Mindburst Hickocks is, minus the occasional deviation from form, a repository of ideas I have had but could not find a use for. They are free for you to take and run with. In fact, please do.

Also, we now feature assignments.


I would like to have a discussion.

What are systems by which we can create a film with an unreliable narrator when in film, the camera acts as the narrator? Is is inherently a betrayal of the audience's trust? Is it an act of cruelty? Can it be accomplished without pushing them away? In a way the filmmaker him/herself, as the controller of the screen's contents, is the narrator. In a book a persona can fill the space between the actual writer and the reader, but in a film even a voice-of-god narration is just a character, and the world is indisputably created by the filmmaker. Can you lie to your audience without being personally discredited?


Flash games.

So sometimes I play games on the internet, and mostly I like them when they are tower defense or some permutation. I wish I knew how to pitch games to flash game design folks, but I don't, so here're two pitches for just anyone of variations on tower defense games:

Frogger, but you are the traffic.
You have some kind of garages or tunnels or any other thing that spawns vehicles. Maybe there's a multiplayer mode where you set up your level and a bunch of folks play as frogs. Player-frogs probably would be extra tough.

Middle School Miscreant. This one is a TD/RPG hybrid.
You design/control a middle-school aged thug in charge of a gang. You roam a neighborhood and as you level up you can recruit followers whom you can position/control. Folks try to leave their houses (homeowners, dogwalkers, young lovers, little kids with nerf guns) or to cross from one end of the street to another, and you have to scare them back to wherever they came from. Every time a person leaves your street (unless they're retreating), you lose rep. If your rep gets too high, cops start to show up. You have to hide from the cops' vision while still terrorizing the neighborhood. If your rep gets too low, other gangs start to invade your territory, and you have to fight them off. The other kids you can recruit will be good at scaring/fighting/hiding to various amounts. There can be a kid who can douse streetlights at night. There can be a kid who has a car that he can pop out of. Also you can buy things like cherry bombs and that your character can use. You can earn money by stealing cable boxes and lunch money.


Fake fire hydrants.

Manufacture a line of fake fire hydrants that look real and feel real and not brand new but are a lot lighter than a bet a hydrant is. They should come in a few colors because different cities use different colors.

Then, people who need to drive places can toss one in their trunk and when they get their ideal parking spot, they can just plop the hydrant next to the car parked there, get it towed, then park, themselves, and put the hydrant back in the trunk. Also it would work as a placeholder. Pop it down next to your favorite space outside work when you go home at night, and put it away during the day while you're parked there.



Here is the idea, someone find the technology.

We should make a laundry bag that dissolves more or less instantly on contact with water. Consumers can just toss the whole thing in the was and avoid the TEDIUM of emptying the bag. It can turn into lint, and then when you dry your clothes, it will re-form itself in the lint trap, so you can just pull it out of there and fill it with your clean dry clothes.

For a bonus, it can have detergent in it for the first load. Oh, or better yet, it can last for maybe six loads and have enough slow-release detergent for those six loads in it. That way our consumers will have to keep buying them.


Drunk per dollar.

I've always maintained that if I ran a liquor store I would add a section on my price labels that displayed the "drunk per dollar" of each beverage. It would just be PeV/Pr, where Pe is the percentage of alcohol, V is the volume of the container (in ml), and Pr is the price. Simple. Milliliters of alcohol per dollar.

But here's the thing, why doesn't someone make an app that does that? I mean, I know it's an easy calculation, but if you made a pretty-looking program with three little clearly labeled input boxes (you should be able to input the volume in metric or imperial and have it convert) and one button. Poof. Sell it for a dollar a copy. Send me 20%.

Also, since we're making a app for phones, make an augmented reality feature ("liquor goggles") where it looks for barcodes, reads them on the fly, uses the internet to find out the proof and size of the product from that, grabs the largest nearby number, assumes that's the price in dollars, and floats a DPD number right next to that. If phones have the megapixels and speed to keep up with a bunch at once, have it change the colors of the DPDs to easily rank all the numbers presented on the screen at a time. Boom. There's a product.


Imagine them everywhere.

Someone should start a chain of standalone concierge services.

They would be in little buildings, like you sometimes see pizza places in. There would be some people in full business dress behind a counter, and a couple of fancy seats. Some coffee. It would be like a rental car office except not terrible. It would be comfortable, welcoming. There would be interesting species of living plants that the concierges could teach you about, if you liked.

People could come in and make requests, which there will be charges for, or they can opt to buy a membership, which comes with a lovely little plastic or perhaps metal card and lets you skip lines and receive help for free.

The concierges would help you with anything. Many of their services are things that the internet, and therefore people's phones, can now do: finding a coffee shop, getting directions, looking up information. But they would still happily perform those tasks and many others that the internet can't: knowing secrets about the places they occupy, finding you a free bathroom or parking space, introducing you to a helpful stranger, discussing the finer points of anything you desire.

The concierges would have to be well read and highly educated and polite and have a lot of connections. They would have to know their way around and how to live in a place and who to call for any very specific matter that arises. But those people are out there. They're looking for jobs.


Summer job.

Buy an ice cream truck. Paint it more fun.
Sell the usual scooby-doo with gumball eyes and good humor bars (toasted almond, please), but also sell some alcohol-slushies and frozen jello shots and similar. Go around to college campuses and outside clubs on summer nights while lines of people are waiting to get in.

Also, instead of the entertainer, play electronic-bell midi versions of Biggie tracks.

On a separate note, if you need a commercial for some kind of refreshing thing, use that imagery of the ice cream truck turning a queue outside a club into a party in the street.


Have you been meaning to make a terrible college comic strip?

It's called "Oh My Quad!".
There you go.

A scene for your indie romance film.

One of the lovers-to-be is riding the subway (to work?) and sees a person (shh it's the other lover-to-be but we don't know it yet) looking at him/her and drawing in a goofily large notebook. They maybe have an uncomfortable moment together because neither really wants the other to notice him/her. At the end of the scene it is revealed that the drawer has rendered a comic-style portrait of the other's shoes. It is heartfelt, and that is how we know that they're meant to be.


But I don't know why.

So you rent a tall danceclub and mount a high quality camera on the ceiling facing down. As the people roll in you give them hats with qr codes or something on top. You can then use a computer to track and analyze the migration patterns of the party.


There is only one time.

Let's start a company that makes watches that don't have any hands and just say "Now." on the face.

Digital ones would be pretty easy, too.


Necessary business idea.

Someone needs to start an internet business that will delete all of your social networking profiles when you die.


I want all of the internets.

So I am sitting in my friend's condo, and she has a secured wireless connection, but there are also a few unsecured networks in nearby units. A different friend is emailing me gigabytes of video files, and it's taking figuratively forever to download it all. Someone should pioneer a software system with which I can connect my computer to multiple wifi networks simultaneously. If there's a restriction on the hardware, that is a problem. Although, you could still probably build a little usb duder that would make it happen.

Full discretion - I am not checking to see if this already is a thing because I lied and am not really in a condo. I am typing on my phone in the metro. But I did just leave my friend's condo.



Let's start a business where people send us their dead pets and we turn their skin/fur into shoes.


Potentially un-PC terms I learned from my otherwise very sensitive mother.

Whore's Bath - washing down just your smelly bits instead of getting a full wash.
Old Maids - the unpopped kernals left over after making popcorn.

My photo

I have never thrown a lance.
"I lost the passion for the blog. I am not built for blogging. I am built for intermittent, longer pieces, and successful blogging requires frequent, shorter pieces. YOU should have a blog. Mindburst Hickocks, that's the name of it. GO."
-Jason Michelitch