Loony business ideas


Solutions for gipsy scholars

Temporary academic staff at last have a place to lie up

Tired of going from one temporary university teaching job to another? Weary of packing, uprooting yourself and worrying about where you’re going to live once you have arrived at your next job?  GipsySchol Holdings Inc. has just the solution. The company has bought up disused athletic fields from cash-strapped universities and converted them into trailer parks. Temporary teaching staff – or junior teaching staff too badly paid to afford proper housing – may rent, buy or hire-purchase mobile homes and tow them to their next job, where a suitably located park will be waiting for them. Each home comes with a study area fitted with ergonomic desks and enough electrical fittings for reading lamps and modern computers – plus, of course, plenty of book space.


Global babysitting service

Remote child care wired to a centralized hub

Reliable babysitters are hard to find nowadays. Who will mind the childminders? Multimind™ would therefore seem to be an idea whose time has come. Parents subscribe to the scheme by fitting video and audio equipment in the rooms of their house, and a childminder several miles or even time-zones away sits in front of several monitors and can mind children in up to a dozen homes at a time. The various childminders are in their turn monitored, supported and co-ordinated from a centralized hub.

A two-way microphone system provides communication with the children, and, at an extra cost, a monitor can be provided to allow children to see the childminder. In cases of emergency, a button in front of the appropriate screen provides instant access to the parents and to the local police, fire and ambulance services, whichever is required. The DeLuxe version of the project, MultiTask ChildminderPlus™, allows parents to provide child-friendly robots (Mickey Mouse, Miffy the Bunny, Tarzan etc.) to make bath-time and story-telling more fun, and provide first-aid services when necessary. The robots are remote-controlled by the childminder using a computer. The most successful companies exploit different time zones to enhance their productivity. For example, a Multimind operational unit in California can start work in the early morning putting children to bed in London; at 2 o’clock they can transfer to New York, where the local time is 6 o’clock, then do the same one hour later in the next time zone, and so on for two more hours. In the small hours companies can cater for the Japanese, Chinese and Indian markets, where, as an optional extra, the children can be taught English during their bath-time.  


Triangular books bring convenience to old-world charm

Make the most of those hard-to-fill spaces in the attic

Old houses in the Netherlands score high when it comes to charm and atmosphere, but convenience is often thrown out the window. For instance, most of the pre-1900 houses in the Netherlands have long sloping roofs, so that there is a lack of wall space for placing bookshelves. That is, assuming the bookshelves and the books themselves are rectangular. But the shape of things to come may turn out to be triangular, to judge from the recent success of Het Dwarsboek BV, a small publishing company based near Groningen in the Netherlands. In triangular books the lines at the top of the page are very short and become progressively longer as one goes down the page. This characteristic has already spawned a literary form, the driehoekgedicht or triangular poem, but the publisher has also produced a triangular bible and a triangular coffee-table book illustrating the life and works of the Dutch painter Mondriaan. Now Het Dwarsboek plans to go global by producing books in English: a prestigious Shakespeare edition is in the offing, based on the 1622 Folio edition, as is also a triangular Atlas, a triangular guide to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescos and a booklet containing Pythagoras’s theorem. Intellectuals in attics all over the world will be hurrying place their orders now, as demand is likely to be intense. Before placing an order, make sure you have measured the angle of your roof. Most books are available in a 80-degree (rhomboid), 60- or 45-degree (triangular) slope, and cannot be exchanged.


Love leads

Two new products from the Promenade Co. Ltd are available to make the art of walking with your loved one and/or dog even more pleasant.

To avoid clashes with other dogs, SmartLead™ is equipped with a scent-driven early warning device. On detecting a dog within a 50-yard radius it emits a beeping sound, and a small monitor displays your whereabouts in relation to the alien pet, allowing you time to take evasive action. With SmartLead you will no longer be vulnerable to legal suits resulting from wounds to third-party dogs. SmartLead Plus comes with mobile phone and Internet, allowing you to check your stocks and call your broker without having to worry about what your dog gets up to.

When you are out walking it is hard to hold your partner’s hand and keep warm at the same time. The ergonomically designed LoveGlove™ overcomes this problem. Its elegant, sleek shape and soft, flexible material provides security and warmth for two interlocked hands (one right and one left).