Feature Request: One-Click Magic 8-Ball E-mail Responses

In the spirit of Chris Anderson’s E-mail Charter, I offer the 20 possible responses of a Magic 8-ball:

  • It is certain
  • It is decidedly so
  • Without a doubt
  • Yes – definitely
  • You may rely on it
  • As I see it, yes
  • Most likely
  • Outlook good
  • Signs point to yes
  • Yes
  • Reply hazy, try again
  • Ask again later
  • Better not tell you now
  • Cannot predict now
  • Concentrate and ask again
  • Don’t count on it
  • My reply is no
  • My sources say no
  • Outlook not so good
  • Very doubtful

Without going so far as to suggest they should be chosen from at random, I would very much like to have an e-mail client that included each of them as a one-click response button in a toolbar.  And yes, OK,  you might throw in a “Random!” button just for fun.

Improvised cigarette butt receptacle

I don’t smoke, but my housemate does, and so do many of my friends, and besides the unsightliness of loose cigarette butts (either in an ashtray or on the ground), there’s also a significant risk of wildfire in my area at this time of year. This is just stuff I had lying around: a terracotta flowerpot and saucer, a soup can, and an heirloom ashtray. When you’re done smoking, you just pick up the ashtray, drop the butt in the hole, and put the ashtray back. The butt falls in the soup can inside the pot. On trash day you remove the flowerpot and empty the can into the bag. It works well, looks good, and is easy to do.

Why are there no wheel locks like these for bikes?

A couple years back it occurred to me that it would be cool to have wheel locks for my bike like those that are already available for cars. They’re just special lug nuts that are sold four to a set (you only need one locking nut per wheel, after all). Each set features a unique pattern of interlocking circular grooves (the “lock”) that is pseudorandomly generated by the machinery at the factory, together with a mating wrench (the “key”). The profile of the nut is round everywhere else, so as long as you don’t lose the key you’re the only one with the proper tool to remove the nut. Of course, like pretty much all tamper-proof fasteners, it can still be defeated by casting, but that extra effort is probably enough to deter the average street thief.

Anyway, they’ve got ’em for cars already. You can buy a set at AutoZone. I did. And I wish I could get them for bikes, too, but nobody makes them. This prototype is my attempt to hack a car lug nut onto a bike axle, and although I did make it work by ordering a replacement axle with an unusual thread and using a pipe fitting as a thread adapter (plus a couple of odd washers) it was pretty wonky and probably unsafe.