This week has been a busy one for news hounds and journalists around the country. For starters, dozens of citizens have been waiting anxiously for this week's Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. Most don't really care which way the ruling goes, because most don't really understand what the law says or does. They're just placing bets on which ancient Supreme Court Justice is going to teeter over with a massive coronary from actually trying to lift the 1,400-page document.
But of all the news stories crossing my computer screen this week, none compares to the earth-shaking news coming out of Spain.
According to a report in NewsLite, a Spanish company is offering one of the greatest inventions since the Ginsu knife:
A self-making bed.
The company has published a video which shows their new bed, which uses a couple of robotic arms to straighten the covers, and a pair of spatulas coming out of the headboard that reset the pillows.
The story doesn't mention the bed's cost, but then, how can you put a price on genius? This invention could have saved me hundreds of punishments and restrictions in my youth, and saved my mother's vocal chords from the 16 years of abuse required to yell at me about cleaning my room and making my bed. (In my opinion, one of the best things about being 18 months old is that you don't have to make your own bed yet).
This has inspired me to suggest a few other time-saving and yell-saving devices our geniuses should be working on:
Automatic Desk Cleaner - I envision a device similar to the one you see at arcades where you drop a quarter in a slot and it lands on a pile of other quarters, while metal rakes constantly scrape back and forth trying to push the messy quarters over the edge and into the payoff tray. The desk cleaner would have a servo mechanism that would push open the top drawers, with the metal rakes pushing papers, pens, empty cereal bowls, and half-filled pretzel bags off the desktop and into those drawers, which would automatically close when finished.
Table Clearer - Similar to the desk cleaner, the little metal rakes would push the dinner dishes off the dining room table and onto a small conveyor belt that would dump the dirty plates and cutlery into a dishwasher. If you happened to accidentally leave the remote control on the table, well, let's just say you needed the exercise of a brisk six-step walk every 30 minutes anyway.
Bric a Brac Duster - To be fair, comedian and tool man Tim Allen actually suggested the prototype for this device, which is basically a miniature leaf blower that would regularly pop out of end tables and shelving units to blow the dust off whatever is nearby. As Allen pointed out, you'd first have to duct tape the small stuff down.
Dirt Sensing Vacuum - Once the dust (or any other foreign object) hit the floor, it would trigger a sensor which would then dispatch a robotic vacuum cleaner to give the carpet a good once-over. The best rendition of this device appeared on the 1960's cartoon "The Jetsons." The iRobot corporation offers something called a Roomba, but it doesn't work. For starters, it's more of a sweeper than an actual vacuum cleaner. Second, you have to manually set it up, place the barrier sensors, start it, and empty it. Third, it moves really slow, which leads to Fourth, it regularly gets it's disc-shaped butt whipped by small terriers defending their territory and large tabby cats sensing plastic prey.
Automatic Window Washer - To be honest, we've had these on cars for decades, so I'm not sure why the Anderson people haven't already come up with a device that squirts a shot of Windex out of a tube onto the inside and outside of the windows, followed by a strip of rubber on robotic arms that squeegee the glass clean, then holds out a metal hand with fingerless gloves awaiting a tip sufficient to purchase a bottle of Ripple.
Clothes Harvester - This tracked vehicle would be shaped like a dump truck, with a claw in the front from one of those arcade machines that drops small stuffed animals through a chute for 50 cents. It would wander around the house in search of itinerant togs, grab them with the claw and drop them into the dump body, then head to the laundry area to drop a load. On the top, it would have a speaker programmed to repeatedly tell house dwellers what it isn't. "I'm not the maid!" "I'm not your mother!" "I'm not the maid!" "I'm not your mother!"...