Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two Part Invention

Just bland things today, I'm afraid. My thinking processes, heightened by two days of fasting led me to two wonderful inventions I'd like to share with you.

1. The Skype Mannequin

In his celebrated novel, "The Milkman in the Night", Andrey Kurkov has a middle-class, middle-aged widow in the Ukraine embalming her deceased husband - I think 'plastification' might have been the technique - so that he would continue to keep her company and perhaps scare off the bad guys (that old silhouette at the window trick). I assumed this was a satire on the well-know garrulousness of Ukrainian menfolk.

Still, it got me thinking. Perhaps a mannequin could be made of me. Equipped with a speaker in the mouth, microphones in the ears, cams in the eyes and a decent WiFi link I believe it could give an excellent impression of me doing small-talk. A small motor for the odd arm gesture would complete the illusion. I was thinking of installing it on the couch at my mother's house for those days I don't visit in person.

Please let me know if you want to fund this. (I am also contemplating an AI control system).

2. The Lethal Net Curtain

The Executioner has long been a favourite in our house. Powered by two AA batteries, solid-state circuitry in the handle boosts the voltage to some low number of kilovolts. This is fed to a grid of cross-hatched wires in the form of a tennis bat. Zap! Watch those mozzies explode!

The Executioner

We could reverse-engineer these components and feed the volts to a net curtain, where the net was fine wire. We all like to open our bedroom windows as the summer approaches but we hate the insects. In America the houses come with insect screens but in the UK, not so much. My bug-zapping net curtain is exactly the answer we've all been looking for.

Let me know, etc.


Would you like to see a cute Two Part Invention? Here's J. S. Bach's Two-Part Invention Number 4 in D minor (Bass Guitar Accompaniment). Sorry about the five-second intro Ad, skip it and you get to the earnest fat guy: and he rocks!


The new Badger Cam was reset to stills + video and when I checked this morning, 249 Megabytes of the camera's 8 GB SD memory had been used for 8 + 8 pix/videos. The new location was the barbecue stand, overlooking the back garden. I'm now understanding better the concept of wildlife photography: you get to watch a lot of uninteresting videos.

To cut to the chase (you see what I did there?) here's the best of the crop. Our little black cat arrives from next door and finds an interloper already in our garden ...

Riveting, wasn't it? The movies were cats all the way down: as Clare observed, not wildlife at all.