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Friday Newsletter: March 16, 2012.

Friday NewsLetter logo (i)It is the St Patrick’s Day weekend where Irish people world-wide take time to remember their country’s patron saint in that age-old traditional Irish fashion…getting as drunk as they possibly can.

So happy St Patrick’s weekend to all who celebrate it and if I had thought things out in advance then I could have made this an Irish-themed blog post.

But, sadly, I wasn’t quite so organized so you will have to make do with this random collection of stories instead, most of which, this week, feature videos for you to watch:

Pampered Pooch Gets Fed via Twitter with his owner’s ‘Tweet-Treet’ Machine

Gadget-mad dog lover Nat Morris has rigged up a computer to a dog food dispenser so that he can feed his pet with a tasty treat just by sending a tweet.

The 30-year-old IT consultant wanted to feed border terrier Toby while he was working away from home so he designed a special device which would allow him to do so with a single tweet.

Now he just sends a tweet to @FeedToby and his home-made food dispenser gives the pet something tasty to eat.

Dog-lover Nat said: “Toby absolutely loves it. At first he didn’t know what was going on.

‘Now he sits underneath, wagging his tail and waiting for the treats to drop.”

Toby the twitter treat dog

Canine media star...Toby the 'Tweet Treat' dog enjoys a walk on the beach near his home in Milford Haven, Wales. Pic: © @NatMorris/Twitpic

Nat has even linked the Tweet-treat device to a digital camera so that he can make sure that everything is working and that Toby has actually got his dog biscuits.

He even has a timer on the device so that the food is only dispensed at certain times of the day to stop Toby getting too fat.

Twit treat dog Toby

Toby waits for his time in the spotlight as a TV reporter prepares to cover the story for a local news station. Pic: © @NatMorris/Twitpic

Watch the video below:


Note: Thanks to YourGadgetGuide for this item.

Is This The Most Sexist Cleaning Instruction Ever?

British technology journalist Emma Barnett was perhaps not best pleased when she noticed her boyfriend’s new jeans strewn across their bedroom floor.

However she was really taken aback when she picked up the trousers and noticed this cleaning instruction stitched onto the inside:

sexist trousers

cleaning instructions: "give it to your woman - it's her job." Pic: Twitter/@EmmaBarnett













Emma was amazed with the reaction when she posted the image on Twitter and was soon inundated with requests to ‘name and shame’ the brand.

Here is how Emma covered the story for her own newspaper: ‘Sexist Trousers’ spark Twitter row.

[Special thanks to Bill Gorcsi for bringing this story to my attention.]

British shop assistant falls in love with the Statue of Liberty

I read this in a UK Sunday tabloid newspaper so it must be true.

Amanda Whittaker, 27, is a shop assistant from Leeds in northern England and she has fallen in love with the Statue of Liberty.

It seems that she suffers from an unusual medical disorder where she falls in love with inanimate objects instead of people.

Amanda has visited the statue four times, where she says she caresses it and says she leaned out of a window to kiss it.

I checked online and this condition has a name – objectum sexuality – and there is even a website devoted to the subject which offers help and support to those who have the condition.

The site, Objectùm-Sexuality Internationale, even has its own logo, a red fence.

Red Fence logo

Not a bad looking red fence by all accounts.

You can read more about Amanda’s story here should you wish to do so.

The girl who can’t stop drinking gasoline – she has downed five gallons in the last year alone.

Addiction can be a strange thing indeed.

Some addictions are easy to understand and others are less so.

For example addiction to certain prescription medications, to alcohol and to illegal drugs are commonplace.

Being addicted to drinking gasoline (or petrol as we call it on this side of the pond) is far harder to comprehend.

How anyone could actually want to drink this foul-smelling, highly toxic and volatile hydro-carbon liquid is beyond me.

However Shannon is a young American girl who does just that and features on the latest series of TLC’s “My Strange Addiction.”

She says that she either licks the cap of the gas can or just drinks directly from it after first breathing in the fumes.

Shannon said: “It tingles at first and then it, it burns the back of my throat. Even though it hurts me, it makes me feel good.”

It makes her feel good?

Now I am no doctor but I would expect that drinking gasoline can only lead to premature death.

I don’t want to deny anyone their 15 minutes of fame but surely getting professional medical help should be a bigger priority than getting on TV?

Video: TLCDiscovery – My Strange Addiction. Sundays @10/9central

The world’s most extreme roller coaster guarantees you thrills and spills…and then it kills you (yes it really does kill you)

the ultimate roller coaster - the euthanasia coaster guartantees 10g forces and then death

the ultimate roller coaster - the euthanasia coaster guartantees 10g forces and then death

As roller coasters go, they simply do not come any more extreme than this one.

It is, in fact, the ultimate roller coaster but riding it comes with a very high price to pay because by the end of the 120 second journey you will be dead.

In that time you will have traveled through 7,544 meters of track with a drop of 500 meters and you will have reached speeds of 100 meters per second.

You will also have gone through seven complete loops and been subjected to forces of 10G (ten times the force of gravity) for sixty seconds.

You will probably experience extreme fear and anxiety as the roller coaster first climbs 500 meters into the air and then extreme euphoria as you plunge back down in a near vertical dive.

Then comes the killer.

There are seven full circles, each one a smaller and tighter spiral than the last and as the ride progresses and the g-forces on the body get ever greater you will experience cerebral hypoxia – a lack of oxygen supply to the brain and this is what will kill you.

Your color vision will be the first to go, then your peripheral vision will be lost and soon you won’t be able to see anything at all until finally you experience G-LOC – g-force induced loss of consciousness.

Quite simply, this machine is not designed for fun and excitement…it is designed to kill.

Perhaps its name – the euthanasia coaster – is a bit of a giveaway and if that clue is not blunt enough the next line on the designer’s website will leave you in no doubt of the device’s purpose.

It says simply:

“Application: Euthanasia, execution”

The euthanasia coaster website says:

“Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetic euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely – with elegance and euphoria – take the life of a human being.

“Thanks to the marriage of the advanced cross-disciplinary research in space medicine, mechanical engineering, material technologies and, of course, gravity, the fatal journey is made pleasing, elegant and meaningful.”

Thankfully, the device, for now at least, has not been built and remains simply theoretical.

Why the controversy over the homeless hotspot?

You may by now have heard of an experimental project called the homeless hotspot.

Some say it is “unseemly and wrong” while others say it is “inspirational” but what is a homeless hotspot.

The idea is that homeless people can sell access to a 4G wireless network hotspot with all proceeds going directly to the hotspot seller.

Homeless Billboard site image











The experiment started when the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) equipped 13 homeless people with 4G mifi devices in Austin, Texas.

It suggested the public pay $2 for 15 minutes’ access to the net but soon there were angry comments on Twitter saying that it was nothing more than a gimmick and that it exploited the homeless.

Now after a huge level of criticism both online and in the conventional media it looks like the scheme could be axed before it has a chance to roll out to other locations.

British brand strategist Luke Scheybeler said it was a “shameful, hideous, patronizing, dehumanizing idea” and now BBH say it is under review.

Thanks to Tim Linden for this story. I first heard about the Homeless Hotspot project on his blog. Check it out: Tim Linden Blog

Cheetah the headless robot sets new land speed record (for robots)

She doesn’t have a head, but she has a name and she is very fast.

Cheetah is the world’s fastest legged robot having been clocked on a treadmill at 18mph or 29kph in new money.

She is being developed by the U.S. military and her movements are designed to mimic those of fast-running animals in nature.

The current version of the Cheetah robot is powered by an off-board hydraulic pump, and uses a boom-like device to keep it running in the center of the treadmill however a free-running prototype is planned for later this year.

Watch Cheetah in action:

© YouTube/DARPAtv

And finally…

I have always thought that everyone in Derby, a city in the English midlands which famously banned punk band The Sex Pistols from playing there in the 1970s, drove around in modest Nissan Micra cars.

Nissan Micra

Found in Derby...Nissan Micra








On the other hand I always thought that everyone in the richer parts of London drove around in plush Bentley motors.

Bentley Continental

Found in London...Bentley Continental









And now here is proof from Derby native Darren Dunn who, on a recent day trip to London, tweeted out this observation:

Darren Dunn Bentley tweet







Have a great weekend. God bless.

patrick signature




2 Responses to Friday Newsletter: March 16, 2012.

  1. Andrew Stark
    March 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Hi Patrick,

    I need to get myself a pair of those trousers…

    I know what Darren means, living in cheshire you get used to nearly getting mowed down by Range Rovers.

    Why someone drinks petrol is beyond me, I’ve had many accidental inhales of solvent in the labs, and I think she should go for a simple ether.

    Thanks again for putting this together.

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    • Patrick Griffin
      March 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

      Hi Andrew,
      I really don’t get the drinking petrol thing at all.
      Surely doing so for any length of time would kill you?
      Range Rovers… the beloved Cheshire tractor.
      Patrick Griffin thinks you may like this post too..Friday Newsletter: March 16, 2012.My Profile