Friday, 29 February 2008

E-Day Update

E-Day, an "independent operation" (even though started and backed to the hilt by the BBC) , has proven a complete bust. Designed to sell people on the idea of returning to mud huts and peasantry, the end result was that electricity consumption actually went up on the day.

The BBC has relegated the embarassment to the back pages of its web site and is now faced with trying to wrap its collective mind around the fact that the British people aren't a load of dupes after all. Meanwhile, Dr. Matt Prescott, the alleged brains behind E-Day said,
I will do my best to learn the relevant lessons for next time.
The relevant lesson being that there shouldn't be a next time.

Update: This just keeps getting better:
E-Day organiser Dr Matt Prescott said the drop in temperature on the day may be behind the rise, with more people leaving lights and heating on as a result.
Yes! A stunt to worship at the altar of Blessed Gaia combat global warming is defeated by global cooling!

Doctor X

When stem cell research goes horribly wrong.

Shame about the handcuffs.

Police Academy Dhimmitude

Police in Britain are to be taught the Koran and Sharia law as part of a programme to "combat extremism".

One would have thought that a solid knowledge of English law and how to write out an arrest report would have been enough. No doubt policemen will also now be versed in the Catholic Bible and the Napoleonic Code on the off chance that they have to lock up a Frenchman.

Plymouth Saved

Defence Minister Baroness Ann Taylor has refuted stories that the Royal Navy base at Plymouth is to close in five years.

Good news at last.

Prince Harry Vs the Taleban

After the press blackout was breached by a foreign journalist, the MOD announces that Prince Harry has been serving on the front lines in Afghanistan for the past ten weeks.

Good for you, your highness. It's what a (potential) heir to the throne is supposed to do.

Update: Unfortunately, Prince Harry has now been moved because of the leak for fear that he'll live up to his nickname of "bullet magnet".

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Well, Done, Britain!

Lord Summerisle celebrates E-Day

After the BBC was rightly given the bird for trying to mount a Luddite propaganda rally called Planet Relief, the corporation decided to become more responsible and, along with the usual environmentalist suspects and electricity companies fearing bad publicity, mounted a Luddite propaganda rally called Energy Saving Day or E-Day.

As part of this create-the-news-rather-than-report-it affair, the BBC posted a running meter on their web site that would show how much Britons are helping to return to the Dark Ages Save the Planettm by cutting back on electricity on The Day and...

Oh, dear. Oh, dear.


A lesson from Denmark: Wind power; good. Too much wind; not so good.

Global Warming-- Eventually

It's official: The Sun is going to swallow the Earth.

We only have 7.6 billion years, so get your affairs in order while you can.

Baron Frankenstein, Call You Service

Prof. Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield warns that battlefield robots "Pose a threat to humanity".

In other news, Skynet was seen whistling casually and staring at the ceiling.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The BBC & Responsibility

Miss Nasreen Suleaman, producer of the infamous BBC programme "Don't Panic, I'm Islamic", gave testimony at the trial of one of the men linked to the 21 July 2005 bombing attempt. According to The Telegraph (emphasis added):

Called as a defence witness, Miss Suleaman admitted that she had spoken to Hamid in the days following the July 21 attacks and found out he knew the wanted men.

She said she thought he was scared the fugitives might try to call him
but did not contact the police because she felt under "no obligation" to do so.

Such monumental arrogance is staggering. This woman had information about terrorists at large and she didn't tell the authorities because she felt "no obligation". If the Ministry of Justice (there's a chillingly Orwellian title) isn't drawing up warrants for withholding evidence, obstruction of justice, and giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war, then they are sadly neglecting their duty.

Fat Art

Your moment of culture: Ozzy Osbourne in lard!

I think I'm getting a migraine.

Ice Age

From Daily Tech on how world temperatures have reached a new record-- of cold:
The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.
Quick! Buy an SUV and Save the Planettm.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Lions Do Not Doubt

Janet Daley over at The Telegraph has the most concise answer to Britain's identity crisis that I can imagine:
(W)e don't need to define ourselves, we just need to stop hating ourselves.
That isn't half the battle; it's all of it.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Wise Advice

When you're in deep trouble, look straight ahead, say nothing, and pretend to know what you're doing.

Raul Castro "Selected"

Raul Castro has won the power struggle been unanimously "selected" leader of Cuba.

Now his brother can "die" happy.

How Evil Are You?

How evil are you?

How disappointing. Whatever am I going to do with that death ray now?

The Four Yourkshiremen

I used to know blokes like this down the pub.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Another Nail

Plymouth naval base is to close in five years.

Sir Francis Drake finds new career as rototiller.

Man of La Mancha

Ralph Nader is running for president.

We ride again, Sancho!

Select Reporting

BBC headline:
Cuba to select Castro's successor
That's "select" as in Stalin was "selected" after slaughtering all his rivals.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Living In Their Own Little World

And now it's guess the caption time from the AP. How do you think the flag burners in this photo were referred to? Guess again:

Pakistani human rights activists burn a Danish flag at a protest rally to show their anger over the reproduction of Prophet Muhammad cartoons in Denmark, Thursday, Feb. 21, 200, in Gujaranwala, Pakistan.

Human rights activists? Somebody needs to increase his medication.

Your Tax Euros at Work

Having never heard of the percolator, the EU is spending €6.3-million to develop a robot that makes coffee.

Instant coffee.

Commonwealth? What Commonwealth

Britain is faced with uncontrolled mass migration from third-world countries that results in unassimilated ghettos that act as breeding grounds for Jihadists and hostility toward legitimate immigrants. Do you:
  1. Regain control of the borders, restrict immigration from states that are complicit in human trafficking, and impose swift penalties on illegal migrants that include prison sentences in the offender's home country and irrevocable deportation.
  2. Abolish ancestry visas for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
If you chose 2, then congratulations! You are now in charge of writing Home Office green papers.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Pee Rubber

From Gizmodo:
A new rubber compound that's made from fatty acids and a component of urine retains its shape to such a degree that it can be cut in half with a knife and then repair itself, retaining its original form.
Adrian Monk was really not available for comment.

Science News

According to The Times, scientists have developed the self-repairing laddered stocking.

They promised to get on that cure for cancer right away.

Shado of a Doubt

The United States announced that one of its missiles successfully destroyed a "rogue spy satellite" in the upper atmosphere.

I don't know, but I've seen this sort of thing before. Was Commander Straker anywhere in the vicinity?



Tales of Future Past has a new section on Moon Rovers, which we are justly proud of, but sometimes something cool still manages to slip by.

How we missed this one by Syd Mead, I've no idea.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Emergency Drum

Yanko Design has this interesting concept on offer: an emergency shelter complete with generator, radio, first-aid kit, and karzi all packed in 50-gallon drum.

I particularly like how the drum converts into a charming patio set.

Copenhagen Bombing

A bomb has destroyed a solarium in Denmark. No one was hurt and two "foreign looking" men were seen fleeing the vicinity.

Since we are not "really" at war, this was obviously an hallucination.

Update: Meanwhile, one of the Danish cartoonists is homeless because he's "too much of a security reisk".

Kiddie Cthulhu

Sometimes those childhood memories just flood back.

Update: Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Tyrant "Retires"

"Castro" has announced his retirement.

Given that he has done so in a letter, it looks as if we're back to square one. Is that retired as in ill health, or retired as in on ice until it's convenient to announce his "death"?

Don't Leave Earth Without It

And now for the really paranoid, we present dog tags engraved with vital information that will allow alien Good Samaratins to return you to Earth should you be abducted by flying saucers or fall through some inconvenient rift in the space-time continuum.

We recommend that you also keep several billion dollars in your shoe to cover coach fare.

Monday, 18 February 2008

French Courage

More than 1,000 police, some wearing black hoods, raided housing projects outside Paris in a massive sweep Monday, kicking open doors and detaining 33 people in a search for rioters who led an outburst of violence last year, a prosecutor said.
This is France? If this keeps up, they might actually end up not surrendering this time.

The Price of Newts

Cheshire County Council has been forced by the European Union to move four newts at a cost of £60,000, which comes to £15,000 per newt. Apparently our masters in Brussels are unaware that you can get a spanking-fresh newt from any reputable pet shop for £3 and you could probably get a discount for a full set of four.

Gussie Fink-Nottle was unavailable for comment.

Painting the Forth Bridge

Network Rail has announced that it has found an alternative to constantly repainting the Forth Bridge.

I still say wallpaper was the better idea.

NEW! Moon Rovers & Future Satellites

Two new sections to Tales of Future Past:

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Reuters Enigma

Reuters reports on the seventh night of rioting and burning by "youths" in Denmark:
Bands of youths set fire to cars, buses and schools in Denmark on Saturday, the seventh night of rioting and vandalism in the capital Copenhagen and other Danish cities, police said on Sunday.
So far, business as usual. But in paragraph seven, this peculiar non sequitar showed up:
Social workers said an alleged plot to kill a Danish cartoonist for his drawing two years ago of the Prophet Mohammad might have fuelled the riots. Danish newspapers reprinted the cartoon on Wednesday in protest against the plot. What is this doing here?
What on Earth do cartoons of Mohammed have to do with rioting "youths", who are no doubt confirmed secularists and can trace their ancestry unbroken to King Ongendus?

Someone should look into this mystery.

The Ban Works

Since the ban on fox hunting went into effect, the numbers of supporters have dwindled.

That's supporters of the ban, that is. The hunts are doing just fine, thank you.

Water on the Brain

Having established that it has absolute control over the Outer Party members and proles by making tobacco, fatty foods and God knows what else double-plus ungood, the British government will now extends its dead hand over the counterrevolutionary evil of bottled water-- at least, if the Thoughtpoliceman natural resource commissioner has his way:
We have to make people think that it's unfashionable just as we have with smoking. We need a similar campaign to convince people that this is wrong.
And the environment minister chimes in his support, saying that the bourgeois menace of bottled water:
(B)orders on being morally unacceptable.
Expect to soon see Emmanuel Goldstein holding up a bottle Evian at the Two Minute Hate.

Machine Intelligence Update

American engineer Ray Kurzweil claims that machines will possess intellects that will "match man by 2029".

I have my doubts about this because this prediction has a) been made many times before with the same twenty-years-hence time frame, b) involves a great many hidden assumptions about the nature of reason that are not tenable, and c) if such machine intellect did arise it would almost certainly be less silicon sage and more aggravating automaton, as per Douglas Adams's spot-on prediction:

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Pakistan Bombing

A bomb blast at a political rally in Parachinar, Pakistan has killed 37 people.

Pakistan is starting to look like Beirut 1983-- with NUCLEAR WEAPONS.



Friday, 15 February 2008

Ideal Home of the Future--- Past

The salutes Alison and Peter Smithson; the giants of Future Past and inventors the tinfoil-roofed house.

"Youths" Riot in Denmark

If you get your news from the mainstream outlets you may not be aware that "youths" of indeterminate religion have been rioting and burning cars and schools in Denmark for five nights.

The money quote is from Chief Inspector Henrik Olesen of the Copenhagen police:
We don't know why they're rioting. I think it's because they're bored. Some people say it's because of the cartoons but that's not my opinion.
Boredom? Such denial hasn't been witnessed since Stalin acted all surprised when the Wehrmacht rolled over his border.

Space Cabbage

NASA is adding kimchi to the International Space Station's menu.

They've been wanting to test that emergency escape plan for years.

Sometimes Less Blind Than Blinkered

Hot the heels of an appeals court ruling in London that freed five Muslims for possessing Jihadist propaganda, another court has given an Algerian pilot arrested after 9/11 permission to sue the British government.

The merits of the individual cases aside, this is what happens when a war is prosecuted as if it was merely a criminal case. Courts are intended to deal with ordinary criminals who try to prey upon society. They are not intended to deal with a military or terrorist enemy bent on the destruction of that society. To deal with terrorists as criminals because it is easier than facing up to the fact that war has come to Britain is to invite disaster further down the road. With this sort of mindset, the government is needlessly presenting itself with the appalling choices of turning the screws on the entire population in order to catch a handful of maniacs or resigning itself to being unable to do a thing about enemy attacks except wipe up the blood afterwards.

Update: The Royal United Services Institute isn't impressed either:
"The UK presents itself as a target, as a fragmenting, post-Christian society," the report says, and is "increasingly divided" on its history, national aims, values and political identity.

Nessie RIP

Veteran Loch Ness Monster hunter gives up search after 37 years, claiming that the creature is dead due to global warming.

He's serious.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Space Babes

Dark Roasted Blend has an impressive post on Babes of the Spaceways and...

Sorry. Got a bit distracted then.

"I Was a Sonic Blaster Guinea Pig"

Sharon Weinberger wins the Julius Caesar "Ides of March" foresight award.

Warbots of the World

Popular Mechanics looks at military robots fielded by other than the U.S. military.

The Trade Federation didn't make the cut.

Cartoon Counterstrike.

Danish police arrest three Jihadists who plotted to murder one of the Mohammed cartoonists. Did the Danes:
  1. Do an Archbishop of Canterbury and grovel in the name of "social cohesion."
  2. Reprint the cartoons "to show their firm commitment to freedom of speech."
They chose 2.

That's Civilisation 1, Barbarism nil.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

House of the Future of Yesterday Tomorrow

Disneyland is reopening the House of the Future.

That's a different House of the Future, as the old one is a) a bit dated and b) more than somewhat demolished and scattered to the four winds.

1975: And the Changes To Come

Bostworld is featuring scans from a 1963 book looking forward to the strange, new world of 1975.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Tales of Future Past: Danish Style

If you're in Copenhagen, check out the Post & Tele Museum, where images from Tales of Future Past are being showcased.

End of shameless plug.

I Want One For My Lawn

"Campaigners" are demanding that a sonic device that drives teenagers away should be banned because it targets everyone under the age of twenty.

And the problem with this is what?

Geared Up

GMPTE, which is responsible for Greater Manchester public transport, recently came out with this unfortunate poster.

Poor engineering, but a perfect metaphor for how government bureaucracies work.