Saturday, September 29, 2007

Inventions Week - Day 5

Spallating ideas like a heavy nucleus, and spelunking with permissive abandon through the subterranean network of conceptual pot-holes, here are today's ideas:

  • Klein bags: It is often the case that, once full, a small or medium-sized rubbish bag requires disposal itself, either in a larger bag, or a larger container. This is wasteful, and fails to exploit non-orientable topological surfaces, such as the Klein bottle topology, in which the inside is also the outside. Small bin liners should be given a Klein-bag topology, enabling the user to dispose of the bag inside itself.
  • Motorway electromagnets: Accidents on motorways cause interminable delays to those behind, due to the length of time it takes tow-trucks to reach the scene and clear the wreckage. Hence, large superconducting electromagnets, rather like those at CERN, should be installed along the hard shoulder of all motorways. When an accident occurs, CCTV should identify the location, and the magnets should be switched on at that point, instantly sucking the crashed cars off the motorway, and onto the hard shoulder, allowing traffic flow to resume.
  • Robot wars on Mars: In 2009, NASA will deploy a rover on Mars equipped with a laser. Ostensibly, the purpose of the laser is to vapourise rocks, prior to spectroscopic sampling. However, with some small modifications, this could become an offensive weapon, and should be employed whenever the Russians deploy a rover of their own, and attempt to plant a flag on the Martian surface.

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