March 12, 2009

My Invention

A while back, I asked what one thing you'd invent and why. But, like most weeks, I failed to answer my own question. Until now.

A month or so ago, I was driving past a local shopping center. It was a place that I spent a lot of time in high school. The grocery store was there and when I first got my license, I volunteered to pick stuff up for my mom a lot. Good chance to get my hands on the keys. The movie rental place was also there, part of a local chain that no longer exists having been squeezed out by the now-almost-squeezed-out Blockbuster. Waxie Maxie's, a long-dead record store - was there as well. I had a couple friends who worked there. I still remember a few of the overpriced CDs I picked up in that place (Live and Teenage Fanclub among them). In the intervening years, the place has been made over countless times in a vain attempt to keep up with the times. Stores, like the people who shop in them, have come and gone. What I'd like to do, though, is see how it was compared with how it is now whenever I'd like.

That's my invention. The Point-In-Time Displayer.

The Point-In-Time Displayer looks deceptively like a generic pair of sunglasses. Don't be fooled. They're not. For they house space-age technology which allows you to see whatever it is you're looking at at whatever point in time you desire. Think about it as a Viewmaster through time. Like, if I was driving around here, I could tune into one of the Civil War battles. Or, when I go to those high school football games with my daughter, I could look into the stands and see myself seventeen years ago. Or see what my parents looked like when they were my age.

I know this makes a great case for pictures but you can't snap a photo every moment of every day. Nor does memory work quite as well as I'd like. So you'll all have just hope I can find a way to come up with the Point-In-Time Displayer. Of course, I'm also the guy who built a toilet in his closet when I was ten. Then used it. Since it was made out of Lincoln Log containers (irony?) it didn't work so well. In that light, all of my inventions should be immediately suspect.

So, what do you think is the world's most important invention? And what's the one you're most thankful for?

Posted by Chris at March 12, 2009 7:13 AM

Your invention also gives reason for the government to use satellites to continuously take pictures of everyone and everything.

Think about THAT for a moment.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at March 12, 2009 7:42 AM

Point in time vision would be awesome. I would scan the grassy noll in November 1963.

Toe Nail Clippers...I am going to have to go with Toe Nail Clippers as the greatest invention, trying to get your big toe in your mouth is very difficult, then trying to balance while you line up your teeth...well you know.

Posted by: William at March 12, 2009 8:02 AM

Not such a practical invention, but what a great idea for a book. :)

Greatest invention ever? The Easy Bake Oven. So simple, so clever, and still selling thousands and thousands today. I wish I had thought of it.

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at March 12, 2009 8:11 AM

The point-in-time glasses sound a lot like the virtual reality artworks that William Gibson has in Spook Country. You know? You could be onto something there. Instead of snapshots (which aren't always available), CGI gets superimposed on the "today" view with the glasses, writing over anything that's changed between then and now.

Posted by: Kat at March 12, 2009 8:13 AM

That is a most awesome invention, indeed.

I have all kinds of things running through my head as far as what I think the best invention is, mostly things that have to do with the medical field and saving lives. But I will leave that for someone else, for I simply cannot live without my TiVo! I only actually TiVo 4 shows, I don't have time to watch a lot of tv. But when I DO watch, I do not have to suffer through endless commercials. AMEN! Woo!! So that ranks up there with one of the bestestest inventions EVAR!!11

lame. I know. LOL

Posted by: Jen at March 12, 2009 9:36 AM

That is an awesome invention. The best, and most important, invention in the last 100 years though: pause and serve. I'd go insane if I had to wait for my coffee to finish brewing before being able to pour a cup.

Posted by: J at March 12, 2009 9:45 AM

The Snow Broom. In fact I kind of invented it years ago when I was a kid and irritated that I was having a hell of a time trying to clean off the cars with that stupid plastic brush thing. I said to my dad hey, why don't they just put a broom handle onto the top of a styrofoam cooler (yes I am that old remember styrofoam coolers for beer and stuff that you used to take to the beach) and then you can use it to brush the snow right off your car. DAMMIT!!!! Why did I let my dad and his "Don't be ridiculous" discourage me from creating this thing I could be sitting in the Dominican Republic right now sipping pina colada's and counting my money. *sigh*

Posted by: Deirdre at March 12, 2009 10:19 AM


Although I could vote for computers, too.

Posted by: Brad at March 12, 2009 10:27 AM

Indoor plumbing. Can't imagine trudging out to an outhouse everytime I needed to go to the bathroom. And can you imagine potty training in an outhouse?

Posted by: Jen at March 12, 2009 11:02 AM

So when you look back at the Civil War, are you at risk for getting killed?

Posted by: k8 at March 12, 2009 11:40 AM

Peace is the worlds best invention. Now when we figure out how to use it properly we'll be in good shape.

I dig your invention. I wish we could conjur up "picture memories you can't erase"....I wish it so much I wrote it into lyrics for a song for a local band a few years back....they loved it too.Z

Posted by: Kristy at March 12, 2009 12:22 PM

A baby blanket with a built in lining of water that you could heat up that would sort of simulate the womb. Haven't built my prototype yet.

Posted by: Vespa at March 12, 2009 1:17 PM

Oh Jen I had to giggle at her indoor plumbing post, my aunt and uncle owned their own little island in NH on a lake and they wanted to keep it rustic, there is no indoor plumbing. There is an outhouse with no door on it you are just sitting there looking out at nature. LOL, no electricity either. They had a generator for their fridge and I want to say propane for the stove. But at night you had oil lamps. When I was younger I could go the whole night without going to the bathroom, as I got older it got harder to do that. But if you had to use the potty at night you had to go out there in the dark with a flashlight. YIKES!

Posted by: Deirdre at March 12, 2009 2:49 PM

Point in time glasses would be awesome to have. I want some.

Posted by: Zandor at March 12, 2009 3:51 PM

You have been watching too much Lost ;)

Greatest invention? Birth control. Nope scratch that. Nespresso makers. No. Scratch that too. My vote is on the laundry machine!

Posted by: Nadine at March 12, 2009 3:59 PM

THIS is the most important invention in the history of humankind: Be sure to check out the video!

Posted by: Gramps at March 12, 2009 6:58 PM

I'm still laughing too hard at the thought of your "Lincoln Log Toilet" in your closet. Oh to have seen your mom's face. THAT would be a great use for your "Point In Time" glasses!!!

Posted by: coolchick at March 13, 2009 6:21 AM