I have a strong faith. And very few things shake it. One thing I do remember shaking it and shaking it hard was waking up the morning of April 16, 2007 and turning on the TV only to see a “special news report.” There was some kind of shooting (in progress) in W. Va. The technology, but the details were “still sketchy.” As always, I tried to think the best, and maybe this was some kind of hostage situation, and everyone would be fine. It wasn’t going to be. It turned out, of course, to be the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in American history, on or off a school campus. In an instant, the foundations of my faith had been shaken. I try not to question God. For a long time I clung to that tired old philosophy (which I now often feel is an outdated cliché at best) which is, “Everything happens for a reason.” I found no reason for this. I found it pointless and, if I cling to that notion of “everything happens for a reason”, for me it is the excuse of the lazy.

I sat at my home office desk for the next few days unable to concentrate. I felt similar to how I felt after 9/11 and, oddly enough, my first memory of such “questioning the universe” was in my teens, seeing the body bags arriving home from Vietnam and, entering college, actually losing friends in that war. It was like, even today, watching the news and hearing about the body bags of young people in Iraq, I decided to drop the silly notion of using the term, or at least using it as infrequently as possible, “everything happens for a reason.” Too easily it makes me a non-participant in the world I live in. It gives me an excuse not to write, to talk about it, to attempt an open democratic discussion about it, and to pray that the right words fall into the hands of the right person, who can put an end to this “reasoning” I still feel, at fifty-four years old, that as long as I am alive and well, in a free country like this, it is unreasonable not to talk, work, think and try to find ways to make the world a better place. a place for everyone. All life is precious to me, and I value America’s ingenious democracy more than anyone will ever know, where someone can question, challenge, that notion of that “everything happens for a reason”.

A few nights after the tragic event in West Virginia, I had a dream. I tend to keep a pen and pad by my bed, as working on cartoons and e-commerce, I feel like many of my best ideas come to me in my sleep, when my consciousness is more open and free than ever. be.

Suddenly, in the dream, I was instructed to invent a product that had never been invented (let alone dreamed of). It would be a product that saves lives. It would require high tech, knowledge of biotech, physics, etc, all of which I had no training at all (my training was in Internet Technology) which would be pretty useless on this product except for marketing it.

It was a strange dream. I was in a science lab, with other scientists, and we were watching a big screen television. The funny TV spot of “Life Alert”, the woman “Help, I fell and I can’t get up”. One of the scientists told me that this usually does not happen. When serious emergencies occur, more often than not, the victim is either unconscious or too disoriented to push a button and scream for help. What was needed was a fully automated computerized bracelet that would constantly monitor vital signs (including proximity to oxygen), store medical records, and actually “dial and text” the nearest 911 or center. with a full explanation of the person’s name, medical history, location, etc.

In the dream, I took a “crash course” in biotechnology and designed the device. I even called it “Insertion Alert” in my dream, even though it doesn’t actually insert into the body, it’s non-invasive, and it has sensors that can “read” the inside of you.

It even controls my blood pressure, which puts me back to sleep. If just one child (as if that wasn’t enough) had been shot in West Virginia, 911 would have been immediately alerted, so the chance of others being shot could have been sidetracked. Even if the single shot hadn’t been wearing the device, it would have raised the user’s blood pressure and heart rate quickly enough to wear the device and automatically dial 911 with the location of the emergency. If you remember, there was a lot of confusion and the police took too long to arrive, so it gave the killer time to do his job.

I woke up and took notes. Oddly enough, I found myself illustrating the device. I downloaded the patent paperwork from the US patent office and received my provisional patent. I put up a website and started raising funds to build it. That is not an easy thing, only about 0.001% maximum of seed inventions get any money from investors. I was contacted by an investor, not the other way around. He put up enough for me to hire an engineering company to start development of the device. Two powerpoint presentations were made.

At the time, “Bluetooth” was the best satellite communications protocol for these types of devices, but today there are more advanced ways to communicate with satellites. So I made some major changes to the design, but left the old shape, in case someone decided to copy it. Good for them. They would have sunk tens of thousands into a device that would have barely worked. I never said that all dreams are completely instructive. I was lucky enough to have a good friend who has multiple doctorates, one in physics and one in electrical engineering, a senior engineer at IBM. We’ve been close enough to know, I could trust him. He was still careful. I told him that I would tell him about my new invention, if he would give me a quote for my website. That would be enough protection for me, I thought, if I accidentally told a fellow IBM associate. He knew that he would never steal the idea from me. He gave me a glowing report, and it remains on the front page of my website.

For several months, I had to withdraw from the project, as the technology was changing a lot, and I knew that I was going to have to think about 2-3 years of development, even after raising the money to build the prototype, and then getting the license. to a larger corporation for mass production and distribution.

Still struggling with some minor (fixable) health issues, I’ll start that process of finding investors, licensees, etc. again. for the project to work.

It will work in downtown New York or on top of the Himalayas, I know from my experience working at the largest independent satellite news production company in Washington in the late 1980s and from talking to my friend at IBM.

Hopefully, the right investors will come along. I know where to look and make submissions if they don’t.

If you read Dr. Beiller’s comment, he generously called my work “ingenious.” I may or may not be, but I don’t consider myself a genius so much as “a ruthless street hustler with a late education.” To me, everyone has some kind of genius in themselves, and it’s up to them to figure out what it is and then use it, so that the next thing that happens is “something happens for a reason”, they can say too (if it’s a tragedy), “but it won’t happen again if I can help it!” You may not be a writer, cartoonist, inventor or the things I prefer to do to expose my “genius”, but trust me, you have it. (I was considered a “slow learner” and I proved him right. But that was academia, that’s life.)

The article may sound a bit like “bragging rights”, it is not. It’s to make my point clear, and perhaps change the cliché: “Yes, everything happens for a reason, but if it happens, and we don’t want it to happen again, let’s fix it and say it happened for a reason too.” .