Entries for December 2008

December 18, 2008

Idea: Noah’s Hand Everyday

Noah Kalina has famously taken a photo of himself every day for the last 8 years. The YouTube video of his first six years in sequence shows him growing right before our eyes.

Of course, Noah isn’t the only person who has done this, although he is probably the most famous example. But others have undertaken similar projects. All of them are fascinating.

Time-lapse portraits of a face may be the most obvious and compelling subject matter, but I think science and curiosity might benefit from time lapse portraits of other body parts, too. What if Noah had been taking a second picture all this time, of, say, his left hand? It would be interesting to see how his hand ages along with his face. There probably wouldn’t be much change now, but as he ages it would get more dramatic.

Less subtle and more interesting would be a couple who starts this project with a newborn baby, photographing its hand every day. We might not have as emotional a connection to a hand as we do a face, but wouldn’t it be cool to see a real person’s hand grow and change over a lifetime?

(I’m both entertained and disturbed by the thought of a day when this kid discovers that not all parents photograph their kid’s hands every day; and then the day he rebels as a teenager and refuses to let his parents photograph his hand anymore; but not until after he has a conversation where he tells his friends, “Sorry I can’t hang out longer, but I’ve gotta get home so my parents can take today’s hand picture.”)

December 10, 2008

Idea: Treadmill eBook Reader

Treadmills and other aerobic exercise machines are pretty sophisticated these days. The ones at my gym feature touch-sensitive computer screens that you can use to track your progress, watch TV, or even control your iPod.

But some people see the treadmill as a good place to get some reading done. I see them struggling to figure out how to place a book or magazine on the machine without it falling, and even with a Treadmill Book Holder, it can be awkward to turn the pages. Plus, you have to carry all that around with you when you’re done running but still want to work out. It looks like a pain.

So how about adding an eBook reader to the list of treadmill features? The touch-screen computer is already there, so it seems like a very simple feature to add. It can be preloaded with hundreds of public domain classics. Just tap the screen to turn the page. By issuing gym members a PIN number, the treadmills could keep track of what they’re reading and what page they left off on. It could even be an outlet for selling new books. And the gym could have deals with magazine and newspaper publishers to provide their content as well.

A full fledged web browser with all my RSS feeds would be too difficult to navigate while exercising, I think. But a simple eBook reader could be just right. They could call it the tREADmill.

December 3, 2008

Auto Industry FAIL

[Update: I had originally made this image available on shirts, but concern was expressed over whether or not selling such merchandise violates Ford’s trademark, even though the image is clearly a parody. Until the issue is resolved, I am posting the image alone as art.]

As Ford, GM, and Chrysler head to Washington DC once again in hopes of convincing the government to give them a bailout, I’ve invoked the ever popular “FAIL” meme and came up with this image:

auto industry fail