Fashion and practicality: a jacket recharges your gadgets

June 25, 2007

As a heavy iPod user, this could be interesting. This Thursday, (the 21st of June) an Italian company showed off an extraordinary jacket at a fashion show in Florence. This jacket contains solar electronics that can generate electricity and store it in a battery, where it can be used to charge iPods, cell phones, and other devices. The jacket is designed by ‘Zegna’, with the electronics developed by ‘Solarc’.

There are two solar modules in the collar of the coat. One module is 9cm by 5.5cm, and with full sunlight generates 1 watt of power.

The integrated battery is 70mm by 60mm by 13mm, and is about 100 grams heavy. In about four to eight power it is fully charged, and when it’s full it can charge an iPod up in another four hours. There are 5 volt and 6 volt connections available, for USB and cell phone devices respectively. These two blog posts have more details on the jacket, and the picture that’s below.

The jacket will ship in late 2008, with prices yet to be stated. Unless it’s outrageously expensive – or extremely unfashionable – I can see myself wearing this jacket.

– Nishant

Smelly fish causes fire alarm

June 25, 2007


A couple in London mistook the stench of a kipper left on the kitchen counter for an electrical fire. Taking it even further, they apparently panicked and called the fire station. The firemen arrived and scanned the kitchen with a thermal imaging camera, before tracing the smell to the fish.

Myself, I’m still confused as to how a fish can smell like a fire. They’re both four-letter words beginning with ‘fi’, but the similarity ends there.

Oh well, at least some good came of it; the couple had their house outfitted with smoke detectors.

– Nishant

Mobile phones are potential haven for viruses, Spanish police arrest creator of one such virus

June 25, 2007

Security worries over viruses that could target mobile phones are growing. The number of people using mobile phones is growing daily as is the complexity of these phones. Case in point: the iPhone, with its increasing popularity and own optimised version of Mac OS X. And I’m not sure if anti-virus programs for phones exist, but I sure haven’t noticed a cellulised version of Norton Anti-Virus, or Kerio Personal Firewall – well, they might actually exist. It stands to reason that such popular platforms will attract viruses. (I wonder if more people have mobiles than computers or vice versa?).

It’s no coincidence then that Spain has for the very first time arrested a person who made viruses targeted at mobile phones. This 28 year old man is suspected to have created a virus that has allegedly hit more than 115,000 phones. Spanish police say that this virus has caused millions of euros in damage to mobile phones and mobile phone networks.

It seems that viruses have learnt a new disguise in their move to cell phones. This virus took the familiar forms of erotic messages and sports information, but also disguised itself as anti-virus software; an interesting tactic. It spread through Bluetooth.

Let’s hope that I don’t have to burden my already-slow cellphone with virus protection software now.

– Nishant

25 year old gets back together with his ex, I give relationship advice

June 24, 2007

Prince William and Kate Middleton got back together after splitting up. Notice how this post probably became a lot more interesting when I said ‘Prince William’. It would seem dull if you just saw the title, wouldn’t it?

Ironically, at the time of posting, the top result for the google search “prince william kate middleton” is still about them breaking up.

Well, my intention in writing this wasn’t just to show that I’m not ignorant of celebrity actions. I’d actually like to offer Prince Williams some advice. Ahem.

If you broke up with Kate, there was probably something wrong in the relationship. Unless you’re sure that you’ve fixed it, you shouldn’t expect too much from this relationship. Basically, make sure you’ve fixed whatever the problem was.

Oh, I almost forgot a picture. Here’s a photo of them before they split up.

– Nishant (the relationship doctor)

I say, there seems to be a gun in my bum

June 24, 2007

The things some people will do to avoid being arrested. Like hiding a gun in between your buttocks. That’s what Reggie Sackey, 27 year old motorist, did in London. He even wrapped it in a sock, probably so that it wouldn’t hurt as much.

Ironically, he was still pulled over by the police, for driving without a seatbelt. They then arrested him for possession of marijuana, but only found the gun in a station search. Well, at least he knows that his ‘hiding place’ worked – now all he has to do is remember to put on a seatbelt. I do hope they don’t start pulling over motorists for random bum-checks though.

I wonder what would have happened if the gun had gone off, considering it was fully loaded at the time.

– Nishant

The world’s ugliest dog chosen in California

June 24, 2007

This is Elwood, new holder of the World’s Ugliest Dog title. And I can see why.

Elwood is two years old, and a mix of Chinese Crested and Chihuahua. Not being a dog lover, I can’t tell you what that means specifically. But it sure seems to involve a whole lot of ugly.

– Nishant

49 inch dandelion to set new Guiness world record

June 24, 2007


Picture one of these flowers, but taller. Much taller. Much much taller. In fact, a whopping 49 inches tall, (but if you’ve read the title of this post then that number shouldn’t surprise you).

The Tripodi family, who currently live in New Hampshire, dug up this 49-inch tall giant dandelion from their pool deck after the oldest son spotted the record for ‘tallest dandelion’ currently at 39 inches. After the mother retrieved the tall plant, it was measured at 49 inches, and an application for a new world record was promptly sent to London.

Well, it’s interesting. Maybe not the most exciting piece of news, but at least it doesn’t involve any houses burning down.

– Nishant

Destructive SWAT team gets away with burning down a house

June 23, 2007

In late 2006, a SWAT team, (again in Arizona – maybe this is why that woman had ‘snitch’ burnt into her face) tracked a suspect for a home invasion case to the wrong house; of-course, they didn’t know that it was the wrong house at the time. Precisely 47 seconds after announcing themselves outside the house they threw a ‘diversionary canister’ into the house, where 73 year old Salvador Celaya lives with his wife and a few other relatives. Their son heard the noise and went to wake them up, whilst their grandson fled the house.

Unfortunately for the couple and their house, the ‘diversionary canister’ landed on a mattress, set fire to it, and proceeded to burn down the house.

What’s worse is that internal affairs investigators have cleared the SWAT team in question of ‘wrongdoing’.

What kind of policy is this where police teams set fire to buildings 47 seconds after announcing their presence? Certainly not a civilised one. Maybe this Arizonian police force has been taking lessons from the ‘pre-emptive defense’ doctrine of America’s present – I shudder to think of what else this could result in.

Oh, and the evidence that led them there? The daughter of the senior couple had lent her car to a woman who then lent it to the suspect that the police team was after. Sounds like something I’d see on a soap opera; ‘my brother’s wife’s mother’s cousin…’.

– Nishant

Barbaric people burn the word ‘snitch’ into a woman’s face

June 23, 2007

A 38 year old woman in Arizona has had the word ‘snitch’ burnt into her face. Why? Because she helped the police with a domestic violence case. The brand is four to six inches long, and stretches across her cheek from her lip to her earlobe.

Now come on folks. This is the damn 21st century, we don’t go around burning words into people’s faces. Freud might say that these people were punished in kindergarten for calling names.

Apparently they never grew out of the name-calling, just took it to a whole new level. Cruel acts like this don’t give the mid-western US states a good name. ‘White trash’ indeed, as this blog says.

Another thing that bugs me is that this isn’t even ‘snitching’. The way I read it in this news article, the woman was simply co-operating with the police in an ongoing domestic violence case. And yet, some people such as this blogger are implying that the woman is to blame because she snitched. I’m sorry, but if the police asked me for my help in a domestic violence case, I’d feel bound by law to help them. And I wouldn’t expect to have words burnt into my cheeks either.

What a world.

– Nishant

Lake in Chile goes ‘missing’

June 23, 2007

According to Reuters news, a lake in Chile that was as big as about 10 soccer pitches has mysteriously ‘gone missing’. The lake was apparently located in the Magallanes region, and was supplied with water from melting glaciers. Some people speculate that an earth tremor opened a crack in the ground, which ‘swallowed’ the lake, (supporting this is evidence of thousands of minor tremors this year in Chile). Or, like a comment on this blog entry suggests, someone could have appeared below the lake and ‘pulled the plug’.

Either way, a missing lake should definitely be cause for concern about today’s environment.

– Nishant