Category Archives: Bright Idea

How to Make an iPad Stand for Free

How to make an iPad stand - for free

How to make an iPad stand - for free


Tool Lending Library

Photo: Flickr

Photo: Flickr

How often do you need a tile cutter, a ladder or hedge clippers? If your answer is ‘not very often’ then you could use a tool lending library, and so could a lot of your neighbors.

This is a community project that the Phinney Neighborhood Association in North Seattle has operated for years. Low cost rentals for tools by the week ($10/wk. for a tile cutter) means I don’t have to buy one (and store it and maintain it) and the money stays in the neighborhood rather than in the pocket of a big box store.

I think every neighborhood needs a tool lending library. I’m filing this under community projects.

Pay It Forward

I’ve been on the road the last few weeks and found myself sitting in the cozy Willamette Coffee House in West Linn, Oregon (great coffee+ pastries+happy high energy baristas+wi-fi=perfect.) There I witnessed pay it forward in action.

A regular customer had filled up her coffee punch card to earn a free beverage. Rather than take the free drink, she requested they give it away to someone else. The guy behind her in line already had his money out when they asked him if he wanted a free coffee drink. He said “Yeah, sure!” and them promptly put the money he had in his hand in the tip jar. A happy moment for all in the cafe.

The Telluride Free Box

Telluride_Free_BoxVisiting friends in Telluride, Colorado this week, I have to go by one of my favorite places in town – the Free Box. You never know what you’ll find – shoes, clothing, sports gear, even a flat screen TV from someone moving out of town and swooped up immediately.

It’s a great way to recycle what you no longer use, or to find something useful. I think every town and neighborhood needs their own version of a Free Box.

Cafe owner thrives with no-pricing policy

There’s a cafe in Ohio with no prices on the menu. You pay what you think your meal is worth. Since the owner implemented his no pricing policy business is up. Here’s the rest of the story on

Veggie Garden at the White House?

Photo: Flickr

Photo: Flickr

That’s Alice Water’s newest dream – a vegetable garden at the White House. She’s a world renowned chef, restauranteur and visionary that helped bring organic, slow food into the mainstream.

CBS’s 60 Minutes did a segment on her last night. Here’s a link to the clip at The Daily Green, so you don’t have to watch pesky commercials. Enjoy!

How to Find Out if You Have Unclaimed Money

There is a lot of unclaimed cash out their in the form of utility deposits, refunds and even property.

In 2008 Dateline did a show that indicated there is more than $30 billion of unclaimed property being stored in the treasuries of states across the U.S. The unclaimed funds or property can come from many sources including security or utility deposits you may have made but never claimed for the refund, old bank accounts you or a relative never closed or emptied and even investments that you never cashed in.

To find out if you have unclaimed money or property, here are five steps to check it out from Sarah Carter’s article at

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