Tom Walma

Cauliflower Ear Mold

InventionTom WalmaComment

People are always looking for new ways to express themselves via body modifications, such as tattoos, piercings, etc.  I have come up with a totally new form of body modification.

When boxers and fighters get punched in the ear, blood gets inside the ear and hardens, causing the ear to be permanently swollen and disfigured, resembling a cauliflower.  My idea is to intentionally injure someone's ear to give them cauliflower ear, but before it hardens, attach a cookie cutter mold to the ear so that it hardens into a specific shape, such as a heart or a smiley face.

Greenland Nuclear Snow Machine

Invention, EnvironmentalismTom WalmaComment

Because of global warming, the oceans are expected to rise.  A large part of this is due to ice which is sitting on land in Greenland and Antarctica falling into the ocean. 

My idea is to put a row of nuclear power plants on the coast of Greenland which will double as giant "snow machines" which, when the weather is cold enough, will shoot water from the ocean into the air so it will fall as snow over Greenland.  This will not keep the world from warming, but it will keep the sea from rising.

A nuclear power plant basically just uses steam to turn a giant turbine connected to a generator.  To double as a "snow machine", it would have to be adjustable to sometimes (i.e the right season and weather conditions) connect to a giant water pump instead.  I'm picturing that it would pump the water up a giant tube about the height of a large skyscraper, where the skyscraper is maybe a mile offshore, so the salt in the water falls back into the ocean.  Alternately, some of them could pump water from fresh water inland rivers where salt wouldn't be an issue.

The power from the nuclear power plants would be sent to both the US and Europe via giant underwater cables (is this possible?).  The upside to this is that the nuclear power plants will be located far away from people, so the normal political opposition to building them would not be an issue.

Superstore Endurance Challenge

TV ShowTom WalmaComment

I always thought it would be fun to live in a superstore, like a Walmart, which contains food, clothing, sporting goods, toys, etc. 

The idea is for a reality TV show where 10 people are locked into a fully stocked superstore.  Nobody can enter or leave (if they leave they can't come back in), so there are no customers and there are no employees stocking shelves or cleaning up.  Nobody can communicate with the outside world.  They have to live there for a whole year, with a prize for those who make it the whole year (which I will describe later).

It will be interesting to see how people choose to solve problems, such as

  • creating private spaces and beds (since the store wouldn't sell beds)
  • dealing with dwindling resources such as food and water and maybe clean clothes
  • personal hygiene (there are no showers but there is soap and sinks in the bathroom)
  • chores such as cooking, managing trash and rotting food, etc.
  • entertaining themselves in creative ways
  • there could be conflicts introduced to the situation, such as the power getting shut off for a while

Plus, there are the obvious interpersonal issues inherent in any reality show where people live together.

For the prize, I think it should be something like each person gets $50,000 for themselves and also for each other person that makes it to the end.  So if 2 people make it, each of them get $100,000.  But if 10 people make it, each of them would get $500,000.  So there is an incentive to put up with other people to get as many to make it to the end as possible.  However, there won't be enough food for all 10 people to make it to the end, so eventually people might have to try to get other people to quit and quit quickly to have more resources for the remaining people.

Reverse Pacemaker

InventionTom WalmaComment

I was watching a documentary about a woman who survived without breathing for like a half hour after falling in an icy river, and then was pulled out and survived without any permanent damage.  It turns out that if the body temperature is cooled below like 70 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e. not very cold), the blood vessels and brain cells and shit take much longer to die, on the order of an hour instead of just minutes at the normal body temperature.

So my idea is to create an implanted medical device that detects when your heart stops and, instead of shocking your heart to start it again like a pacemaker, it cools your body to the temperature where the blood vessels die much slower, giving you up to an hour to be rescued instead of only a couple minutes.

It has a blood pump, a cooling mechanism (practicality not established), and a cellular communication device.  It will alert 911 when it detects that your heart stops, and will not start pumping and cooling the body until it gets confirmation from 911 that the alert was received.

The idea would be to implant this device in anyone with a life threatening medical condition and above a certain age, and it would virtually eliminate death due to not getting to the hospital in time.  According to http://www.apa.org/pi/aids/programs/eol/end-of-life-factsheet.aspx, 20% of people don't die in the hospital, and "most people" who make it to the hospital arrive too late to get the most benefit possible from hospital services.