Monday 15 January 2024

Inventions and Reinventions 12

What we really need to bring back is 1950s style Espresso Cafés full of Mods and Beatniks.  (@JSmithy64)

Printed menus.
Discount cards.
Large clocks in shops and cafés, and on public buildings. 

Air conditioning for all public buildings, houses and flats.

Long socks for men, to avoid "ankle gap".

Likewise, does the trade in mattress toppers and office chair arm extensions tell manufacturers anything? Anything?

Flocks of sheep in London parks – they keep the grass down, aerate the lawn and fertilise it. Also for cemeteries. Keep your own flock and hire them out. McMansions can have llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. Or deer and goats. 

Shabby gentility. Are we all shabby genteel now? Standards have slid a bit – we no longer dust so often, and fail to decorate our houses and flats with cut flowers every day.

Vases of flowers. You need enough land for a flower garden. The arrangements were not only decorative, but also scented your living space.

Awnings over windows (keeps rooms cool) and shop fronts (protects goods from the sun). 

A temperance movement. Stress health, rather than morals. 

Dance halls with a soft drinks bar. Ballroom dancing lessons to be followed by dance sessions with a live band. Might be an alternative to Tindr.

Daylight the rivers of Manhattan.

Department DQ. During the war it was responsible for black propaganda and disseminating rumours, according to Ben Macintyre. But did it ever close?


I can't believe there isn't a chain of coffeeshops with crèche and hot-desking spaces for people with babies yet. (@kardyology)

I need an inverse Costco. Instead of bulk, only sample-size products.

Hymn books with printed tunes (and transliterations). Those who can read music can lead the others. And the others might work out how to read music. Pick a key most people can reach – not too high, not too low.

A website logging predictions, and their accuracy. Count up the times the Second Coming has been predicted, and hasn’t happened. Collect all the reasons why it didn’t happen this time. 

Martial arts lessons for all schoolgirls.

Graffit wall, with a sign saying PLEASE DO NOT GRAFFITI THIS WALL. Result, the wall is sprayed, but not the neighbouring buildings you want to protect. 

What we need to do to protect the malls of America is make mannequin robot security guards. (@MelissaJeanSays)

Student housing AirBnB so that parents can swap children.


Carpets in pubs.

Lawns worldwide – in places where lawns don’t grow naturally, creating one just wastes water. And the solution is NOT astroturf.

Men pretending to be Santa, and Santa’s grottoes.

More here, and links to the rest.

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