Thursday, 30 April 2009

Attack of the Robots

A Swedish court fines a company 25,000 kroners after one of their workers was attacked by a robot.

The name of the victim is not given, but is believed to be something like "J. Connor".

High Road Aerocar

Leigh Aerosystems presents its entry in the flying car sweepstakes, now undergoing wind tunnel tests.

I sincerely hope that the wings are retractable, otherwise side roads, parallel parking, and passing cars could be a problem.

Yoga Toilet

Faced with this, I'd elect to try the bushes instead.

All American Space Fleet

Not just a space fleet, an All American space fleet.

Tip o' the hat to Retro Thing.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

100 Days

I see that Mr. Barack Hussein Obama has reached the 100 days milestone of his administration with the traditional media attention.

I'll leave it to others to assess the good or ill, success or failure of Mr. Obama's tenure so far, but every time I hear the term "100 days" I'm reminded of another gentleman whose hundred days started out with promise, but whose empire ended up smaller than he'd expected.
Update: On the other hand, some of Mr. Obama's admirers may need a little lie down or a good dictionary that explains the definition of "blasphemy".

And I thought I was stretching it by making an oblique and general comparison of Bonaparte!

Renault E0

The Renault E0 ecocar: We left out the windscreen and passed on the savings to you!

Reliability


The great thing about wind turbines is that they have zero emissions unless...

Well, at least they don't... um...

Yeah.

Stand By for the Chrysler Princess


So, the US government and the unions now have controlling interest in both GM and Chrysler.

Why not nationalise the car industry? Look how well it worked with British Leyland.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Swine Flu Survival Kit


How to survive the swine flu outbreak? You could go with hand sanitisers, rubber gloves and face masks, but personally, I have other plans.

Morris Marina Moment


It could happen. I lost a couple of cars myself that way.

Memory Hole


Oceania has always been at war with East Asia.

Shfud

Get the Shfud kit and you will create new motions in the kitchen that will inspire new ways of preparing food and a new generation of chefs.

Or you can just cut out the pretentious double talk and buy yourself a decent chef's knife like any competent cook.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Polarised Views

Open water at the North Pole!

...in 1959.

Miss Fire

Early Days of the Sith

Most people don't realise that in the early days Darth Vader wasn't all that cool.

Chronos

If you've shelled out $74,500 for this safe complete with ballistic armor plating, four-way solid titanium locking bolts, tungsten carbide hard plate, locking bolt anti-drive, active and passive relocking, Sargent & Greenleaf biometric keypad lock, interlocking anti-pry door, hi-density amalgamate cladding, reinforced anchor bolts, alarm system integration, and a GPS alert and tracking system to house your watches and think that this is good value for money, then maybe it's time you looked into sobering up and buying yourself a Timex.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Saint George's Day

Happy Saint George's Day from Ephemeral Isle.

Twilight ala Rifftrax


We recently went on holiday motoring around the Olympic peninsula in Washington State and on our way south drove through the town of Forks where the Twilight series is set (and where it's obvious the author never came within a hundred miles of). As we passed the "Welcome to Forks" sign, we saw a teenage girl bursting from a parked sedan and damn near peeing herself as she jumped up and down waiting for her parents to snap her picture at the sacred shrine.

That's the point we decided to fuel up and floor it out of there faster than Peter Fonda pursued by a coven of Texan Satanists.

Anyway, I was delighted that the guys at Rifftrax have taken it upon themselves to restore order to the universe and was happy to part with the four bucks for the download because its a heck of a lot cheaper than Adlerian therapy.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Apache

19th century French technology: A combination knuckleduster, dagger, and pepperpot revolver.

But it's most effective if kept folded up and thrown, which puts it on par with the deadly ashtray.

Earth Day 2009


Hello and welcome once again to another Earth Day rally celebration here at Chez Szondy. We were going to live blog it with streaming video using our servers powered exclusively by solar panels and windmills, but because it is generally overcast here, so there's no sun and we're in the middle of a pine forest, so there's no wind, we've had to make other arrangements.

Also, we regret that the much-anticipated Hug-a-Polar-Bear attraction has had to be shut down owing to our discovery that polar bears are not quite as placid as thought, resulting in the first (and only) participants being rapidly reduced to polar bear chow. We tried using a koala as a stopgap, but apparently even those little bastards can get a bit stroppy.

I don't even want to think about the rabbit savaging incident.

In keeping with our pledge to reduce the event's carbon footprint as much as possible, we have banned all internal combustion engines, Blessed Gaia curse their pistons, and requested that all participants travel by G-Wiz. Unfortunately, we are more than 35 miles from the nearest recharging point, so turnout has (again) been less than what we'd hoped and we have a couple of hundredweight of soy hotdogs that we've no idea what to do with, though the local farmers have made a few impertinent and highly personal suggestions.

However, we have much greater hopes for our zero-carbon drive and are certain that we can achieve our goal of producing no carbon dioxide whatsoever as soon as we can learn to do without that whole respiration thing. Some participants have managed to hold their breath for a full four minutes, though the hyperventilating after does tend to eat into the results.

The highlight of the day, however is the live-on-tape address by The One himself, President Barack Hussein Obama, to thank everyone for their hard work in convincing the public that massive spending on green programmes has anything at all to do with a bursting real estate bubble and to apologise for the Industrial Revolution, which he points out was before he was born, so it doesn't matter that much. It was a bit a pain getting the presidential Jumbotron up the hill on its 18-wheeler juggernaut lorry followed by its media centre van, stadium-grade portable diesel generator, and air-conditioned caravans for the crew, but it was well worth it if it helps Save the PlanetTM. The Provisional Assistant Deputy Environment Undersecretary and his 27-person entourage, who flew in via Gulfstream jets specially for the occasion, said that it was wonderful how we were doing our bit to help raise awareness about the dangers inherent in the very existence of the officially-designated pollutant, carbon, which taints us all as original sin in Blessed Gaia's eyes, and the need reduce its threat via a cap and trade tax regime that will make advanced industrial societies a thing of the the (prefeudal) past.

As for the traditional Earth Day sunset ceremony, Lord Summerisle has, for his usual nominal fee of 50 percent of the gross, assured us that we have purchased sufficient offsets from the Gore/Summerisle Carbon Credits Group that the virgin sacrifice and wicker man burning can go ahead as scheduled.

Gaia be praised.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Monday, 20 April 2009

A Leap Forward

Thanks to this great Tasmanian invention, when you pick up tomorrow's newspaper it won't just seem like a load of Wombat poo, it will be.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Bacon Lance


Behold the power of bacon.

Sub Standard

One of the lucky breaks of my career is that I had the opportunity of visiting any number of United States, Royal Navy, NATO forces and other allied submarines, which meant that I've sampled some of the best food among the best company in the armed services–Not to mention coming across the biggest wok I've ever seen aboard a Japanese boat.

Here's a glimpse of the Royal Navy variety.

Captain Nemo's Pedalo

We present the next great stride in man's ongoing conquest of the ocean depths: The pedal-powered submarine.

Next up: The horse-drawn bathysphere.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Tummy Bug Update

Good news: The daughter is fit for duty. The bad news: I've got the bug now.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

South Georgia Island: 1982

What do you call a lightly armed Royal Marine detachment cut off on South Georgia, outnumbered 100 to 1, and facing a corvette with helicopters and a 4-inch gun?

A bad day for the Argies.

Sick Day

An absolutely wretched time here at Chez Szondy. The daughter had a touch of stomach flu last night and had to spend the night in our bed with a bucket on standby. This is not one of those things that lends itself to a good night's sleep. First, you're up far too late. Second, bedclothes and jammies have to be changed at least once. Add to that the fact that you can't turn over properly, a nightlight is glaring in your face, the dogs are completely confused, and you have to sleep with one ear open for any sound of a warning tummy gurgle and getting so little rest that you might as well get the crossword and be done with it. The upshot is that you end up greeting the dawn with all the enthusiasm of an approaching rent collector.

The good part about being a freelancer is that keeping the daughter home from school is no problem. The bad part is that I get bugger all done when it becomes clear that the crisis has passed, so I end up cleaning the bathrooms and weeding the garden between bouts of Junior Monopoly (Disney Channel edition).

And people wonder why I get frantic around deadline.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Human Regenerator

The best of new agey nonsense and all for a mere €420,000.

If you know anyone who has that sort of money and lack of common sense, please send me their name and bank account details.

Dr Zaius, Call Your Service

A colony of 2000 orangutans have been discovered in Borneo.

Conservationists are currently in talks with someone called "The Lawgiver".

Barry and the Pirates

There's been a lot of comment going after the spectacular rescue of Captain Richard Phillips buy the US Navy, where three Somali pirates were shot dead by Navy snipers faster than you can say "What the...?" in Somali. Aside for the well-wishes for Captain Phillips and the just praise for the sailors and Marines who carried out the rescue there has been the supposedly more important question of how this impacts Mr. Barack Hussein Obama.

On the one hand, you have the pro-Obama crowd who declare that taking out three pirates puts paid to anyone ever, ever, ever characterising Mr Obama as "President Pantywaist" while others point out that if Mr Obama hadn't sent in the FBI to negotiate with the pirates this all would have ended sooner. But I think that the most interesting observation is that if Mr Obama did anything, it was that he did nothing. Apparently, the captain of the US destroyer's standing orders were to fire on the pirates if Captain Phillips was in imminent danger and Mr Obama only came into the loop when the situation escalated into an international incident. By all reports, Mr Obama simply confirmed those standing orders and the commander on the scene executed those orders according to his best judgment. If this is the case, then Mr Obama should be praised, because the best course of action in such a situation is to trust the man on the spot and stay out of the way.

That being said, the real test of Mr Obama's mettle is not what he did or did not do in this situation, but what he does next. The piracy problem is still extant and growing and if nothing is done, things will only get worse until the freedom of the seas itself is threatened. Some, and I agree with them, say that the way forward is to take the fight to the enemy; wiping out pirate bases ashore and sinking every pirate vessel at sea, leaving the crews to literally swim home. It may not pacify the pirates, but such a sustained policy would certainly end up with a load of buccaneers stranded ashore with few new recruits and nothing to do except jump up and down in impotent rage.

Not that this seems very likely, given Mr Obama's typical well-read, but meaningless speech after the event:

I want to be very clear that we are resolved to halt the rise of privacy (sic) in that region. To achieve that goal we're going to have to continue to work with our partners to prevent future attacks, we have to continue to be prepared to confront them when they arise, and we have to ensure that those who commit acts of piracy are held accountable for their crimes.

Any more wiggle room than this would have involved him finishing by saying "Or not".

Time will tell if this episode will end in action or filed away as another distraction.

Update: It won’t take a village. It’ll take John Wayne.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen.

Friday, 10 April 2009

How The Other Half Flies

Believe it or not, these are aeroplane interiors.

Just think about these next time you're stuck in a tiny, ill-cushioned seat in coach surrounded by half dozen howling children and their desperate parents on the tarmac at Luton airport for five hours without food, water, entertainment or a working toilet.

Honey Comb

Because you never know when what starts as hair brushing will end as as homicidal rampage.

Chariot

How to improve the dignity of the wheelchair bound? Make them into skinny Daleks

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Priorities

Muslims are demanding an apology from Spain for mistreatment of Muslim converts to Christianity in the 17th century. Though what the mistreatment of Christians by Christians has to do with Muslims is beyond me.

Nevertheless, I hope that the Spaniards withhold any apologies until the Muslims apologise and pay substantial reparations with interest for invading the peninsula in the 8th century in the first place; plunging the region into six hundred years of war, tyranny and turmoil while threatening the rest of Christendom with the same fate until turned back at Tours.

I'm not holding my breath, though.

Nice Capitalist Economy You've Got Here


My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.
Barack Hussein Obama's little observation has a familiar ring to it.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The Deadline Cometh

The dreaded Deadline looms, so I'll be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Cattledog Castaway

An Australian cattledog reunited with her owners after being castaway on a desert isle for four months.

Excuse me, I've a cinder in my eye.

Recoilless Scooter

An answer to the French armaments shortage after the Second World War and a forecast of Britain's mainline armour after the next round of budget cuts.

Robophrenologist

Studies head bumps; thinks this will locate Sarah Connor.

One Man and His Dog

The brilliant minds at Tesco are chiding New Zealand shepherds to give up using dogs to herd sheep in favour of waving flags about.

I wasn't aware that Tesco was branching out to include distilled idiocy.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Friday, 3 April 2009

Another Nail

The Red Arrows get their first female pilot, even though there are only TEN female fighter pilots in the entire RAF. But don't say that this is due to any orders from on high to put sex before competence. Not if you know what's good for you.

After all, it's not as if New Labour has its priorities skewed.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

A Brush With Sanity

An Episcopal priestess "female priest" and walking contradiction in terms was finally defrocked because she refuses to renounce Islam.

Maybe she should have read the job description a little more closely.