Sunday, 31 August 2008

All of Them Almost, But Not Quite Unlike Tea

The Coca-Cola people are working on a soda machine that dispenses 100 different flavours.

As if I didn't have enough aggravation as it is.

GYM

The electric concept car that has exercise machines built in so you can make it go using muscle power.

Or you can just buy a push bike and be done with it.

The Bee


The Unicef Bee; making sure that in the face of the worst that Mother Nature can hurl at us, even the remote and devastated communities will have access to p0rn.

Practical Art

If you're going to build a solid gold statue of a supermodel, it's a lot easier on the budget to choose Kate Moss over Sophie Dahl.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Friday, 29 August 2008

And a Hook was Hanging on the Door!

EE Times headline:
Robot removes kidney
And the patient woke up the next morning in a bathtub full of ice.

Boxed Wine

In an attempt to prove that there is indeed one born every minute, the Hotel Byblos markets a box containing a bottle of Perrier-Jou√ęt Belle Epoque 1999, four glasses, and a rather cheap looking set of jewelry. All yours for €100,000.

Why, why do I never run into people with that much money and that little sense?

Tada!

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Oh, The Humanity!

Never mind oil prices; the rising demand for corn has produced a looming tequila shortage.

The Prime Minister calls for calm. UN in emergency session. Pope leads prayers for deliverance.

Teddy Bear USB Drive

Sick, sick, sick.

Droid on Droid Action

An unmanned USAF aircraft in Iraq destroyed a remote controlled Jiahdist vehicle laden with explosives.

Begun, the Robot Wars Have.

Christo, Call Your Service


How to fight the scourge of Earth-impacting asteroids? Wrap them in Bacofoil.

Then pop them in a medium oven for two hours and serve with butter, sour cream, chives, and crumbly bacon.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

How Old is Your Dog?


By AJ Design Software

Pointless, but fun.

Peugeot 888

Showing that gull-wing doors don't have all the fun, we present the Peugeot 888 folding concept car; soon to be crashing painfully against carpark ceilings, garage beams and road signs everywhere.

Ziggurat City

Dubai showcases a design for a ziggurat capable of housing a million people.


Amateurs.

How to Build a Green Roof

Where I live, that basically involves a couple of wet winters and... That's about it, really.

The Shooter

A combination fire extinguisher and grenade launcher.

I don't know how effective this is, but the entertainment possibilities are endless.

328 mph & Diesel!

A British car has broken the diesel land-speed record with an astonishing 328 mph–and the team claiming that they could have done better, but the tyres wouldn't have held up.

I quite like the JCB livery on the car. It makes me feel that we're one step faster to the goal of the world's fastest backhoe.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Bat-Trauma

Save the Planet™; kill a bat.

Space Food

I love this headline from Discover magazine:
Just How Nasty Is Space Food?
Notice is isn't "Is it nasty?", but "How nasty".

The Wrong Door


It's happened to me a couple of times.

I'll Have The Penne Alla Arrabiata

Only from the halls of academe can you find this sort of inverted logic: Can't run your cafeteria properly? Are your clean up operations inefficient? Then show your contempt for the students by banning trays.

It's all their fault for not worshiping Blessed Gaia enough and they eat too much anyway.

Digital Stars

It had to happen sooner or later. Hollywood has developed a way to replace actors with digital avatars. I was a professional actor for five years and it was bad enough losing parts to blokes who had all the depth of a video game character. Now you get pipped by the "real" thing.

Question is, will they be represented by digital agents?

Monday, 25 August 2008

100 Ugliest Cars

The Telegraph looks at the 100 ugliest cars in history.

And the 1979 Aston Martin Bulldog only came in at 88. May God preserve us from No. 1.

Hug a Jihadist

The BBC's Lyse Doucet criticises news coverage of the Afghanistan campaign, saying that it overlooks "the humanity of the Taliban".

"The humanity of the Taliban"? I had to read that at least three times to make sure I hadn't misunderstood. No doubt that is true in the same way that Khmer Rouge's good points were misunderstood as well, but being totalitarian murderers bent on conquest, enslavement, and genocide will do that for you.

How this remarkably silly woman manages to navigate through life without the smallest fraction of common sense or moral judgment is beyond me.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

13-in-1 Pen


For the gadget-obsessed, we present the biro that is also a 13-in-1 tool kit.

I'll admit that it's interesting and at $15 I'd probably get one at the first excuse, but it does bear a remarkable resemblance to a CIA escape kit from the Cold War.



You do not want to know where you were supposed to hide this.

Hot Pockets

Headline from The Consumerist:
Pepperoni Hot Pockets Recalled For Containing Plastic
How could they tell the difference?

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Journey to the Seventh Planet


Ever wonder why we don't see more Danish science fiction films?

Wonder no more.

Caution: Contains John Agar

Friday, 22 August 2008

Triton 1000

If you have $1.69 million to spare you can buy the perfect gift for the hydroclaustrophobe in your life.

Wristwatch Scales

What train of thought led to someone concluding that this was a good idea is one of the great mysteries of our age.

Beer probably entered into it somewhere.

Mullahs in Space!

Iran announces that it intends to put a man in orbit within ten years.

First the Chinese and now this. What is it about repressive tyrannies that makes them want to spend incredible amounts of money with no hope of return for the honour of retreading ground covered by the superpowers half a century ago?

Next up: Zimbabwe pledges to discover the New World.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Starship Stumbles

Interstellar spaceflight in our lifetime? In anybody's?

The maths, as usual, is the killjoy.

iBasket

A combination hamper and washing machine that does your laundry automatically.

It may be a quantum leap in washing technology, but it is set to start when its load gets above a certain weight, so if your cat likes to snooze on your dirty shirts, this could end badly.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Ferrari Monza

Another entry in our "How the hell do you get into the bloody thing?" supercar concept competition.

Bacon Mistaken for Bomb

At least it's better than a bomb mistaken for bacon.

Mmm... Bacon.

LumiTops

And I thought those see-through blouses back in the '80s were bad.

If they figure out how to stream videos on these things, I'm leaving.

Meatbot

Fanuc Robotics America Inc.has developed a robot suitable for use in a meat-packing plant.

If Sarah Connor goes missing I'm definitely giving the pork pies a miss.

Major Boothroyd, Call Your Service

Only two things have kept me from buying an Aston Martin DBS. One is the fairly obvious and annoying fact that I'm a freelance writer and consequently as poor as a church mouse. The other is that until now there wasn't a stylish Swiss watch that would unlock the doors.

Probably just as well that point one still holds. With my luck I'd press the wrong button and fire the Stinger missiles.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Freewill: Yes or... Nevermind

I'm always fascinated by thinkers who assert that man is without freewill. It isn't that they hold such views that amuses me, but rather that if they really do believe such a thing, then why do they bother to tell anyone?

Now, if you will excuse me, I must go and explain to the chair that it is, in fact, a chair.

So Much For the Energy Crisis

Just how long will the world's uranium supply last? 50 years? 500?

Try 5 billion. That's "billion".

The Quatermass Xperiment


Right. If this one goes through, then we're laughing.

Fingers crossed.

We're back

Okay. davidszondy.com is on a new server and we're up and running again.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

The Deadly Mantis


Okay, maybe drilling in ANWAR wasn't such a good idea.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Brand New Key



If you're at a certain age you may recall this quantum of irritation from 1971.


Personally, I've always felt that this cover did far more justice to the song.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Puttbot

If O J Simpson can hunt for the real killer on the golf links, then Skynet can...

Toyota 2009 Prius


Targeting the orbital skydiving demographic.

Something tells me that they're overpromising a bit.

For Very Tiny Wars

Guardian headline:
Brain will be battlefield of future, warns US intelligence report
Won't it get all squishy?

More Aid Than Aid

I've been following the situation in Georgia and it is breathtaking how Mr. Putin has managed to take on old 1930's play, scratch out Czechoslovakia, pencil in Georgia and restage it with a perfectly straight face.. Russia has managed to split Georgia in two within five days and it's "withdrawl" leaves it in occupation of a fifth of the country. Worse, it has made it entirely clear to the Georgians that they can take the whole lot over any time they feel like it.

Unfortunately, it's one of those situations where there's a whole lot of nothing we can do about it. Russia may have the long-term prospects of an old turnip in a compost heap, but today it enjoys an imperial Indian summer with its petrodollars and nuclear arsenal giving it a large degree of immunity against Western sanctions. In the case of Georgia, simple geography prevents any meaningful intervention and it looks as though Mr. Putin is going to have a free hand to do as he wills.

Or at least, it did until the Americans came up with an elegant little countering move. According to the BBC, President Bush has announced that the United States is sending humanitarian aid to Georgia–using military aircraft and ships to do the delivering. They may not be able to do any fighting, but a flotilla of ships in the Black Sea and troops on the ground in the path of Putin's tanks makes for a nice little trip wire that even a former KGB chief would think twice about stepping on.

Now if only the rest of Nato would send similar "aid" plus a couple of "goodwill" visits by a fighter wing and we'd be laughing.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Castro Update

Cuba:
Happy Birthday, Maximum Leader.
Castro:
BRRAAAAIIIIINNNNSSSSS!

Eh, 'Eck

Advice from a Tory think tank for those who are struggling with life in the north of England:

FLEE!!

It's novel, I'll grant you, but I'd have more respect for their wanting to evacuate everything north of a line drawn between the Mersey and the Humber if they hadn't been saying the same thing every day since they missed the last train home on their one and only visit to Liverpool on a rainy Saturday night in 1973.

Fuel Efficiency


Never let it be said that Top Gear doesn't give you practical information.

BMW 2015

Never mind how it goes; how do you get into the bloody thing?

Realistic Nerf Guns

Now I can finally keep those kids off my lawn!

Toastabags

Makes cheese toasties in a pop-up toaster.

Use this power only for good.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Bill of Wrongs



A cross-party committee of MPs has endorsed the idea of introducing a Bill of Rights to Great Britain.

This is one of those ideas which seems attractive on first sight, but on the second makes any sane person run a mile and then hunt around for a shovel to beat the thing to death with. In abstract, an American style Bill of Rights is a great thing. It's a document that was brilliantly conceived and has stood the test of time as one of the great works of human freedom. However, Britain is not America and this is not 1791.

For one thing, a Bill of Rights as the Americans have is impossible to have in Britain because under the parliamentary system no act of Parliament is binding on any future Parliament, which can rescind previous legislation at will. For a Bill of Rights to be effective, a constitutional convention would have to be convened and the whole of British law, tradition and precedent would have to be reduced to a single document. And I can't see that happening anytime soon in any honest fashion.

The second reason is that this is not a true Bill of Rights. The American Bill of Rights and its English precursor from 1688 were essentially records of negative rights that enumerated limits on state power. They regarded the rights of the people to be granted by God and all powers not specifically surrendered by mandate to the state remain with the people. This is clearly shown by not saying things like "The people have free speech" or a free press or the right to bear arms, but rather that the state does not have the power to infringe upon these rights. Period.

The proposed Bill does not wipe away the hated EU Human Rights Act, but rather sets it in stone and elaborates upon it with all sorts of other "rights", such as "health, housing, education and an adequate standard of living". Indeed it is such a shopping list that if it went any further it would have a "right" that would be an insult to all womankind. This is a socialist manifesto written by men who regard rights as a grant of the state, not the Almighty, looking to be implemented in such a way that it would be no more questioned or repealed than the Ten Commandments –by the people, opposition or Monarch, that is, since the provisions of the Bill allow the Party to run roughshod over these so-called rights as it sees fit.

If this is a "Bill of Rights," then it is of the sort I'd write for my dog rather than for free men. No, I take that back. My dog doesn't deserve to be treated with such disrespect. This Bill is nothing more or less than a promise made to a bullock without guarantee to be treated well as it's fattened and then slaughtered humanely come Michaelmas.

Against this I will happily settle for Magna Carta et al any day.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

360° of Cooking

It's hip, it's new, it's now and about as practical as a gas ring in a balloon.

Green Bricks

The Dutch are testing a rather novel idea; concrete bricks that catalyse nitrogen oxide into nitrates. If it works, this could be just the sort of green technology that will a) solve a problem elegantly and b) give the environmentalists fits because it doesn't involve scolding people about their wicked ways and demanding hair shirts for all.

Save the Planet(TM); Eat a Kangaroo

Scientists in Australia claim that eating kangaroos will fight global warming because 'roos don't fart greenhouse gases. I would have thought that since cows do, eating more beef would be the answer.

Sounds like propaganda from Big Kangaroo to me.

Oath Under Threat

A rebel group of 22 MPs wants to scrap the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen in favour of one "requiring them to pledge to serve their constituents". In other words, one that requires loyalty to nothing except what they feel like at the moment.

I'm not surprised. It was bad enough when MPs were allowed to "affirm" rather than swear the oath and it got only worse in recent years as MPs felt free to cross their fingers, add seditious preambles, and make snide remarks under their breath without being fined on the spot by the speaker and frog marched out of the Commons until they took the oath properly. At least Sinn Fein had the honesty to flat out refuse and were barred from sitting.

This is what happens when serious matters are not taken seriously.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Atomic Submarine


Atomic submarines, UFOs, one-eyed aliens; what could be missing?

Acting, dialogue, sets...

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Light Blogging

I'm facing multiple deadlines this week, so entries may be a bit light for the next couple of days.

Such is the life of a freelance writer.