If necessity is invention's mother, then screwing around with stuff is its father.
For example, when the supply of rubber was a concern during World War II, B.F. Goodrich developed a synthetic. That's mom at work. Then folks like Ruth Fallgatter and Peter Hodgson played around with failed versions of the synthetic and came up with Silly Putty. That's dad.
This process, in fact, predates mankind by millions of years. Birds invented wings because they needed to fly through the air, but that didn't stop some prehistoric avian from screwing around with them in the water and inventing penguins.
So, for your infotainmnet, here are a few more ideas:
shedding on the furniture and keeping your ego in check
Ever have trouble killing a fly? You've got that fantastic flyswatter and a good reach, but once the fly passes in front of a dark background, it turns invisible. Meanwhile, your cat has no trouble seeing the bug, but judging from his/her frustrated little mews, the cat can't reach it.
The obvious solution is to place the flyswatter in your good hand and mount the cat on the opposite shoulder. Then simply follow his/her eyes and turn yourselves into a super-efficient, two-headed fly killing machine.
Not all cats enjoy riding on shoulders, of course. But if you do have such a feline, I'm totally serious about this working. Max and I killed dozens using this technique.
placed underneath a subject's fingernails during an interview to stimulate conversation
If it's information you crave, and you don't have the stomach for such heavy-handed interrogation techniques, try using the bamboo to hire a spy ring of panda bears. Nobody suspects a panda of being a spy.
On the down side, though, you will need to teach the pandas how to talk.
spying on neighbors
Go outside at night and find the brightest thing that looks like a star. Point the binoculars at it and hold them very steady (prop the binoculars on a tree branch or your deck railing, if necessary).
That "star" is actually Jupiter, and with ordinary binoculars you can see it as a disc. Even cooler, you should be able to spot 2-4 very tiny and very sharp points of light hovering around it-- those are the Galilean Moons (Io, Ganymede, Callisto, Europa).
balancing equations for beta decay
Actually, while we're on the topic, let's talk about the primary function. Roughly speaking, beta decay happens when a neutron decays into a proton and an electron. But that process doesn't quite conserve momentum, angular momentum, and energy. The difference is so small that most people wouldn't really care, but it annoys the Cosmic Accountant, so some kind of neutrino (or antineutrino) is thrown in to make change. Simply put, neutrinos are the pennies of elementary particles.
So my first suggestion: Use neutrinos to replace actual pennies. Let's set some kind of exchange rate-- it can be a million neutrinos to a penny, or a billion trillion neutrinos to a penny, or whatever. Seriously, there are plenty of neutrinos. Then whenever a transaction requires something smaller than a nickel, we can inform the person who doesn't get his pennies that he's been credited with the appropriate number of neutrinos, and said neutrinos are passing through his body at this very instant and he's free to collect them if he likes.
My second suggestion is inspired by the recent anomolous measurements from CERN suggesting that neutrinos can travel faster than light. The most practical application is what I call "neutrino messaging." Sending a message faster than light violates causality, so this would be the ideal tool if a friend is complaining that you failed to send them a text. If you have neutrino messaging, you can rightly claim that they are at fault because they need to receive the message before you can send it. Q.E.D.