David Frum, Master of Imagineering
Years ago, David Crosby was on O'Reilly (I think) discussing the Yucca Flats nuclear waste repository. He asked, quite seriously, "Why don't we just figure out how to turn these elements into other elements?"
Transmutation-- now why didn't I think of that? Why did alchemists give up on transmutation so easily? Buncha babies. We coulda had Philosopher's Stones out our wazoos by now if alchemists weren't a bunch of quitters.
Be the change in elemental properties, guys.
Via @benk84, David Frum's doing some imagineering himself:
Transmutation of elements is a fair lot more difficult than adding in an electronic display to indicate whether a chamber in a gun is loaded; but still, that's adding delicate electronics to something designed to contain explosions. It also would involve some kind of port in the breach to let the signal out via wire, and while I'm no gunsmith, I think it's probably bad to have a breach in your, um, breach.
And, of course, this is trying to engineer a way around a problem which has a simple user-supplied solution: Always assume a gun is loaded unless a direct visual check shows otherwise.
David Frum's experiments in imagineering reminded me of this Adam Carolla rant on John Lennon -- people seem to desire Hero Points for just tossing out ideas which are purportedly To Serve Man, however half-baked.
Oh, Content Warning. Carrola drops a lot of f-bombs.
It's just so juvenile. "Hey, why don't we just End Hate?" Toss me a Hero's Bouquet of Roses, I've done my good deed for the day. I ran my mouth without bothering to activate my brain or exercise a muscle in my body. But I want credit for doing absolutely nothing at all.