Discarded ideas 02.04.2008

Published april 5th, 2008 by

Discarded ideas 02.04.2008, originally uploaded by mskogly.

What defines whether an idea is good or not? Which one is realized, which one dies? Ideas are plentyful, but time is limited. So how does one choose what to focus on?

How about leaving it to chance.

My son Leo (4 years old) decided to go through my idea-box (the golden box in the picture above) and do some heavy handed editing! Each note in the box has one idea written down on it.

Here are some of the ideas he crumpled with his teeny tiny hands:

1. A 100-mile gallery, inspired by the 100 mile diet, to only display works from artists living within a 100 mile radius. I thought it was a great idea, but the toddler does not agree. I also like the idea of the 100 mile suit, as a concept for a local clothing store. Perhaps one could put all three together?

2. Falu-korv shaped like the Batman symbol. I was sure this would be an instant hit with the kids! Oh well.

3. A magnetic dinner plate for children. By placing a powerful magnet underneath the table it is harder for a child to up-end it, or even move it. If you have children you know why this would be a great idea! Edit 31.05.2018: Let’s google “magnetic dinner plate” ten years later. It is a thing!

4. Thing library. A very old idea of mine, that has been implemented in many libraries all over the world, but I still want to create a local one. I had a web based personal thing library for a while, it is still online, but not really updated. Edit 31.05.2018: The city of Trondheim got it’s first library of things in 2017.

5. An anthology of poetry, short stories and images with an “Outdoors” theme. You know, nature. Working title: “Outside”.

6. A website for giving yourself carbon credits and a better environmental conscience. There are plenty of carbon calculators out there, but they all seem to focus on how much you suck. I want to create one that shows how good you are. Actions that gives you free carbon credits are borrowing things from friends or libraries, recycling, not buying something new when you could or wanted to, buying something used instead of new, buying something green instead of not, buying something local instead of imported, doing nothing at all, using energy saving appliances instead, etc. You could still buy carbon credits if you absolutely wanted to, but is is far better if you give them to yourself as a reward for being green. Perhaps you could even sell them, or simply give them to a friend who has to travel somewhere. Edit 31.05.2018: Last year I started on a spreadsheet with numbers for different tasks. Did you know that if you DON’t order a Koala from Australia, you will save around 4 metric tons of CO2e? :)

7. A permanent flea market in my area. There are a few overpriced second hand stores in my city, and a few one-day flea markets, but there should be something more permanent, like in Amsterdam, New York or London, a big thriving mess of a market where people could sell or swap their stuff.

8. A cute sketch for a “family crest”. Forest + Beach

9. A way to make a “Hotweels track” for my kids using recycled materials. My kids love playing with them, but they are super expensive and not environmentally friendly to make, but if there was a locally prodused and cheaper alternative created with recycled materials I would buy 50 meters and let the kids go wild. No reason why it is should be so expensive, its just plastic!

10. Hiring myself out to people who need to develop new ideas.

So what to you think, do you agree with Leo that these ideas should be “canned”?


Update, 7th of february 2009: This photo is published under a Creative Commons Attribution lisence on flickr (as are all my pictures). It was recently used by communicatrix.com as illustration. Respect! :)

Posted in Ideas

Parking space psychology

Published mars 30th, 2007 by

Parking space psychology, originally uploaded by mskogly.

– Taken at 9:23 AM on March 29, 2007 –

AKA: How to tell if your coworkers hate their job by watching how they park their cars.

I’ve been festering this theory…

Personally, when I finally get to work, after getting the kids to kindergarden and driving 20 km, I simply pull into the first available parking spot I can find, get my stuff and heads to my desk to crank out some bad code.

In “parking lot psychology terms”, this means that I like my job, as do most of my coworkers.

But every day there are quite a few people that take their sweet time, and actually backs their car into place, a process that takes up to 10 times as long.

I want to go home!
My theory is that the people who back their cars into a parking space like this, simply can’t wait for the day to be over so that they can go back home. They actually spend lots of thought and energy even before coming to work on how they can leave in the fastest way possible.

Check it out for yourself the next time you get to work, and see who among your coworkers would rather be somewhere else… :)

Posted in Ideas

Mac leads to better hygiene

Published mars 9th, 2007 by

Mac leads to better hygiene, originally uploaded by mskogly.

Ok, I am officially ashamed. What you see here is potatochips, dip, chopsticks and a Macbook. So what’s the story here? Well, when I first got my Mac I must have washed my hands every single time I touched something else that might have made my fingers greasy, because I was afraid my Mac would get smudged. Now, if it wasn’t for the fact that I am not the only one being anal about this, I would never have admitted something as silly as this, but I still feel like a turd, you know, in a global perspective, starving children as a starc opposite.

So, have you understood the role of the chopsticks? I’ll spell it out for you: I use the chopsticks to pick up the potato chips and dip them in the Holiday Mix, so I can combine eating junkfood with keeping my Mac clean!

I’m going to hell for this!

So that is my theory: Having a Mac, a black Ipod, or an Iphone for that matter, will cause you to wash your hands like a madman.

Update 02.02.2008:

Cool: NRKbeta writes about this post (in norwegian)

Posted in Ideas

Idea: A Google Earth for the body

Published mars 6th, 2007 by


Update 22. March 07: The Google Body idea has actually reached the ears of Google representative Jan Grønbech. One step closer to getting realized :P

Summary: I’ve been researching Google Earth lately, especially reading about the KML files that allows you to add new layers of information to Google Earth very easily, presenting your information on top of Google Earth.

But then I got this idea: There should be a Google Earth and a Google Map for the body, where you could rotate and navigate the human body in 3d, and zoom in, but instead of stopping on the surface, the zoom should continue through the skin, so that you could look on all the different layers, organs etc. I remember having a great encyclopedia on our home with transparent foils, each removing a layer of the body, the last layer showing the skeleton, the different parts of the body labeled with text: I spent hours studying it.

A Digg comment suggest using Jessica Alba as the female model. I would have to agree wholehartedly :)

But what if you had a much more detailed model of the human body(*), and an interface to place “coordinates” on it, and something like a geocoder and an API to make it easy for content creators of all types to present the model on their website, just like you can with Google Map or Yahoo Maps today. And you could use something like the KLM format to let users present realtime data, like articles from a search engine, from magazines and newspapers, from research institutions etc. For instance, you could load the “map”, and have a graphical representation of all the research or news publish in the last 24 hours about the human body, like cancer research, advances in medicine.

Perhaps presented as different categories or label. But most importantly, a solution that is very open for people to add on to, easy to share also in 2d, and with the ability to zoom and “fly” through the body.

Update! I just googled and found that Google is actually making this! The article is datestamped 12th of september 2007, so I beat them to it by a few months, and by them I mean the firm eHuman.com :)

Read more:
Move Over Google Maps, Get Ready For ‘Google Body’.
NBC Video

Posted in Ideas

Inspired by My name is Earl

Published april 13th, 2006 by

I got this idea to create a web page for offering help to people, sort of peer2peer, only real, face to face (face2face?). I suppose it is more than slightly inspired by My name is Earl. Life has been sort of … slow … lately, and I believe good old Karma has something to do with it. Perhaps by doing some good for others will help pick things up a little bit, make life a little brighter.

Anyways, I wanted to see if anyone else was “inspired by My name is Earl” so I did a strict search for it on Google, and only got two hits! I think I’ll keep an eye on that search to see if more people start getting Earl-ish. I’m sure we all have some skeletons hanging over us, big or small. Some we might be able to put on a list and fix, but some are impossible, or just to hard to atone for directly. In those cases it would be great to have some other way of “paying it forward”, or paying for it backwards, or … well, you know what I mean.

I want to tell you two stories, both are real, both are very recent.

1. A collegue of mine slipped on the ice and bruiced her face badly, and had to go to the emergency room . She had to spend the whole night there without sleep, and when she was on her way home she discovered that she didn’t have any money, her glasses was broken so she couldn’t see, and she looked really terrible). So she stood there and completely lost it. So up comes a man, gives her 200 NOK for a cabride home, and when she askes for his adress, he just says “No – just help someone else one day”.

2. A few weeks later another collegue gets a phone call from a former classmate she hasn’t seen in years. She had forgotten all about this, but he remembers: He once borrowed a cd-player from her, and when he returned it it was broken. When she asked him if he broke it, he said “No”. Now, 10 years later, he confesses that he actually DID break it, and sends her an envelope with 1200 NOK (about 200 $). Isn’t that sweet? Perhaps he had seen My name is Earl, written his own list. It really takes guts to do that, even for such a “small” thing like this.

I guess I will have to start my own list.

If you have heard any stories like that, where people might have been inspired by Earl’s list, please drop a comment, okay?

“inspired by My name is earl” – Google-search

Updated 06.04.2008: There are now ten – 10 – hits for “Inpired by My name is Earl on Google” :)

Posted in Ideas, Personal

Found: Audio messages left in space

Published oktober 27th, 2005 by

Theodore Watson’s Audio Space allows you to leave messages in specific locations within the room. Wearing a headset equipped with earphones and a microphone, visitors record messages that are then placed in the spot where it was recorded.

Through the earphones, the messages are played along with those recorded by previous visitors. Each message sounds as if it is coming from the spot where it was recorded. The resulting effect is the sensation of walking through a space inhabited by ghosts, with each visitor leaving an aural mark for others to uncover.

Posted in Found, Ideas

Chameleon Lamp (and other futuristic consumer goodies)

Published oktober 6th, 2005 by

Philips backgrounder on simplicity-led design – Royal Philips Electronics: “Chameleon is a lamp shade that changes to match any color you ‘show’ it… A traditional bulb at the centre of the lamp provides white light above and below the lamp, while an LED ring around this light projects a selected color into the shade, while at the same time preventing the white light from diluting the color being projected.

Chameleon will match any mood required in an instant. The user simply picks up a piece of fabric or any other colored object, holds it to the sensor on the lamp stand and this color will be projected onto the inside of the shade automatically, changing the lighting mood of a room.”

I do believe this is what the starving children of the world needs most.

Posted in Found, Ideas

My wonderous Greasemonkey Idea

Published oktober 2nd, 2005 by

Adolf MacDonald
photo credit: Walt Jabsco

Greasemonkey (and other solutions for Opera and Windows) allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript. Hundreds of scripts, for a wide variety of poular sites, are already available in the Greasemonkey script repository at http://userscripts.org.

You can write your own scripts too. Mark Pilgrim’s definitive Greasemonkey guide, diveintogreasemonkey.org will show you how.

Greasemonkey Extension for Firefox

User Scripts

My new brilliant idea:
I haven’t used Greasemonkey that much yet but for years I’ve wanted a solution to get easy information about the ethical and environmental profile of a firm or product when I’m in a store. Unfortunatly this is not really feasible, but it could be done in the web using Greasemonkey (+ a wiki of conserned citizens, and perhaps import of existing data (?) by XML. And then the option to edit the wiki througt a greasemonkey script.)

I think I will check if there are any only databases with this kind of data, I know there used to be one in Norway. If you have any tips, just write a comment.

Supercool scripts:

Wikiproxy: Greasemonkey Edition
Inline Mp3 Player
Gmail: Random Signature.
Mailto Compose In GMail (with choice)
Jer’s Wonderful World of Internet

Another Cool Idea:
Replace banner-ads etc with artwork and poetry, or random naked chicks. I think the name should be Prettify-the-web! :)

Posted in Activism, Code, Ideas

Userscripts.org: Amazon Sambok and BIBSYS ISBN Search

Published oktober 1st, 2005 by

La caverne aux livres
photo credit: gadl

Hey, my first Greasemonkey userscript!

Userscripts.org: Amazon Sambok ISBN Search:

This is just a fast remake of the Hight Library Linky script. Its my first script, just wanted to check out how hard it would be to rework. Luckily for me it was super easy. It inserts links to two norwegian bibliographical databases.

Bibsys, containing material from universities and colleges.
And Sambok, containing material from most Public Libraries in Norway.

Pretty useful, at least in theory, since ISBN search is quite limiting. But it will have to do for now.

Posted in Code, Ideas, Portfolio, Webdev

prosjektide textually.org: Flickr Peep Show

Published september 16th, 2005 by

textually.org: Flickr Peep Show: “Flickr Peep Show is an interactive SMS installation based on photos from the photosharing website Flickr.com.

Users are encouraged to submit a keyword via SMS, after which photos from the Flickr database that are tagged with the particular keyword are projected onto a surface that is visible through a number of peepholes.”

Posted in Found, Ideas