According to Welsh researcher Dr. Cliff Arnall, this week was supposed to be the most depressing week of the year. (I guess we should all be glad it’s just about over!) Monday, January 21 was actually the saddest day of the year. Arnall devised a formula to calculate this which took into consideration things like the weather, debt loads carried by many of us post-Christmas, failure to keep our New Year’s resolutions, and motivational levels in January.
What made my week particularly depressing was that I spent an inordinate amount of time in my vehicle commuting to work in Missauga and to meetings in Toronto. Snow and cold weather, at times less-than-optimal road conditions, and traffic accidents that created chaos on the highways resulted in me wasting too much time behind the wheel of my car this week.
On the bright side, if this is as depressing a week as I’m going to have this year, other than some long commutes, the week really wasn’t that bad. And at least it’s almost over and done with!
Thankfully the commutes were made bearable by having something to listen to on my car’s radio. In the morning, I generally tune into CHYM FM for the music, traffic reports and entertaining banter between the hosts. For the drive home I like to find out what’s gone on in the world around me while I’ve spent the day concentrating on the world of eggs, so I dial up CBC’s Here and Now and As It Happens for news, interviews with interesting people doing interesting things, and current events.
During what stretched from an anticipated 1-1/2 hour drive to an over 3 hour commute from Kitchener to a meeting in downtown Toronto on Thursday morning, CHYM’s morning show hosts George and Tara talked about the development of a prototype for a transparent toaster. The toaster was applauded for its potential to end the trauma of toasting. The toaster’s transparency would allow you to see your bread while it was toasting. The toast could then be removed when it was done to your liking – eliminating burnt or under-done toast.
Before you rush out to look for the toaster, be advised that it is still in the concept stage. The idea for it was developed by the Innovations Concept Studio.
Here’s how the toaster would work.
A slice of bread would be placed between two sheets of heated glass sitting on a chrome base. Once the bread was toasted to your preferred darkness, you’d simply eject it.
For those too busy or distracted in the morning to keep at least one eye on their toast’s progress, a traditional timer dial would be part of the design.
What’s preventing this toaster from appearing on a store shelf near you right now is that currently the glass does not get hot enough to toast the bread. It’s hoped that with some research, this can be rectified.
While the toaster looks pretty funky, I have a few questions about the idea.
With the current design, only one slice of bread can be toasted at a time. One would think a two slice toaster would make more practical sense.
When the glass heats up and the bread toasts, won’t this create condensation on the inside of the glass making the toast soggy?
How would you get the toast out without burning your fingers on the hot glass?
How would you keep the toaster clean? You’d likely need some kind of brush to remove the crumbs that would inevitably lodge between the glass and the base. And how would you clean the inside of the glass?
All that aside, I’m always intrigued by what creative minds can dream up. Who knows what someone will think of next! All I know is I’ll probably hear about it while listening to the radio on a long commute somewhere…..
P.S. If you’re drowning in despair this week, grab your calendar and circle Friday, June 20. Dr. Arnall has calculated it will be the happiest day of 2008!