"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.
The wife bought a new electric toothbrush the other week. I was bemused to see on the packaging that the toothbrush has Bluetooth. So I got thinking "well, a blue tooth needs brushing doesn't it?"
Turns out that the is also an app your put on your phone, and pair with the toothbrush via Bluetooth and the app monitors you brushing your teeth and tells you if your doing it right or not.
How did I live without this before?
Too often I get so engrossed in El Reg's comments while eating a meal that I forget to take my after-meal pill - or to set the timer for a 2-hours-after blood glucose check.
I have just made myself an Arduino "pill reminder". The design problem was that there is quite a lot of variation in my mealtimes.
I thought about pressure sensors in my chair - then realised that the best indicator is my coffee mug. So I now have a coaster that works out when I am drinking coffee at the approximate time of day for it to be accompanying a meal.
Automating the signal that the appropriate pill has been taken was physically too awkward - so that currently relies on an unreliable human button press. That then starts the 2 hour timer function.
IoT was thought of to set up the pill times - which rarely change. For now it just gets a new recompile of the Arduino program downloaded via USB. When I reach my dotage wi-fi may be useful to alert my carers that my coffee cup has been absent - or not moved - for some unlikely period.
"Na, wouldn't work for me. Coffee approx hourly until mid-afternoon."
You would set a range of times in which you would be likely to have a meal. If your cup was being lifted and put down inside one of those periods the coaster would flash its light until you pressed the "done" button. That would then start a timer to flash a different light for a short period after 2 hours until cancelled or "done".
It does depend on various constraints that would not apply to everyone's situation. Using the coaster at meal times being the obvious one. The 2 hour alert might have to be scaled up to be suitably audible if you had left the room.
Not sure how quickly one will become inured to the alarm signals.
Obviously a wi-fi module could send a signal for a screen pop-up. That makes the coaster electronics a bit bulkier as an Arduino Nano will not have enough regulated power - and possibly ram. May still fit in my selected clear plastic box 127x110x27mm that fits the role of a "coaster" nicely.
Google seem to have gone quiet on their continuous glucose monitoring of eye fluids in a contact lens type of sensor.
"The 2 hour alert might have to be scaled up to be suitably audible if you had left the room."
Which now occurs to me is already present in my other Arduino designs I was cannibalising to make this Pill timer. It can use a low power 433MHz module to send a signal to a portable/loud door chime dedicated to this purpose. A cheat would be to use a reed relay to apply power to the chime's bell push.
Reminds me of the prize-winning Betjeman parody:
"Here I sit, alone and fifty/ bald and fat and full of sin/ cold the seat and loud the cistern/ as I read the Harpic tin."
As that's off topic, just imagine the kickstarter for the Rings of Power.
The Nine Rings for mortals were such crap that one would think Sauron would have to look for volunteers, or pay people to use them. "Ring conveys power of being a miserable git and upsetting people. Ability to fly on horse, but does not attract girls. I get to tell you what to do. Survival odds slightly better than one way Mars trip."
The Nine Rings for mortals were such crap that one would think Sauron would have to look for volunteers
Ah - they were made superficially attractive with the promise of power in order to lure people into unending misery and slavery.
Much like IoT.
My favorite was a stall that had an inscription just over the toilet paper dispenser (on the right hand wall) that said "Bathroom tennis: look left".
On the left wall was the inscription "look right".
Hopefully nobody else was in the bathroom that day, or they'd be wondering about my mental condition or bathroom activities.
Dad says these don't work... That's epic!
I worked for a place the went on an ISO-9000-driven "label evrruthing" schtick. Written on the container of paper seat covers: "ass gaskets". Above the pots "this container is not authorized for storage of classified defense information". Above the urinals "Men! Be security conscious. The future of the world is in your hands."
Security blew a gasket...
Was just served an ad looking at the Dabsy rant, and this came up.
Pants from a company advertising itself as Newchic that can apparently, and I quote:-
1. Magnetic particles release energy.
2. Improved sleep quality.
3. Enhance the function of immune system,
strengthen the body resistance.
4. Improve the body's oxygen content,
supplement the body's mineral elements
So once you have had your evening bodily clear out, these pants can imbue your moving parts with unparalleled vitality. Even the great Alistair could not realise his article was describing something less bad than the genuine ad in the sidebar...
I for one cant see the attraction of pants that will radiate into my 'nads while attracting dropped knives, send me into a coma, increase my resistance or further fossilize by body with minerals.
"the survey found that carpenters and civil servants were most likely to get jiggy on a regular basis"
The above gives me hope, I retire in two weeks and then move to my new house , it has a workshop in the garden where I intend to make and sell furniture.
A few years back one of my clients had a Jap Super Loo installed, the ringwash feature must have been designed by Karcher, he told me when he first tested it, it nearly lifted him off the seat while giving him a power enema, kind of put me off trying it.
My water bill is composed of two parts - the supply charge that is on the metered consumption and a waste water charge that uses the consumption figure plus a figure based on the rain/surface water catchment area of the property.
With IoT connected "intelligent" WCs, the waste water charge can be fine tuned and reported (c.f. electricity smart meters). The water company could send you an itemised bill, listing each and every flush and the waste matter load/burden. Or even have direct billing "Pay-As-You-Pee-and-Poo"/Pay-As-You-Go.
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