Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A technology that should already be implemented

The world is full of so much innovation it makes a budding patent attorney like myself salivate. While I am almost always pleasantly surprised with the innovation that technology presents us, there is one idea that I have had for a while that has not been implemented and I don't know why. The problem is this. You go into an unfamiliar and massive store to find predefined items. You have no idea where these items are, so you wander around like a nomad. If you get lucky, you find an employee to ask for directions. But in stores like Walmart? Good luck. There are aisle markers for general items, and I've even seen more detailed lists at the end of aisles in select stores. But even these approaches don't give you precise results and further waste your time. The idea I am thinking of would allow me to query the store's database for specific items using my cell phone or the internet. By so improving the efficiency, I won't have to be a zombie lost in a foreign realm.

If I was a grocery store, I would invest in item-finding technology. But being an outsider, I will have to wait for the technology. Most of the time, innovation involves significant expertise and hard-work, but every once in a while, a new product or service comes out and you think to yourself, "Whoa, why didn't I think of that?" In other words, it seemed easy enough to implement that it was just a matter of thinking about the idea. I think that this idea is involves both approaches. Hopefully, a store can spearhead this project and I will be their most loyal customer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Today is World Kindness day. I never know for sure how these world-recognized days start, but apparently this one started in Tokyo, Japan, at a World Kindness Movement conference, so I know it's legit. I think my thoughts on kindness can be summed up by this quote:
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. ~Abraham Joshua Heschel

Unlike Heschel, I am not old yet, but I am getting there it seems. Now I would not characterize myself as a kind person. But I know kindness is an ideal that I want to shoot for. I have found that external factors can change my disposition so that I naturally and almost automatically am more kind. Some factors include seeing the positive examples of others, hearing others' inspiring words and stories, following the example of the Savior, and watching youtube videos that have Enya playing in the background displaying good quotes. With these things, I have more of a desire to be kind, rather than just forcing an unkind me to do kind acts. Big difference.

Here is the video about kindness that I referenced above. My favorite is from Plato, "Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

A real poem

Once upon a time, there lived a man by the name of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In the year 1839, while living in Cambridge at the Craigie house, he published "A Psalm Of Life." I hope it does not disappoint.

What the heart of the young man said to the psalmist
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!--
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.