Entries for May 2010

May 12, 2010

Meet Brent Farley

Do you remember the father in the movie Gremlins? His name was Randall Peltzer, and he was a struggling inventor, constantly trying to find success with his latest inventions. He gave his products names like The Bathroom Buddy, and The Peltzer Juicer. He was full of ideas, and built his own prototypes, but never quite found success.

Brent Farley is a real-life inventor in the spirit of Randall Peltzer. I visited him recently as part of my ongoing photo documentary project about contemporary inventors, and put together this video portrait (I recommend watching full-screen):

May 6, 2010

Idea: Put a dishwasher in the bedroom

I don’t know if it’s true for every dishwasher, but mine makes the most soothing sounds. The humming machinery, revolving spray-arms, and trickling water combine to make a churning rhythm that must trigger some subconscious memory of being in the womb. All I know is that I’ve never had a dishwasher that was so relaxing.

It makes different sounds in different stages of the wash. Sometimes it’s mostly white noise. Sometimes it sounds like a babbling brook. Sometimes it’s constant, and sometimes it has rhythm like a mother’s hearbeat. But all of it is blissful.

So how about installing one in the bedroom? If I could hear the dishwasher from my bed, I think I would sleep most soundly. And I’d be more likely to actually remember to run the dishwasher.

Of course it would be a hassle to load and unload a dishwasher in the bedroom. And I don’t have enough dirty dishes to run it every night. So I guess I would settle for a white noise sound machine with a Dishwasher setting. I’ve never liked those machines — the tinny speakers don’t sound at all like the real thing — but as long as they’ve already got settings for Ocean, Summer Night, and Rain Forest, how hard could it be to add Dishwasher? I’d have to hook it up to a speaker system with bass to get the really low churning sounds that are so satisfying.

Here’s a small soundbite of one cycle: