Sound Museum | A $2.50 entrance fee idea.

I had this idea the other day and thought “such a thing must already exist”, and indeed there are many similar ideas out there, but I thought I’d outline my version anyway.

The sound museum is an archive of sounds, virtually or in a space, that can’t be heard anymore. Ideally these would be original sound recordings, primary documents of the sounds in their natural environment. The sound of a city street in Paris in 1950 available to compare with another sound of a city street in Shanghai from the same time. Visitors could hear different accents that have evolved over the years or even what the ocean sounded like crashing against rocks that have eroded. What does the crow of a peacock sound like? What’s the wind sound like on a glacier?

Most of the sounds in the sound museum are things that people haven’t thought to record up until now, so I imagine we’d need to simulate a lot of sounds. Museum curators would hire professional sound dramaturgs and historians to accurately recreate a particular sound. For instance, the sound of a horse walking on cobblestones would have to be different in the 17th century than today because the quality of steel the horses were shod with was different.

Ideally these sounds would be available online, or perhaps broadcast in curated programs. like an audio version of Life magazine or National Geographic they could be put together to express a particular idea or theme through sonic juxtaposition and recontextualizing of common noise. Maybe there could be a website that just streamed random entries to your player of choice. One minute you’d be listening to the calls of North American songbirds, the next, idling Ford engines throughout history.

Some additions would be expensive and involve elaborate productions. We might try to recreate the sound of the battle of Trafalgar. We’d have to find the right kind of wood, build ships, source original artillery or more likely make replicas. We’d need historical dialect coaches to come work with voice talent. Then we’d take the whole thing out to sea and blow it all up. Luckily we wouldn’t have to source much English wood, mostly just French. We’d only get one take, but I bet it would sound amazing.

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Store for Packaging | at least -$40,000 idea

A friend of mine sparked this idea, so thank you Rudolph.

For some reason I spend a lot of time thinking about businesses I’d like to go to but don’t exist:  a Weimar-themed hotel and casino, or a sex neutral/gender specific haberdashery that caters to dandies and drag kings (tentatively named “Manish Boy”) or an urban petting zoo (one of my first ideas, and coincidentally one that someone else made come true!). I suppose this stems from the amount of architectural theater in play in New York already, from Williamsburg eatertainment, to the Hollister store on Broadway, to my personal favorite, Duncan Quinn.

So on to the idea at hand. This is a store, as yet unnamed (feel free to make suggestions) that sells items based on the theme, connotation, and quality of their branding and packaging. The contents of the package would be secondary to the package itself. The shop would be organized not according to price or the intended use of the things, but according to packaging themes. I imagine there would be a great many useless things or items of poor quality, but nothing would be allowed in if its packaging wasn’t up to snuff, no matter how good the thing is. Below is a selection of proposed items for sale:

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Facebook Din | an idea that’s doubtfully worth anything at all.

Since my last “Idea, by monetary value” was so successful (at least a half dozen of you showed interest in paying some small amount of money for it) I decided to propose a truly worthless invention.

I would like to have a version of facebook that is auditory-based rather than textual.

When the user logs in, instead of seeing a list of quotes and “what’s on your minds” they would hear the ambient roar of every one of their associates posts, recorded in their own voices. Each post would still be represented by the speaker’s avatar but they’d appear in an illusory three dimensional space, more recent posts in front and older posts receding into the darkness (or brightness). As you navigate through this “space” and click on a particular post it would become loud enough to become discernible.

In this way, facebook would become like an endless virtual cafe or salon. Unlike the real world, as each moment passed it would be recorded and preserved, still available to us. We could wander from table to table joining conversations that happened days ago while we were doing something else. The passage of time would be irrelevant. Effectively the experience swaps space in for time, so the same person would appear to be in many places at once but in fact was was/is in many times at once.

To complete the metaphor, non-verbal posts (such as links or quizzes) would have auditory queues that compliment a theme of each user’s choice. For instance, one user could decide that all quizzes would sound like chamber music from a society drawing room, another might have facebook sound like a noisy bar, and another might choose the explosions of a battlefield. I personally would like to think of facebook as a busy cafeteria: quizzes would sound like the tinkling from spoons stirring coffee cups and links would be the spray of the dishwasher on ubiquitous plastic trays. There would be no background music, just the murmur of a server asking “you want gravy on that?” or “Sweet or unsweet?” (as they do in Southern cafeterias when you order tea). The entire effect would be filtered through some reverb to simulate the echo of ceramic tile and glass.

I doubt anyone will take me up on this idea. I don’t see how it can make a penny. But at least I’ve dreamed.

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PM Challenge, $5 idea.

A game designed with TSFIM that teaches pre-schoolers about project management processes. Based on Chutes and Ladders, its practical, educational, and fun!


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