Archive for October, 2009

Musings on humor, creativity and putting things to other uses
October 6, 2009

Dear Readers;

“Ig Nobel Public Health Prize Goes to Bra That Converts Into Gas Mask

I roared at this headline in yesterday’s Fast Company e-newsletter, startling my bookkeeper who was crunching numbers in my office. I thought it was a joke, but upon reading further discovered it was in fact an amazingly clever device created by Dr. Elena Bodnar.  The bra consists of two detachable cup sections that convert into facemasks, which contain filters and valve devices. (I’m sure you can imagine it…and you can also see pictures and drawings if you go to the Fast Company site (newsletters@fastcompany.com) Now perhaps this seems kind of ludicrous at the moment, but think back to the days right after September 11– many of us were stocking up on supplies and taking extra precautions to “be prepared.”

I had never heard of the Ig Noble Prize before, but learned that it’s a Harvard supported prize, in operation for 19 years.  Ig Noble prizes honor achievements that make people laugh and make them think. They celebrate unique and imaginative inventions in science, technology and medicine.

I was struck with the elegant creative principal behind this bra cum gasmask:  “Put to other uses.”  Twenty years ago I learned a simple brainstorming technique called SCAMPER, it’s an acronym that stands for different words and lines of questioning that can help spark new thinking.  My apologies to the author, I don’t recall who first coined the term.  In a nutshell SCAMPER stands for the following

Substitute

Combine

Adapt

Modify

Put to other uses

Eliminate

Rearrange or reverse

Next time you’re looking to come up with new solutions, try using the SCAMPER approach.  My guess is you will be amazed how many unique ideas you can come up with! And drop me a line to let me know how it works.

Have a creative week!

Laurie Tema-Lyn

Practical Imagination Enterprises, 908-237-2246, laurie@practical-imagination.com

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