Mar 20, 2014 - Game    No Comments

Castle the Game

On the way to work I’ve been listening to the Audible version of a book by Michael Crichton called Timeline.  It’s about a bunch of archaeology nerds who travel back in time (over simplified for this post) and see the place where they are researching but as it was back in the 1400’s.  Of course this got me to thinking, wouldn’t it be amazing to have a first person game like DayZ or Rust but with castle building, siege engines, flaming arrows and the whole works.  I would want it to be very detailed with accurate depictions of actual building materials and good flight dynamics for projectile type weapons.  My clearest example of this in my mind would be having an opposing group of players outside my castle with fire arrows and having them land in my castle setting wooden structures on fire.  Imagine building a mammoth trebuchet to hurl giant boulders toward an enemy fortress and watching rocks and debris fly off into the air.  Or getting a group of your bandit cohorts together to man a battering ram to drive down the enemy gate.

Maybe as the  game progressed you could even have a whole health component that would react to a diseased animal being thrown into your midst and causing a minor plague of sorts.  On that note I think it would be important and maybe educational for players to only have medicines and healing techniques that were actually available during the time period.  (leeches? nice!)

Of course for me the castle building itself would be the most fun especially if you could build secret passages/tunnels, take advantage of features in nature (think draw bridge across a ravine) and actually have to mine the stone from a local quarry.

Now you could of course make it so one person could carry large loads (ox and cart?) but the true fun might come from forming an alliance with a whole group of people to build a much larger fortification/castle. You would even likely want to setup a simple form of government to rule your new kingdom of friends and knaves. :)

All in all I think this game would be a huge success and I could imagine the game would have great longevity just due to the vast number of great features that could be added over the course of many years.

If you “borrow” this idea please be a sport and at least give me a beta slot. :)

Update:  Well as luck would have it a company is working on just such a game and it has great potential.  Give it a look at http://lifeisfeudal.com/

 

 

 

Feb 4, 2014 - Weapon    No Comments

Targeting and Engagement

Was listening to an audio book on the way to work the other day dealing with a fictional military battle and it got me to thinking.  In the book there is a great deal of vehicles (Tanks, Infantry Fighting Vehicles, Artillery, etc.) that are being attacked primarily by aircraft.  However a lot of the attacks rely on the attacking aircraft keeping eyes on the target.  So my thought was what if you could develop a laser type weapon that would somehow paint a target in such a way that it would leave a radiating patch on it that a weapon system could home in on.  By radiating patch, I mean, for instance, the top of a tank would get zapped by this laser type device (maybe even from space?) and that would leave a round area on the top of the tank that a weapon system could lock on to.  In my scenario the laser device “paints” the target once and then moves on to the next one, leaving behind this area that sort of glows or radiates.  Unlike current targeting system, the laser wouldn’t have to stay on the target for it to be illuminated.  I know that’s sort of rambling but I want to be clear on how I envision this working.  Maybe you could somehow project radioactive isotopes down a laser beam and have them splatter on a target?

Dec 17, 2013 - Other    No Comments

The Bodies We Borrow

So for about the last 15+ years I’ve had an idea in my head that I think would make a great book.  This is my official announcement that I’ve finally sat down and begun working on it.  As you might have guessed the subject of this post is the title of my book.  Now if only I can finish it before another 15 years pass. :)

Nov 20, 2013 - Medical    No Comments

Robo Doctor

I was thinking today about diagnosing a patient and how it would be cool for doctors to wear some sort of Google Glasses type device linked to a computer.  The headset could have a heads up display showing the vitals like heart rate, blood pressure, etc. Of course it would also monitor commands given by the doctor and show contraindications where appropriate.  For instance a doctor might order a certain drug be administered and the computer would compare that against medications the patient was taking.  Then if it found a problem it could vibrate and flash a warning on the screen.
Speaking of voice commands, the doctor could instantly call up symptoms of any disease and ask the computer to compare that to those of the patient.  All the while watching the results or progress on his heads up display.
Such a system could also theoretically show a surgeon the appropriate place for an incision.

Even better the system might pull up images from previous surgeries the patient had to compare any changes.
Of course this would be a dream come true for a Dentist.  The system automatically overlaying past images over real-time captures.  Take that a step further and imagine the patient smiling into a camera at home and having the computer recommend adjustments to braces or signing off that things look good. Remember images coming from across town from a remote camera would appear live in the same headset thing.
Now take it a step further and the headset camera could help a surgeon map out an area of cancerous material, superimposing over it in varying colors to indicate boundaries.

Nov 7, 2013 - Medical    No Comments

Liquid Healing

Watched a movie last night where a guy is stabbed and it got me to thinking, why couldn’t we create a substance that you could literally pour onto a puncture wound to not only seal it but do rudimentary repairs as well?  So the sealing part is simple enough, heck with enough superglue you could close just about any wound, but that’s not what I’m proposing.  Instead create a solution with an intelligent matrix that would seek out the disconnected tissue/organs and pull them back together.  Okay saying that sounds nuts but think about it for a second.  Everything in the body has a unique structure.  Kidneys are kidneys not just because of their shape but because of a certain structure on a molecular level.  Why couldn’t a compound be created that could flow into a wound and do simple repairs?

If nothing else how about something that would stop the flow of blood.  Now there’s a nice segue, maybe the short term answer isn’t to fix the damage but to simply stop the blood loss.  The substance in question could simply react with the blood and cause it to instantly coagulate.  Of course how do you stop it from simply coagulating ALL of the blood in your system?  What would make it stop right inside of the broken/damaged vessels?  Maybe the bodies own reaction to such damage could be the inhibitor.  The body tries to do essentially the same thing right?  Blood vessel is damaged so it moves to close it off if possible.  Our wonder sludge could simply trigger on that process and halt stoppage where and when the body directs it.  Of course the next request/requirement would be a substance or device that could quickly reverse the effects.  So a doctor for instance could simply move around the damaged area and undo the fix as needed, then repair that portion and move on to the next.

 

Nov 6, 2013 - Energy    No Comments

Not Cool, Not Hot, But Just Right

Why is it that home temperatures seem to be at odds with the surrounding weather and most of the time counter intuitively?  Example;  It’s a nice October day here in Arizona it’s about 80 degrees during the day which means the AC runs to keep my house at around 76.  No big deal, but then at night it starts cooling off dramatically and the outside temperature quickly plummets to around 60.  But not my house, instead it starts shedding all of the residual heat it built up from being baked by the sun all day and takes another 4 hours to normalize.

My point is this, why don’t homes have a system where they automatically detect the outside temperature and somehow vent the internal air and replace it with the outside air to bring the temperature either down or up as one desires?  To me this could be as simple as have air transfer points high and low on the structure for air transfer.

On a side but related note, if the ground remains an almost constant fixed temperature why couldn’t we simply sink metal rods deep into the ground and have them come up in the walls of the house?  Wouldn’t these rods at as a natural heating/cooling system of sorts?

Speaking of cooling, everyone knows things under shade are about 10-15 degrees cooler, so why not build giant tarp type shades over homes?  Wouldn’t this in effect cool them down naturally?  Sure it would look funny as heck but not once they got their first electric bill in summer and realized it saved them 20% or more.

Oct 14, 2013 - Medical    No Comments

Plaque Away

Why every six months do I have to go to the Dentist to have my teeth scraped and prodded for an hour?  Can’t we come up with a mouth wash of some kind that could simply go in and dissolve the plague without damaging the gums or teeth?

Oct 14, 2013 - Medical    No Comments

Nanobots to the Rescue

How will history view our current state of medical care?  My thought is they will stare in open mouthed disbelief at pictures of surgeries which to them will seem nothing short of barbaric.  I would imagine a conversation a few hundred years from now might go something like this, “They actually cut into people?!”  Would they be so wrong?  Don’t we essentially use sharpened pieces of metal to cut people open and then literally sew them back together?  Have you seen a hip replacement lately?  They literally use a drill to auger out the bone.  It’s all very medieval looking.

So what is the answer?  Well for starters I think we will see a huge move toward the use of some type of nanobots.  Imagine finding out you have lets say cancer.  Your doctor has already mapped out your specific body chemistry and physiology.  He then orders a custom designed injection filled with millions of nanobots.  These nanobots are programmed to find and attack any cancerous cells.  Once finished the nanohealers would simply be deactivated or die off after a set period of time and the body would absorb them.

The possibilities are almost endless when you think about it.  How many lives would be saved if these micromedics could clean out clogged arteries, do minor repairs to blood vessels, heart valves, etc.  On that note, imagine they could be injected with small electrical receptors, encapsulate someone’s heart and if needed provide a small electrical charge to keep it pumping correctly.  This would be much more effective that a modern pacemaker.  Replacing them every six months or so could be as simple as another injection.  Better yet, what if they recharged themselves from the beating of the heart or by some sort of heat transference thing?

Of course this same principle could be used for something like for instance appendicitis.  A surgeon would use a device no bigger than my smartphone to guide the nanobots to the inflamed appendix where they would perform set routines to remove/repair it.

What about something simple like broken bones?  How about the same nanobots weave a mesh like covering over the bones and position them back in place and then hold them there while they heal?  On their way there they might also release a substance directly into the nervous system to temporarily numb the limb.  These repair bots could be simply programmed with your bodies physiology from before the injury and then be directed to put the pieces back in place.

Take the whole concept a step further and have nanobots positioned throughout the body to monitor key system functions like heart, lungs, kidney, etc.  When they noticed a fluctuation, they could alert your doctor directly or save the information and relay it to your doctor at the next visit to establish a pattern of say impending renal failure.

How small could they be and still provide a service?  If they were small enough, could they for instance provide an electrical bridge across a damaged portion of the brain to restore certain synaptic function?

I can just see it now, the body might start developing a resistance to the nanobots and you could only have a certain percentage of your total body mass that could be nanobots.  I’m sorry patient X but you already have .001 saturation of nannites and your body can’t host more.

Sep 17, 2013 - Business    No Comments

Paintball Park

Continuing on with the theme of business ideas, another of my favorites is the paintball town/park.  If you’ve never played paintball it’s extremely fun and a little addicting.  There are some really fun scenarios you can act out on a paintball field from recreating an old civil war battle to protecting the president.

However most of the fields I’ve played on were nothing more than patches of dirt with shanties built on them.  My idea would be to create several themed paintball areas all interconnected.  For instance one of those would be a mock city built out of real cinder block complete with sewer systems.  I went through some army training in one of these mock cities and I can tell you it would be a paintball dream.  The initial cost of construction is also a lot less than a real building because there are no glass in the windows or pictures on the walls.  Instead they are just concrete shells with only floors, walls and stairs.

Another zone or area might include vehicles where you could act out an attempted VIP kidnapping with one side trying to protect and the other trying to take him/her out.

And yet another zone could have an old decommissioned airplane that you would have to take back from hijackers.

The civil war zone might have authentic type cannons that would bellow from time to time to add to the atmosphere.

The list is endless and the best part is that you could simply start off with the town and then build the other zones as needed.  Interestingly enough, you would likely find the local law enforcement agencies renting your facility from time to time to do their own training. :)

Add in some concessions (food, drink, equipment rentals, etc.) and you could have a real fun money maker.  Who wouldn’t want to go to work at a place like this?

 

Sep 17, 2013 - Business    No Comments

Western Adventure

So for the longest time I’ve had a couple of business ideas floating around in my head and finally decide to share the vision as it were. One of my favorites is to buy a large expanse of desert acreage and build an old west town out in the middle of nowhere.  I know there are already old west type towns (ie, Old Tucson, Tombstone, etc.)  but this would be something completely different.

By different I mean the visitors to this attraction would be completely immersed in the old west theme from start to finish.  At the start visitors would park their cars, surrender their electronics (phones, iPads, etc.) and don period appropriate clothing.  Yes guns included. :) They would then have a choice to ride a stage coach or pick out a horse, that they would keep for the entire time of their stay, and then ride the several miles into town.  Speaking of stay, I would imagine that the length of time for this “adventure” would be about 4-5 days.  This would allow time for the town to be turned around for a different set of visitors every week.

The town itself would be completely authenticate in appearance and construction.  No electronic equipment what so ever would be allowed.  However unbeknownst to the guests the town would in fact be built on top of an elaborate system of underground support facilities (similar to Disneyland I would imagine) where the staff (actors) could work.

I thought it might even be nice to have specific jobs that the visitors would apply for prior to arrival.  For instance one might be the sheriff for a week, doctor, bartender, banker, shop owner, etc.  The really interesting twist would be to plant actors in with the arrivals and have them pretend to be guests.   These actors could then create stories about the town, start gunfights (blanks only folks), and generally create drama that the visitors might have fun dealing with in a very controlled and choreographed way.  Of course we would have a working jail for those that create mischief, real or faked.

A town playhouse would present period type plays as well that the visitors could be lured/encouraged into participating in.  Herding cattle on horseback would be a big deal with a desert bonfire type finish.  Poker playing and general gambling could be integrated into the salon as well.

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