Miles Kington: At last - your airline baggage problems solved

I have hit on the method of incorporating helium into the luggage lining. When you pack, the suitcase gets nowhere near as heavy as it would otherwise
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The Independent Online

I am introducing a new feature today, called Inventor's Corner, in which you, the reader, can submit your inventive and innovative ideas for comments, criticism and advice from an experienced inventor, Jock Dyson (no relation).

So let's kick off with the first bunch of wild, wacky and (perhaps!) wealth-making notions...

Dear Jock,

I have been working for years on a way of making luggage lighter, and have now hit on the method of incorporating lighter-than-air gas into the luggage lining. If you use something like helium in pockets throughout the outside of a suitcase, it never quite floats in midair, but it gets somewhere near it. And when you pack it, obviously it does get heavier, but nowhere near as heavy as it would normally.

Can you see any snags in the scheme?

Jock Dyson writes: It seems a very interesting idea. Please send me all the details you have worked out so far and I will do some tests on it.

Dear Jock,

I have always been struck by the fact that getting a staple out is much harder than getting it in. It takes seconds to staple something; it takes ages, sometimes, to get a staple out again without tearing the paper, or drawing blood.

Those little destapling claws work to a certain extent, but I have now developed a sort of laser gun which actually vaporises a staple when you point it at it. All your destapling problems over! Do you think there is a market for such a thing?

Jock Dyson writes: It seems a very interesting idea. Please send me all the details you have worked out so far and I will do some tests on it.

Dear Jock,

Many people who do jigsaw puzzles would dearly like to keep the completed puzzle as a picture, perhaps even to hang up. I have now perfected the first machine in the world which is designed to heal over the joins in a jigsaw puzzle so that they become invisible and convert the jigsaw back to an unbroken picture. How much of a market do you think there would be for this?

Jock Dyson writes: It seems a very interesting idea. Please send me all the details you have worked out so far and I will do some tests on it.

Dear Jock,

This is the time of year when many people suffer from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, the so-called "winter blues". This can be cured by sitting in front of a light board for several hours, thus restoring your supply of light. But I have designed a gadget which can be fitted to a computer so that the light emitted from the screen is boosted to the right level to cure SAD! Brilliant or what?

Jock Dyson writes: It seems a very interesting idea. Please send me all the details you have worked out so far and I will do some tests on it.

Dear Jock,

If a car is illegally parked but is clearly in too bad a condition to be driven away, the owner will normally be given a period of grace in which to remove it. Well, I have developed an attachment which you can fix to your car to make it look as if one corner has been badly crumpled! It is, if you like, a pre-crumpled, clip-on, fake wing. You just put a note on the car, saying you are waiting for a garage to come and tow you away, then remove it when you get back in the car and drive away.

Jock Dyson writes: It seems a very interesting idea. Please send me all the details you have worked out so far and I will do some tests on it.

A reader writes: What on earth is going on here? Who is this guy Dyson? He seems useless!

Miles Kington writes: Sorry about that. Jock Dyson is in fact a new device I have invented for answering readers' letters automatically, while I take the day off, but there are still a few bugs to be ironed out. I hope to have improved him by next time. So keep those inventions rolling in!

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