But first, a word from … Today’s Sponsor
Here’s the set-up:
This is the 3rd edition of this book. The 3rd edition contains an additional chapter on Japan, the tsunami and nuclear reactor safety. This book is about thoughts and ideas on a wide range of subjects. The topics include building a space elevator, new approaches to space travel, Star Trek reboot themes, ideas for energy conservation, what to do about our federal debt, modifying the game of chess and others. The following provides a quick overview of the chapters. Note that a Spanish edition of this book is available at Amazon sites (Solo un monton de Ideas Locas) :
Chapter 1 Space Elevator
Chaper 2 Alternative Energies and Energy Conservation
Chapter 3 More Thoughts on Energy Conservation
Chapter 4 Gas Stations and filling up
Chapter 5 Luggage and Airplanes
Chapter 6 Thoughts on Chess
Chapter 7 Thoughts on Ice Hockey
Chapter 8 Thoughts on Cat Litter
Chapter 9 Our National Debt and Defecit
Chapter 10 I am overweight and so are most Americans
Chapter 11 Star Trek and Reboot
Chapter 12 Thoughts about Laptops
Chapter 13 Thoughts about Space Exploration
Chapter 14 Thoughts on the Stock Market
Chapter 15 Automatic Inform Systems for IT Workers
Chapter 16 Hikers who hurt themselves
Chapter 17 How to improve dishwashers
Chapter 18 Japan, the tsunami and nuclear reactor safety
From the reviewers:
“Pardu S. Ponnapalli, an IT specialist with a doctorate in physics, has devised ingenious and potentially world-changing ways to improve things. Many of Ponnapalli’s essays are intellectually challenging, short, well written and entertaining.” — Patty Sutherland, Foreword Clarion Review June 2011
Four Stars (out of Five)
“Ponnapalli’s crazy (impulsive, but fun and thought provoking) ideas cover some timely and popular topics; U.S debt and defecit, overweight, stock market, space exploration, alternative energies, cat litter and more. The book is easy to read.” — Recommended & Reviewed in The Mindquest Review of Books, by Lightword Publishing, August 2011
“The essays were well-written and mostly thought through. Based on his personal experience, they were enlightening and at times, laughable. More importantly, they make the reader take the time to think about our future, ponder on the problems, and look for the solutions we need.” — Teri Davis, BestSellersWorld.com, July, 2011
“Some of my fondest memories of university were those informal gab sessions in the common room. Just a Bunch of Crazy Ideas reminds me of those times.”Just a Bunch of Crazy Ideas presents some good ideas and some not so good ideas. Take them as you will. Laugh at them or be inspired by them.” — Tami Brady, TCM Reviews, July 22, 2011
“The act of brainstorming can result in new ideas and surprising results. The author ends each chapter with the words, “Discuss and enjoy!” That is exactly what the reader of this “bunch of crazy ideas” will do.” — Libby Grandy, The US Review of Books
From the author:
The purpose of this book is to share a bunch of “crazy” ideas. There is no claim that any careful research is done. It is more like a brainstorming session where any idea that comes to mind is presented. That is why you get a wide range of topics , from dealing with cat litter to exploring space.
You may wonder what the value of this is. Maybe the ideas are all not worth much in practical terms. Or perhaps there are some gems and some real bad ones. What’s the sense in me writing about these ideas?
Actually, I was wondering the same thing for many years. I have thought about writing this book for a lot of years , and never went through with it until recently.
I think we all start out when we are young thinking we are going to change the world. Especially in university, when I was studying physics, I had constant discussions with my colleagues about revolutionary ideas. As you get older, you settle down to a regular life that for the most part involves paying bills with the money you earn. Most of our energies start getting devoted to survival. Before you know it , you are wondering about managing retirement and you are left with a sense that somehow life passed you by.
The reason for this transformation from a wild eyed youngster with grand ideas to a well settled mortgage paying robot is fairly plain- most of us are just struggling to get by in life. Few of us have the luxury of picking and choosing what we do for a living. My own entry into the IT field was due to the inability of finding any physics related employment after doing a Ph.D. The job market was poor, and I looked around for a marketable job. I have done fairly well in my chosen profession, but I am constantly haunted by the thought that I was meant for something else. I suspect I have a lot of company in this regard.
It seems to me our sense of intellectual courage also wanes with age and seniority. We may have ideas that we think are worthwhile, but we dismiss them for the usual reasons:
People will think they are stupid (a perennial favorite).
I bet someone has thought of it already (yes, but they might not have voiced it ).
I want to stick to the safe stuff that’s in the realm of my expertise.
It all becomes a tedious cycle. We end up doing something by rote, or maybe finding just a few ideas in our chosen profession that are interesting, and being content to live out our lives without a sense of wonder or exploration.
So this book is my attempt to revive a sense of wonder and speculation.
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