As a guy with a mild tie obsession, I’ve often watched a movie or TV show, seen an interesting necktie, and been overcome by an extreme gotta-have-it-or-at-least-find-out-more-about-it feeling. I’m sure that I’m not the first person to have had this feeling before. If you’re not sure as to whether you’ve had this feeling before, I can say that it is similar to the curiosity we feel when we hear new songs on TV, in a movie, or on the radio. In cases with music, we have IMDb, HeardOnTv, and YES. However, it pains me to report that I have found no such website for ties.
If such a site were to exist, it would not need to be very elaborate or time-consuming. It may even exist as a wiki, with some users requesting information on certain ties and some supplying that information, similar to the way that IMDb and HeardOnTV work. Another approach would be for a small team of experts and individuals willing to contact producers to take requests for information from the general tie-loving public. Fewer questions would be answered, but they would have a much higher chance of getting answered correctly. Once the site grows in popularity, TV and movie crews may take the initiative and begin posting information to the site on their own, eliminating almost any need to second-guess the facts on the site.
As always, feel free to leave feedback.
A few years back, my brother got a gift he didn’t like. He opened it, realized that he already had the same thing, tried repackaging it to return it, failed, and walked away. As far as I know, it’s sitting somewhere in my family’s basement with the packaging open so that it gathers dust on the inside. This is laughably inefficient, and it could have been fixed if he had simply been able to figure out how to repackage it. The thing is, it’s also common.
To remedy this, create an index of products, similar to the indexes of foods at sites like StillTasty and DailyBurn. Instead of expiration dates and nutritional information, though, this should walk users through the process of packaging items so that they fit into their boxes as they did when they were first bought. It’s a simple process: rely on the all-too-common unboxing videos to reverse the process, diagram how to repackage electronics and similar items, then upload instructions for every product out there.
Another topic for this type of site to cover might be shipped items. Though online merchants such as Amazon are starting to move towards simpler packaging, quite a bit of stuff still gets shipped in difficult-to-restore boxes.
- We live in an age when people value time and frugality. The ability to return items without the hassle of figuring out how to put them back in their boxes is appealing to many everyday consumers.
- There is also a benefit for neat freaks who like keeping items in their boxes except when they use them. Though the ones I know seem to have this figured out, dilettante OCD sufferers can achieve their dreams if they have the instructions this tool can lay out.
- eBayers and those seeking to sell items without making a bad impression on buyers (shabby-looking packaging is a turn-off) may benefit greatly from figuring out how to restore products to their original packaging. This site would fill a niche of people like them.
- Unscrupulous sellers may try using this to sell used items at a markup, pretending that they’re new. The same thing applies for customers who damage items–they might try returning them by pretending they never opened the packaging.
- Though this idea can help a lot, there are some things that it can’t help with. For example, there is no way that I know of to repackage items in that clamshell packaging that’s melted together around the edges. This may frustrate several users. (Just a note: though they can’t be closed, there is a pretty cool solution for opening those.)
This section is a new addition to my usual format. If I have any ideas for product names, I will include them here. They’re just suggestions, though, so feel free to like them or dislike them, use them or avoid them.
- Perfect Packaging
- Accompanying that is ReBox
We’ve all watched a movie or a TV show and heard one of the characters mention something mind-bogglingly erudite. Sometimes, we decide that it’s worth looking up. Those of us with TiVo (or Hulu) pause, mozy on over to a search engine, and type in, “What does disingenuous mean?” However, we usually just let the question fester in the back of our minds, waiting for the next big word to come in and replace it. Personally, I hate that practice. It’s simply letting knowledge pass us by.
Start a blog that makes that knowledge accessible by posting explanations of terms and ideas brought up on TV. It’s like Heard On TV, except instead of music, one sees terminology.
Once you find a clip like the excerpt from The Office, linked here (sorry, I can’t embed it), post it if possible, name the term (Lachrymose, in this case) find the definition, and teach your readers about the term. If it’s a scientific concept, go over the background information as well.
Create a viewing schedule of what you will be watching live, and post as soon as difficult subjects come up. It’s liveblogging, applied to broadcasts.
- For both the blogger and readers, this is a great way to learn new words and become more articulate.
- If you look hard enough, there’s no shortage of terms like this, even on fictional television.
- This is a fun way to go beyond dumbly watching some of the more complex TV series such as House, Numb3rs, and so on. Over time, you recognize terms and processes before even looking them up.
- It will take time and intelligence to figure out and post the meanings of certain ideas.
- Having looked up several terms in my illustrious career as a couch potato, I’ve sometimes experienced the need to correct my friends in the middle of conversations. Don’t do it. In real life, you’ll quickly become that pedantic guy nobody likes talking to, and that’s hard to bounce back from.
- Unless you use Twitter as a platform for this, the response is not as immediate as one would like. This means that users might simply go to a dictionary website, missing out on your explanation of the term(s) in context.
David Matsumoto is the Director of Humintell, a company focused mainly on facial expressions, lie detection, and body language. He has his own blog at Humintell, in which he analyzes several scandals and the lies involved. Additionally, he posts his scientific commentary on the show Lie To Me after every episode airs. His posts were one of the inspirations for this idea. Here’s his commentary on the last episode of 2009.
I don’t think I’ve heard about The Hannibal Blog or Andreas Kluth before, but he has a pretty good idea. It aims to shame distracted drivers into adopting safer habits by creating a blog about them. The concept is simple: if you see a distracted driver, take a picture of him/her or the car’s plate numbers, then upload it to the site.
BONUS: I was curious, so I looked this up. There are a few websites that are based on similar ideas, but none are exactly the same. They don’t add the element of possibly having the person’s face in the description. Regardless, check out Platester and Platewire. Beware, though. I imagine quite a few people post when they’re angry, so there may be some foul language.