Reader Submission – Mine Field Combine

September 29, 2008

Since posting last week on the Google “10 to the 100th” project, I have received various emails from people on the subject. Some just wanted more information from me on the nature of the contest, some wanted to know what my ideas were for the project, and a few submitted their own ideas to me. One of the first that I got was very interesting.

It came from an engineer in Bulgaria (potentially my first Bulgarian reader).  The idea was a prototype for a robotized combine for cleaning minefields. He included a detailed report of how the system would work – robotized-combine-for-cleaning-mine-fields – based on a search and destroy method that would neutralize entire fields at once. Though I have a limited knowledge of this type of engineering process, the idea did seem to be within reach.

This would help many people living in areas that have a history of wars and violence. Mine fields are not only responsible for civilian casualties years after fighting is done, they also destroy soil that could be used for farming. A better system for clearing old minefields is clearly needed to protect future generations. Google would do well to pay attention to this specific submission.

Thank you to everyone that has submitted their ideas thus far, and please keep them coming.


Don’t Fire Innovation

September 8, 2008

If you have a chance to watch “The Pixar Story“, a documentary about the incredible production studio that continues to knock out hit after hit, please do.  It is definately worth the time.

The story begins with a few young animators at Disney, and their dream to use computer animation in films.  Disney put together a team to test the new technology, and promptly fired the leader of the team, John Lasseter, right after their initial presentation.

Disney made the decision that they were not going to pursue this new technology that had so many people excited.  Granted, Lasseter and his team may have been far ahead of their time.  But Disney displayed an amazing amount of close-mindedness in their decision to terminate Lasseter.

So, instead of realizing the error of his ways, John continued to pursue computer animation and his dream to make a feature film.  After years of struggle, Pixar put out its first full length computer animated motion picture, Toy Story.  Under the direction of John Lasseter, the film was bigger than anyone could have imagined.

Being a leader in the field is being an innovator.  John Lasseter, and the rest of the founding team at Pixar, are innovators at heart.  They had a dream that most people said would not come true.  But through hard work and determination, made all that much harder because of Disney’s anti-innovative decisions, the team succeeded in grand fashion.