Thursday, November 11, 2010

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Seventy-Two

72. Staggered work start times for different streets in cities.

It's amazing how many ideas will come to you when you almost spill your coffee onto your pants because someone ahead of you took forever to get through an intersection, causing you to forget that you were in third gear, not first gear, so that when the guy with the "OTTER LN" personalized plate that makes no sense whatsoever finally does go through the intersection and you start to pull out your car chokes out and dies and you miss the gap and have to restart your car.

Also, my iPod fell on the floor.

Anyway, I left for work a little earlier than usual today for reasons that relate largely to Mr F and Mr Bunches getting up earlier than usual, which jump-started my whole day. And that leaving earlier ended up hurting me, because instead of being just behind all the rush hour traffic, I was in the rush hour traffic, and it took longer (and was more infuriating) to get to work.

So anyway, that's how I came up with an idea that's sort of a companion to Way #4 (Abolish Mondays And Tuesdays), that idea being that certain areas of cities should have certain work-start times.

For example, I work on Capitol Square in Madison -- where almost everyone in Madison works, more or less. There are four sides to that square; I'm on the east side. So we could all agree that everyone on the East side of the square won't go into work until, say, 8:15 a.m., while people on the West side would go in at 7:45, and North and South would work around there. That prevents the situation where everyone is trying to get to the same place at the same time.

In other cities it could work other ways. I know it'll require a lot of cooperation, but, really, if neighborhoods can get together and decide to force each other to have landscaping, can't city blocks get together and pick a starting time.

(And get on that No More Mondays & Tuesdays thing, while you're at it.)

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

Is this working? You bet --

1001 Ways also helped change the world here!


1001 Ways also helped change the world here!


Claudius wanted to be the first man to reach the stars... but it was murder to get there. Read
Eclipse, the haunting sci-fi book from Briane Pagel. Available at and on your Kindle.


Worth a Thousand Words, 8: