Thursday, July 27, 2006

Weekend Assignment Suggestion: Your Own Invention!

Weekend Assignment #122: Offer your suggestions for Weekend Assignments during the month of August. You can suggest anything you like, of course. I find personally the best Weekend Assignments are unusual enough to make people think, but easy enough that anyone can participate. If there's something you'd like to be made into an assignment but I haven't brought it up, now's your chance to suggest it!

Okay, here goes:

It's time to introduce your great new invention to an admiring world. What is it called? What does it look, sound, smell or taste like? What does it do? Your "invention" can be as simple as a new dance step, or as ambitious as a solution to that pesky global warming problem. Assume you have everything you need (an army of researchers and marketing people, and a multimillion dollar budget, if necessary) to send your brainchild out into the world. Oh, and don't worry if it's just plain impossible.

Extra Credit:
Have you ever invented or created something in real life?

My answer:

I'm pleased to announce that MavaCo is now accepting preorders for my M-Box 3000 P.E.D., which will be available at Target and other fine stores in time for the Christmas shopping season. "P.E.D." stands for "Personal Empathy Device." What's that, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.

Plug this into any computer, go online, and select any name in your address book, buddy list, IM window, blog comment window, etc. The M-Box will attempt to contact that person for you. If her or she is online, a window will pop up offering an empathy session between you and the designated person. If the person clicks "OK," a second window will open, displaying a query from the sender, such as "How do you feel about what happened last week?" The recipient can send the same query back to the sender, or type in a different one.

When the recipient clicks "SEND," the M-Box will generate a weak empathy field in a three foot radius from each participant's hard drive. This targets several specific parts of the brain, and collects data about the user's cognitive and emotional reaction to the query subject. The M-Box then transmits the data into the other person's brain. In that instant, each person knows exactly how the other person feels, plus or minus an error margin of 10%. The entire process takes just thirty seconds (five minutes on dial-up, but during most of that time nothing happens), but the effects can last a lifetime. Now that you know how the other person feels about something, you're much more likely to sympathize, and treat the other person with compassion.

Several major governments have already banned the M-Box in their countries.

Incidentally, if I tell you what is really in that white box, I will probably engage your actual empathy. It contains the ashes of my second-ever dog, Noodle. Now that Tuffy is ten years old and slowing down a bit, I'm starting to confront the fact that she won't live forever, either.

Extra Credit:
Aside from inventing the land of Mâvarin, the tengremen, Rani and Cathma and the rest, I once came up with a peanut butter and bologna sandwich with lettuce and mustard, which I ate for a couple of months before admitting that it tasted better without the peanut butter. The peanut butter and bologna weren't too bad together, but the peanut butter, lettuce and mustard really weren't compatible with each other.

Note to Paul: What will I do for an entry if John uses this idea? Why, I'll "invent" something else, of course!


As I was griping last night about the lack of serious, cooling rain in the Old Pueblo, the weather was gearing up to give me my wish. It rained from a little before 3 AM to around 8:30 AM. The thermometer in my car said 73 degrees as I drove to work this morning, 86 as I drove home. That's a big improvement!

It was also one of those days when the Catalina Mountains disappear behind massive clouds. Finally, some dramatic monsoon pictures! On a normal day, there would be mountains in both of the shots above.

Speaking of dramatic storms, it rained again about an hour ago, complete with thunder and lightning. One crash of thunder was so loud and so close that it woke John, and set off neighborhood car alarms. There was no immediate indication of damage (not that I could tell from inside the house, well after dark!), and the power stayed on.


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DesLily said...

actually if you just spred peanutbutter on a slice of bread and then a thin coat of yellow mustard or mayo on it's actually ok lol.. but there's nothing like a "wish" sandwich.. two pieces of bread and wish you had something to put between them!

Paul said...

You've already answered your weekend assignment weekend assignment idea. What are you going to do if John picks your idea, and you have to do this weekend assignment all over again on August 18th or 25th? Huh? What are you going to do then?

Bea said...

I want one of those boxes!! No really, I'd probably not need one. I'm empathic enough already. But it's quite original, for all those Commander Troi wannabees. I'll be thinking of an invention in case John picks yours. Bea

V said...

Terrific entry!



Becky said...

My gran used to make me catsup and butter sandwiches. I used to think "mmm" but not any more. LOL As for the box...hmm. I already have TOO MUCH empathy for everyone and everything around me. I will worry myself into an early grave, no doubt. I'm an emotional doormat and I feel the need to help everyone who needs help. Whether they want it or not. If I ever won the lottery, we would be broke in no time. I'd end up giving it all away. :-}

Chris said...

Hilarious, Karen! Too funny and nice touch with the USB cord.

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