"integral intestinal jet pack"
A man on the internet wants me to take a look at his ring. He claims his ring detects hand gestures. Apparently with one flourish of the fingers, it will open up and let you in. His ring supports input as well as output. You can store things in it. It accommodates accessories. He uses it as a means of payment in lieu of cash …
The obvious quote from "The Third Man":
" in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
It's indeed a nice punchy quote, and one whose construction I have long admired, but I suspect most of the victims of the "warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed" might well have gladly traded in all of "Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance" for 30 years of peace and democracy. Well, probably a simple peace would have sufficed. Or maybe just even as little not being terrorized and murdered.
Though there is a Chinese saying with similar intent this one seems to be a 19th C. English invention. The closest Chinese is "Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a human in a chaotic period."
Curiously the "Willow Pattern" china is an English invention too, in the late 18th C., adopted later by Chinese copies. Though it was inspired by Chinese designs. The fable was made up later as marketing by a UK company.
I like to research things that my characters might say in my books, so I don't inadvertently reinforce urban myths. Some do have an element of truth, but in intent are false.
what's worse, whoever came up with it did obviously not bother studying Swiss history. Not satisfied with supplying mercenaries to various wars (some battles had Swiss on both sides, that's neutrality for you), they also had a fair deal of internal strife until 1848.
Catchy, but completely detached from reality.
I forget who it was that said it, but somebody said that Germany's two greatest achievements were convincing the world that Beethoven was German and Hitler was AustrianI had heard it as "Austria's greatest accomplishments were convincing everyone that Mozart was Austrian, and that Hitler wasn't."
But I don't know the original source, either.
> I forget who it was that said it, but somebody said that Germany's two greatest achievements were convincing the world that Beethoven was German and Hitler was Austrian
The quote I think you are looking for is... Austria's greatest PR success is in convincing the world that Mozart was Austrian and Hitler was German.
Edit: 10 minutes to note that someone else just beat me to it!
Is completely wrong. Not only is the Black Forest not part of Switzerland, but the Swiss had a great reputation as mercenary soldiers - particularly the Appenzellers, who had earrings and upside down pipes so that in a battle they could avoid fellow citizens on the opposite side. They then developed a massive armaments industry and sold them to any government with money.
"And then took half of it away, the bastards."
While still being made in Switzerland - Toblerone was acquired by the same US food giant that has been criticised by customers for its subsequent changes to other famous chocolate acquisitions eg Cadbury; Green & Black.
"Toblerone is a Swiss chocolate bar brand currently owned by US confectionery company Mondelēz International, Inc., which was formerly Kraft Foods, the company that acquired the product from former owner Jacobs Suchard in 1990."
That procession video really captured the sort of ritual and theatricality that Augustus Pugin championed to attract congregations to the moribund English churches in the 19th century.
It is not surprising that he had spent his youth doing stage designs in theatres - which at that time had insalubrious reputations.***
*** It is interesting that the Wikipedia biography omits to mention this unholy formative phase of his life.
"Well, you know what to do - log on and start editing!"
It'll be instantly reverted by the person who believes the entry is their own personal property.
I couldn't even get some "entry owner" to accept that "meeting minimal safety requirements" meant something different to (in, fact almost the opposite of) "meeting minimum safety requirements"
No, as a German confident in their English, they were so confident that I (a native speaker with a postgraduate education) was wrong in declaring the two adjectives non-synonymous, they refused to even to look it up. I gave up in the end.
I must confess that at times I see the adverts for the Japanese wonder-loos, with every mod-con, and wonder if one could be plumbed in to a Welsh cottage without blowing the village power supply. Warm air, warm water, music, bliss! I could take the laptop with me and it's the new office - not sure about client meetings though.
Not at all convinced about the smartphone control though. In fact totally unconvinced. For something like that you need a simple control panel next to the device. I mean, what about visitors? Do they lose out on all the 21st century wonderfulness? And for the 3am visit, the phone is probably on charge.
Just like all almost all IoT kit, goes way too far and becomes negatively useful.
Just like all almost all IoT kit, goes way too far and becomes negatively useful.
Only a matter of time before somebody adds a bowl-cam. And that'd be quite useful for those retards who insist on updating the online world about every moment of their day. Maybe have a built in motion detector, and then live stream to Faecesbook. Government could then demand backdoor access on grounds of national security, and your local council could fine anybody using more than five sheets per shite "to protect the environment".
Obviously audio feed would be staightforward, but technologists have so far been woefully remiss in the olfactory department, other than some early attempts in the US that they let slide.
From what I've read, I believe a toilet bowl cam is standard equipment in Airbnb properties.
Somehow that idea reminds me of this: NSFW unless your boss has a robust sense of humour.
Wouldn't be surprised if a bowl-cam is already on the way, as part of the diagnostic package. The top-of-the-range models already do a lot of medical diagnosis, and the cam will just assist with checking out the development of your Farmer Giles' - all uploaded to the Cloud and widely available on a YouTube channel near you.
and the cam will just assist with checking out the development of your Farmer Giles' - all uploaded to the Cloud and widely available on a YouTube channel near you
And top, top, top of the range will have a little windscreen wiper on the lens, to clean away the consequences of a sputtering ring. And even that will have a "smart" revenue stream in 2025:
"AI analysis by Google Deep Mind (tm) completed! BLEEP! Deep Mind (tm) has detected that Bowl-cam HX248-8491-A67GW has bad image smearing! BLEEP! Image analysis consistent with a worn excrement wiper blade; Location 42 Acacia Grove, Stockport. Arse Identification has positively identified the foulage as being from the anus of a Mister Smeagol Gove! Despatch a technician with BCW4-X3 wiper blade, and a wiper arm cleaning and re-lube kit and a set of latex gloves. Alert PharmaOnline to an opportunity to sell Preparation H, alert Tesco of an opportunity to sell baby koala soft toilet paper and industrial strength air freshener. Notify Smeagol Gove's friends on Facebook with reminders to congratulate him on pebbledashing the pan...oh, no friends recorded, abort that. Alert Mark Zuckerberg so he can pimp this data anyway!"
"...and it's the new office - not sure about client meetings though."
I seem to recall some time ago (1970s?) seeing a film extract on Barry Norman's Film programme of that year (if only I could remember which year) where the concept was to reverse eating and shitting. The extract showed a company board meeting taking place with everyone on a shitter, free to raise the lid and let rip, while those needing any food or drink had to excuse themselves to a small ante-room and do it in private, quietly. It was, of course, a foreign-langauge film. Wish I could find out what it was...
In Vietnam and Cambodia, every toilet has a (manually operated) flexible hose for washing whilst sat in the toilet. It's great. It's maybe due to older houses having sewage systems that don't cope with toilet paper. It maybe that the heat and humidity of that climate makes another way of keeping fresh desirable. Whatever, it's a far better solution than using 'flushable' wet wipes as some folk in the UK do.
And if you have any expectations of getting lucky that day, it's confidence-inspiring to feel clean and fresh below the belt.
The architecture in Japan often leans towards smaller houses and thinner walls. Having a toilet that produces sound effects (birdsong, waterfalls) is a way of maintaining a pretence of privacy.
The first mainstream waterproof smartphones were from Sony. I don't know if this is related at all. I usually start playing a podcast before I do my business, and pick it up again after washing my hands - so the waterproofing is mainly handy for listening to podcasts in the shower. That Sony made a waterproof tablet is useful, given how many people tablets them to display cooking recipes.
The architecture in Japan often leans towards smaller houses and thinner walls.
That's a frightening thought given the tiny, dingy modern day slums that UK builders create, along with their paper thin internal walls.
Of course, maybe that's why the Japanese population is in decline.
No, you can have an internet enabled gold star. It signals other star holders via bluetooth when you are near.
I recently watched Craig Ferguson's Tickle Fight special on Netflix and he talks about Japanese toilets quite a bit. Presumably one requires the correct NFC code on a smart ring to enter them though.
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