A London-based company called Pavegen has come up with a solution that uses the kinetic energy of footsteps to help charge electric cars. Talk about a seemingly inexhaustible supply of renewable energy…
So, who cares if you can’t walk and chew gum at the same time? You can charge your Tesla, instead.
If you can’t imagine such a place, give this video a watch.
I suspect I’d still be in the newspaper business, mainly because newspapers would still be relevant. It’s not fair, though, to blame the demise of that industry on the World Wide Web.
That’s the thing about things we do. Even if we didn’t have the World Wide Web today, when you don’t innovate, when you don’t come up with the solution that sends what you currently do into obsolescence – somebody else will.
Catsup. Ketchup. No matter how you spell it, Heinz has found itself in a bit of of a pickle (yes, they make that product, too) over a bottle of their brand of this tomato-based condiment.
Daniel Korell, who lives in Germany, scanned the QR code on his Heinz bottle, expecting to enter a contest to create his very own ketchup label. Instead, he got an eyeful of porn.
The contest had been held between 2012 and 2014. At its conclusion, Heinz allowed their ownership of the domain expire. A German porn company promptly stepped in and purchased it.
You can guess the rest. Customer goes on social media and informs the world. Heinz uses social media to offer customer a free bottle of ketchup with his personal label on it. Sensing opportunity for additional exposure, porn site also reaches out to customer via social media and offers him a free year’s subscription to their website.
Yes, all rather predictable. No, I’m not flinging poop at Heinz. They already have enough to clean up. I will, however, cast a slight aspersion on Daniel Korell’s motive for exposing the naughty QR code by using social media. If he was concerned that children might be exposed to porn, perhaps he should have contacted Heinz directly.
And, no, I will not include a link to the porn site. Go check your ketchup bottle and find it yourself.
Because apparently, even if the contest started over three years ago, you still might have a bottle of ketchup from that time. Daniel Korell in Germany did. Which makes me wonder: How long does the average customer keep a bottle of ketchup? Do they even bother to look at an expiration date, or is it consumed long before that might be a concern? I would not be qualified to make a guess. I’m not a fan of ketchup. Or catsup. I prefer mustard.
We make them to the people we love, our friends, our coworkers – even ourselves. Companies make promises, too. “A promise is a promise,” we proclaim, meaning that we will keep them. Regardless.
What if they are broken?
The outcome can be minor or devastating, depending on the consequences of what might have been expected. A missed chance to catch a ballgame is easier to swallow than discovering you won’t grow old together with the one you love. Even so, it’s easy to place blame because, yes, it’s downright disappointing and your role was to simply agree to be the recipient. After all, you didn’t make the promise – the other person did. The company did. So it’s completely their fault.
This is true if you want to be the center of the universe.
Once your ego is finished making it all about you, however; and the particles of perspective begin to float down upon you like so many insightful fireflies, you are illuminated with an opportunity for enlightenment.
In that brightened state you realize that a promise accepted with unequivocable expectations of fulfillment is about as likely to occur as dining with a cannibal and being treated to fruits and vegetables.
Any promise exists in an environment with many independently moving parts – most of which are far beyond anyone’s control. A promise starts with the giver’s belief that they can fulfill it. They make it with intent, and intent is intrinsically truthful. But the person who extends a promise lives in the same world we do, and that world that does not run according to plans.
We know this. We just like to conveniently forget it when we are faced with a promise that cannot be fulfilled. If we are courageous enough to be truthful, we know there is no fault to find. Any blame is misplaced, unless we are audacious enough to blame the universe. In which case, we will need to go much further up the chain of command than holding the person who made a promise to us accountable.
That person who made the promise? They actually showed far more initiative than whoever – if there is someone – is in charge of conjugating the events of our world to meet our expectations.
Promises exist because it is human nature to believe they can be fulfilled. It’s the next step that’s crucial. We learn one of the most valuable lessons of all when we discover that the consequences of a broken promise is not blame. A promise can only be broken when it is incorrectly shaped only by our expectations.
Greek mythology tells the story of the Phoenix, a long-lived bird that is cynically reborn by rising from the ashes of its predecessor. I’ve been thinking a lot about this particular creature lately.
I recently thought a rare opportunity was consumed by flames.
What burned away, however, was only preventing success. The opportunity is lighter and more nimble now; primed for a quicker ascent. The flames are extinguished and it’s time to fete the whimsical engines of destiny for their combustible direction.
Although it seems contradictory that mistakes and misadventures can be mined as a source of gratitude, opportunity – like the legendary Phoenix – can arise from their ashes.
I know this to be true. I can still see the burn marks.