Wild Ideas to Make Our Lives Better

Wild Ideas to Make Our Lives Better

Why you should care

Because finding a better ride, film experience or bank account chock-full of cash could just about make your day … better.

Transportation for One, Please

At the heart of modern industrialized civil engineering, there are warring impulses. One is to move the greatest number of people around quickly, efficiently, and with the least impact on the surrounding environs. Such as a train. The other impulse is to do this individually — like on horses, bikes and single persons in cars — which clogs up highways and byways, and causes all sorts of environmental mayhem. But what if efficiency and low impact could be reconciled with highly individual travel plans? The jury is still out on whether the Segway is a failure or just ahead of its time, but either way, our cities are not filled with them. But that hasn’t stopped folks from trying to find the next problem-solving vehicle, and it hasn’t stopped us from being curious about their various attempts. Here are OZY’s favorite space-age picks for getting from point A to point B while keeping the mockery, cost and hospital visits to a minimum. Read the story here.

Movies with Smells

Sometimes the best ideas have to fail a few times first. Maybe it just wasn’t their time yet, or folks just didn’t realize their full potential. Which brings us to scented films. They sound intriguing, but the idea has been tried, and abandoned, repeatedly. Hollywood, however, is not ignoring the lingering stink of repeated failure. Rather, it’s giving it another try with new technology. Scents are a powerful trigger for memory and emotion, and studies have shown that smells can trigger an adrenaline rush, lower pain and produce a host of other physiological responses. So, having a whiff of chocolate in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory or just-mowed grass in Field of Dreams might not be so far off. Read the story here.

The average commuter in large, congested cities like Los Angeles and New York spends the equivalent of 2.5 days stuck in traffic each year — and it’s even worse in other parts of the world. That’s a lot of time staring at the bumper in front of you. By placing advertisements on car bumpers, companies and brand managers not only gain access to prime, undeveloped ad space, but they also grow brand loyalty by providing thousands of drivers with a sponsored commute. Whether it’s for gas money or a portion of your next car payment, wouldn’t you consider renting out your bumper? As Mark Twain once said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” If advertisers can figure out how to rent some real estate on your rear bumper, that small thing might just turn out to be your wallet. Read the story here.

FInding Your Roots Online

Did you know that genealogy is the most searched-for topic on the Internet next to porn? Every year, around 84 million people spend anywhere from $1,000 to $18,000 researching their ancestors. But guess who isn’t into the game? Google. While there are several guides on how to use Google for genealogy, and countless genealogists routinely use its existing tools, the company has never designed a toolset specifically for genealogists. That world is begging for a digital heavyweight to wade in and shake things up. And done correctly, it could turn many more of us into amateur genealogists overnight. What do you say, Google, are you ready to take on the challenge of building the family tree for all humankind? Read the story here.

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OZYWildcard

Square pegs. Round holes.