Maggie A's Meanderings




 Oct 5, 2014

Products I Want to Be Made, But Aren't

With as many products as there are out there, you'd think that anything you want would be available. But I find it isn't so. Here are some products that don't require any technological breakthroughs and could be made, but no one makes them. I know. I've tried shopping for them. So I want someone to start manufacturing these............

1. Mini-tissues

Once when I was at the LA County Museum of Art, I contracted a cold. I tried to figure out how because I'd been scrupulously careful to keep my hands away from my face. Then I realized that the day had been cold, my nose had been running and I had used the same tissue for much of the day --- because who throws away an entire tissue when your nose has only leaked one drop of liquid? That's such a waste. And on a cold day, you'd go through dozens of tissues if you threw them away after touching your nose a single time each.

After that I started making my own mini-tissues. When I'm going to be out in the cold or any time my nose is going to be running a lot, I tear toilet paper into small sections, fold them and carry a stack. These are small enough that I use them once and throw them away, so I don't infect myself with a used tissue.

This seems so obvious, I don't know why the tissue manufactures don't have pre-made packages of mini-tissues that are small enough to be used once and tossed.

2. Motion Activated Cat Water Bowl

Many cats like drinking running water. There are cat water fountains out there, but they run 24 hours a day thus wasting electricity and use filters which have to be changed making them expensive -- especially if you consider that a cat usually drinks only two or three times in a day.

Now my cat, Trilby Kitty, had a solution to this..............any time he wanted a drink of fresh, running water he would go to the bathroom faucet and meow. I would come (even if I had to get up in the middle of the night), turn the water on for him, wait for him to finish drinking, then turn the water off. Worked for Trilby Kitty ---- as long as he didn't get thirsty when I wasn't at home, and it wasn't so convenient for me either.

I thought that I had a solution when automatic liquid soap dispensers started to be marketed for the home. I figured I could fill the tank with water instead of soap and just put the dispenser in a bowl to catch the water as it came out. But it turns out the soap dispensers only dispense soap for a few seconds which isn't long enough for a cat to have a drink.

So what I want is a motion-activated water bowl for cats. It would have a reservoir tank and a bowl below big enough to hold all the water from the tank. The water would run as long as the cat's head was in position, so the cat could get a full drink. It would be operated either by being plugged in or by AA batteries. (I want the battery option because I use rechargeable batteries.) When the water in the reservoir tank ran out, you'd just dump any water in the bowl and add more water to the reservoir tank; since the water would only be used once, it wouldn't require any expensive filters.

3. Kitten Litterbox Kits

When I took in two three week old foster kittens, I had to do what everyone does who has kittens. Find or buy a plastic container small enough for them to use as a litterbox because even the smallest adult litterbox was too big for kittens who were still walking unsteadily and for whom the other end of the bathtub was a long journey for little legs. And then I had to replace the original plastic container with a slightly larger one and then another slightly larger one until the kittens were big enough to use a small, regular cat box which eventually got replaced with their permanent sized cat box.

So what I want is a kit --- either a set of nested kitten litterboxes or a litterbox with one side whose height can be adjusted (most likely by sliding it), so that there can be a very low entry for when the kittens are teeny-tiny and then the side can be raised as the kittens grow up.

4. Cards for the Dying

 A good friend of mine recently passed away. While she was in the hospital, I had sent cards regularly and visited when I was allowed. There came a point where my friend didn't want to stay in the hospital any longer. She'd been ill for years and it had been getting progressively worse. She wanted to go home. She was a deeply religious person who was at peace with dying.

My friend was at home and it was a time for family only to gather round her. So I tried to find a card to support my friend at this point. I didn't want some "Thinking of You" card. I wanted a card that let her know that I understood her decision, a card that expressed a peaceful acceptance of dying and supported her belief in the promise of a better world to come.

They don't make those cards.

I finally ended up taking a sympathy card and blacking out part of it so the remaining text focused on a Bible verse about eternal life. It turned it from a condolence card to, as I was told by my friend's sister, "your beautiful card."

Most people who are terminally ill come to a point where they accept their death and are at peace with it. It's an end to suffering, and, if they're religious, it's a promise of a better life to come. (I've never had a religious, dying friend who thought they were going to hell.) Wouldn't it be nice, if, at this point in their illness, you could send them a beautiful card that would uplift their spirits with the hope of a better world to come?

I think it would be nice. It's what I tried to do with my friend. Now if only the card companies out there would cooperate by making cards for this delicate time.

5. Programmable Globe of the Earth

Now this is the one product on this list that I won't be able to afford even if they do make it. But I sure would like to see it. What I want is a globe of the Earth that you can enter a date and it shows you what the Earth looked like on that date. You should be also be able to enter time periods and it plays through the entire period. And I don't just mean the period of the Earth inhabited by homo sapiens. I mean being able to go all the way back to when the Earth was molten and have it play through to today and into the future. You could watch the seas form, the continents shift and mountain ranges grow. In recorded history, you could see empires expand and fall. Cities get renamed as regimes change. For the future, even though the globe can't show countries or cities, it could show how the continents are predicted to shift in the future.

Now a globe like this could be done currently using projection mapping which produces a smooth, flowing image though I think it would require two projectors to cover both sides of the globe simultaneously. (I've seen a video of a museum that has a LCD globe showing the current Earth, but the surface is made up of a bunch of small square screens so it looks pretty choppy.) So it is doable now with today's technology, but no one makes a globe like this. (I've never even heard of a museum having a globe like this and they should --- especially those interactive museums designed for children.) And ever since I spun my first globe under my fingers, I've always wanted to see a globe of the living Earth changing through time.

shopping cart with packages

Read my other piece on the Olympics, "My Take on Certain Olympic Events."

Please take a moment to check-out the Archive.



Home                     Archive                    Email Me