Tag Archives: Idea Polish Level: 2

Interesting Observation: Thanksgiving isn’t a Money Holiday

Recently I was talking with a few friends about the fact that stores are selling Christmas supplies long before Thanksgiving even started, when one of them pointed out that Thanksgiving isn’t really a money-making holiday. Apart from the famous Turkey and other foods, along with pilgrim supplies, there really isn’t much for the stores to sell you. Easter has eggs and candy; Halloween has costumes, decorations, and candy; valentines day has cards and chocolate; Christmas has decorations, gifts and candy; even 4th of July has fireworks. Thanksgiving has none of those; it is perhaps one of the more “pure” of the widely celebrated (national) holidays, that is, it is not a commercial holiday. Just thought this was something cool to think about.

~ George

(Later the conversation turned more humorous with us discussing ways to make Thanksgiving into a money holiday. You can see my post on that conversation here)

World Idea: No Passing This Point

Imagine there was a civilization which has a mysterious floating point in its center. No one knows what it is, but if anyone goes outside a certain distance from it in any direction they quickly die due to unknown causes. However, if they make it back into the radius before they die they are completely returned to normal. This society is extremely advanced, and has managed to make contact with other such societies with their own mysterious floating points. Due to this communication, they learn that all the bubbles of civilization are different, some are larger, smaller, expanding, shrinking (uh-oh), in a desert, on an island, etc.

There are a couple of different ways that the “outside” could be portrayed.

  • It could be as if everyone was on Earth, but if any living thing left the spheres of protection then they’d die. In that case, the inhabitants would be able to see things such mountains and oceans outside their sphere but not be able to interact with it.
    • If this was the case, it seems likely that the spheres were made for the protection of life, because whatever was outside of them was extremely dangerous. Too bad they don’t know how, when, or why the spheres were made
  • Another possibility is that only humans are forced to stay inside. If anyone left then they’d die, but the pets, livestock, and plants could survive outside the invisible sphere.
    • A world such as this, with humans being the specific target, is more suspicious, and seems to be more likely to be caused by sentient life who were trying to keep humans (or specific types of humans) captive. Aliens maybe?
    • Also, if the spheres become crowded, this could lead to some interesting farming techniques, which might involve leavingall of the livestock outside of the radius until the farmers needed them. This way they don’t have to worry about leaving space for food as the population grows
      • In fact, if the place is highly advanced they could do almost all of their work outside of the radius using drones. They could have everything we have today by building factories far away from the sphere and having farms (or maybe no farms, if no life can leave the sphere) cared for by robots. The exception to having everything we have would be space to run around in, which would probably lead to a booming industry for virtual reality, maybe even inter-sphere competitions if they could get it to work
  • Another possibility is that it’s a little planet/moon/asteroid of sorts (something big enough to have about one city, but not much more), but no one can get far from the surface. Maybe the dot would be at the center of the planet. They would still be able to see the stars and do astronomy, but they wouldn’t be able to leave
    • Of course, while that wouldn’t be too hard on our civilization, due to lack of resources for interplanetary missions, this is an advanced civilization which probably could get between planets with ease. Not being able to leave could be a real problem for them
  • A fourth possibility is that outside the sphere is simply nothing, and if anything made of matter leaves it simply disappears. It’d be a sort of “edge of universe”, and there would be absolutely no way of expanding beyond the sphere. Perhaps things that aren’t matter* could still leave, such as light, but it’d also make sense if nothing that we regularly interact with could leave; after all, it’d be the literal edge of the universe, there’d be nowhere to leave too. I don’t know how the different “universes” would communicate with each other, but it’d be extremely interesting

~ George

* matter: things that have mass and take up space

Song Idea: The Animals Acting

One day, I somehow ended up with the song “The wheels on the bus” stuck in my head, and I somehow started coming up with my own lyrics for it. Here’s an example:
The Penguin waddled back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The penguin waddled back and forth, all through the town.
Then goes on to the next lyrics. The form is
The | (two syllable animal name) | (verb) – ing | (three syllable description)
The rabbit hopping up and down
the lizard scampered all around
the panda sitting on the ground
the giraffe standing tall and straight
the hedgehog hiding in a ball

You can easily add more lyrics. This could be a fun song to play with kids, and when they sing the verse they act out what the animal is doing (hopping for the rabbit, sitting for the panda, etc.)

Interesting Observation: Movie Titles

I noticed (somewhat) recently that there are a number of movies that have one word titles,yet seem to convey more of an idea than a specific item. Here’s a list of what I’ve found so far:


  • Epic
  • Frozen
  • Up
  • Brave
  • Enchanted
  • Tangled
  • Divergent
  • Taken


  • Inception

Note: when considering if a movie falls under this category, proper nouns (like Rio or Hercules) don’t count; in fact, if it isn’t an idea or an adjective, it doesn’t count (Planes and (The?) Incredibles don’t count because they are things, not ideas) . Also, must be rated PG-13 or lower to be on this list.

I find it quite interesting how much more the title can mean if you think about it. Frozen, for example, can mean the obvious reference of everything being ice, or a reference to a frozen heart (which could mean Anna (literally), Elsa (lack of emotions), or Hans (cruel)), or maybe even frozen in time, which the castle might as well have been for so many years.

Epic is harder; there is no obvious reference so I looked up the the word. Epic can mean “grand in scale,” and how Epic would our normal world seem to the M.K. after she was shrunk to the size of a mouse?! Then there is how Epic the fight for the forest is, that only once every 100 years can an heir be chosen, allowing the forest to continue. Then there is the definition meaning “a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the history of a nation.” This movie gives you a sense of the history of the Leafmen and the forest, and that if only someone would write their story it would be an Epic.

(Yes, I know I’m probably over analyzing the titles, but it’s fun, so I’ll continue)

Up: Obvious reference = way too many balloons, house in the sky, you know it already. But it can also be a reference to how Russell (the boy scout) wakes Carl Fredricksen (the old man) “up” from his tired life, cheers him “up” from his dreariness, never gives “up” on him, and, in the end, looks “up” to him as a father figure. I like the title much more now than I did a few minutes ago.

(I’ll skip Brave and Enchanted for now, because it’s been forever since I’ve seen them. I’ll also skip Taken and Divergent because I haven’t seen them yet)

Tangled: Yes, she has long hair that probably gets “tangled” all the time (although you don’t see it in the movie). This clearly fits the definition of “twisted together untidily”. But so does so many of the relationships in the movie: Rapunzel (that took me forever to spell right) and her “mother” don’t fit together so well, and you can sort of imagine the “mother” twisting her way into Rapunzel’s life, although she does keep the relationship pretty tidy; a better example would be Flynn Rider and the horse, who never wanted to be with each other, yet were thrown together against their will; and then there was Flynn and Rapunzel, whose emotions are so “tangled” that they don’t know what to do with each other. Tangled can also mean “complicated and confused; chaotic”, if you want to think about that.

Inception (my favorite movie along with The Dark Knight): It turns out that Inception is a noun, unlike the others on this list (which are, at this point, all adjectives), but it’s sort of an idea, so I think that it still will work. Inception is “the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity”. The movie is about the inception of an idea. There are, however, a few starting points. The start of the the inception process (lol, the starting point of establishing…) is a critical part of the film. You wonder, “Will Cobb risk everything for this?” It also has the start of Adriane’s ventures into the mind, which she will definitely do more of in the future. And, ultimately, the movie is about the beginning of the end of Cobb’s exile from the U.S. and his children, who he desperately hoping to see again.

That was fun; if you see any new movies that fit the conditions, feel free to comment on them!

~ George

Game Idea: Finger Gun

Finger Gun would be a game like the Dart Game, in which if you see someone “shooting” at you (with a finger gun?) then you fall down “dead”, no exceptions. If you don’t see the “Gun” fired at you, then nothing happens. Be honest.

This could be played in a game like capture the flag, where everyone is trying to sneak around and take everybody else out before they themselves get taken out. This could lead to some people just shooting wildly all the time and hoping to get someone, and it could lead to some people who go around looking nowhere but the ground so that they don’t notice anyone shooting at them. Once you are down, you can’t tell anyone else where the person who got you is.

A hard part might be finding out when everyone is “dead”. Maybe the “dead” go to a certain spot, or maybe the last person just wanders around until he’s 100% sure that everyone is down. This could make it harder to go around with your eyes closed, because you can’t win until you know that everybody is dead, and it’d also motivate people not to hide extremely well because they don’t want the game to go on forever. Another reason they wouldn’t want to hide extremely well is that they can’t shoot anyone unless the person sees them, meanwhile others could accidentally shoot you.

An alternate way you could play this is with laser points, and if you see a laser point on you then you’re out. The best strategy for this would then be to avoid looking at yourself. In this case though, the motivation would be to stay hidden, which would get boring. Another danger is that some people might deliberately shine the laser pointer in someone’s eyes so that the target is guaranteed to see the laser pointer on himself.

 ~ George

The Alphabet Game: Fast Version

There’s a game that I learned how to play about a year ago called The Alphabet Game. I suggest reading the Wikipedia article that I linked so that you understand the game before reading the rest of the post (it’s not too long).

One thing that make the game harder to play is how long it takes to finish the alphabet. So I made a few modifications to make it easier to play on shorter trips:

  • I made it Single Player: This way you don’t have to race for the needed letter, and the third change works better
  • You can use licence plates: When I learned it, you were allowed to use words on vehicles so long as they weren’t on the licence plate. You can still play like that if you want, but being allowed to use licence plates for letters like J, Q, X, and Z can speed up the game a lot, making the game more playable for shorter trips
  • This one is the main difference: All you need to do to pass off a word is to say a word that you’ve seen already and remembered. For example, while looking for a word that starts with “A”, I might see a sign that says “Bus Stop”. After I’ve found a word that starts with “A”, if I can remember that I saw a sign that said “Bus” I can just say “bus” in my head and pass off the letter “B” without waiting for another word that starts with “B”. However, if, for instance, I need a word that started with a letter “S”, and I can’t remember that I saw the sign that said “Stop”, then I have to find another word that starts with “S”, or wait until I can remember that the word I’d seen earlier was “Stop”.

Put together, especially the last one, the game can be finished much faster and is easier to play on shorter trips, although it still might take a few hours to complete if you’re unlucky.

Other versions I’ve played to keep myself entertained:

  • Instead of looking for signs, watch the subtitles in a movie for words starting with the needed letter
  • Another way to play it without signs is to listen to people talking, looking for the needed words in the conversation
  • When you start looking for the letter “Z”, start a new game at the same time. You then continue to look for Z-words, but also whatever you’re on in the new game. One time I almost had both games to “Z” before I found what I needed.

Have fun,

~ George

The Universal Dream

What if everybody was sharing one universal dream? The “dream world” would be built by people’s memories, of real things or of fake things, and everything you see would be something that someone else (or yourself) has seen/imagined while awake. If this were true, then when you were in “dream world”, your mind wouldn’t be creating the crazy things, it would be seeing what has already been made. That could explain why sometimes you go to the same place in different dreams. And perhaps when you learn and/or create new stuff, “dream world” is expanded when you  sleep and think about it. Perhaps this is why independent breakthroughs of the same thing are often made within a short time of each other; once someone has imagined it, the other person might stumble across it in their exploring.

Also, what if everybody you saw in the dream was simply exploring the world while they were asleep to? They probably wouldn’t remember seeing and interacting with you in their dreams though; after all, you remember very little of your dreams after you wake up. While this might not make sense if only one of you was asleep, it still would be interesting to think about.

Needless to say, this post was inspired by a weird dream I had a few nights ago

~ George

The Planets in Star Wars

My family an I just watched Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and I enjoyed it more than I ever had before by thinking of how amazing the galaxy of Star Wars is. Having just finished reading Orson Scott Card’s book Speaker for the Dead, I have an even greater appreciation of what an interstellar society would be like.

What I thought was most interesting about the film was something its makers probably didn’t intend. When Qui Gon Jinn left the space ship and set foot on Tatooine without any preparation I realized just how much technology it would take to make it safe to do that. Think about it. What is the likelihood that so many planets have the perfect atmosphere and gravity to support not just humans, but aliens from thousands of different stars?

This is a feet of massive scale. Somehow, the sentient species of the galaxy have managed to make every planet compatible with every species in the entire galaxy! This could be accomplished by a combination of a few things that we currently know of.

Massive Terra-formation (the changing of the planet itself) would be required, ranging from increasing or decreasing gravity, changing or even creating an atmosphere, and maybe even moving the entire planet, so that the planet is the “right” temperature. And they would have to do this to almost every single planet they encountered, because face it, not very many planets would be even close to being able to sustain human life.

Now that there are planets that are uniform, every species needs to be uniform. Large changes in the very genetic nature of the aliens would be required. Every species of sentient life form (and some non-sentient life forms) would need to be genetically modified so that it could breathe the same air as every other species, survive the same level of gravity as every other species (so as to not be crushed because of stronger gravity or accidentally destroy everything because of weaker gravity), and endure the starkly different levels of radiation than their home planet would usually have. Biotechnology would be able to help in some cases, but not in every case. Biogenetics and Biotechnology would also be used to make every species more adaptable to different climates, because there is no way that every planet would be the exact same.

In addition to modifying the body, the brain, or whatever passed as a brain for different aliens, would also have to be genetically changed. Vastly different species would surely speak in vastly different ways, and something would need to be done for aliens who don’t “speak” like “normal” aliens do, instead using various forms of communication from body language to physic thought. There would also need to be a huge change in the culture and way of thought for some species. With vastly different cultures would come vastly different ideas, and many cultures would be completely incompatible with a uniform galactic government, among other things, with some cultures whose sole focus would be warfare and other cultures which would have no concept of government.

And even after all that, I haven’t even started to talk about what it would mean to have a planet with an aquatic center, or why everyone knows English, or what a moon sized spaceship would be. Star Wars has suddenly become a lot more interesting to me 🙂

~ George

Funny Knight Names

I once played a game called Adventure Quest Worlds (AQWorlds, for short), and one thing that I thought was funny was that many of the knights in the game had funny titles, like Sir Junn, the doctor.  So I decided to try to make a list of all the commonly recognized words that could combine Sir and a surname (ha ha) to make a word. I also decided to add suggestions of what the knights personality/job would be, next to a bunch of the names:

  • Sir Prize (a prankster)
  • Sir Plus (quartermaster or farmer, maybe a grocer)
  • Sir Ten (idk, a logician?)
  • Sir Vive/Sir Vival (wilderness-guy)
  • Sir Cumstance
  • Sir Gent (a sergeant, of course)
  • Sir Up
  • Sir Kull (maybe this guy is a mathematician. Slight name change from “Sir Cle” to “Sir Kull thanks to suggestions in the comments 🙂 )
  • Sir Vant (butler, perhaps?)
  • Sir Loin (a butcher)
  • Sir Cher (a detective)
  • Sir Pent (traitor)
  • Sir Rogate

Those were all of the names that I could think of without looking anything up, many of which were names from AQWorlds. After making that list I decided to finally look in the wiki for AQWorlds, and found a few more names:

  • Sir Pass
  • Sir Render (a cowardly fellow)
  • Sir Rated
  • Sir Kuss
  • Sir Junn (a doctor)
  • Sir Ver (the name of one of the game’s servers)

I decided that I could find more words than that, so I looked at www.scrabblefinder.com, and I searched for words starting with everything from Syr to Cir, and managed to find a lot more words (although that did take a while):

  • Sir Fur (a surfer)
  • Sir Real (maybe a madman or mystic)
  • Sir Round
  • Sir Mount
  • Sir Face
  • Sir Name
  • Sir Vey (A surveyor, or maybe a critic)
  • Sir Mise (a thinker)
  • Sir Lee (a surly man)
  • Sir Tificate (a game show host?)
  • Sir Tify
  • Sir Ene (a monk)
  • Sir Inity
  • Sir Mon (a preacher)
  • Sir Cumferance, the person who built King Arthur’s Round Table (suggested in the comments)

It was pretty fun to make this list, although I think that a lot of the names would be too weird to use (like Sir Face). Either way, I hope you found this list amusing. Leave suggestions for occupations and/or names in the comments!

~ George

Highlighted Post: You have just found the fabled Genie of the Lamp. Do you know The Ultimate Wish?

Weirdly Spelled Words

One day Patricia and I were talking about something and somehow we started thinking of weirdly spelled/hard to spell words, so I’ll be updating this ongoing list of words that I come find. If words are weirdly spelled for the same reason than either I won’t include them or I will lump them together. The weird part of each word will be in bold and separated from the rest of the word. Definitions and pronunciations are found at dictionary.com.

S er gea nt – [sahr-juhnt] – noun: a non-commissioned army officer of a rank above that of corporal.

wr ough t – [rawt] – verb: Archaic except in some senses. a simple past tense and past participle of work

ei gn – [reyn] – noun: the period during which a sovereign occupies the throne. verb (used without object): to possess or exercise sovereign power or authority.

bizar re – [bih-zahr] – adjective: markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements; outrageously or whimsically strange; odd

leag eu – [leeg] – noun: a covenant or compact made between persons, parties, states, etc., for the promotion or maintenance of common interests or for mutual assistance or service

ri gh te ous – [rahy-chuhs] – adjective: characterized by uprightness or morality

fj ord – [fyawrd, fyohrd] – noun: a long, narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs: usually formed by glacial erosion.

~ George