Last night on Radio 4 I heard a show that is looking for geniuses (geniua? genii?), People are invited to send in their brilliant ideas and the genius of the week is chosen by that week's guest. Last night the judge was Germaine Greer so you can see the quality we're talking about here.
The idea that won was to resolve the prison over-crowding problem by making prisoners build their own cells from Lego. A short-term inmate would be given big Lego bricks; a lifer would get small. They could design their own cell, and privileges as rewards for good behaviour would include Lego televisions or Lego trees.
I can see its value but the runner-up was my personal favourite. He - and strangely, all the potential geniuses were male - suggested that instead of using hectare, square miles, acres etc to measure area, we should have units to which people can relate. Such as pinheads, thumb nails, up to football pitches, up to Wales and eventually Australia. So the United States, for instance, would be 2.25 Australias.
We'd have to retain actual measurements for accuracy but doesn't saying America is 2.25 Australias present you with a more realistic image of its size than saying that it's whatever million acres?
It could even be personalised to suit different countries or different groups of people. So car enthusiasts could use toy car to mini to Rolls Royce to articulated truck. I am really taken with this idea, and am thinking of launching a campaign to have it introduced. Are you with me?