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What's Your Problem?

05/21/2013 2:17 AM

Necessity is the mother of invention, so if you do not have a problem how can you have a solution?

Ask a person what is still needed and the answer will most probably be "Gee I dunno, everything has been invented"

We all know that is not true, but what is still needed that doesn't exist yet?

What would you like to have?

This excludes perpetual motion machines and fortune tellers.

Johan.

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#1

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 2:45 AM

A hello Kitty toilet!

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#11
In reply to #1

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 1:43 PM

Here ya go...

Click Here

We have one... works great. Never buy cat litter! We do buy the product solution for it though, chaper by far than cat litter where we live.

Just think Del... warm and sweetly scented litter all the time...

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#2

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 3:28 AM

"What do we want?"

"Time travel!"

"When do we want it?"

"It's irrelevant!"

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#38
In reply to #2

Re: What's your problem?

05/23/2013 11:20 AM

AWESOME !!!

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#3

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 4:58 AM

Better communication.

Civilisation has surged forward every time there has been a technological improvement in communication. But there is still a chronic lack of ability of people to effectively use the technologies we have.

How often have you seen a question on CR4 which cannot be answered because the person asking the question has not supplied any of the critical information?

How often have you filled in a survey: for which the questions are deliberately designed, it seems to me, to elicit the answers the survey setter wants.

When people debate: how often do they move forward to the point where they completely disagree; instead of moving backwards to discover the point at which their fundamental assumptions differ.

We need a fundamentally new way of thinking about the rules of engagement when we start trying to communicate.

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#9
In reply to #3

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 11:11 AM

I don't follow....

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 11:24 AM

I hope you're joking.GA

If not: you've proved my point.

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#4

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 6:42 AM

better battery storage, more cheap electrical generation (without environmental impact)

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#5

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 6:42 AM

I want the peace of mind, skills and resources I have now with the physique I had as a twenty year old. I'll keep the lower tetosterone level and the baldness tho' as it's stress/low maintenance.

That way I could be making longbows of 120# plus draw weight and actually be able to shoot the suckers.
Del

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 9:02 AM

I gave up on longbows when i could not make a full draw @ 80 lbs. Since i have gone to crossbows which appear to be more accurate and easier to cock. Those tiny carbon fiber bolts go like crazy at 150 lbs.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 9:28 AM

I managed to draw a 90# last year.
I'm making a 100# for a guy at the end of the year. Not sure if I'll train myself up to shoot it. Prob my last chance to pull the magic 100# .
A decent target Xbow is on my to do list... got a nice chunk of wood for the stock, I've had it for about 35 years, so maybe it's seasoned by now ;)
Del

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#8

Re: What's your problem?

05/21/2013 10:27 AM

A safe flying car...

Medicines that work without side effects....

Affordable healthcare....

Cures for all diseases....

Safer foods...

Cheaper housing....

A car that doesn't require maintenance or constant fueling....

Asteroid mining realized....

A way of capturing asteroids that threaten Earth...

Better batteries, less charging time, longer lasting, cheaper....

A better way to educate people, more effective educational system...

Mental health to be treated as a disease instead of just putting them in jail...

Better birth control methods....

A better retirement system, Social Security is not adequate...

Better facilities for the homeless....

A better income tax system...

More effective immigration policy....

Less violence on tv, in video games, and in general....

Peace in the Middle East....

Less pollution, more waste -to- energy facilities....

Government websites that people can actually read and understand, more user friendly...

Affordable robots....

there's more,,,,,much more.....

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#39
In reply to #8

Re: What's your problem?

05/23/2013 11:23 AM

AMEN ... from your list to God's ears

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#12

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/21/2013 5:18 PM

Right now I am looking for a 25 inch long section of 7 inch OD 6.5 inch ID steel tubing so I can finish rebuilding the left side track and undercarriage assy of our old Case 1150 track loader.

Seriously. If you live in the US and can get me one at a reasonable price send me a PM!

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/21/2013 6:30 PM
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#41
In reply to #12

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/23/2013 12:47 PM

Solved my problem yesterday!

All I could find locally in 7" tubing stock was 14 ga so I bought three lengths of it and split two of them so that I could roll them down to fit inside the one 7" piece.

Being all the loads are tensional from end to end having the inner two layers split doesn't affect the design so for what I need it's close enough!

Also it cost about 1/4 of what ordering a custom length of 1/4" wall 7" tubing would have!

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#14

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/21/2013 9:54 PM

A problem that has no solution is not a problem, it is what is. It becomes a problem when a solution appears possible. Most solutions/inventions answer problems that just morphed from being status quo because a solution appeared to be possible.

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#15

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 12:00 AM

For a billion humans the problem is "how to survive"?. People discriminated on grounds of color,race,religion, differences between groups of same religion(sunni/shia),caste, creed, dynasty,family of origin,profession,political affiliation,region where they live,natural resources(water,soil,elevation/temperature etc),employment,citizenship,social problems, human rights,social security,medicare,education,transport,security,ruled by another race,UN becoming deaf and blind,UN saying internal affair,UN saying sovereignty of state,UN saying "we are working on it for 60 years" or so,UN saying "your complaint to be forwarded via some organisation"and so on. Colonial rulers developing one part of the country while ignoring another region too has created problems,conflict,war,massacres, ethnic cleansing etc. Big nations creating wars to sell arms,ammunitions is another big problem.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 2:50 AM

Yeah, I think many of us are fed up with the middle east and sectarianism in all it's forms.

You have big business/the financial institutions on one hand and terrorists on the other and sometimes the only difference is one lot are wearing suits.
Mix in a load of gullible naive adolescent males and you pretty much have on going chaos.
But hey, it's the greed and violence that's got our species where it is today.
Del
(Other organsiations/sects/groups are also available to vilify...)

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#24
In reply to #17

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 6:02 AM

Terrorists need not use guns or bombs but a President,Prime minister,Legislator,Police chief,Armed forces,Ambassadors,Priests,Monks,Clergy,Rich people,UN representative and secretary general,hired assasins,neighbouring country,international law/conventions too can terrorise innocent humans,minorities etc

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#16

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 2:03 AM

Efficient CPV technology to use abundant solar energy available in GCC.

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#18

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 2:51 AM

Ons soek 'common sense' in n blitjie! Vragtaag boet!

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#25
In reply to #18

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 8:01 AM

I understand seeking common sense, but it is an ongoing problem that "common sense isn't" common!

Someday, maybe, we'll all have "common sense" but then, though it would probably solve numerous problems all over the world, it would also make the world a lot less interesting, and remove a great deal of "Darwinian Selection" from the effective tools we see in use to keep sense more common than it could otherwise be.

Convoluted, I know, but true nonetheless.

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#33
In reply to #25

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 2:10 PM

I recall something that seems to fit well here. It went something like:

"I am not saying that we should kill all the stupid people or those without common sense, all I am saying is that we should remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out!"

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#35
In reply to #33

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 5:54 PM

I think MY life would be much more fun without all the regulation implied by those labels. And with the experiences I'VE already lived through, I think I could keep a lot of young'uns alive long enough for them to develop some sense, and the experience necessary to replicate it (just like I am/do/did).

But, you know how it goes. The do-gooders have to "fix" the problem, instead of letting us fix it ourselves, cause, after all, they have all the knowledge about what's best for everyone else.

Now if we could just get them to have a little wisdom to go along with the knowledge ...

Nope, to much to ask. WISE governance.

Oh, you have a moon or two for sale? Oh, good, I'll take 5 small ones, then. Probably easier to get those than a wise government, anyway.

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#19

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 5:01 AM
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#20
In reply to #19

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 5:21 AM

What?: A solution to people negligently mowing people down in their cars, or, demonstrating their incredible lack of intelligence by boasting about it on twitter.

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#22
In reply to #20

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 6:00 AM

Both of those.

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#21

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 5:23 AM

I would like a remote with a mute button on it that could mute the sound of my dog barking. Or something/someone else I didn't want to hear. I think it could be integrated into my TV remote and be put in teach mode to learn the source of the sound to mute, then use noise cancellation through the TV speakers to do the muting when the button is pressed. But I haven't figured out all the details. Would probably be a huge seller to mute wives spouses.

jhammond

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 6:02 AM

Something that could pull a vacuum on the annoying object, perhaps?

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#29
In reply to #21

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 11:42 AM

Turning off my hearing aids works well for me!

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#32
In reply to #21

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 12:36 PM
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#43
In reply to #32

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/27/2013 6:21 AM

Protective cover for dog,s mouth should be enforced when dogs are taken to public places including roads.There are cases of dogs biting pedestrians on walkways.

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#45
In reply to #43

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/27/2013 9:07 AM

There are cases of people irritating dogs and being cruel to them. Do we gag and punish them too? Animals (pets) are wild animals which simply tolerte people. So a book explaining that animals may seem 'domesticated' but in fact are basic wild animals inside. The lion lays with the lamb? It is only waiting until the lamb is a grown fat sheep and suitable for a hearty meal.

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#26

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 8:35 AM

Clean water available to the folks in the developing world and other locations that is sufficiently inexpensive for all to use. It must happen. The question is when. And I am talking beyond the sipping straw concept that is excellent but provides minimal amounts.

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#34
In reply to #26

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 2:56 PM

Having worked in many of these developing countries and seen and used clean water, I point out here, that what you are seeing is not all true. Ethiopia is a lovely country, lush, lots of water. Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Ivory Coast, etc all have water resources. It may not all be to European daily standards and to that which you may be used to, but, as in many countries, the resources are sold off, abused and wasted. Look up Okovango Swamps, Botswana. Then locate Jaweng mine, in the south of Botswana, several hundred of kilometers away. To drain this vital area of water to run a diamond mine, for European diamond consumption? I understand this was finally stopped but, no doubt it will happen in the future.

To interfere with the North pole for gold and diamonds? We should not be interfering in other countries and their vital resources, an, it is all American and European companies stealing the resources. Look at Nigeria and oil companies; leaking pipes killing the jungles and polluting water resources, possibly for ever. Let's not be silly, as the American government owns the rain, just like the UK government own the rain and rivers. A gift from God, for all to share. Let's leave other people to have their resources, clean and unpolluted and lets enjoy the gift from God. It is for everyone to enjoy and share in, don't believe the hype you see. Water from God is free, collect it in water barrels, add some bleach and it is clean for human consumption. And I add, it can rain like crazy in Africa and it all goes to waste, mostly in the sea.

It is so easy to gather water from the air at night. We need to reinvent a device to catch this water. Animals do it in Namibia, one of the driest places I have been too, but I never went without water in the morning for a cup of tea.

God, water, free, everyone's water! Good topic.

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#37
In reply to #26

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/23/2013 11:04 AM
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#27

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 11:02 AM

A telephone answering machine that filters out all but select phone numbers. Rejects all others, not allowing them to ring through. Would be helpful with telemarketers. Does such a thing already exist? Don't get out from under my rock often.

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 11:30 AM

Most cold callers withhold their telephone number.

Do a google search for "block withheld numbers" where you are. In the UK it costs about £50 (~$75) a year through the national service provider. You can also buy an in line programmable box for a one off charge of about £100 ($150): this will give you more control but can't distinguish between wanted and unwanted "number withheld" calls.

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#30

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 12:04 PM

A simple device that deviates an interviewer from the set questions, (which have no set answers), and, it needs to include an over ride which stops the interviewer from his set speech, and allows two way conversation. Oops! The brain has been invented, is that what is referred to as a cellphone/smart phone?

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#31

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 12:33 PM

I need the fountain of youth. In a few years (or less) it will be critical!

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#36

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/22/2013 8:36 PM

Peace, love and understanding!

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#40

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/23/2013 11:49 AM

Hi Johan,

Thanks for the post ... lots of interesting comments.

In the words of most beauty contestants ...

"... and world peace."

The "what we need" list is as endless as the world's population.

[serious side-bar here: It has often amazed me that my solution to problems is 99.9999% relegated to what is in front of me (duh, you say), but when facing some new field and their own subset of dilemma, most of us can come up with some solution ... it makes me wonder ... is an innovative person in one area usually as innovative in other areas with which they are not normally associated? Are there opportunities to solve problems by getting those folks involved in new areas? hmmm ]

As one who has often led others in the corporate world, it was always evident that fixing THINGS was infinitely easier than fixing FOLKS. Some have talked about batteries, energy, flying cars and so on -- those are easy and will be solved in time. Hunger, health issues, injustice, war -- sorry, but I don't believe those things will ever be solved. I want to, we need to, we can improve, but history as my witness says we won't. If one can't get along with neighbors and coworkers, what is the value of opinions half a world away? On that front, the best we can do is create hope. It sounds ambiguous, but it's not, and whether from a religious or secular front, there are always ways to create hope.

Kind regards ...

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#42

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/27/2013 4:22 AM

Food.

Many people don't have enough food to eat. It should be a human right to acquire the required nutrition for survival in good health. With farm machinery and genetic engineering, the technological factor has sufficiently made its contribution in boosting productivity (although improvements are ongoing but would still not solve the issue). The issue in food availabity is mostly the economics. Globally, food production is highly unbalanced. Some nations over-produce then sell the surplus in other nations at throw-away prices. This renders local farmers in the receiving nations uncompetitive. Prices flactuate dramatically due to market forces thereby placing the farmer's livelihood in jeorpardy. Many farmers here in Kenya keep farming because its their culture, are growing profitable but inedible cash crops like flowers or they simply have no choice. Those who do opt to lease the land for a fixed and reliable income or venture into other uses for the land. This destabalizes food secuirty in the big picture. The government offers subsidies for corn and beans as an incentive and has attempted to place embargoes against super-cheap US corn grown in the midwest. These help but are not permanent solutions.

With technological intervention "maxed-out," it is time for policy and economics guiding food production to change. If farming was placed in a special protected class that is immune to cut-throat capitalism, the issue of starvation would be eliminated. Perhaps if all the food was purchased by the government at a fixed and fair price from farmers using revenue earned through a food-tax. Everyone gets a pre-determined amount of food at no out-of-pocket cost from the grocery store. Just show your ID! Anyone who wants more than the required caloric intake based on gender, age, etc can pay for the extra out-of-pocket. Instead of price tags, there would be calorie values .

I just think its a shame that all the food produced in the world is more than enough to feed all the people but the causes of starvation are man made. The solution has the same origin as the problem: the human factor. Pardon my utopic leanings but the problem of food secuirity cannot be solved by some gizmo.

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#44
In reply to #42

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/27/2013 6:30 AM

Shortage of clean water for drinking as well water for irrigation is a worldwide problem. Harvesting rain water and preventing storm water flowing to sea by collecting in lakes/reservoirs would help. Every home should have underground rain water storage tank as well as another tank to collect used water from bath,sink,washing machine etc to be used for flushing toilets. Building dams,diverting rivers should be monitored by UN as many regions/communities even animals are deprived of water after diversion. Food shortage is man made as grain produced is used for biofuel,animal food etc as well as spoiled in storage,handling etc. Cooking excess food and throwing into garbage should declared a "crime".

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#46

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/28/2013 4:34 PM

One man's problem is another man's solution. Many solutions are available to suit any one problem, but a problem has to first be stated. I would prefer not using the word "problem" as that implies a personal involvement. If you are looking for solutions to universal problems, like clean water and air, this requires much discussion and not easily answered in a few words.

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/29/2013 12:02 AM

Personal problem varies from person to person but common problems which money cannot solve is racial,colour,religious,regional,political discrimination,global politics etc. Giving UN representation and statehood for each & every community in the world will only solve most of the problems.Look at Pakistan,Bangaladesh,Palestine,Bosnia,Serbia,Kosovo etc who will feel secure as a state if UN control trouble makers.

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#48
In reply to #47

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/29/2013 2:05 AM

I have just read last night about a company in the USA who has genetically modified seed for crops. If their seeds pollinate your crop, your crop belongs to them. Seemingly the idiots law makers in the USA have allowed this to be fair.

So the problem is this, are you and all of us as people with right and freedoms going to allow this to be fair and just when the majority is ruled by a rich minority? So there is a serious problem to solve.

Is it worth discussing or is it worth waking up and actually smelling the roses and then trimming them down to size.. Look up Seeds of Death, Monsanto's.

Now here is a real problem to solve rather than prissy issues. Looking forward to comments about this issue.

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/29/2013 2:09 AM

Rulers divide the voters by religion,race,region,caste etc to get votes from foolish majority

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/29/2013 11:01 AM

Look up Seeds of Death, Monsanto's.

Now here is a real problem to solve rather than prissy issues. Looking forward to comments about this issue.

Then go to my thread.

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#51

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/29/2013 1:58 PM

Gentlemen,

You seem to forget that this is an engineering forum. We are engineers not politicians nor magicians.

Most of your problems have no engineering solutions, in fact they have little chance of been solved.

I also care a great deal for our earth, but my ability to produce solutions are significantly less powerful, so I guess that I will keep myself busy fixing broken things and designing simple machines and equipment.

I may have a solution to pump drinking water with solar power, or to run a vehicle on grass, to make some handy gadgets, but not to save the world.

Maybe my vision is clogged or limited but I can only think about solutions that happen within arms length.

I share your feelings about world peace and food for all but I am unfortunately just able to concern myself with a little piece of the world and food on my table.

When I posted this thread I was being very simple and homely and thinking in small engineering terms.

Thanks for everbody's participation and may we see some of your concerns addressed in some or other way.

Regards,

Johan.

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#54
In reply to #51

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/30/2013 5:15 PM

I agree... mostly. I am always interested in how the engineering/scientific mindset views any type of problem, be it a social problem or a hard engineering problem. As you aptly point out with your examples, such as the solar powered water pump, some social problems exist on quite large scales, and can be addressed by practical engineering ideas. One might be able to solve a problem such as this which borders on saving a large enough number of people to qualify for "world" status.

Having said that, I do think it obvious that your request/post was seeking the type of problems you describe -- smaller-scale engineering problems with probable, practical solutions. So many "problems" of modern man are problems of, relatively, opulent lifestyles, not really in need of a solution; those where society will still run smoothly without a solution or improvement. In that context they are like puzzles, whereas the life and death problems, go beyond curiosity.

I do wonder why so many of us here are given, so often, to posting only humorous replies to queries that aren't seeking them. Maybe one of our common social ills is depression and/or boredom, borne of stress, and that's how we cope with it. Whatever the reason, it can be disrespectful of the questioner, if overdone.

As the nature of engineering is solving problems, one challenge is to make the solution as simple as possible. No Rube Goldberg stuff. One such mundane gadget I've been meaning to give more thought to is a pill crusher. One that can easily handle more than just one -- say 3-5. I've looked a bit online and some people use a coffee grinder. I haven't tried it yet, and that might be one good solution. But a man-powered pill crusher would be preferable, to me. Almost all of the ones I have looked at operate on the principle of screw leverage. The couple I have owned don't work very well. They are made of plastic. A modified C-clamp seems to be a good starting candidate, which comes to mind from them being used as nut "crackers" we had growing up. The "problem" came to mind after I bought a large quantity of vitamin C "pills" at a local dollar store. I usually chew any solid supplements I take, as opposed to capsules, but vitamin C pills would be pretty detrimental to tooth enamel over the long haul.

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#52

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/30/2013 4:03 PM

I've always wanted some kind of anti-gravity device that I could use to lift and move heavy objects. Something I could fasten to the top of an object, and it would rise / hover a few inches above the ground. Then I could easily push it or lift it higher as if it weighed almost nothing.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/30/2013 5:15 PM

(See GizaPower and Coral Castle 1 and 2.)

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#55

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/31/2013 2:06 PM

If there is one problem that overshadows all others, I would have to say it is "how to produce unlimited amounts of energy with no harm to the environment or to the safety of the public". It would probably be electrical in nature.

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/31/2013 6:34 PM

Ever hear of Nicola Tesla? Unlimited free electricity!!! Everyone can have this with a simple device. The governments have heard of it so has the utilities companies. They dont want you to have it. Easily built, costs around ZAR1200.00, GBP100.00, USD 150.00. A very clever man, pity we did not listen to him. Skeptical? It works, built it and try it. Perhaps soon, we shall invent the wheel? Hydrogen cells, build it in your kitchen with kitchen items, ZAR60.00, GBP5.00, USD10.00. It works too, it is the car that costs a fortune. Instead of rabbiting on about solution why dont we simply build these items, use them and stop being intimidated by corporations, big business's and the such like and pool our knowledge and resources. Perhaps that is the question we should be asking rather than 'What can we solve!'

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: What's Your Problem?

05/31/2013 7:01 PM

We did listen to Tesla to a certain degree. He is the reason we have an AC grid and not DC, amonst many great things he did.

You are citing these easily built devices that are cheap but no source to go see what you are talking about or data to back it up.

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