Last October, my daughter Lydia was 17 months old and learning new words rapidly. One day, we were out for a stroll and saw a large, inflatable Halloween decoration in the form of several grinning jack-o'-lanterns stacked up like a totem pole. Lydia was very excited and shouted, "Balls!" I said, "They are pumpkins. Happy … Continue reading The Evolution of Happy
Recently I've had several conversations about robots: how people keep making robots that can do new things, how robots are getting better and better, how someday maybe they'll take over. Yes, it is a bit daunting, but I believe there are some things that robots will never be able to do quite as well as … Continue reading Where Robots Learn to Cook
This morning I realized that Today's Young People have created the need for a device which can assess the pajama-like qualities of one's outfit in a quick and objective manner to determine whether or not it qualifies as clothing for the purposes of, say, attending school. This pajameter could be used at the school entrance … Continue reading Pajameter
Nicholas is six-and-a-half now, but I just found a post I made to a discussion board three years ago, answering the question, "Has your child invented any words?" I'm glad to see it again because I had forgotten 3 out of 5 of these! Pretendstructions. When Nicholas gets tired of his parents knowing all the … Continue reading Words my three-year-old made up
I've done it again--suddenly thought of a word that nobody else ever used or, at least, that Google says nobody else has written on the Internet. Scientists will breed the grildebeest especially for barbecuing. This raises the deep moral question of whether it is very sad for the grildebeest or the grildebeest ought to be … Continue reading Grildebeest
Autumnymity is the situation in which you can't recognize a tree because it has lost its leaves. I suddenly thought of this yesterday. Google tells me nobody else has used this word on the Internet. Hooray! A new word!
One of my responsibilities when I was a technical writer at an invention-marketing company was to keep track of changes to the name of an invention (that is, the inventor had changed his/her mind about the name under which the concept should be pitched to manufacturers) so that we'd be sure to use the correct, … Continue reading My Favorite Invention Name Changes of 1997