INNOVATION: The Tunnel of Eupalinos – Futility Closet

When the Greek engineer Eupalinos contrived a tunnel in the 6th century B.C. to carry water through Mount Kastro to Samos, he started digging simultaneously from the north and south, hoping that the two tunnels would meet in the heart of the mountain. He arranged this through some timely doglegs: When the two teams could hear one another (meaning they were about 12 meters apart), each deviated from its course in both the horizontal (left) and vertical (right) planes:

Source: The Tunnel of Eupalinos – Futility Closet

# – # – # – # – #

I’d heard about this decades ago in injineering skrule.  But didn’t realize the enormity of the undertaking.

Guess that’s why I never “grokked” the importance of civil engineering.


INNOVATION: Two ways to address a specific location

Google quietly created a locator.

In my test, it gave me “FHG3+2Q”.

I like what3words for its simplicity.

In my test, it gave me “plus.rents.copy”.

As an alternative to What3Words, I don’t think so. 

We will have to see what the market place selects. 


INNOVATION: The USA “education” needs a business process revolution

US colleges are getting outsmarted by a whole new method of teaching
By Paulina Karpis
September 19, 2020 

*** begin quote ***

Here’s how it might work: Take the best classes from the best professors, record them, and compile them into a central digital library. Rather than completing structured programs, students could access the content they’re seeking at any time, in any order.

These vast libraries of “massive open online courses” (MOOCs) — run by companies like Coursera and edX — already feature content from Harvard, MIT, you name it. But they’re nowhere near as effective as they could be — drop-off rates reach 95 percent — because they’re passive.

*** and ***

In a world where employers like Google and Apple are dropping degree requirements, and only 11 percent of business leaders believe that college graduates have the skills they need to succeed, alternative education makes sense.

*** end quote ***

Almost makes me want to “unretire” and coach college student like a “SoulCycle instructors, not only because they’re edutainers with can-do attitudes”.

Hmmm, now I need a good domain name. Maybe “” or “mentor.u”?


INNOVATION: This Library In Minecraft Was Built By 24 People To Fight Censorship Across The World

Most of us live in countries where freedom of speech is considered a fundamental human right and it would be hard to imagine living in a different state than that. However, not all of us are blessed with this sometimes overlooked right as there are a number of countries in this world where governments actively censor their citizens, especially those whose profession is to report facts.

In a number of places around the world, journalists are banned, jailed, exiled, and even killed for their words. In order to make their message heard and reach the places where they’re banned, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) opened a special type of library that could reach millions. They built it in Minecraft.

Source: This Library In Minecraft Was Built By 24 People To Fight Censorship Across The World

# – # – # – # – #

What an innovative way to bypass censorship!


— 30 —

INNOVATION: Sacramento building $5.6M tiny-home community for homeless

“Our community is very special, and we have a lot of homeless here, just like everybody has them,” Pastor Larry Joyner told KCRA, “but we’re willing to help ours.”There will be trailers on site for bathrooms, showers, and community space for counseling and social services inside the church building, where meals will be provided.

Source: Sacramento building $5.6M tiny-home community for homeless

# – # – # – # – #

First thing I thought of — tiny homes — when I first heard of “homelessness”!  That and ending “rent control”.  And, reopening the mental hospitals.  Also, ending the “(pseudo) War on (some) Drugs” shifting resources from prisons to treatment.

If we had more tiny homes neighborhoods, then the problem could be solved.

But, the Gooferment prevents entrepreneurial people from figuring how to solve the problem and make a few bucks out of it.  Remember — “no margin; no mission”!

— 30 —

INNOVATION: Forget leap day, there’s a serious plan to replace it with an extra week

At a glance, having a permanent calendar that’s the same year to year makes sense, and February has arguably been getting short shrift for far too long. But what about those extra weeks every few years? How does that even work? Unless companies are going to report earnings for a special seven-day period, it seems most logical that we just shut everything down for those days and hit the beach.And as if all this weren’t enough, the duo also propose doing away with both daylight savings time and time zones in favor of Universal Time (essentially the UK’s time zone) being used worldwide, everywhere.

Source: Forget leap day, there’s a serious plan to replace it with an extra week

# – # – # – # – #

I can certainly agree with the elimination of time zones!  They are just dumb.

A new and improved calendar is worth considering.  (imho)

— 30 —

INOVATION: Juul’s next e-cigarette may come with age-proof lock

Juul Labs is reportedly developing a new e-cigarette with an age-proof lock to help convince the feds to let the company keep selling its products in the US.The San Francisco-based vaping giant plans to present regulators with a new device that will initially be locked and cannot be unlocked until the user proves he or she is at least 21 years old, the legal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes, according to the Wall Street Journal.Juul will submit its next-generation device to the US Food and Drug Administration as part of an application to keep its products in the American market amid a regulatory crackdown on vaping, the paper reported Monday.

Source: Juul’s next e-cigarette may come with age-proof lock

# – # – # – # – #

No indication how that’s done.  Maybe an iphone app?

Clearly, they don’t believe in the Libertarian principle that “the individual owns their own body and can / will put whatever they want into it”.

That’s why all drugs should be “legal”.

People have to bear the results of the choices they make.

After all “they” can’t keep drugs and other stuff out of their prisons.  So how do they control a “free” society.

End the “(pseudo) War on (some) Drugs”!

— 30 —

INOVATION: A Bird Meme – Futility Closet

In the early 1900s, blue tits and robins had easy access to cream from the tops of open milk bottles left on humans’ doorsteps. After World War I, the humans began to seal the bottle tops with aluminum foil. But remarkably, by the 1950s the entire blue tit population of the United Kingdom had learned pierce the foil to reach the cream, while the robins hadn’t.The difference lay in cultural transmission: A blue tit can learn a new behavior by observing another bird performing it. Robins generally can’t do this — while an individual robin might learn to pierce the foil, it has no way to pass on this discovery to other robins. Young blue tits are reared in flocks in which they can observe one another, which is an advantage; robins are territorial and have fewer such opportunities. Unfortunately for both, the milkman is now extinct.

Source: A Bird Meme – Futility Closet

# – # – #

So what can we humans extrapolate from this?

Other than don’t become dependent on a “milkman”?

Maybe “learn from each other” and “being territorial” are contra-survival.

# – # – # – # – #

INOVATION: Start New Year’s Eve resolutions on April Fools Day?

Start Your New Years Resolutions in April, Not January

Tim Donnelly
Friday 9:30am Filed to: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

*** begin quote ***

So consider this: if you still prefer the resolution model of self-improvement, in which you adhere to specific challenges that begin on a specific date, don’t start those resolutions in January. Start them on April 1st instead.

*** end quote ***

Seems like a great idea to me.

# – # – # – # – #

INOVATION: No-frills micro hospitals emerge

No-frills micro hospitals with as few as 8 rooms emerge as a new way to cut health-care costs

  • Micro hospitals are emerging in some suburban and urban markets as a backup to community facilities — or in regions where there is not enough demand for full-sized hospitals.
  • Also called neighborhood hospitals, these facilities can provide lower-cost care for patients compared with traditional community hospitals.

Berkeley Lovelace Jr. | @BerkeleyJr
Published 1:14 PM ET Fri, 2 March 2018  Updated 2:13 PM ET Fri, 2 March 2018

*** begin quote ***

Micro hospitals, also called neighborhood hospitals, have cropped up in states such as Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. Saint Luke’s Health System in Leawood, Kansas, recently opened its own 17,000-square-foot micro hospital, no bigger than an average CVS Health store.

Hennum at Dignity Health St. Rose-Dominican told CNBC these facilities are not meant to replace larger hospitals or emergency rooms but can provide a kinder, more personalized level of care.

Hennum said the micro facilities can treat things like gunshot wounds and high-risk pregnancies, adding patients usually wait no longer than 11 minutes, on average, from entering the door to seeing a doctor.

“We only transfer 5 percent, or sometimes in other locations, 4 percent of our patients,” Hennum told CNBC. “We treat or discharge the vast majority of patients we see. … And we brought additional jobs to our community. I’ve interviewed more than 250 people.”

Larger hospitals still have their place, however. Mega hospitals have the resources to perform intensive and complex procedures whereas micro hospitals tend to be less surgical, Zane told CNBC.

For example, a person experiencing a stroke or in need of certain cancer therapies will be treated by larger facilities or specialized centers, Zane said. Micro facilities can do routine surgical care like a knee replacement that would only require a doctor and an assistant, but nothing like a liver transplant, Zane explained.

*** end quote ***

Finally some “free market” innovation.

Want to bet that the Gooferment diktats interfere with this “trend”.

I’m sure that the SEIU (unions) will oppose these since they are cheaper and have self-described “no frills”.

And the use of digital services should be encouraged. Imagine the savings of not having to transport folks long distances for urgent care. Remember the “golden hour”?

Hope more are created; I think they will save lives.

# – # – # – # – #

INNOVATION: innovations helping homeless people around the world

February 18th, 2018 at 8:22 am
8 incredible innovations helping homeless people around the world

*** begin quote ***

Homelessness is widespread and hard to solve, affecting more than 560,000 people in the U.S. and hundreds of millions around the world.

It’s a complex and intractable problem, with countless agencies and nonprofits working to tackle root causes and provide systemic solutions. But while there may not be a one-size-fits-all formula for homeless people in every community, technology and innovation can help fill in the gaps.

Gadgets, apps and prototypes are temporary fixes, of course — we need to tackle poverty, lack of affordable housing, unemployment and more to truly arrive at solutions. But in the meantime, innovations can offer much-needed support to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

From a winter coat that takes contactless donations in Amsterdam to commercial shower trailers that offer hygiene and dignity in San Francisco, these eight inventions think outside the box when it comes to the issue of homelessness.

1. The EMPWR coat

The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit that aims to lift people out of poverty and homelessness through employment, created an innovative coat that doubles as a sleeping bag and an over-the-shoulder bag for homeless populations.

The EMPWR coat is a durable, water-resistant jacket made of Cordura fabric from workwear company Carhartt, upcycled automotive insulation from General Motors, and materials from other donors. It costs $100 to “sponsor” a coat, distributed to those in need.

EMPWR coats have been donated across 40 states in the U.S., seven Canadian provinces and a few other countries around the world, according to the Empowerment Plan website.

*** end quote ***

While personally I doubt that Gooferment “agencies” will ever “solve” homelessness”, I admire when the “private sector” gets into the solutions.

This is another Gooferment-created problem — zoning, licensing, inflation, closing the psychiatric hospitals “streeting” the mentally ill, and other Gooferment “programs” / “services” — that the Gooferment doesn’t want to solve. (What will the politicians and bureaucrats do if there are no “homeless” to need their “help”?)

Like Habitat For Humanity, I’d hope that the “tiny homes” revolution could become the answer to the homelessness “epidemic”. I can envision that a 50’s style development of cheap track housing developed for the returning ww2 and Korean veterans but rows of tiny houses with shared access roads. Put them around hospitals and clinics.

Tiny homes seem to be in the 20K$ range quantity one; I can’t imagine what they would cost in quantity “lots”.

Hope that idea gets a try. It’d be better then the homeless “encampments” that spring up.

# – # – # – # – #

INOVATION: “Cat music”?


*** begin quote ***

Accordingly they got musician David Teie to compose three songs that ought to appeal to felines and tried them out on 47 domestic cats, comparing their reactions to Bach’s “Air on a G String” and Fauré’s “Elegie.” The cat music was pitched about an octave higher than human voices, and its tempos replicated purring and suckling rather than a human heartbeat.

The cats showed no interest in the music intended for humans, but they showed a “significant preference for and interest in” Teie’s cat-targeted songs, approaching the speakers and often rubbing their scent glands on them. Also, for some reason young and old cats seemed to like the cat music better than middle-aged ones.

*** end quote ***

Wonder if there is a “bird music”?

# – # – # – # – #  

INOVATION: The new journalist muckraker

James O’Keefe is bringing back the best practice of journalism
By Michael Goodwin
January 21, 2018 | 1:02am

*** begin quote ***

Grading President Trump’s first year in office is all the media rage. But let’s look at the other side of the story — and grade the media.

F for effort, F for result and F for the lack of honesty.

That’s not a blanket condemnation of every journalist at every news organization. There are many hardworking professionals who try to get the facts right and keep their opinions to themselves.

*** and ***

The collapse of journalism as we knew it, and the lack of any sign of a return to traditional standards, explains why I found myself in an unfamiliar setting last week. It was the book launch of “American Pravda,” the latest work by James O’Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas.

A self-described “guerilla journalist,” O’Keefe and his team use disguises and false identities to secretly videotape people in hopes they will admit breaking the law or abusing their power.

*** and ***

Most recently, for example, he captured current and former Twitter managers admitting they use “shadowbans,” which effectively hide a user’s tweets, based on content, without notifying the user.

Other personnel admitted the company tracks user behavior and reads direct messages to find prohibited content.

*** and ***

He accused mainstream journalists of “groupthink,” saying they “move in packs . . . like blackbirds on a telephone wire. They’re all talking about the same thing.”

His goal is to “dent the fortress and crack the dam” so the public knows who is abusing power.

O’Keefe has a passion for gathering facts and sharing them that recalls the best journalists I have known. And he is right that journalism history was written by people who went undercover to expose scandals.

Upton Sinclair, whom he cited, lived and dressed like a worker, even carrying a lunch pail, to fit in with the men who toiled in “The Jungle,” his takedown of Chicago’s meatpacking industry.

And Nellie Bly feigned mental illness so she could become a patient and expose the horrors of a New York lunatic asylum for women on what is now Roosevelt Island.

O’Keefe is in that mold. Smart, committed and fearless, he’s a modern muckraker worth watching.

*** end quote ***

And, boy, does the “muck” ever need raking!

The only other journalist I trust is Sharyl Attkisson!

Read her story and the various O’Keefe ones and you’ll see how biased the “lame stream media” is.

A national disgrace.

# – # – # – # – #

INOVATION: “Wall Bonds” to build “the Wall”?

All About The Wall 
by L. Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

*** begin quote ***

If it were up to me, the proposed Mexican border Wall would be a straightforward replica of the Great Wall of China, at least thirty feet high, with crenelated “rails” or battlements, and wide enough that a pair of chariots (or tanks) could pass each other along the top. It would be a lot cheaper to cast in place out of reinforced concrete than it was for the ancient Chinese, building one brick at a time. I would let the “beautiful giant doors” Trump wants to set in the Wall become the seeds of new Southwestern communities, new cities on both sides of the border, with shops and restaurants and museums and other features that will help both countries pay for the attraction. Plans I’ve seen and approve of include two sets of high-speed monorail tracks along the top of the Wall, for vehicles going both ways. Initially, they will be for construction and maintenance. Eventually, the planners want excursion and sight-seeing trains—with bullet-proof glass—for tourists taking the 2700-mile trip from Southern California to Southern Texas. I’m ready to go, right now.

Anything less than a real Wall speaks dismally of a lack of cultural resolve. It also doesn’t do the Donald any good at the polls. Loose talk that there will be gaps where mountains and rivers will help form a “natural barrier” is half-hearted crap. Mountains and rivers won’t impede the hardy, intrepid people tradition calls “wetbacks”. Either America has got its skyscraper-building, dam-building, bridge-building, highway-building, space-station-building, Lunar colony-building cojones back or it has not. Mountains and rivers never stopped the ancient Chinese wall-builders, and the border monorail needs to be continuous to attract the dollars and pesos and pounds and euros and rubles and yen and yuan, etc. A really great Wall could bring people together.

How to pay for it initially? Two words: Wall Bonds. A tax on money being sent south by immigrants, illegal and otherwise, could begin paying them off. Millions of tourists from all over the world eager to enjoy one aspect or another of the Wall (including one hell of a train ride) will keep the money flowing. I don’t know about you, but I’d invest.

*** end quote ***

I like the idea of making it a tourist attraction.

I’d buy one just to see the damned thing. Like the Great Wall of China or the Pyramids.


(No one ever said I had to be consistent. And I like this idea about it. Make it useful.)

# – # – # – # – #

INOVATION: Happy “Underwear Day”?

Underwear Day
Posted on December 16, 2017

*** begin quote ***

It’s not exactly a holiday, but today was Underwear

Day. Every two years or so I throw out all my socks, all my underwear, and most of my t-shirts, and start over.

Three dozen socks (all matching), three dozen boxer briefs, and three dozen black t-shirts. One pass through Costco and I’m pretty much done for the next two years.

Are some socks still good after two years? Some, not many. My rather oversize feet tend to wear socks and shoes out pretty quickly.

{Extraneous Deleted}

So…every two years I scrap the whole thing and start over. One benefit to this policy is that I don’t have to match socks. In fact, if I get a hole in one sock I can toss it, keep the good one, and just mix it in with the others….they’re all identical.

It’s a very guy way to buy clothes.

*** end quote ***

What a great idea!

If I wasn’t so “thrifty”, I could throw out stuff that was not EOL! (That “end of life” for my one Luddite reader.)

I do like the no matching. I have a pile of “orphans”.

Maybe if I was  thin, young, and handsome (again), then I could do it.

Wonder how he handles it when you need brown socks for your “brown” outfits?

Hmmmm, maybe that’s the draw back.


# – # – #

P.S.: Seasonal Greetings from a grinch!

# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: Like checklists, anything to make it safer

Rabble-rousing surgical staff wear their names on their caps to stop mix-ups and improve patient safety
Kate Aubusson

*** begin quote ***

Dr Rob Hackett was met with smirks and confused, occasionally derisive, looks when he started turning up to surgeries with his name and profession emblazoned in bold black typeface across his scrub cap.

“Rob … Anaesthetist”, his forehead announced to colleagues and patients alike.

*** end quote ***

When I first read about the effect of using to checklist in preventing surgical agents, I thought that was a great breakthrough.

This can rank right up there.

# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: The rates of traffic flow on different kinds of 4-way intersections

This is an animation of traffic flows simulated on 30 different kinds of four-way junctions, from two roads intersecting with no traffic lights or signs to complex stacked interchanges that feature very few interactions between individual cars.

Source: The rates of traffic flow on different kinds of 4-way intersections

# – # – # – # – #

Clearly, someone spent a lot of time thinking about this. How much does progress cost?

# – # – # – # – #

INNOVATION: Evaluating generals! How about CEOs?

Ethan Arsht @ethanarsht. ethanarsht [at]
Dec 4

Napoleon was the Best General Ever, and the Math Proves it.

*** begin quote ***

Inspired by baseball sabermetrics, I opted to use a system of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). WAR is often used as an estimate of a baseball player’s contributions to his team. It calculates the total wins added (or subtracted) by the player compared to a replacement-level player. For example, a baseball player with 5 WAR contributed 5 additional wins to his team, compared to the average contributions of a high-level minor league player. WAR is far from perfect, but provides a way to compare players based on one statistic.

*** end quote ***

Wonder if you could use this in CEOs, Managers, or even Individual Contributors in an enterprise?

Might make the process fairer and better.

Closest I’ve ever seen and been part of was “ratings and rankings” tried at AT&T and CSFB.

That broke down when you as a supervisor had a really good team. You’d be forced to pick winners and losers. Argh!

# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: what3words saves lives and resources

Published on Nov 22, 2017

Stanplus is an ambulance service in Hyderabad that has integrated what3words into its system. People calling them for emergency and medical transportation support can now use a 3 word address to refer to their exact location and get help faster.

# – # – # – # – # 

It would seem that even in the USA, emergency services could use this.

# – # – # – # – # 

INNOVATION: WHAT3WORDS is more efficient

Published on Jun 1, 2017

London-based delivery startup Quiqup shaved 30% off delivery times during a timed challenge that pitted 3 word addresses against traditional addresses.

# – # – # – # – # 

I think this is a GREAT innovation. Need more software apps to support it.

# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: Exact locations with what3words

Published on Mar 14, 2017

Hundreds of thousands of people in South Africa live in informal settlements which lack reliable addressing. Gateway Health has begun piloting the use of 3 word addresses in KwaNdengezi, a poor informal settlement on the outskirts of Durban. It will help to build a detailed community map, so that residents, businesses and organisations can continue to use 3 word addresses to greatly improve their standard of living.

# – # – # – # – # 

I really like this idea. Better than zip codes. 

And not just for pizza delivery in Mongolia. 

Pretty good for here in the USA.

Here at my NH location, I am set back off the street and it’s hard to find if you don’t know where it is.

Imagine if the USA adopted this as a national standard.


# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: Neat — a riding suitcase

This could be very useful for getting around airports by seniors and the handicapped. I know that they have “mobility services” but they are few and far between. As well as not always available.

Funny the things that are invented just a little too late. I know someone who could have used such a decade ago.

Oh well, better late than never.

# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: Changing memes about housing

Tiny Homes, Wiki Houses and Co-Living: The Future of Housing Isn’t More of the Same

*** begin quote ***

It’s some way off yet — but we are on a road leading to low cost 3D printing and self-manufacture:

* A road where homes need to be endlessly adapted and customized for individual need.

* A road where underutilized spaces will need to be repurposed for a sharing economy.

* A road where the cars themselves may be driverless.

*** end quote ***

Everything IS changing and we have to adapt.

One of the biggest Information Technology challenges I faced was the “legacy infrastructure”.

All plans had to transition from where one is to where you want to be. 

Can’t throw it all away. Not because of the sunk costs — they’re just gone, but one rarely has the budget to completely replace it. As a matter of fact, the biggest disaster I ever saw was from an attempt to do that “replace everything”.

So, housing and travel have to adapt to the new realities of life. 

Will there come a time when humans once again stay with a few miles of home and work?

Interesting concept to think about?

# – # – # – # – # 




# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: Location data needs to be universal

Why location data quality matters more than ever
Paul Malyon March 15, 2016 Data Quality, Data Cleansing, Partners

*** begin quote ***

Back in frog.surely.vest, the issues may not be lifesaving. However, even in places where there is a good quality address file, there is still room for innovation. Imagine taking a short walk on to Clapham Common and sitting down for a picnic at proof.rugs.cage. Shortly after spreading out your picnic blanket, a delivery driver (or perhaps even a drone) drops off your gourmet sandwiches and a bottle of pop. This is simply not possible using existing solutions and would elevate the customer experience on offer to another level for that retailer. This could easily sit alongside the service that delivers your weekly grocery order to your home.

*** end quote ***

Sounds great!

Now if we can just get the USPS on board!

What other ways can we use this?

EMT and POLICE for sure.

Need an app for that and get everyone on board.

# – # – # – # – # 

INOVATION: Khan Academy is killing Gooferment Skrules

We Have Passed the Tipping Point for American Liberalism
Gary North – January 11, 2016

*** begin quote ***

Then I got to thinking about the Khan Academy. In recent months, it has stated that it has over 26 million enrolled students. This is in 190 countries. So, I went to to see what percentage of the site’s traffic is from the United States. It is approximately 50%. Inside the United States, the site is ranked number 522. This is incredibly high.

I realize that some of their students are in public school settings. But I don’t think many of them are. A few selected schools use the Khan Academy. I am convinced the overwhelming majority of these enrolled students are homeschoolers.

*** and ***

I’m not saying that we are winning this ideologically. I am saying that we are winning it institutionally and administratively.

The institutions are moving towards decentralization. This is anathema to the welfare-warfare statists. They are literally losing control, even if Salman Khan is not radically challenging the content of humanistic education. He is certainly no radical. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School. His outlook and his teaching methods are going to shape the minds of tens of millions of students around the world. More important, they are going to shape the learning environments of these students. He is pulling them out of state-run classrooms.

The children who are coming up through the Khan Academy today go at their own pace. Nobody tells them what to do and when to do it. They take exams, and if they pass the exams, they go on to the next level. There is no one nagging them. There is no one telling them that class is over because a bell has rung. They are not being regimented.

*** end quote ***

Remember the purpose of the Prussian education model: cannon fodder for the Army, willing morons for the factories, and useful idiots to vote for and be led by the elite!

I hope that the author is correct.

It can’t happen fast enough to get this country back on track.

Separation of Education and State will go a long way to restoring the American vigor.


# – # – # – # – #