Monday, 30 April 2012

Yes, it is getting warmer


Cycle-skating


Invented by a group of trauma surgeons who needed the work

Now that's interesting!


Yeah, I have trouble trying to communicate to my daughter how impressed I was when fire came along.

Man and the Moon



Friday, 27 April 2012

Grappa



BARMAN:
Are you serious sir? I mean, do you really think the world’s going to end this afternoon?

FORD PREFECT:
Yes. In just over one minute-and-thirty-five seconds.

BARMAN:
Well isn’t there anything we can do?

FORD PREFECT:
No, nothing.

BARMAN:
Well I always thought we were meant to lie down and put a paper bag over our head or something.

FORD PREFECT:
If you’d like, yes.

BARMAN:
Well will that help?

FORD PREFECT:
No. Excuse me I’ve got to find my friend.

BARMAN:
Very well then. Last orders please!

Darwinian alcoholism

Only the strong survive

Hotline: 1985


Whenever Hollywood makes a tense Cold War drama about nuclear annihilation, it was sure to include a scene  with the President of the United States talking to his Soviet counterpart on the Hotline.  What most people don't realise is that there was never an actual telephone.  Instead, the Hotline was a teletype machine and even as late as 1985 was basically e-mail.



That's a pity, because I always imagined that the apocalypse would sound like this.

The Shock of the New: Part 6: The View from the Edge



Thursday, 26 April 2012

Don't mess with the princess


My daughter is past the princess phase, but she's kicking herself that she didn't think of this.

Vinoware


Wine that comes packaged in stacked, bulbous, plastic cocktail glasses.

And so it is that civilisation crumbles one pebble at a time

The modern dictionary

The BBC looks at obscure words and the importance of keeping them alive.

I quite agree and here are a few that get too little usage today:  Chastity, duty, honour, courage, reverence, patriotism, liberty, freedom...

UFO: The Cat With Ten Lives



Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Another duckling rescue



Bouncy henge


Can't get to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice or just put off by all the Druids and hippies?  Then get one of these inflatable Stonehenges.  Just as good and easier to store.

X2


Presenting the X2, a car that you can drive in either direction by getting out and moving to the "back" seat.

Or you could just turn the car around.

Dear America...



Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy St George's Day

Happy St George's Day

From

Ephemeral Isle

It's not easy being a duckling

The All Nighter

Via PhD comics
This might have been me up until about two years ago when I pulled my last all-nighter.  Unlike in my salad days, I was dragging like death by the time dawn broke and I was utterly useless for the next two days.  Now, I'd face down by 2 AM no matter and no crisis would change that short of the house catching fire and even then I'd ask how close the flames were.

Then last year I discovered that my days tavelling via redeyes were passed, too.

Bear truth

While the attention of the American nation is fixed on new developments in Dogate (what is Mr Barack Hussein Obama's favourite breed and dipping sauce?), I prefer to focus on some local developments, such as the governor of Vermont caught running across the lawn stark naked and clutching a bird feeder with four black bears in pursuit.

The public has a right to know.

Man in Space



Saturday, 21 April 2012

Shannon Lucid's spacesuit heads to auction


A rare piece of space history will be up for grabs when record-setting US astronaut Shannon Lucid’s spacesuit goes on the block at Bonhams auction house in New York City on April 26. The Russian-made Sokol KV-2 “Falcon” pressure suit was worn by Lucid while training for her mission aboard the Russian Mir space station where she set a new space endurance record. It is expected to fetch up to US$50,000. .. Continue ReadingShannon Lucid's spacesuit heads to auction

MST3K: The Space Children



Friday, 20 April 2012

Earth Day



It's Earth Day on Sunday and the worshipers of Blessed Gaia have been doing such a marvelous job of lampooning themselves while wrecking the world economy with their wind farms, refusal to drill for oil and gas, abandoning nuclear power for no good reason, regulating industry out of existence and generally carrying on as if civilisation is just the default position that will prevail no matter how much you damage it, that I've decided to give the satirical posts about patchouli oil and drum circles a rest this year.  Instead, I'd like to celebrate the man who did more to improve the environment by bringing power and wealth to the world than all the would-be Lord Summerisles  and Al Gores ever had or could: Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

You want clean air, water, green fields and lush forests for the kiddies to romp in?  Then build an industrial society with lots of technology and cheap energy cranking out loads of wealth for all.  Then you'll have the surplus you need to garden the Earth properly.

Locavore lunacy


A few years ago, when the daughter was still in the infant stage, we took a cross-country motor trip from Seattle to Minneapolis.  During this, I discovered two things: First, working a petrol pump in South Dakota in the middle of winter in a howling wind while wearing a leather coat intended for Puget Sound is a good way to freeze to death and second, local food.  I don't mean regional recipes or cafes that serve bizarre burgers.  I mean the way in which the food spectrum changes.

I was fascinated with how the fish I encountered became smaller, more expensive and generally nastier until I visited a up-market supermarket in Burnsville, MN that was trying to sell salmon fillets at a premium price that a Seattle fishmonger would have chucked in the bin.  Meanwhile, the steaks became bigger, more tender and cheaper until for the price of a modest burger in Washington State I could, in Wyoming, buy a restaurant steak that completely obscured the plate and I could cut it with a fork.

This, to me, is what a locavore movement should be about; extolling to the masses the virtues of their local livestock and produce, imploring restaurants to take advantage of the local fish, reminding them that the sweet corn is delicious beyond the power of description and pointing out that the cheese at the farmers' market is a bit of all right.

Mind you, I have been to a few places in the world where the local stuff was so bad that I'd recommend importing every last crumb, but as a general principle, it's sound.

And I'm not alone.  Turn on any one of Gordon Ramsey's 3,472 television programmes and you'll hear him telling &^% restaurateurs that they're @)^&ing stupid not to @^%$ing use (&%@ing local food in their $%#@ing restaurants, the !&(%s.

Unfortunately, this being the age of irresponsible environmentalism and self-serving Gaia worship, locavorism has been co-opted into a hair-shirt movement devoid of any science, maths, economics or common sense as they turn a simple truth like buying the local rabbit is nicer into a crusade to Save the PlanetTM.  The image that keeps springing to mind is some benighted locavore fanatic who's fallen completely for the party line and vows to only eat what is grown within twenty miles.  Unfortunately, he lives in a prairie and the only thing grown within the sacred limits is grass.  Unless your name is Nebuchadnezzar, good luck with that.

The advocates bleat on about calories expended, food miles, sustainability and all manner of other things that they clearly don't understand, but which they seem to imagine make an iron-clad case for saying that if you eat New Zealand lamb, we'll all be dead by 2050.

It's at this point that logic and apocalypse fatigue starts to set in.  If things have really got so bad that my enjoying Chilean asparagus is the knife edge on which the fate of the world balances, then its far too late and would you please pass the hollandaise sauce?

Which reminds me, I must work on the Earth Day menu.  Let's see what's the best food I can find that will really clock up the odometer?

Down the memory whole


The European Empire declares that henceforth, the Second World War will be known as the European Civil War.  But that occurred before the Year Zero, so it doesn't matter.

We have always been at war with Eastasia.

The Shock of the New: Part 5: The Threshold of Liberty



Thursday, 19 April 2012

Coping with a Tube strike



With Londoners facing the threat of a Tube strike, we present these tips from an earlier crisis.

Eat a bug for Blessed Gaia

I think I'll pass, thanks
Earth Day must be coming up because Dvice rolls out that tired old trope about the Outer Party needing to eat bugs to Save the PlanetTM–and leave enough wagyu beef for the Elite.

I don't know which is more annoying; the whole anti-meat message that was debunked long ago or the attitude toward the common folk that says that eating bugs is good enough for them.

Nearly there

Nice, but it needs a 3D tank that rises up in the middle

UFO: The Sound Of Silence



Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Facing reality

Birth of the Morlocks
A London database centre installs sleep pods in the bowels of their facility for their tech staff to crash in during the Olympics.

It's management's way of telling you that you might as well face the fact that you're the first generation of a new race troglodytes whose entire world from birth to death for centuries to come will consist of the aisles between the great servers that they tend.

Elephant nose


Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) offers this magic wand that can tell if your airline meal (if you get one) is a pure offering or an abomination in the sight of Blessed Gaia.

It's a step up from the Ouija board.

Kobe?


Eaten any Kobe beef in the US in the past couple of years?

No, you haven't.

King Cnut and Mythical Heroes



Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Future card

Tacking this to a bulletin board could be tricky
Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) tackles the vexing problem of all those bits of cardboard that businessmen hand each other. Their solution?  A high tech Bluetooth device that swaps electronic cards between them.

Assuming that the other guy has one.  And can be bothered to fish his out.  Tell you what, here's my card.

Cardboard cathedral


New Zealand plans to build a cardboard cathedral to replace the Victorian one damaged in the recent earthquake.

It also serves as a metaphor for the current state of the Anglican church.

I'll be watching you

MyNorthwest.com headline:
Sting nabs sex offender after moms tip
First the rain forest and now this.  I think he should stick to singing.

The Master Mystery: Part 19



Monday, 16 April 2012

The trouser front

A man went into an Alabama court room wearing saggy trousers and received a three-day jail sentence plus a command by the judge to buy a pair that fit properly.

And so civilisation is preserved one battle at a time.

Peace Drone


"Artist" Axel Berchensbauer's alternative to civilised people defending themselves against barbarians:  Make us look like effete dimwits in front of the barbarians.

One visit of this and the Taliban will be shopping for carpet designs for the White House.

Treason in Parliament

Lord Nazir Ahmed, Britain's first Muslim Life Peer, is suspended from the House of Lords after he posts a £10 million bounty on Presidents Bush and Obama. Since this is in support of a Jihadist organisation, this man is not just committing an act of war against the head of state of a friendly power, he is also giving aid and comfort to an enemy of Britain in time of war and is therefore a traitor.

Why this man was made a lord is a scandal.  Why he isn't in the Tower is a disgrace.

Donald and the Wheel



Sunday, 15 April 2012

Japan team creates world's first "crab computer"


Wouldn't your latest generation tablet be way cooler if it ran on live crabs? Thanks to Yukio-Pegio Gunji and his team at Japan’s Kobe University, the era of crab computing is upon us ... well, sort of. The scientists have exploited the natural behavior of soldier crabs to design and build logic gates - the most basic components of an analogue computer. They may not be as compact as more conventional computers, but crab computers are certainly much more fun to watch... Continue Reading Japan team creates world's first "crab computer"

There Will Come Soft Rain–Zero Hour

Click to listen.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Press to add drama



Glowing dinosaurs


When a country issues coins with dinosaurs on them, it's a sign that they're not taking their currency seriously.

When a country issues coins with glow in the dark dinosaurs, they're one step away from making chocolate coins legal tender.

You'll think what we tell you to think


Transport for London have banned already approved bus adverts that read,
Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!
These were meant to play off of an earlier Stonewall bus campaign that read,
Some people are gay. Get over it!
The advert in question was censored on the grounds that it wasn't "tolerate and inclusive", which is surprising, since the Stonewall version with its bullying "shut up or else" message is about as exclusive and intolerant as it's possible to get.

What's truly dismaying is that Boris Johnson, the allegedly conservative Mayor of London is behind this censorship.  Apparently the Tories are not only adopting the Left's policies, but its practice of refusing to engage in argument in favour of just shutting down the debate.

Shock of the New: Part 4: Trouble in Utopia



Thursday, 12 April 2012

Peekaboo


Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde creates a dress that turns transparent when the wearer becomes aroused.

Every time I wonder why I don't miss going to nightclubs, something like this comes along and reminds me.

Bedbunker


Having a gun safe built into your bed certainly has its advantages, but I can see a few drawbacks as well:

  • Getting to your weapons quickly may be difficult when it involves lifting a box spring
  • Flipping the mattress is hell
  • Carl the Cattle Dog now has nowhere to hide when life gets to be too much for him.

Migrant building


Yanko Design (The DREADCO of the design world) goes on the move with their "migrant" buildings.

I don't know which is more worthy of comment; the insane number of basic things that are wrong with this technological mishmash or the question of whether this picture is of the unicycle skyscrapers fleeing a collapsing city or caught in the middle of an architectural Panzar attack.

UFO: Sub Smash



Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Designer Raymond Loewy's personal Avanti II heads to auction


If you’re in Monte Carlo on May 12, you’ll have a chance to purchase a bit of of history when design legend Raymond Loewy’s 1972 Avanti II Coup√© goes on sale as part of Bonhams auction house’s Les Grandes Marques √† Monaco. Not only is this one of only a handful of Avanti IIs in France and one that was owned by a celebrated designer, but it’s also distinguished by the fact that its original owner was the man who created it... Continue Reading Designer Raymond Loewy's personal Avanti II heads to auction

When the normal is abnormal


Tim Blair has a piece on a US high school that had to conceal a student's mural because it was too controversial (his emphasis)
(Liz) Bierendy, a junior, painted a mural depicting the life of a man ending with the man being married and standing with his wife and child.
Miss Bierendy's crime wasn't that the picture would offend those whose parent's aren't married. It's that she dared to express a thoughtcrime. I've long come to the conclusion that the Left's policy of "inclusiveness" has nothing to do with accommodating other points of view. It's merely an excuse to stamp out any vestige of the pre-1968 world that threatens the Party.

Citylight


Not so much a design concept as a political goal.

Some people won't be happy until the tiny amount of electricity we serfs are allotted is generated by treadmills.

A simple truth

If you go around counting street signs to find out whether or not they're "sexist", then you have way too much free time.

Waste in Politics



Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Robocopter-based system recognizes pirate boats from a database


Piracy on the high seas of the 21st century requires 21st century solutions. As part of the on-going effort to curb attacks on shipping, the United States Navy will use a UAV helicopter to test a new sensor system in the waters off California during the summer of 2012. This new 3D sensor package in combination with new computer algorithms will allow the Navy to more accurately identify pirate vessels hiding among innocent shipping on the sea lanes with much greater speed and much less manpower. .. Continue Reading Robocopter-based system recognizes pirate boats from a database

Dalek Relaxation Tape



Don't slouch!

Phillips unveils its new "green" monitor.  It not only exudes a field of smug self-righteousness, but it also adopts the proper "green" attitude and nags you about your posture.

Buildings from Hell


The Telegraph looks at the ugliest buildings in the world.  This one, Liverpool Cathedral, was so bad that at the time of its construction it was denounced as the work of the Anti-Christ.

The Master Mystery: Part 18



Monday, 2 April 2012

950 bhp Shelby 1000 to be unveiled in New York


If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to drive an American muscle car with enough horsepower to move a small continent, then Shelby American may have the answer. At the New York International Auto Show on April 5th, Carroll Shelby and his team will present their most powerful car to date - the 952 bhp Shelby 1000. And if that's not enough grunt, there’s a track version with over 1,100 bhp. Not a bad way to celebrate 50 years since the unveiling of the first Shelby Cobra... Continue Reading 950 bhp Shelby 1000 to be unveiled in New York

Hiatus

Going on hiatus. Returning on 10 April.