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]
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.
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.
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 ... "
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.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
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