The Best Invention of 2011

It’s been a while since my last blog post and I must confess that with each passing day, my standards for the quality of the next post have grown higher and higher. Worried that these standards were reaching insurmountable levels, I began to panic today. As the universe registered my anguish, my silent prayers were answered with a bang by the unlikeliest of sources: Time magazine.

I was on a break from a job when I picked up a copy of the magazine, left open by a colleague. Touting the best inventions of 2011, the magazine brought to my attention what must, indeed, be among the best inventions ever. Let me present to you, The Necomimi.

Admittedly, I’m way behind the curve, since this video has already had over 2 million views. But let me highlight some of the great features of this extraordinary device. It is produced by the Japanese company Neurowear whose website alone provides a significant amount of entertainment. They have developed a business model which aims to make literal wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve. The term “Necomimi” was constructed by joining the Japanese words for cat and ear. Via a sensor placed on the forehead, the ears react to electrical signals that purportedly come from the brain. Simply by concentrating or relaxing, the wearer can manipulate the ears, mimicking gestures that cat lovers recognize as demonstrating alertness or comfort, respectively. But don’t listen to me, let the company speak for itself:

We created new human's organs that use brain wave sensor.「necomimi」is the new communication tool that augments human's body and ability.This cat's ear shaped machine utilizes brain waves and express your condition before you start talking.

2011 was, clearly, a banner year for technology. But lest you think that 2012 will never be able to top the Necomimi, allow me to reveal the Best Invention of 2012 So Far:The Baby Formula Banana Smoothie. This one was invented by my ever-resourceful husband. Have some leftover baby formula from visiting infants over the holidays? Just completed a 10K run across the Golden Gate Bridge? In a blender, start with some ripe bananas, add the leftover orange juice from the New Years Day Mimosa brunch, mix in yogurt and honey and top it all off with a healthy serving of baby formula powder. It’s almost as good as the Necomimi.

Now that I’ve broken the dry period, I promise to return to my regular blogging style, commenting on topics at the intersection of art and science next week. Until then, I hope that your creative juices have gotten a boost, and that you will find yourself thinking about other fashionable ways in which bodily functions might be harnessed,