My chum Charles Pfeil just emailed me a link to a Genius Solutions column on the Bored Panda website. This is one of those times when you see things and think to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Originally, I was planning on giving you a list of my top-ten favorites, but — to be honest — I keep changing my mind. There’s also the fact that different people will make different selections based on their own personal experiences and circumstances.
Having said this, I will share a couple of items that caught my eye. The first is so simple — it’s #48, which is a ruler with cascading millimeter markings that makes it easier to read. As soon as I saw this, I thought, “Why aren’t all rulers created this way?”
Another bright idea is found in #6, where the hardware for a piece of assemble-it-yourself furniture is presented in compartments that correspond to the assembly steps rather than to the type of nut, bolt, screw, or fixture.
I also loved #11, which shows a refrigerator with revolving levels so you can easily access everything, unlike the appliance in my own home in which things manage to migrate to the back, never to be seen again.
There are a number of other items that struck a chord with me based on my own experiences, like #23, which is an airplane sleeping mask that has different sides depending on whether or not you want the flight attendant to wake you up for meals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sitting next to someone who has dozed off, not knowing whether to wake them or leave them sleeping.
Also #58 (a power plug designed to go around other plugs), #81 (a shopping cart with built-in magnifying glass so you can read the small print on labels), #93 (a bookmark that reminds you where on the page you left off reading), and #125 (a USB-A connector that always plugs in the right way).
There are so many items to choose from (172 at the time of this writing, and I get the impression they keep adding more). But my personal number one was #1 by some strange quirk of fate. This provides a discrete way for someone to call for help if they are a victim of domestic abuse and they are attending a health clinic with their abusive partner.
How about you? I’d love to hear which of these items resonates with you and why.
That’s strange — the article I point to just reverted back to “50 Solutions” — but there were “172 Solutions” when I started. I think the folks at Bored Panda may have had a glitch — I hope the missing 122 items come back (meanwhile, the first 50 numbers point to the same items).
Unfortunately, I suspect that Bored Panda reduces the initial long list of entries to the top 50 (or whatever) once the votes start coming in. Nevertheless, even in the top 50 there are many “what a great idea” moments and it helped me have a little faith in humanity after 2020.
I’m still wondering why all rulers don’t use the staggered millimeter marking scheme — so simple — so effective.
Hi Charles — Mike O’Keeffe just emailed me with a modified link that gives all 172 items, so I just updated my column.
Mike O’Keeffe just emailed me with a modified link that gives all 172 items, so I just updated my column.