I’ve been thinking a lot about gadget and devices, lately. God help me, I love them. If, at 3:00 am, an ad for a device that does nothing but costs $9.95 airs, then I will wait patiently for it to air again just so that I can get a better look at it. The best at bringing new devices to my attention is The Invention Channel. Well, lately, I’ve been thinking up a few ideas of my own, and if I’m not too lazy, I may post images of prototypes. 1) Have you ever heard of a pedometer? I’d heard of them and knew that they were supposed to be used to measure footsteps. But how? Apparently, it senses your body movements and counts those shocks as steps for you. Well, I can think of a much better use for that technology. Have you ever talked to someone who just didn’t know how to let a joke die. Ten minutes after the initial shared chuckle, he’s still trying to revive the joke, a little piece of you dying with each attempt? What if you converted a pedometer to a joke vivameter. Every time you convulsed in pain after your acquaintance tried to bring the joke back, the vivameter would feel the jolt and count another notch toward the joke’s official death. After a set number of codas had passed a small alarm would sound, allowing you to inform your buddy that the joke was over. Now that’s better living through science. 2) Laser measurers allow you to use a laser to tell you the distance between two points. I rarely need to know that, and when I do need to know, I use mapquest. With a slight tweak, though, that device could become a much more useful gadget. Have you ever sat in a row of seats and had a person next to you scoot away? A laser measurer could be very useful in determining the reason for the person’s hesitation in cuddling up a little closer. The device could be outfitted with a speaker and, after measuring the distance betweeen you and the stranger could announce its findings. 1-2 inches: “uncomfortable with human contact,” 2-4 inches “thinks you might be gay (or straight, as the case were),” 4-6 inches “fighting voices telling him to kill,” 6-8 inches “your fly is open,” 8-10 inches “you probably should have showered.” See, that’s a device that would be useful!