Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Jet

It's often hard to accept that we don't have flying cars, but I'll settle for the personal jet as a consolation prize.


Parks itself; hunts for Sarah Connor's grandmother.

2001: A Czech Odyssey

The 21st century courtesy of Czechoslovakia 1957 & fractured subtitles.

The Butt Bra

They are not kidding.


They just broke the goofy meter.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The Reverse Elmer Gantry

"I am shocked, shocked that the Reverend Wright is a paranoid racist."

There is something almost epic about Barack Obama's slide from Democrat Messiah to John F. Kennedy to Jimmy Carter to George McGovern to John Kerry to political hack. Granted, Senator Obama had painted himself into a corner and there was no other way out, but like his links to a self-confessed terrorist and a Chicago racketeer and his wife's unfortunate choices of words, this was something he should have been aware of when it was still a dot on the horizon.

Add five doors and a pair of knickers and you've got a French farce.


Apparently the mission brief is to get the enemy to scream like little girls.


Israel unveils new robot soldier.

Sarah Connor cancels holiday in Tel Aviv.

The Ten Worst Job Interview Questions Ever

As a freelancer I do a LOT of interviews, so I run into these questions on a regular basis.

Fortunately, I'm at the age where I can get away with responses that include the words "cut" and "crap".

Monday, 28 April 2008

Urban Security Suit

The answer to why no one in his right mind will allow fashion designers to develop NBC suits.

Hitting The Nail

"A soap-opera with laser-gun fights"; the best description of the consistently disappointing new version of Doctor Who that I've seen.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Could There Be a Connection?

Justin Webb looks at the "paradox" of the United States as a nation with 200 million guns and yet has a certain "tranquility and civility".

Mr. Webb's inability to see what is right before his face is taken to even greater heights by invoking the apparent contradiction of the Virginia Tech massacre (which occurred at a widely-publicised "gun-free zone") plus a resident of Washington DC who opposes the draconian firearms ban on the city being lifted by showing off nine gunshot wounds and claiming that lifting the ban would turn the capital into the "wild west". Mr. Webb does not ask him, "as opposed to what?"

Next up: Why the United States believes in military force despite defeating Communism and Fascism, has a record prison population despite a low crime rate, and grows vast amounts of food despite not suffering from famine.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Friday, 25 April 2008


With so much farmland left deliberately fallow or even allowed to revert to forest in the United States, what better way to deal with this surplus in agricultural production than to create more of it by building skyscraper farms in the middle of cities at staggering costs.

I'll say one thing about traditional farms, for all its lack of urban-living edginess I never once have I had a cow fall on my head from twenty stories up.

Update: On the other hand, it will do wonders for Compost Awareness Week.

Bum Bot

Georgia man builds robot to chase away tramps; hunt for Sarah Connor.

Science Redesigns the Human Body

Man re-engineered by Science!

At least we know what happened to all those AMC Gremlin designers.

Kill Bond Now!

The production of the latest Bond film has been plagued by a series of near fatal accidents.

Very large man with steel teeth seen hanging around set.

Trevor Howard, Call Your Service

From the BBC:
David Cameron had a brief encounter with Prime Minister Gordon Brown as both men boarded the same train.
And they vowed never to see each other again.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Kerr Avon, Call Your Service

Sky One announced that it is reviving the cult sci-fi classic Blakes 7.

Rumour has it that in an edgy reimagining of the series, the title will include an apostrophe this time.


At last; an electric sports car based on the classic Lotus 7.

Must... resist... urge... to... reach... for... cheque... book.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

One Day at The Railyard

Think once, think twice, think: Properly ventilate your tanker car before it implodes.

God's Own Cutlery

Save the Planettm; use a spork!

Pig Pee Plastic

A Danish company has developed a process to turn pig urine into plastic.

They've finally come up with a way to get me to switch to paper bags.

So Much For The Obesity "Epidemic"

Seattle PI headline:
World food crisis hits home
Costco seeing higher demand for staples
Panic buying at food outlet
Media hype drives out common sense

Happy St. George's Day

Happy St. George's Day
Ephemeral Isle

Compost Awareness Week

Just a reminder that May 4-10 is Compost Awareness Week.

Mind you, every week is compost awareness week at Chez Szondy, but that depends on how warm the day is and which way the wind is blowing.

Vanishing Britain

It appears that I was wrong about the Eurocrats and I apologise.

It turns out that they have no desire to rule Great Britain. They merely want to fillet the country and gobble it up.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Normal Service Will Resume

We've been having server trouble, so I've been shut out of my own site for most of the day.


Mecca Mean Time

From the BBC:
Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth.
It's the sort of statement where the only reasonable response is a long, blank stare.

Cozy Suite

The Cozy Suite airline coach-class seating arrangement: A thin hope for the future or a cruel taunt?

Monday, 21 April 2008

Personal Video: 1938

Cool, but I notice that the word "portable" is nowhere to be seen, which may explain why we're not shown where the flex goes.

PETA Prize

PETA is offering a $1 million prize for the first scientist to come up with marketable vat-grown meat by 2012.

Hopefully this will come off better than their previous Soylent Green Cook-Off.

A Cloudy Crystal Ball

The Seattle PI on 19 March 2008 shows a profound mixture of wishful thinking masked as prophecy:
Spring's sprung earlier, warmer
Climate change puts the greening season ahead of schedule for many species in the Northwest
And a month later my spring plantings were wiped out by a series of frosts and snowstorms.

Nice one.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Sir William Wallace, Call Your Service

Our masters in Brussels slap noise regulations on bagpipes.

The money quote directed at the clueless:
You can’t play the pipe quietly; they haven’t got a volume switch.

Equal Nonsense

In a display of fanatical blindness, the government plans to force the monarchy into the Procrustean bed of political correctness by abolishing the principle of primogeniture.

Britain's coffin is just about finished.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Global Warming Update

This is April at Chez Szondy.



Europe farts in Britain's general direction.

Swimming Segregation

Hackney institutes "Muslim only" swimming at the local baths.

The money quote from the outraged infidel who was turned away:
I asked (the member of staff) whether Clissold leisure centre would institute whites-only swimming for racists. His answer was that they would if there was sufficient demand.
Not having any sort of moral compass makes decisions so easy.

The Gypsy Moon

Repeat after me: Deep hurting.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Another Nail

The traditional woolen cricket jumper has been replaced by a synthetic fibre blouse.

That incessant din you hear is the death knell of Britain still in progress.

Gardening News

Scientist discovers how to grow marigolds on the Moon.

At least the lab will look prettier while they look for that cancer cure.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

World's Largest Laser

Close... So close.

The $12,000 Knish

Unfortunately, one of the ingredients is "moose snout".

Moose snout?!?

Wikipedia's Memory Hole

Lawrence Solomon over at the National Post relates his problems in writing a page for Wikipedia relating to global warming and how the "consensus" is anything but, yet all of his changes kept getting deleted by one "Tabletop" so that it conformed to the apocalyptic orthodoxy:

Tabletop, it turns out, has another name: Kim Dabelstein Petersen. She (or he?) is an editor at Wikipedia. What does she edit? Reams and reams of global warming pages. I started checking them. In every instance I checked, she defended those warning of catastrophe and deprecated those who believe the science is not settled. I investigated further. Others had tried to correct her interpretations and had the same experience as I -- no sooner did they make their corrections than she pounced, preventing Wikipedia readers from reading anyone's views but her own. When they protested plaintively, she wore them down and snuffed them out.

By patrolling Wikipedia pages and ensuring that her spin reigns supreme over all climate change pages, she has made of Wikipedia a propaganda vehicle for global warming alarmists. But unlike government propaganda, its source is not self-evident. We don't suspend belief when we read Wikipedia, as we do when we read literature from an organization with an agenda, because Wikipedia benefits from the Internet's cachet of making information free and democratic. This Big Brother enforces its views with a mouse.

This illustrates one of the reasons why Wikipedia, though a valuable research tool, has to be taken with a dose of salt the size of the Bonneville Flats. I admire Wikipedia's directed democracy ideal for producing an online encyclopedia, but I also have doubts about how well it works in practice.

Generally, I've found it about as reliable as any other encyclopedia (which isn't much), but only for topics that are either completely non-controversial or benignly trivial. Even then, entries face the danger of either falling to a mob consensus that is nothing but a shared falsehood or of a wrong-headed "expert" bleating rubbish about a topic so obscure that no one else bothers to contradict him. Then, of course, there's the annoyance of hacking and other vandalism. Now we find that there is the added danger of bullying "editors" who act as self-appointed officers of the Ministry of Truth.

Doubleplus ungood.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wir Wollen Ein Auto Mieten

Voxtec International have developed a hand-held device that translates speech in 10,000 preloaded phrases.

Hopefully it will help to avoid misunderstandings such as this:


Chuck Gilbert shares his thoughts on his last day as a professional reporter:
Friday was my last day as a reporter, and it also happened to be the deadline for this article. I am now a former journalist, a designation held by many prestigious figures at local homeless shelters and brothels. Journalism is one of those fields you enter when you think you can make the world a better place and leave when you realize you can make your own world better simply by getting a different job. In terms of the raw altruism required, working for a newspaper is kind of like doing a stint in the Peace Corps, only the hours are worse and everybody hates you.
I wish I'd had his guts when I ended a couple of previous careers.

Iron Man: The Trailer

Wildly Popular 'Iron Man' Trailer To Be Adapted Into Full-Length Film

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Ersnt Stavro Blofeld, Call Your Service

Laser beams used to trigger thunderstorms.


The Emperor's New Overclass

A lot of people (okay, my wife) ask me how I can be such a staunch feudalist and believer in a hierarchical society, yet rant about how much I despise the elitists who dominate modern culture. I think that the best way to explain this seeming paradox is that it is not elites that I object to, but the false elites of government, media, entertainment and education that are self-appointed and claim their right to tell the rest of us what to do without any justification beyond their own sense of entitlement and superiority. This sort of Gattacan attitude was best summed by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus this way:
The fact is that we now find ourselves with two alienated classes. It is alienation that distinguishes today’s overclass from the ruling classes of the past. A ruling class that discreetly disguised its role in deference to democratic sensibilities was by most Americans thought to be bearable and even admirable, especially as its privileges were thought to be derived from breeding and achievement. The overclass is something else. As the word suggests, it is marked by an overbearing quality; it presents itself as being over and against the American people but is quite unable to give any good reasons for its pretensions to superiority.
In Britain the phenomenon is much further gone with the rise of what Peter Osborne called the New Political Class, which replaced the old Establishment with something far more self-serving and destructive:

Though the eclipse of the Establishment is well-documented, the Political Class which replaced it is so far poorly understood. This is regrettable because the Political Class has come to occupy the same public space that the Establishment was supposed to until the end of the 20th century. This new class now stands at the pinnacle of the British social and economic structure. It sets social conventions, and demarcates the boundaries against which both public and private behaviour are defined. Unlike the old Establishment, the Political Class depends directly or indirectly on the state for its special privileges, career structure and increasingly for its financial support. This visceral connection distinguishes it from all previous British governing elites, which were connected much more closely to civil society and were frequently hostile or indifferent to central government. Until recent times members of British ruling elites owed their status to the position they occupied outside Westminster. Today, in an important reversal, it is the position they occupy in Westminster that grants them their status in civil society.

The Political Class is distinguished from earlier governing elites by a lack of experience of and connection with other ways of life. Its members make government their exclusive study. This means they tend not to have significant knowledge of industry, commerce, or civil society, meaning their outlook is often metropolitan and London-based. This converts them into a separate, privileged elite, isolated from the aspirations and the problems of provincial, rural and suburban Britain.

I think it was G K Chesterton who said that the old aristocrats had a solid function in society and only became unbearable when they started acting like aristocrats, but at least the old Establishment had a real stake in the country and the well-being of the people, and however soft the current members of the House of Lords were, at least the twigs of the older families could say that their grandfathers stood with Marlborough and Wellington. The new lot haven't anything much to fall back on except that they had some really good arguments in the student union back in Poly about how people couldn't be trusted to live their own lives.

But the new lot, of course, could for them.

Monday, 14 April 2008

You Aren't Here

The Japanese space agency has released high-definition lunar maps based on their recent Selene reconnaissance mission.

Moonbase 3 is in the sort of northy bit.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

John Carter, TAS

The animated version of John Carter of Mars that never was, yet could be again.

Faulty Towers

Esquire looks at "The worst building in the history of mankind".

I think North Korea has this sewn up.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Space Travelers

You asked for it and here it is!

Okay, you didn't, but here it is anyway.

Friday, 11 April 2008


If you've got a couple of hours to waste you could do worse than fiddling about with HeroMachine 2.5, where you can create and customise your own superheroes.

Now if I can just swing a three-picture franchise deal with Warner Brothers, I'll be laughing.

Update: Unsung heroes.

Babbage West

Technology in Silicon Valley just leaped two hundred years in reverse as the Computer Museum takes delivery of the second replica of Sir Charles Babbage's Difference Engine No. 2 to be built by the Science Museum in London.

And it doesn't run Windows.

Doom Cocoon

NewDealDesign unveils a set of stylish emergency shelters and wraps that protect disaster victims from the elements while staying chic.

On my world, we have similar things. We call them "tents" and "blankets".

Some are More Equal Than Others

Why we can outgun the Jihadists in the field a thousand to one, but can still lose the war on the home front:
One of the world's most dangerous terror suspects was last night preparing for a life on benefits in Britain after judges ruled that his deportation would breach human rights law.
It gets worse:
The rulings mean that - despite Tony Blair's promise in the immediate aftermath of the 7/7 attacks that the "rules of the game have changed" - not a single international terrorist has been forcibly removed from this country.
Sir Winston is corkscrewing in his grave.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Fishing Pen

Because you never know when piscariphilia witll strike.

Dog Bites Man

Today's shock-horror story: Leftists in a tizzy as a polar bear eats a fish!

Um... Yeah.


A moonless evening, dozen other guys, paint-ball guns and grenades, a defunct corn maze, night-vision goggles and THIS equals a perfect day.

Okay, throw in some beer.