One of the things I absolutely knew I wanted when I was looking for a job, was to recapture the glory days of my student years, when we used to take a coffee break every morning, and come up with totally cool and utterly insane ideas. Such as proving that it was worth doing nothing for the first 18 months of any 3 year research project (we were so busy doing nothing that we never wrote up this proof).
I once again got the chance yesterday to take 30 mins out of the otherwise stressful day to create a new compression algorithm which can reduce the content of Wikipedia (100Mb) down to 225 bytes, beating the previous record of 16Mb. The downside to this particular algorithm is that the decompression is a tad slow, taking longer than the current age of the universe.
Oh well – back to the day job