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151. HumBugg: Fizz-loss January 30, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product.
3 comments

Two-liter bottles are cost efficient (typically at $.99 a bottle), yet the soda tends to loose carbonation as it is drunk. Here are some possible solutions to this annoying problem:

(1) Fizz-keeper Pump Cap.
(2) The Pump and Pour.

However, those two products, though they work, can require many pumps at a time, so here are some other IdeaSparks* (none are perfect):

(1) A cap with a tube and one-way valve to blow in. Due to sanitary issues, this product would be best for individuals and close families. Not good for parties.

(2) Effervescent tablets. For every quarter of empty space, add one tablet, which bubbles and pressurizes the empty space.

(3) Bottles with four quadrants. Access each of quadrants/sections one at a time.

(4) Collapsible bottles. Accordion-style, like in the picture. Make it twist, and with catch mechanisms, to prevent the gas pressure from making the bottle re-expand.

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150. Bright Idea: Neighborrow.com January 30, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Service, Website.
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I had an IdeaSpark* that I was going to post on one day, but it turns out it already exists (this can be quite common for me). It is Neighborrow.com, where residents in a neighborhood or building list the items they own (DVD, books, music, games, etc), making it available for someone else to borrow.

Though this site seems to emphasize anonymity between the transactions, I actually thought that hand-to-hand exchanges would help foster a sense of community as you meet like-minded individuals. This would be great on college-campuses. I hope this site takes off.

Neighborrow.com, via Mashable.com.

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149. Bright Idea: Super Bowl Prop Bets and Savefile January 30, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Idea TV, Service, Website.
1 comment so far

Are you dragging someone to a Super Bowl Party who is more interested in the commercials? Here is a way to make the experience more exciting for all: Super Bowl Prop Bets. Bet on everything, from the coin toss to the number of punts in the game. Unless you are a Colts fan or from Chicago, this could make this American pastime even more engaging for everyone.

Thanks to Scott for introducing me to this, and allowing me to publish the betting list he composed. We are doing $10 per entry, with winner take all.

You can download the list HERE. It is a Word document that I put online via Savefile.com, a free web hosting service (I didn’t even have to register).

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148. Bright Idea: Check-Box Greeting Cards January 28, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
1 comment so far

About a few years ago, I thought I could print up some check-the-boxes/ multiple-choice greeting cards, and call them CAP Cards (for Cheap And Purfunctory). When you open it, on the Left side it says “Dear:” and then a list of check boxes besides words like “Mom, Dad, Bro, Sis, GM, GP, friend, lover, boyfriend, wife, colleague, neighbor, mail(wo)man, teacher, etc.”

On the Right side it would have check boxes next to common card sayings, like “Happy Birthday/New Year/Anniversary, Congrats, Thanks, Miss You, etc.”

I would sell them to you off a table at a flea market. A box of ten would be $10, but half of that money would go to some charity, one of the several charities options you chose from. The name of the charity and the honorary donation would be listed in the cards you buy.

CAP cards provide another option. Why spend $3 and 6-minutes of second-guessing on a regular greeting card that your giftee will then be burdened by (the struggle of deciding whether to keep it and have it become clutter, or throw it away and feel a mild sense of guilt and waste). CAP cards are meant to be thrown away, with the thought of the guesture counting.

Pictured is a similar version I just came across. You can find it HERE.

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147. IdeaSpark*: Gadget to help make the Perfect Fried Egg. January 28, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product.
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I just finished eating a fried egg on some leftovers, and am reminded with how delicious the perfect fried-egg can be (to me, that’s white all-cooked, with crispy edges, and the yolk is runny; with S + P cooked in).

However, it is a lot of work to get that delicate balance. I now do the “spread the white out and then flip” method, but also have tried to cover with steam, and even once I separated the two egg parts, cooked the white first, then added the yolk later.

My IdeaSpark* is a product designed to make this task of cooking the perfect fried egg easier and quicker. When you start heating the pan to cook your egg, you also put this particular gadget in the toaster, or toaster-oven. This gadget is a DVD-sized disc of non-stick metal, with the hole in the center the size of a half-dollar (or yolk); covering the hole is a concave pyrex glass domed window.

Using a specialized heat-resistant tong, you put the heated gadget on your fried egg, and it sears the white quickly; the yolk is only slightly cooked by the steam under the glass dome. Yum!

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146. Quickie Web: Multimedia Web Mashup: Beyond War January 26, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Audio, Experience, Quickie Web, Video.
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To check out this 5:30 minute multimedia web mashup I call “Beyond War,” please follow these steps:

  1. Press Play on the Youtube clip below. Once the red line loads, click towards the end, so there is about 5:30 minutes indicated left. Continue playing.
  2. Then hit the Play button on the Songspot (in the right margin, near the top).
  3. Then click HERE, and just take it all in for about 5 minutes.
  4. P.S. To make this experience currently relevant, you could think about the U.S. in Iraq.

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145. Bright Idea: Inflatable Iceberg January 25, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Plaything, Product.
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If your pool is really huge (or you have waterfront property), and you get bored of the Aquaclimb (Post #140), buy the monstrous Inflatable Iceberg for about US $9,000. About fifteen feet high, it has three sides with various climbing difficulties, and the fourth side is flat so you can slide down it! (via PSFK.com)

It will be a blast, until your envious neighbor breaks out his BB-gun and makes your iceberg slowly shrink, just like its real-life cousins up north.

BONUS: Check out this fun and extreme inflatable: the boat-towed SUMO Tube (watch the Realplayer video clip on the Website).

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144. HumBugg: Elevator Shaft Slits January 25, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in HumBugg.
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ElevatorSlit
Two months ago, I almost dropped my keys down an elevator shaft slit. Tonight, while talking to my brother on the phone, that is exactly what he did. I told him that it is probably pretty common since folks in buildings
(especially residential ones) are usually handling their keys as they are coming or going through the elevator doors.

It’s a friggin’ black hole of inconvenience, I tell you. OTIS or someone needs to come up with a solution to this annoyance. How hard would it be to design and install a couple of rubber or brush strips to act as blockers? Probably not hard at all.

While they are at it, why don’t they design fold-down ledges to sit on or rest your groceries on, and an extremely easy to see and use “hold door open button” at eye level. And if they are feeling really creative, how about coming up with a way I can choose my floor without touching the same buttons Johnny-nose-picker just pushed (via, say, voice commands, or extra large buttons or switches).

And while we are on the topic, consider checking out this intelligent elevator dispatching system (longish article).

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143. Bright Idea?: Human Slingshot January 24, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, Plaything, Video.
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Wow. Bright Idea: a new, extreme, thrill-seeking adrenalin rush: The Human Slingshot. Not So Bright Idea: neglecting to have a helmet worn for this stunt. This initially looks like a nightmare waiting to happen. Also, call me sexist for noticing and commenting on this, but why are 6 guys launching the lone woman? Maybe it has to do with weight, but I can only speculate.

This video is 52 seconds long (but really starts at second 34):

I saw this on G4’s Attack of the Show this evening.

142. Bright Idea: Bodum Insulated Glasses January 23, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, Product.
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These are among my favorite products: Bodum Double-Wall Glasses. I own a pair of these 13-ouncers. Made from borosilicate (whatever that is), it is suprisingly light and strong.

Because of the double walled (but non-vacuumed) insulation, the temperature stays relatively constant, and I don’t use coasters for my cold drinks because of negligible sweating. They are also dishwasher safe.

Bodum produces various sizes and versions, and some are perfect for all you coffee and tea drinkers (great heat-retention). Buy them HERE.

I used to drink my beer in these glasses, but now I am trying to be healthy, so I tried a new (at least to me) drink last night. I’ll call it the Sparkster (like a wine spritzer): 1/2 red wine and 1/2 lemon seltzer water, over ice. Pretty tasty and refereshing, and actually good for me.

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141. Bright Idea: Family Rocking Chair January 23, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Product.
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This is kind of sweet, and constructing it was clearly a labor of love. Info on Hal Taylor’s work HERE (via Swissmiss.com).

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140. Bright Idea: Aquaclimb January 23, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Plaything, Product.
1 comment so far

I think this is GENIUS! The Aquaclimb can be 2 – 4 panels high, and starts at US $10,000. It can be permanently or temporarily installed, and the panels are interchangeable for varying configurations. Check out their website HERE (via Springwise.com).

Read on for more thoughts and considerations…

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139. Sparked Art: Hand Painting/Sculptures January 22, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Art.
1 comment so far

Look at these beautiful and original marvels: exquisite animal paintings done on hands.  They are almost as good as my classic human version (with black dots for eyes and two red lipstick lines for lips).

See all 17 different animals HERE (via Hemmy.com).

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138. IdeaSpark*: Disposable Six-pack Chiller January 22, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product.
2 comments

The Problem: Today, I visited some friends for a football game (Bears V. Saints), and I was in charge of bringing some beer. My local grocery stocks beer (gotta love VA), but the bottles are only slightly chilled. So with traveling time (30 min. in this case), my first beer at the gathering was lukewarm.

My current workaround is to have the foresight to bring a cooler with ice-packs.

The Solution: My IdeaSpark* is to have grocery stores stock disposable six-pack chillers in a freezer near the beer section.

Read on for more details…

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137. …metapost…Everyday Edisons. January 21, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Uncategorized.
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EE


I have not been posting as much as usual the last few days. This is mostly due to my recent last-minute decision to audition for the PBS inventing show, Everyday Edisons. The DC auditions are over, so I am back to posting more regularly. It was a long, exciting day of auditioning, and one of my IdeaSparks* is being considered for the show!

If interested, you can read more details over at MetaBugg (click HERE).

136. Idea TV: Ninja Warrior January 19, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Idea TV.
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I saw an inspired TV show for the first time tonight: Ninja Warrior on G4TV. This Japanese show has people attempting to complete intense and creative obstacle courses. Each section of the course is a novel idea of a challenge. Below is a 2:08 minute clip of Stage One.

Click on for clips of Stage 2 and Stage 3…

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135. Bright Idea: The Taser C2 January 18, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Product.
1 comment so far

After watching an episode of The L Word and another of Veronica Mars (umm…my wife makes me watch them) that featured the use of a Taser, I am seriously considering getting one for personal protection. And for practical jokes I can film and put on Youtube. Check out this 2:30 minute commercial for the new C2.

I have to say, I was slightly disturbed by the lack of visible aggressive behavior by the perps getting tased.  Must be the same police actors from the Rodney King video.

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134. Bright Idea: The Rakku Shoe Storage Wheel January 18, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Product.
1 comment so far

I am quite tempted to purchase this once it is no longer sold out. Maybe even two (one for me, one for my wife).

Oops..I don’t think I will be buying them just yet (I just measured all my closets). At 28 inches deep, this Rakku wheel won’t fit in any of them. Though a case of them could fit in my large walk-in closet/storage room (formerly known as the second bedroom).

Still, it’s pretty genius. With expandable pockets, it should hold any size shoe. Cost is $65 (buy it HERE).

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133. Bright Idea: Raceline Motorworks January 18, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, Service.
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raceline

I wondered when someone would come up with this Bright Idea: a store racetrack for remote controlled cars. Kids and adults can design, build, and race one of their cars (costing $30-130) against other racers. Patrons even get their own driver’s license. I can’t wait to visit Chicago. Check out their website HERE, and a news clip video HERE.

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132. Bright Idea: Salons for Men January 17, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, Service.
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sportclips

Here’s a Bright Idea: cater grooming services to non-metrosexual male clientele. Men like to be pampered, too, but not many will pay out for a pedicure.

Goodbye, Hair Cuttery! Sport Clips is a new franchise geared towards your typical American male: hot women dressed like NBA dancers in warm-up gear grooming and massaging you as you watch football. All that is needed is beer.

Check it out HERE. Read on for more info and thoughts…

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131. Quickie Web: Video: Invisible Water January 16, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Quickie Web, Video.
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invisible water

Check out this 30-second video of a foil boat floating on very dense gas. Because it is not on Youtube, you need to follow this LINK to get there.

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130. Bright Idea: Mikro Man January 16, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Art, Product.
2 comments

Had I owned the Coolpix S9 (see post #129), I would have filmed a 30-second stop-motion clip of Mikro Man Office. This flat piece of metal, the size of a business card, was cut in such a way that one could fold in the various pieces to make a sculpture.

This would have been cool as a quick video clip where we would see a flat piece of metal arrange itself into a sculpture of a man sitting at a desk (look HERE for example). Read more about the maker HERE.

This reminds me of similar products, but made from paper. Check out Peter Callesen’s amazing sculptures at his website.

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129. Quickie Web: Video: Stop-motion animation January 16, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Quickie Web, Video.
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I was excited to get the new Sony Coolpix S9 Digital Camera, since it has a built-in feature that makes filming stop-motion animation way easy. But, alas, I returned it because there are better cameras out there.

Anyway, if I had it, I was hoping to make video clips like these two:

1) Tony V. Paul: this is a 5-minute video of two dudes fighting. You may have seen it before:

2) White Board Animation: this is a 4-minute clip of animation, using drawings on a white board (admittedly, it’s a little long…I don’t think I watched the whole thing):

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128. Idea TV: CES Roundup January 16, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Idea TV, Product.
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The best thing I got out of watching G4TV’s coverage of the 2007 CES was being introduced to the beautiful and witty Olivia Munn (I think she is half-Vietnamese, based on the fact that her mother in this clip sounds a lot like mine). Other than her, only two other things caught my eye:

1) Novint’s Falcon Gaming Mouse, which has force feedback (you can feel the shot’s being fired). However, it looks like your arm would get tired pretty quickly (since you hand is not resting on anything). They should make a version that has an actual pistol grip and trigger:

2) The Gaming Chair. This is a similar idea (force-feedback) but the $15,000 price tag is prohibitive. You only a need a few seconds of this video to get the idea:

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127. Bright Idea: Johnny Light January 14, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Product.
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As a male, I need to watch my aim at night when I relieve my bladder. I avoid turning on the bathroom light and blinding myself (which would throw my circadian rhythm and pineal gland out of whack).

This little Johnny Light will go on when the lid is raised, illuminating the bowl, and making the chance of me peeing on my toes again a little slimmer.

Buy it Here ($17).

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126. Quickie Web: Optical Illusion: Negative Color January 13, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Optical Illusion, Quickie Web, Video.
4 comments

Stare at the dot in the image. After 30 seconds, the image will then switch to the original image, which will seem like it’s in real-life color (if you keep staring at the dot), but it is actually in black-and-white (which you can see if you look away from the dot). This is a neat demonstration of how your eyes can work.


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125. Bright Idea: Trampoline Simon January 13, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Plaything, Product.
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For those of you that don’t know, Simon is an electronic game where you have to use your memory to repeat a presented sequence of four different lights and sounds (learn more here). This Bright Idea took it from a hand-held game to a fun exercise. Check out this 15 sec video:

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124. IdeaSpark*: Time-delay Light Switch January 12, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
22 comments

Late at night, the master bathroom light is usually on so I can find my way to my bedroom, where my wife is sleeping in the relative dark. Once I turn off that light, it’s pitch black, so I have to guide myself to my side of the bed using my cell phone’s light to keep from stubbing my toes.

I wish they would make a time-delay light switch, with easy installation. That way, you flip the switch, but you have 5 seconds to get to your side of the bed and tucked in before the light actually goes off.

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123. Quickie Web: Art: Zoom Quilt January 12, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Art, Plaything, Quickie Web.
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zoom

This is a classic. After clicking to start, click and drag down to literally zoom away from the painting. Check out the Zoom Quilt > HERE.

Check out these links with similar themes: (1) Picture, (2) Line Plaything. (3) The Micro Universe, (4) Photomosaic (This one is super-cool!).

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122. Super SparkBugg: Ze Frank January 12, 2007

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Person, Plaything, Video, Website.
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zefrank

Who is he? My current hero, someone I just discovered. He made a little plaything called The Scribbler, which I used to create the image above in 23 seconds. You may also remember String Spin (Post #126). He is clearly a programming and creative genius.

On his website he has many links. I am in the process of exploring them and will post highlights on SparkBugg.

Turns out he has a video podcast, and it also turns out he is a funny bastard, a musician, a spontaneous soul, and an engaging TV personality. This guy needs to have his own show on HBO. Check out the first video clip (3 min) I ever saw, titled “Hindsight“.