Richard Watson: Albert Einstein said that “if at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” In this vein, here’s a list of some of my favorite ideas and innovations from the past 18 months, together with a few comments and suggestions.

1.) A company in Japan has developed a bicycle that pumps up its own tires. Kinetic energy from the wheels drives small pumps hidden in each wheel hub. Has anyone applied this idea to automobiles, buses, or trucks?



2.) If you’re the type who likes to live dangerously, especially on holiday, then you might be interested in Dogtag insurance. The UK-based company covers a huge range of sports from scuba to snowboarding. Using a unique dog tag identity tag, which is worn around your neck at all times, emergency medical staff can confirm that you are covered for medical insurance and will instantly know of any medical conditions. It looks pretty cool, too. Why can’t other “invisible” products be given a physical presence?



3.) A Swedish company has developed an organic alternative to cremation. The problem with burning bodies is that the process releases toxins into the atmosphere. Freezing bodies to -196 degrees Celsius and then shattering them into very small pieces (and then removing the water and metal content) is deemed a safer alternative.



4.) Pet owners these days don’t like the idea that their pet might die before they do, so Procter & Gamble has created an Iams pet food-branded MRI scanning service for cats and dogs. The company is also launching a pet insurance service to pay for the $1,200 scans. What other human innovations could be transferred to animals — and vice versa?



5.) Dulux in the UK has created a paint that makes it easier to repaint white walls. The paint starts off pink but dries white making sure you don’t miss anything.



6.) A group of rather inventive cultural activists called the Carbon Defence League recently put together a web site featuring the bar codes of everyday supermarket items — only with all the prices reduced! Visitors to the site could print the bar codes onto stickers and reprice their weekly shopping list. What else could you print for yourself?



30 More here.

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