A Geek’s Paradise?

I’d like to introduce you to the world of Tom Spina Designs. This outfit makes some of the geekiest (yet most fascinating) bits and pieces I’ve come across in a long time. I’ll show just a few examples here – you’ll find a bunch more at their Web site. Click on the pictures for larger views. How about Han Solo frozen in carbonite on your desktop? No, I don’t mean your computer’s desktop background – I mean the desk on which your computer stands! You’ll need an appropriate chair to go with the desk, of course. How about one of

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A seeing . . . tooth???

We read the following in this news report: An Irishman blinded by an explosion two years ago has had his sight restored after doctors inserted his son’s tooth in his eye. Let me get this straight. This guy is seeing through a tooth? Well, apparently, sort of, yes. It seems there’s an operation called – wait for it – “Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis”, known for short as OOKP. The technique, pioneered in Italy in the 1960s, involves creating a support for an artificial cornea from the patient’s own tooth and the surrounding bone. The procedure used on McNichol involved his son Robert, 23,

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An Islamic Reformation?

Things are about to get very interesting in the Islamic world. According to a BBC report, Turkey has begun a major project to revise the Hadith, the written compilation of oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of Mohammed. It’s second only to the Koran as the most important and authoritative religious document in Islam. Interpretation of the Koran relies on it, and most Sharia (Islamic religious law) is based on its precepts. That’s where the problem lies. . . . the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society

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Neat gadget!

Now and again I come across something so neat, so well-thought-out, that I slap my head in exasperation and exclaim, “Now why didn’t I think of that?” I’ve just had to do that again. An Australian company has come up with the neatest portable “tripod” idea for a small camera that I’ve ever seen. A reviewer describes it as follows: The FOZI Tripod is a tiny fold-up camera stand that makes it easy to ensure you’re always in the picture. It is brilliant in its simplicity – basically a thin piece of polypropylene plastic, the size of a credit card,

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A sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process

I love it when criminals’ bad choices slap them in the face. Hard. It seems that two dumbasses, one of them armed with a cheap imitation of a Samurai sword, decided to rob the Regents Park Sporting Club in Sydney, Australia yesterday. Unfortunately for them, they neglected to check out the clientèle before making their move. This can best be described as Not A Good Idea. You see, the local motorcycle club, the Southern Cross Cruiser Club, was having their weekly beer-and-poker session business meeting there at the time. Yes, Australian “motorcycle clubs” are not dissimilar to their US counterparts.

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Japanese TV stunts #1

I don’t know why it is, but Japanese TV shows seem to get away with tricking, conning or duping participants into the most amazing situations – and never get sued for it. Some of them have had me rolling in the aisles from time to time, and I’d like to share some of them here now and again. I’ll start with this classic sauna scene. Peter

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The factors behind our economic woes

I’m sure many of us have been affected by the crisis in the housing market, the drying up of loans to all except high-credit-score applicants, and the knock-on effects of these problems that impact other areas of the economy. It can all be summed up in a fairly short sentence: If you live beyond your means, sooner or later you’re going to have to pay the bill. This doesn’t apply only to individuals or corporations. It applies to countries as well. Take a look at the CIA World Fact Book. Study the rank order for national current account balance (i.e.

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Funny advertisement

Via e-mail from Mark (thanks, buddy!) comes this Lucky Strike advert. I don’t know if it’s a genuine advertisement or someone’s viral video, but it made me laugh. WARNING: Some of the other videos on that site are definitely NSFW, so I’d be careful about clicking on any of the links that come up at the end of the clip. Peter

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Cold sleep

From England comes the story of a woman who’s providing a hibernation home-from-home for 75 tortoises – in two refrigerators! Mrs. Shirley Neely said that the refrigerated assistance was necessary because of an unusually mild winter. If the tortoises didn’t hibernate properly, they wouldn’t have enough energy to eat or drink and not enough body weight to keep warm on their own. She wraps them in towels (removed for the photograph above) and puts them away for three months. Sounds good to me . . . but I hope that a hungry guest doesn’t reach into the fridge and grab

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Artful alliteration

This has to be one of the more intriguing (and most alliterative) newspaper headlines I’ve ever read: Feckless fishmongerfaces flak forfoisting fatal fuguon famished foreign female Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? The article concerned may be found here. It refers to a Japanese fishmonger who sold a poisonous puffer fish to a foreign woman who didn’t know how to cook it safely. As a result, she died. Sad story, I suppose, but enlightened by a witty copy-editor. Peter

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