You Are Here

The technology isn’t here yet, but flexible screens are coming.

I want to see one of these on a T-Shirt, hooked up to the wearer’s GPS. The shirt can read “You are here.” and display a map of the current location.

With a little more gear, there could also be an “I’m with Stupid” shirt that display’s “Stupid”‘s location on a map.

Seattle Rain Globe

Selling a Seattle snow globe, with Pike Place market and the Space Needle in the background, wouldn’t make much sense: it just doesn’t snow here that often. Someone sells a glitter-filled snow globe and calls it a rain globe, but it should be possible to use some sort of oil that’s denser than water and dyed blue. You could shake it, so that the oil breaks up into tiny droplets, and watch them puddle at the bottom of the globe, right in Elliott Bay.

Squishy Packaging

My girlfriend works at the Whole Foods Market in Roosevelt Square, here in Seattle. She works in the Whole Body department, which includes personal care items (soap, shampoos, deodorants, razors), bulk herbs and spices, and nutritional supplements.

She reported yesterday evening that some customers will use a pendulum to decide (or discover, if you prefer) which supplements they should take. Others will use dowsing, crystals, or the advice of a medical professional.

Some people, touch the various products and intuitively are drawn to the product they believe is correct for them. (Apparently, this is a form of muscle testing.) I hypothesized that perhaps the plastic bottles or cardboard boxes might throw off their scrying attempts.

It occurred to me that, should one wish to further influence such attempts, it might be fun to make squishy packaging. Dense foam cubes can be made, with cutouts for the actual pill bottle. These could pack and stack like cardboard boxes, but they would also be fun to play with and nice to touch. Wasteful, certainly, at least in some cases. It is the packaging that makes the product, for great number of people. (In Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, he reports that changing the color of 7-Up’s label affected consumer reports of its taste, even though the product in the can was unchanged.)

A More Modern Conclave

Perhaps the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church need updating.

Like this whole conclave business. Getting a bunch of more than 100 guys (and they all are guys) from all around the world into a single room is logistically complicated. It’s expensive. And there aren’t a lot of promotional opportunities. Besides, Thomas Friedman is telling us that the world is flat.

Videoconferencing would be a step up, but if we’re really going to select a pope for the new millennium, the cardinals should communicate via text messages on cell phones. They can be all over the place, and they can do it while having other conversations. One provider can sponsor the whole thing, maybe even give them all Blackberries, too.

After he’s been elected, maybe you can sew a little cell phone company logo on his vestments, somewhere. You know, appeal to those NASCAR Catholics…