28 July – Life Enhancement

Tell us about 10 inventions or pieces of technology that enhance your life.


1. Internet banking

Not having to physically go into a bank to withdraw or money or go to the post office to pay bills has made such a massive difference – now there’s apps for mobile banking that allow me to pay bills, transfer money between accounts and even pay people via mobile, email or Facebook!

2. Smartphone

The Smartphone has completely revolutionised telecommunications. Everything changed with the introduction of SMS but now they’re more than just a phone, they have become a gaming device, a camera, they allow us to share information almost instantaneously through social media platforms, and allows us to video call people from all over the globe.

3. Tablets

The introduction of the ‘tablet’ has made a massive impact on the computer industry. No longer being confined to lugging around a laptop anymore, we’re able to use a tablet as a laptop with mobile versions of desktop apps allowing and enhancing productivity and creativity wherever we may be.

4. Bluetooth

The introduction of bluetooth to technological devices meant one thing – no more cables. I have multiple bluetooth devices from headphones, to keyboards / mice, to speakers. There’s something so satisfying about the simple removal of a cable – it just gives you that much more freedom to move devices around. Personally, one of my favourites is my bluetooth keyboard that I use with my iPad. It allows me to keep my blogging up to date when I’m in the city with a couple of hours to pass.

5. Wifi

As soon as the internet went wireless, the internet exploded. I remember a few years ago when I was living in a share house, and we just had a standard router, because a wifi one was far too expensive for a poor student, and my three housemates and I each had 10-20m ethernet cables from the router (in the lounge room) running to each of our bedrooms so we could all be on the internet. The hallway, unfortunately, ended up looking like a mess from all the cables. The day I bought a wireless router, was one of those days that changed my life.

6. Foam roller

Granted, not a technological device, but an invention that has enhanced my life. Working in the fitness industry, I continue to learn more about myofascia, and certain tendons and how they’re interconnected with various parts of the body, and in using the foam roller for myofascial release, it keeps muscles healthy, promoting fresh blood flow and reducing stiffness / soreness and muscle fatigue / DOMS.

7. Digital music / iPod

Remember the good old days of walking around with a Walkman or a Discman?? And then carrying a half-dozen cassettes or CD’s in your bag? I do. Then it was a Mini-Disc… and if you wanted to keep music on your computer, you had to ‘rip it’ so you could then play it all in WinAmp, whilst customising the ‘skin’ of the program. And then came the iPod. Overnight, I was able to suddenly carry my entire music library in my pocket, instead of taking multiple cd’s with me and constantly breaking covers and scratching discs.

8. The cloud

‘The Cloud’ has been one of those creations that has, again, revolutionised how we store / share data. For me, the cloud has allowed me to sync my web-based email and my calendar to my devices, so that I can remain up to date wherever I am, without the need to physically sit down in front of a computer. Since I started using Google Drive for my cloud computing, I’ve been able to centrally store all my important data, and again, be able to locate it from any of my devices wherever I may be. The other bonus to cloud computing is that because it’s not stored on my computer, I don’t run the risk of losing it all should I unfortunately have my computer suddenly die on me.

9. Web forms

Web forms are something that we’ve started using a lot more frequently at work – rather than having to deal with countless pages of individual registrations, and then manually entering all that data into a spreadsheet, a web form allows me to gather all the data centrally, and then download all that info in one spreadsheet, that will also allow me to do specific reporting and data sorting. It’s become a streamlined process that has saved me countless hours of mundane paper handling (not to mention, the amount of actual paper we’ve saved).

10. The Boss blender by Breville

I thought that I’d just throw this one in, because its something that I’ve recently purchased after seeing it at the Good Food and Wine Show. Coincidentally, we were actually in a position to have our blender replaced, but then we saw The Boss, and decided that we wanted to upgrade instead. And it’s been amazing. Even something as simple as making a green smoothie in the morning is now an enjoyable process, because it breaks down all the fibrous ‘greens’ into something smooth and drinkable. There’s no issues with pulp separation, or even the issue of greens not being broken down completely, and remaining somewhat ‘chunky’ – which just made the experience even more unpleasant.

Daily Prompt: World’s Best Widget

You’ve been granted magical engineering skills, but you can only use them to build one gadget or machine. What do you build?

Am I the only person who read that and instantly thought of Widget: The World Watcher?

With my magical engineering skills, I would develop and create a machine that would allow people to record their dreams.

Have you ever had a dream that plays out like a movie? Or perhaps you just see an assortment of static images, like photographs, and would like to know what they were or what they mean? Or maybe you have the kind of dreams that are full of people, but you can never remember what their faces are like?

Nightmares. Nonsense. Symbolic. ‘Cheese Dreams’. Adventure. Déjà vu . Confusion, terror, happiness are all things that we experience in our dreams, however sometimes as much as we wish we could remember the what’s, how’s, who’s, where’s and why’s of our dreams, the reality is, that it’s not necessarily that simple.

For me, I sometimes find myself dreaming around 5-6am in the morning, and as soon as I wake up, I grab my iPad and my bluetooth keyboard and will sit in bed tapping away, primarily making basic notes to jolt my memory enough to be able to then go back and elaborate on each point to create a flowing dialogue of what I just experienced in my strange and bizarre brain.

Sometimes I can have a really basic dream: I’ll be sitting in a cafe, and then somebody will talk to me, and then I’ll walk into a shop, and suddenly I’m in a completely different city, or I’ll walk through a doorway to a clothing shop and I’ll be at the beach or something weird like that.

But at other times, I’ll have dreams that make absolutely no sense, yet just seem completely terrifying because I’m in such a deep sleep and an altered state of consciousness. Those moments I have dreams like the video montage from The Ring

You all know the video.

But I would love to be able to record them so I could make more sense out of them, or even better, take them to an interpreter who would be able to tell me what I already know…

I don’t actually know how it would work. I guess there would be some kind of helmet covered with electrodes that would sit on the head, but then there would need to be something that would connect perhaps to the optic nerve? Or maybe some kind of brain stem? But then how would that happen?

It would be great to be able to have the technology to be able to develop some kind of microscopic implant (kind of like the one’s I’ve seen on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). That could then stream the video wirelessly to some kind of recording device, kind of like a DVR, and would be waiting for you to review when you wake up.

I was just wondering, would the implant go on the optic nerve, or would it be implanted in the brain somewhere. When we dream and we see images, are we seeing the images with our eyes, or is our brain making us think that the images are being seen through our eyes? When really, they are being created by the brain, but it’s just tricking us into seeing the images, even though we’re asleep and our eyes are closed.

Confused yet? I am.

I think that in itself is it’s own kind of research project, to determine whether the eyes actually see the images in our dreams, or if it all comes from the brain. How does it work? What creates it? What are the chemicals at work that make us dream, and what are the chemicals in the body / brain that determine what type of dream we have.

Why do we have ‘cheese dreams’ after having cheese. What is it about the cheese that causes some kind of dysfunction in the brain when we go to sleep and completely distort our thoughts / dreams?



Daily Prompt: Brainwave

What’s the best idea you’ve ever had? Regale us with every detail of the idea — the idea itself, where it came to you, and the problem it solved.

…just kidding.

Sometimes I come up with suggestions at work regarding work-flow or data collection etc which to me just seems like common sense, but to others, comes across as though it’s some big revelation… but I’ve not had any great ideas worthy of noting.