Product Predictions

Solar Cooker Cars

I have often lamented that the Green Movement had largely been ignored by ordinary Americans. But now, to some degree, that has all changed since the financial markets collapsed and 401k savings were cut in half. Green entrepreneurs are working overtime thinking up new products. I predict that Solar Cooker Cars will be designed. Yes, at first they will be considered strange. During a long drive, or while one’s car sits in the company parking lot (for those who still have a job), a hot meal is being prepared. Is there a problem with this?

The Solar Cooker Car seems like a natural idea. Already, one reads sad news stories of the distracted parent  who “cooked” a favorite pet or child, left locked inside the car.

What are some technical issues?

- How do you “turn off” the oven when the meal reaches the right temperature?

     -     Would it need an insulating shield that moves inside the dome automatically, covering the pot when necessary (if there is cloud cover, or meal is done)?

     -     Would there be a thermometer located inside the pot that transmits data wirelessly to a dashboard monitor or remote computer, or that triggers a “burnt food” alarm?

- Would a car solar cooker industry launch spin-off industries for pull-out tables, refrigerators, dining-driving gloves, trash bins and grease-tolerant fabrics?

Solar Cooker Wagon

Solar Cooker Sedan

Car trunk solar cooker with rear seat access.

Cars Pre-damaged at the factory

Why the dented car industry? At some point, Americans will no longer care to own a shiny new car. As they find they can no longer afford to donate their beat-up car to charity -- and must drive it -- an ugly car chic will emerge. There are many factors that could drive the dented-car industry. For example, there was always latent Insurance Rage: For years, folks with a perfectly-good running car had been offended when insurance companies chose to “total” their car rather than repair it after it suffered a damaged hood or fender. Over time, cosmetic repairs had caused insurance rates to skyrocket. I predict this new industry will start slowly, because at first it will shock the sensibilities of Americans. But it will take hold. Eventually denting your car in a supermarket parking lot will be an event devoid of meaning. There will be no feeling of anger or sadness!

Cars dented and scratched at the factory

Matching, pre-damaged autos arrive on sales lots direct from the factory. Here, the 2014 Lame interests a couple who appreciate its "grunge" look as well as its lower auto insurance premium

Body parts are pre-molded into shapes that match actual car



Assembly line

Panels are "seasoned" with a rust-enhancing spray.

Basketball played with multiple rotating, wiggling baskets

A cheetah can gauge the speed of a running gazelle, a dog can leap up and catch a tossed frisbee, and a skeet shooter can shoot a clay disk out of the sky. I should think basketball players would have no trouble aiming at multiple baskets, even ones that rotate or bounce. A Calder-style mobile with several baskets would present some interesting challenges: If a ball hit the rim yet missed the basket, the mobile would continue to jiggle and bounce up and down!

These baskets are lovely art objects, suspended from a slowly-moving, colorful mobile.

Four baskets are shown rotating at a slow speed that is specified by a National Board of Baskets in Motion.

Personality cars

Over many decades I have observed a growing refinement and steady improvement of technologies and materials for creating customized vehicles. Fast hybrid, or all-electric, vehicles can be designed with unique chassis shapes. Such vehicles can be special-ordered and designed with up-to-date CAD auto design software.

As the nation’s wealth gap continues to widen, the opportunity exists for very rich individuals to express themselves in ever more self-congratulatory, conspicuous ways. In this example, a wealthy heart surgeon owns a car that expresses his craft.

Cardiac (drawn in 1983)

Cardiac (drawn in 2010)