Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, November 11, 2010


Weird Tech, Weird World

By Dr Who

If you want to write a semi-original article about things that are already out there on the net, you need to possess something special. You need quirk; you need style and flair. And most of all, you absolutely must not have an exam the next morning that you have totally forgotten about. So let's get on with this pathetic attempt to draw the attention of your hormone-imbalanced, attention deficient eyes. This one goes out to my boss, may he rest in pieces somewhere.

Neat Freak!
Heh! What a coincidence! The first printable gadget that catches my eye is not an actual gadget at all. Imagine the creativity and boredom of the guy who invented this one. People, meet the tie organiser. Your stamp of slavery is no longer a useless strip of cloth hanging from your neck. It is now a wallet-type thingy, with slots for money, credit card, passport, rulers, and pens, basically whatever strikes your fancy. We imagine this is very popular with FBI and CIA agents. More places to carry weapons.
Price: Just get it made by a tailor, would you?

This one's for the car nuts. We probably already told you about illuminated sandals before, and how they'd be useful in this country of fickle electricity, but as you probably guessed from the title, these are shaped like cars. So cough up $30 [2007-value] and rev off to find those candles.

What's that smell?
We've all heard of all those mp3 players that come with clothing accessories like shoes and belt buckles. We know about the old school mp3 players shaped like audiocassettes. We can figure out the attraction to Lego and Rubik's cube mp3 players, the latter of which you can't stop unless you solve the cube. We also understood the fun behind some unprintable music players. But we fail to register the necessity of a smelling mp3 player. Released in 2006 by SolidAlliance and possessing the whopping memory capacity of 256MB, the iCool [not iSmell, God only knows why] mp3 player comes in a variety of smells, including chocolate, lemon, strawberry and rose. What we can't figure out is why anyone would need to smell their mp3 players.

These guys also have USB memory devices shaped like a tiny sushi dish. Go figure.

This is quite possibly the most useless gadget on this list. It is a wilderness fire-starting tool, with a supposed blade cutter, which we assume is only good to scrape bark. You scrape off the sheath of sparking metal, strike it with the blade cutter and you have a pretty decent spark apparently. There are some comments on the site that go, “That's pretty handy.” You know what they need? They need to stop wasting four dollars and get themselves an effing lighter!

USB Butt Cooler
Yeeeaah, so this is kind of self-explanatory. You want to air your behind while sitting before your computer, it'll be $45, thank you very much. The guys who made this, Thanko, are total whackos that have, among other products, USB necktie coolers, USB staplers, eight gram micro mp3 player and a USB cat paw. That last one is a challenge to the USB mouse. That's cat people for you. All that other stuff is starting to make sense now.

How many did you do?
This nice gadget is used to count how many push ups you have done. You hit that red button with your chin on your way down and that registers one push up. We won't tell you the price, because we hope the kids of today know enough maths not to need this one. Because kids today, are a little like us. And for the most part, our push up count doesn't reach double digits.

Peter Petrie Egg Separator
Yes, it separates the egg yolk from the rest of the egg, but it does so in a very, very gross and thus, fascinating way. Price: $12.99.

No words for this one
It's a Hello Kitty gravestone. If that isn't weird, we don't know what is. Price: 140k yen, around 1700 dollars.

Call of the Shores

The man's face was illuminated by the fading sunlight as he stepped out of the shadows. His visage was suffused with the suppressed joy and excitement, like that of a young boy right before embarking on a highly anticipated adventure. There was a spring in his step as he began to walk, and a smile appeared on his mouth and climbed all the way up to his eyes.

It was calling him, and he could hear it.

A gale blew into his face, ruffling his hair, which was already tangled. He had not bothered to comb his hair, because he wished for someone who would love him for who he was. Today is the day, he thought happily.

The man saw boulders up ahead, and the path led past them. Surely he was getting nearer. They were obstructing his view. He quickened his pace, impatient now, eager to get beyond.

As he emerged on the other side, the panorama before him took his breath away.

The seashore was incredibly beautiful. A vast expanse of sand stretched out to meet the shoreline, which was never static as the water bounded forward and then receded. How old was this shore? A million years? Ten million? Perhaps more. At the horizon, the sun was halfway down. Its golden light, although faint, seemed to be reflected by the froth produced as the waves crashed on the shore. The sounds of the ambience were dominated by the chorus of the seagulls retiring after a day's work.

But the scenery was incomplete. The man's searching eyes soon found the missing piece: the woman. She was swathed in a long, pure white dress that reached down to her feet. Her face was turned towards the sea, with an expression of utter serenity. Her luxuriant hair, which came down to her waist, was golden.

The beauty was too surreal. The man rushed forward with wild passion.

But as he drew nearer to her, he knew in his heart that something had changed. In the infinitesimal fraction of a second, it had changed, inexplicably and irrevocably. Fear flooded every particle in his body as he asked in a hollow voice, 'Are you the one for me?'

She turned to him, not with the sweet smile he had hoped for, but a frown. A frown. It cut through his heart like an icy blade. And all the happiness that had been bubbling in him was gone, to be replaced by a different but equally potent emotion.

Anger. She was not the one.

In a swift fluid motion, he drew out his gift: a long, shiny dagger. The blade glinted as he stabbed. He stabbed, stabbed and stabbed again. The world came to a standstill as the man worked furiously. The white dress was now red for a moment, the woman was flying through the air, her hair rippling in the wind. She was beautiful even in death. In the very next moment, she collapsed, not on the sand of the seashore, but on the hard concrete of the pavement.

Before the man's very eyes, the scene seemed to melt away into oblivion. The sea was replaced by a dirty, cramped lake. The beach was the surface of a road. The giant boulders had given way to dark buildings forming the skyline of a gloomy city.

The ancient shores, symbolizing the perfection to be dreamed of, were gone. And now it must be sought for again.

His heart heavy with grief, the man turned away and entered the shadows once more.

By Ridwan B. Kushal

The pleasing thing about last's week topic, The Ancient Shores, was the varying degrees of experimentation the entries exhibited. We mentioned before that this column will also serve as a recruiting tool for us, thus we ask that you experiment as much as you can and write to your very best. This week we ask you to send in rant articles about Feeling Insecure. Humour pieces are preferable. Entries should be written within 600 words and sent to ds.risingstars@gmail.com by midnight Saturday.


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