the same kind of candy (ie, two bowls right next to each other both filled with Hersey’s Kisses [unless they are different kinds])
  2. An extension of Rule 1 is, no two bowls in the same office should have the same candy – if one person already has Tootsie Rolls in their candy dish, no one else in the office is allowed to have Tootsie Rolls in their dish too. After all, variety is the spice of life
  3. Unwrapped candy (such as M&Ms) should only be in bowls that don’t allow people to dip their whole hands in – they should either have to be dumped out, scooped with a spoon, or dispensed through a spout
  4. It is okay to mix different kinds of wrapped candy in the same bowl
  5. It is not okay to mix wrapped and unwrapped candy in the same bowl
  6. It is never okay to mix chocolate and mints in the same bowl (because the chocolate will pick up the mint flavor)

Funny story about M&Ms: a coworker of mine once conducted an experiment to see how disgusting and unappealing he could make a bowl of M&Ms and still have people eat them. First, he kept a bowl on his desk to see who in the office would use a spoon to scoop some out, or tip some out into their hand, or just delve their bare hand in and grab some. Next, he started leaving things in the bowl – a pencil, a paperclip, the phone cord, etc. – to see if anyone would be deterred. Finally, he put the bowl on the sink in the men’s room – and even still, within a few days all the M&Ms were gone.

Product Idea: Weight Loss Daily Affirmation Toilets

Urinal shaped like a mouthAlmost everybody is concerned about their weight, right? But at the same time, most people don’t have the motivation to actually do anything about it. But should those lazy people be deprived of feeling good about losing weight? I think not.

So, here’s my idea. A person’s weight fluctuates throughout the day, right? Especially, presumably, right after you go to the bathroom (meaning #2). So why not have a toilet with a built-in scale? It would weigh you when you first sit down, and then when you stand up, speak aloud to you the change in your sit-down versus stand-up weight.

Everyone is sure to lose a couple pounds in this process, I think, and it seems like it would be a nice, daily reminder to hear a reassuring voice say,

Congratulations, you are now two pounds lighter.

I think we’d have to stick with the difference, rather than the absolute weight- focus on the loss, rather than the total amount (which may indeed be rising and demotivating).

The other great thing about the Weight Loss Daily Affirmation Toilet is that is should appeal to both genders – women have the stereotype of being weight-conscious, so they’d probably like to hear they lost weight. And men have the stereotype of being immature, so they’d probably like to find out how massive their dump was.

See, a win-win.

New Words and Old Words and Book Idea

I took the summer off, but the Oxford English Dictionary didn’t. News has it they just released a list of new words they added to the dictionary. That’s nice.

Oxford English Dictionary

But here’s what I’d like to see: a list of all the words they remove from the dictionary. I’m sure it happens with every revision – archaic words that have fallen out of use are culled from the language by the vocabulary monitors.

Which is fine, but I’m curious about this, and I think a good book idea would be to publish a book of all the words that have been removed.

But since this would probably bring some of them back into popular usage, they’d then have to be re-added to the dictionary again, and I have a feeling that the dictionary people discourage this flip-flopping. Merriam-Webster’s website wants us to forget about these words, but that is like forgetting your history. A book containing all these words would be a handy and culturally-important thing, and therefore should exist.

But oh, I guess it does – it’s called “old dictionaries.” Oh well.

Update: Hey, this is neat: OED has a “vault of failed words.”

New Toy: Baitfish

kid fishingI think this would be a great toy idea:

You know those little foam things, that you put it in water and it grows to a hundred times its size? Well, this one starts out looking like a worm, but then it grows into the shape of a fish.

It would be perfect to put on the end of a kid’s fishing pole so they can “go fishing” in any water, and they’ll catch something every time.

Of course, the drawback is they have to leave it in the water long enough to grow, but still, I think it’d be neat. They could be sold with a little fishing pole, or separately as refills, and could grow into different kinds of fish.