Category Archives: Simple Solution

SIMPLE SOLUTION: What to do with Old Folks

THE PROBLEM: Many people end up looking at the bare walls in a nursing home (or anywhere else) for any number of years towards the end of their life. It’s a sad whimpering, prolonged farewell to an otherwise possibly somewhat-in-parts-at-least enjoyable existence.

THE SOLUTION: Play videogames.

Yes it’s true that many old people can’t function in different ways -no mobility in their legs/ fingers/ head or even lack of mental awareness itself. This, I agree, is tragic.

However, others are sadly waiting to die. Go on, ask them if you think I’m just being cruel. They have been thrown in a home or even sitting in their own house all day long, looking out the window -or worse- at the television!

It’s true and don’t blame me for saying so -a lot of older people are leading sad lives.

But why??

Think about it -there’s no need to sit there staring at walls -get in some practice now while you still can on something like

mk8Mario Kart

 

bf4or Battlefield

 

gta v flyingor Grand Theft Auto

tetris1or even plain old-fashioned Tetris.

 

Whatever you’re having yourself!

Think of your future! Don’t leave it too late!

Play videogames now and secure your happiness through the otherwise grimmest days of your life.

I hear what you’re thinking: “But I can wait until that day comes and play videogames then!”

No, that would never work. Too little too late. You’d be conditioned not to know or have any interest in it. Like everything else, the world of videogames takes time and effort to learn. It’s not something you can easily pick up in between worrying about your last bowel-movement or if you’d taken enough pills this hour.

Which type of game suits me best? Which console? How do I control that guy on the screen? What am I supposed to do here?  …There’s a whole world out there that, chances are, you never even knew existed.

Videogames exercise the brain as well as hand-to-eye coordination, etc.. They’re perfect for ancient people who otherwise sit in one place for hours on end doing nothing.

“If only I hadn’t wasted my life by not playing videogames…”

-William, aged 79.

 

But remember: Whether you are currently into videogames or not -don’t leave it too late to begin. You will regret it if so.

Do you want to be the one sitting in a home like my mate William, aged 79, with the wind rattling your nose-hair, not a soul nor a thought to keep you company other than the peeling magnolia paint and the single echoing thought hitting off the hard edges of the remnants of your brain:
“If only I hadn’t wasted my life by not playing videogames…”

But there are more advantages to older people playing videogames:
Suddenly they’re not as needy. Feel guilty for not visiting them? Great -pop online and run around shooting them and their geriatric A-Team. You can even talk with gramps while you do so over the headset -if he’s not too busy blowing you up with grenades or rocket launchers.

If you still feel the need to visit them in person though, best make an appointment -they might have a clan-session scheduled. It’s not easy being a gamer, but once you got the gaming-bug and have all the time in the world to play you have the perfect-storm for Gaming Greatness.

 

“I haven’t felt this alive in years!”

-Gramma Mavis, full-name and age withheld in case her slow-coach toy boy discovers how old she really is (90).

 

Move over kid, you are gonna eat Gramma Mavis’s dust.
 

 

 (As with all posts in this site, this is © Copyright May 2014 Stanley Rumm, unless otherwise stated)

Simple Solution #8: Irish Dáil Reform

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THE PROBLEM: The Irish house of Parliament (the Dáil) is in a mess. There’s a massive job ahead to be done, but time and again politicians are voted into power based on their ability to bring investment or at least a little positive attention to their local area, rather than having an ability to face or tackle the national problems of the country.

“He may not be able to renegotiate a deal with Brussels, but he’ll make sure the road outside my house looks alright.”

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THE SOLUTION: Nobody should be allowed vote for their own ministers.

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ie. ..People in Cork should be given a choice of Carlow candidates, people in Donegal should vote to put in Waterford ministers, Galway people should be given a choice of Louth political wannabes, etc..

Existing political approaches and constructs such as “clinics” should be allowed continue as before, but not in the voting areas -rather in the area in which the politician has been elected to represent. (eg. a Louth TD should live in Louth and not be allowed have a clinic in Galway.)

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This ensures that

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a) Nobody can think only of himself/herself when voting for a candidate since the person who gets in will not be responsible for “the road outside my house”.

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b) Everyone will consider the national interest when voting.

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c) Candidates will run with a national-interest mindset and agenda.

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What’s good for the country will ultimately trickle down to local rights, rules and regulations.

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OF COURSE THIS WON’T BE ADOPTED BECAUSE: Irish people have voted for the same political party since ever. Even now they are set to vote back in their local Fianna Fáil (or any other “established” party candidate) because “he’s not one of them fellas who made the mess -an’ didn’t he turn up to Johnny’s funeral last November on a rainy day!”

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“Political Reform” to any of these people means a token reduction in expenses and perhaps removing automatic rights for some TDs to a state car & driver.

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Same ole wankers will get back in, even if some of them have different faces. Same ole crap will be the result. Nothing will change except the people of Ireland slouch their shoulders and prepare for a hundred years of hardship.

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Simple Solutions #7: 12th of July Parades

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Peace and Brotherly Love are the by-words that certain correspondents would have us believe most effectively sum up relations and mood between the peoples of Northern Ireland.

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But under the surface (and even clearly on the surface at times) old hatreds and prejudices boil and bubble, resulting in an annual eruption of violence you could set your watch by. Old Faithful is alive and well and gushing through the streets of Northern Ireland every 12th of July.

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THE PROBLEM: ‘Orangemen’ see it as their right to hold parades along routes they have always marched each 12th of July. Unfortunately, certain areas on certain routes do not want these marches. People in these areas see them as an imperialist and triumphalist finger to the wishes of the majority (in those areas).

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Every year this results in a stand-off between both peoples, usually with the police in the middle (literally) keeping them apart.

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THE SOLUTION: Allow the orangemen down the road (each contentious road I mean), one person at a time.

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These roads are lined with police and army vehicles that keep the ‘locals’ from attacking marchers as the almost-inevitable parade progresses. Orangemen are usually told not to play their instruments during these times.

These men wish to “walk down the queen’s highway” as they put it and frankly they have a point.

Catholics/locals in these certain areas do not wish a horde of “ignorant loyalists” to trample through their patch, and frankly they have a point too (even though the idea of catholic and protestant ‘patches’ itself is ridiculous, however that’s how it is).

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So anyway, after a flurry of protest & violence, usually the orangemen eventually march, amid a flurry of protest & violence on the other side of the barricade.

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Imagine now the scene if orangemen were allowed march one-at-a-time. Such a ‘march’ could no longer be interpreted as a triumphalist cock-a-snoot to the locals, but instead would be laughed-off (loudly) from behind the barriers. The glass bottles and angry threats would be replaced by jeers and mocking laughter. (OK, ideally this should not occur either of course, but I’m trying to be real here).

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The result is the orangemen have their march, but it could not be interpreted by ‘locals’ as an annual triumphalist invasion of the area.

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Of course this won’t be adopted because: The underlying problem is the traditional communities themselves, divided along sectarian lines. It’s understandable why people huddled together in these ways during the troubles, forced to rely on each other in times of need. Now these huddles (in certain areas) are themselves as problematic as a mass of marchers. They will likely take a couple of generations to disperse naturally, as people find they no longer need to live and define themselves along strictly religious lines.

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Simple Solutions #6: How to End a Soccer Stalemate

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Penalties are great for tension, but few people believe they are a fair way to settle the score between two seemingly-inseperable sides in a soccer match.

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THE PROBLEM: How to end a ‘stalemate’ game of soccer after a half hour of extra time has been played in a manner that is fairer and uses more all-round “soccer skills” than penalty shoot-outs.

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THE SOLUTION #1: After extra time, move the goal-posts five yards closer together (including the pitch lines of course) on either end. Every 5-10 minutes thereafter, move each goal another 5 yards closer until a goal is scored.

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THE SOLUTION #2: If that doesn’t grab ya, expand the goal-size every 5-10 minutes until a ball gets in.

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Both these solutions have an advantage over penalties, in that they utilise all the skills of a team rather than relying solely on the ability of a single player from one side and the goalie from the other.

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Of course this won’t be adopted because: Football/ Soccer never changes unless its dragged kicking and screaming to change. It’s also full of unimaginative, over-serious ball-fiddlers who wouldn’t know a good idea if it hit them on the head.

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Plus, I don’t know about you, but I rather like penalty-shootouts. Still, many people moan and groan about how unfair they are, so I’m just putting these out there for the record.

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Your Country My Call

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I read and re-read the email sent to me by the organisers of the Your Country Your Call competition, trying to figure out what it was saying. Maybe I was too excited to concentrate on the multiple paragraphs.

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It read like a kiss-off/ thanks-and-tough-luck email, but I couldn’t find where it was actually stating that.

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…Then I spotted it on my third-time round. Why these people don’t put “Dear Sir/Madam, You didn’t make it” as their first line instead of burying it in side-mouthed form-letter compliments I’ll never ever know. :(

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(It reminds me of people in a cinema opening a packet of popcorn slowly instead of quickly out of misplaced, pathetic sympathy.)

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The list of semi-finalists is posted here and mine isnt’ on there. Aww. :(

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Best of luck to the winner I say, but at a glance at least, it looks to me like the same old “corporate vested interest” notions that crop up time and again rather than a proper decent, simple, original thought.
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“Ireland should be a hub for online gaming” …Now why didn’t I think of that??
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“Green Ireland – a new brand for developing Irish Food and Tourism” …wow this is cutting-edge this is!

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“YEATS INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE” -well we must make it look like we at least give a damn about these things I suppose.
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Shoulda known. :(

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Now, I realise good ideas can sometimes come across as ridiculous or ill-considered when given a quick description, so there’s a possibility some or all of the above aren’t as stoopid and uninventive as they look.

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With that in mind, I’m not going to divulge my grand idea in a 1-line descriptor, but if anyone is interested you can read my proposal in full here.

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Simple Solutions #5: BP Oil Pipe Leak Fix

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THE PROBLEM: A BP oil pipe is spewing oil now for how long? Months? Why can’t it be stopped?

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THE SOLUTION: Shove a cork in it.

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No really. I know it’s a mile underwater, but if they can send an unmanned rocket to Mars and get the coordinates right to such an amazing degree I dare say someone could do the equivalent of sticking a cork on the end of a hanger and shoving it through an open bottle at the bottom of a well.

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It may take a few efforts. Oil is gushing out after all. But the ‘cork’ could be more like a needle/ syringe, so once the pointy bit gets in there, the rest could be pushed from one end and dragged from the other.

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Like this:

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The “cork” can have a camera on the end of it for guidance.

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Better yet, why not have an unmanned sub type device that dives into the hole, plugging it?

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Failing that, how about a fat kamikaze underwater pilot?

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Obviously that last one might not be the best option, but I fail to see what’s so far fetched about the others. I mean, are they even trying??

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Simple Solutions #4: Internet Access For All

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In this series I posit some unconventional/ will-never-be-tried solutions to problems of our times.

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Most people pay for always-on internet access at home, but when “on the go” it is not always easy to access the internet without incurring silly charges. OK, you can buy more internet access as part of your mobile phone package deal, but chances are even that is silly money -and anyway, you only want to check your emails/ have a quick browse to check the price on a TV online before you purchase locally (or not).

Why should you pay more than once for “always on” internet access?

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THE PROBLEM: Mobile internet access is too expensive, but if I want it “on the go” -even in short bursts- I gotta pay even though I already pay for home broadband.

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THE SOLUTION: Allow outside access to your wi-fi.

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OK, like yourself (if you have a passing knowledge of such things), I see obvious reasons not to do such a thing: security and bandwidth. Let’s deal with these individually:

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1. Security.

“Someone might pass by my window, detect my wi-fi, log on and compromise my entire network -delete files and take my identity!”

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Worst case scenario, this is true -a valid fear.

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However, there are ways and means to allow people to access the internet without allowing access to your internal network -it’s just nobody (that I know of) has built such an option into router firmware because …well… “who would want freeloading strangers hogging their bandwidth?”

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2. Bandwidth.

Many ISPs have a bandwidth cap. Others do not. Most people use a tiny percentage of their bandwidth potential. If the water is running freely anyway isn’t it a little selfish to not allow a thirsty passerby take a drink?

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Again, there are ways and means to monitor bandwidth usage and to disconnect greedy freeloaders. This could all be automated so it’s not like you’d even have to know -again you just need the right firmware for your router …firmware that hasn’t been written yet, possibly.

This firmware could allow a certain bandwidth ‘leakage’ per day and for any single user to use, say no more than 1% of that leakage.

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Of course this won’t be adopted because: …Actually I think this one would/ will be adopted once people get their heads around it and router firmware developers start building in these options.

(Alright, I freely admit there may be just such a massive movement already in operation -I haven’t done any homework on it, but I’m just saying it would be a ‘neat idea’… Also I freely admit to having no technical knowledge of such matters… it’s possible two routers would be required for security -even still, some of us would do it I’m sure -enough to set the trend!)

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So why open your wi-fi?

Stick it to the man. You don’t like double-paying. You already pay for more than you use anyway. Why pay “the man” just because you want it in another format too? It’s like buying a CD and having to pay again for an MP3.

Make what you don’t use available to others and they might do likewise. Soon everyone can access their emails/ do a quick browse/ Tweet/ etc. everywhere -including you.

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Even if it’s a long time before you find others doing it, I know all of us dream of being Robin Hood -that’s why it’s such an everlasting story. Now you too can be Robin Hood without even leaving your home!

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So, maybe you can’t do it right now, but if enough people have a wish to do something like this, then someone somewhere will make it happen (I know Google intend to make such a thing a reality anyway, so all of this could be unnecessary in time -that would make me very happy believe me).

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Simple Solutions #2: The Greece Issue

In this series I posit some unconventional/ will-never-be-tried solutions to problems of our times.

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THE PROBLEM: Greece is going bankrupt and needs money.

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THE SOLUTION: Have a holiday!

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Instead of giving/loaning Greece billions of euros, European governments should commit a certain percentage of their populations to take a holiday in Greece each year for the next X number of years.

eg. 10% of the Irish population will holiday in Greece over the next 3 years.
2% of Germans will holiday in Greece over the next 3 years.
3% of French people will holiday in Greece over the next 3 years.
etc.

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This brings money to the people of Greece themselves, who then spend it and it filters up the chain to banks and governments.

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EU countries can offer incentives to their own people to go to Greece, thus ensuring the numbers -eg. “Buy a holiday in Greece and we won’t charge you VAT on the purchase!” …this can also boost businesses in their home countries, by encouraging ‘local’ travel agent holiday purchases rather than internet sales so as to verify the deal.

Also, it lends confidence to the financial market as it is a verifiable income to the country of Greece for the next number of years.

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Greek people get money and goodwill. Other Europeans get a holiday in a lovely part of the world.How bad? It sure as hell beats forking out a fortune and praying it comes back some day.

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If the Greek infrastructure isn’t up to the influx of travellers well they’ll just have to build more infrastructure -and how bad will that be?

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Of course this won’t be adopted because: It’s unconventional. It doesn’t directly involve single vested interest groups (eg. “The banks”, “The government”), but instead relies on individuals throughout the EU.

It seems obvious to me that the banks and the governments are the last ones to fix these problems (on their own at least), but who the hell listens to me?

Huh?

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Simple Solutions

In this (probably infrequent) series I intend to posit some unconventional/ will-never-be-tried solutions to problems of our times.

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This time around…

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THE PROBLEM: DRUNK DRIVING/ Reducing the number of road deaths caused by alcohol consumption.

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THE SOLUTION: Allow Drunk Driving

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I realise it’s a cause without a rebel, but let me toss this out and see what you make of it after you think it over (don’t rush to judgement)…

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Cars should have a big red button marked “DRUNK”.

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When you press it

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a) the outside of the car lights up so it can easily be seen by everyone near and far.

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and
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b) it forces the car to travel at 10MPH Max.

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Anyone caught drunk driving/ over-the-limit without the Drunk button pressed should be shot on sight.

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I’m not joking. Drunks walking home are probably more dangerous to themselves and others than a deliberately-slowed well-lit driver.

What serious harm could a 10MPH car actually do? If the driver crashes and damages a wall or something of course he’d still be liable, etc.

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Now tell me, leaving aside the fact that it will never be adopted, why is it such a stupid idea?

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