Thursday, January 24, 2008

Idea: Gold Mining Cereal

Note: I've been reading Ironic Sans by David Friedman for some time now, and I almost always enjoy his Ideas posts -- they range from really cool and useful to mildly entertaining and quaint, with a few stops at wacky and your local mall along the way. But they're always thought-provoking and/or clever. I humbly submit, my best attempt at reproducing this type of post.

I used to eat a lot of cereal as a kid. By far my favorite cereals as a kid were the ones that included the dehydrated marshmallow bits in them -- Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, etc., because what kid in his right mind doesn't want to eat marshmallows for breakfast?

Now, obviously, there's no way a cereal made entirely of marshmallows would make it to shelves, let alone be bought by sane, loving parents who would have to pay for fillings. So marshmallow cereals have to include some mix of grainy bits, much to the chagrin of sweet-toothed third-graders.

I realized this sad fact as a kid, and thought to myself, if only there was an easier way to separate the good tasty marshmallows from that crappy probably-healthy grainy part, then I'd be in marshmallow heaven surrounded by seven marshmallow unicorns.

So eventually I would either start a bowl of cereal by immediately hunting out the marshmallow bits only to be left with a bowl of soggy grain crap, or more likely, I would bite the bullet and eat the crappy grain part first, so that eventually all that was left was a bowl of those delicious marshmallows. Because there's no better way to start your day than at some point to see a bowl full of marshmallows. If only there was an easier way to fulfill this dream...

To that end, I have designed what could become the greatest kids cereal in the history of kids cereals: Prospector Bob's Gold Mining Adventure Cereal

The basic premise is this: all the grainy bits of the cereal are about half the size of the marshmallows (which are colored gold), and the box will come with a cardboard tear-off panel that has holes cut in it that are slightly bigger than the grainy bits, but smaller than the marshmallow bits.

Before pouring a bowl, the kid pours the cereal onto the sifter, and starts shaking it lightly over the bowl. The grain bits fall through the holes into the cereal, and when he's done sifting, the kid is welcome to empty the bowl into the trash eat the nutritious meal that is before him, knowing full well what awaits him when he's done choking it down: a nice heaping bowl of pure marshmallowy goodness.

Parents are happy because the kid's not talking for five minutes eating his grains, and the kid's happy because he's learning about the economy gorging himself on sugar at 7:30am. It's win-win.

Now obviously there will be kinks to work out, but I think that overall this has potential. I'll tell you this, if I see Gold Miner Bill's Sifting Bonanza on the shelves in a couple months, believe me, I'll know it was you. And I'll be pissed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back in New York

So I'm back in New York. I've been here for almost a week now, and I'm finally starting to get the hang of things. Wake up, go to work, come home from work, lather, rinse, repeat. I promise it's not as boring as that sounds, but not by much.

In other news I've taken quite a liking to walking around a lot (speaking of boring things). I think it'll be good for me; It's exercise, it's time to think about stuff, it gets me accustomed to my surroundings, it's time to myself or more accurately on the phone with Lauren. Maybe, just maybe, if I keep this up, I'll start losing weight or something. It's got all kinds of benefits.

On one of my walks today I decided to start documenting my walks around the city in a Google My Map. I figure it might be interesting to take a look at it after a while and see how much of New York's hundred bazillion streets I've been down, and stuff like that. Also, it tells me how long each walk was, which is pretty useful.

And since I'm making the effort to produce this information, the least you could do is consume it, right? So if you want to see it, you can either see it here or just scroll down to see the iframe'd version.

Maybe if I get adventurous I'll make my walks spell out words or something.