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April 13, 2014

SOCCKET (Energy-Producing Soccer Ball)

It sounds like a nice idea. The "SOCCKET" is an electricity generating soccer ball. So children in impoverished communities, whose parents can't afford electric light, can play soccer during the day to charge the device up, and then use it at night to power a small lamp to read by.

Plenty of money was raised to produce these things and ship them worldwide. Unfortunately it seems that the gadget wasn't field-tested very well, because reports are that most of them promptly stopped working after a few days. So a lot of kids now have an overpriced soccer ball. [pri.org]

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Apr 13, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, Sports

The Great Mull Air Mystery

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In 1975, a pilot in a small plane makes a mysterious unscheduled night flight, and goes missing.

Several months later, the pilot's body is found, close by the air base from which he took off.

His plane is found even later, sunk in the ocean.

Did he jump from the plane in mid-air? No injuries consistent with that.

Did he escape the downed plane and swim to shore? No traces of sea water on the corpse.

Read the details here of this still-baffling enigma.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Apr 13, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Tragedy and Pathos, Unsolved Mysteries, Air Travel and Airlines, 1970's

April 12, 2014

Get married at a sewage plant

Brightwater sewage plant in King County, WA is advertising its availability for weddings. Which sounds a bit weird until you see that it's actually a nice location (well, nice enough; I suppose it depends on how picky one is), and comes at less than half the cost of comparable facilities. So I'd definitely consider it if I were planning a wedding. Why not? However, some people, such as the wedding planner in the video, seem outraged at the mere thought of it.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Apr 12, 2014 | Comments (10)
Category: Husbands, Wives, Excrement

Cortocircuito en la Selva

PeloMONO - Cortocircuito en la selva from Perles & Perles on Vimeo.



That sure is a swell tune. Weird video, though.

The group's homepage, in Spanish.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Apr 12, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Music, Surrealism

April 11, 2014

If You Grow It They Will Come

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Three words: lab grown vaginas.
Posted By: patty | Date: Fri Apr 11, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Sex

S.E.L.F.I.E. Mirror

If holding a camera in front of your face and snapping a picture is too much trouble, then you might be interested in the S.E.L.F.I.E. Mirror (which stands for Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine).

When you stand in front of it, it automatically takes a picture of you and uploads it to Twitter.

Although, if it's taking the picture, then is it still a selfie? Or is it a mirrorie? [via slashgear]

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Apr 11, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, Photography and Photographers

G. G.‘s Barnum Room

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Every hepcat knows the name of the Peppermint Lounge, famed in 1960s lore. But not as many folks recall that the same space was transformed in the 1970s into the Barnum Room, the only club with transvestite trapeze artists above the dancers.

Read a period essay about the club here.

See fantabulous fotos here.

April 10, 2014

No More Rice Krispies!

Back in the late 1960s, Rice Krispies ran three opera-themed commercials, which are remembered as some of the most popular commercials of all time. I found two of them on YouTube (Pagliacci - Vesti La Giubba, and Madame Butterfly). The third one, which featured the Toreador song from Carmen, doesn't appear to be online. At least, I can't find it.

The Vesti La Giubba commercial is, by far, the most famous of the three, to the extent that whenever some people hear the song, they immediately think of the commercial. As reported by LA Times writer Diane Haithman in 2005:

at a Los Angeles Opera performance of "Pagliacci" ... instead of focusing on tenor Roberto Alagna singing the celebrated tears-of-a-clown aria "Vesti la giubba," I could only hear: "No more Rice Krispies! We are out of Rice Krispies ... "




Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Apr 10, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Advertising, 1960's

Nazi Musicals





The Ginger Rogers of Nazi Germany.

More on Marika Rokk here and here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 10, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Movies, War, 1930's, 1940's, Dance, Europe

April 9, 2014

The Cyclocable

The cyclocable is a Norwegian invention designed to help bicyclists get up hills. It operates on the same principle as a ski lift. They've got one in Trondheim that's been working flawlessly since the early 1990s.

The inventors are now trying to sell the idea to hilly American cities like Pittsburgh. But there are two reasons why a sale is unlikely. First, precisely because Pittsburgh is hilly not many people there bicycle. Thus, there's not a lot of interest from the community. Second, it's America. So, liability issues.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Apr 09, 2014 | Comments (10)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.