Bad tests sink ships, or something

As a connoisseur of the caution sign, I really enjoyed these gorgeous, strange, slightly disturbing safety posters from WWII-era Britain. There are stylized warnings about driving at night, about putting an eye out with that thing, about what happens if you are very imprudent with boxes, giant boards, and ladders, and then a jolly man who is ominously having way too much fun with a sort of compressed air power gun.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2016/09/16/modernist_british_safety_posters_from_the_middle_of_the_twentieth_century.html

Here is my new version of the “I didn’t protect my eyes” poster specially for Firefox developers,

I Didnt push to try

And another very silly new poster for developers – based on World War II’s finest modernist art –

Make sure it has tests

Really, I do love caution signs. They’re so earnest. They try very hard to be persuasive! Here are some from my Flickr collection of signs. This beautiful, detailed image of someone falling through rotten boards on a pier and then drowning helplessly is from the long pier at Aquatic Park in San Francisco.

Caution dont fall off the pier

This last one is from an old artillery testing range in Essex that you have to drive through before you can get to the incredibly dangerous and fascinating place, The Broomway. The Broomway is a submerged and mostly unmarked 6 mile long path through ocean quicksand, only usable at low tide. Did I mention the unexploded ordnance, the rapidly advancing tide, and the frequent heavy fog? Also, did I mention there is a tour that takes you over The Broomway on a giant tractor?! Sign me up!

Do not approach or touch any object or debris it may explode and kill you

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Bad Inventions: Dumpling Compass!

This is hardly a bad invention. It is sheer genius, because dumplings are fucking delicious. And because I don’t have time to create it, I give it to you. The Dumpling Compass!

Dumpling Compass is a phone app that points you towards the nearest dumpling source.

Consider the miracle of the dumpling. The basic idea is some sort of grain delicately prepared and cooked, often surrounding a tasty filling. There are so many nuances to this amazing food. Behold the Wikipedia entry for the Dumpling, and swoon in awe!

Dumplings!

Using Dumpling Compass, you can filter by the doughy substrate (corn, rice, wheat), the method of cooking (boiled, steamed, fried, served in soup), the type of filling, and the national or ethnic background of the dumpling you most desire to find at any particular moment. Your compass will point you to it.

Someone go ahead and build this. You will make ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

Think how useful. Not like the Sockerchief or the Catula.

p.s. Tamales count!

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Bad inventions: Dead mouse cat treats

I have two more bad inventions to add to the world, both cat-related!

Think how awesome it would be if we had cat treats that had the varied textures of dead mice! Pampered indoor cats could have the fun of chewing on the leathery outer skin made of meat jerky, crunching the fake bones, savoring the squooshy fake guts, and dragging the horrible fake mouse around by its meat jerky tail to leave it on your pillow as a gift. Dead mouse cat treats would be totally amazing and also the worst invention ever.

Except for … 80s sugar cereal cat litter! I thought of this yesterday while cleaning the litter box. We accidentally have an extra-rancid smelling brand of cat litter right now. Imagine a half assed attempt to make cat litter smell pleasant! It could smell just like Lucky Charms, or Frankenberries or whatever, and look like it too… the little blue odor-crystals would be the marshmallow bits.

Lucky Charms Cereal by laffy4k

The cat litter containing boxes could look excitingly like breakfast cereal boxes perhaps even with fun prizes inside for that ultra-hipster retro enjoyment of life… but the prizes would be FOR YOUR CAT.

As an extra bonus, you can combine both these inventions so that your box of Lucky Charms Cat Litter contains a Dead Mouse Treat prize.

Past cat-related inventions include Cat Eggs and the Catula. Other inventions from today: Feminist Bitcoins, the Social Justice Slot Machine, and the charitable causes first person shooter (“Give a hoot, shoot & loot!).

You’re welcome.

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Bad invention: The Catula!

The Catula, or Cat Spatula, is a ridiculous invention meant to help kind-hearted cat owners to move their cats from one place to another. It would gently pick up and move a cat from a shady place on the floor to a new, sunny patch. If your cats are asleep in a cute position on a chair or the couch, and you want to sit down, just use your Catula!

cats in chair

I came up with this in 2003, picturing it as a thin sheet of plastic with handles attached. Then recently I saw this video for a motorized conveyor belt picker-upper-thingie that can move a smear of ketchup and mustard without disarranging its smeariness. The video is oddly hypnotic, as the disembodied human hands swirl the ketchup with a spoon into increasingly more messed up ways, then pick it up and put it back.

This would obviously be perfect for sleeping cats – if only it were completely silent. Not a hair out of place!

It’s really the perfect bad invention. It would never work, and having a special gadget just to avoid waking up your cat, well…

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Beer Hat Neti Pot

I have endless frivolous bad inventions! World, I bring you . . . the Beer Hat Neti Pot. Beer hats are those contraptions that rig up two cans of beer on your head, one on either side of a hat, with plastic tubing so that the beer siphons into your mouth.

Beer Hat

You can be too drunk to lift up your own beer and still keep drinking. Grrrreat.

Neti pots are those little teapot looking things that you stick up your nose to irrigate your sinuses with salt water. They’re very effective at helping a stuffed up nose!

So obviously, there is a socially useful medical application for the Beer Hat!

Yes, the Beer Hat Neti Pot will bring joy and healthy nasal passages ! Even if your sinus infection is so bad you can’t bear to bend over the sink to rinse your sinuses in salt solution, you can wear the BHNP in bed or around the house. The tubes come down from bottles of salt water attached to the hat, and go right up your nostrils. An elastic band will help keep the nose tubes securely attached.

Perhaps some intrepid voyagers in the world of terrible inventions would want to irrigate their sinuses with beer!

Using a nose mask or perhaps a snorkel, the backwash from your snotty nose could then be channelled into another tube that goes into a Camelbak backpack.

Or if you live on a boat like I do, you could go on deck and let your nose water flow freely into the harbor.

I have allergies and get a lot of sinus infections so I’ve had a lifetime to think about this important issue!

I will make ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

Someday I’ll blog seriously about books and politics and poetry again, I promise.
Beer hat photo by Dave Nicoll

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Silly geek tshirt

Here’s a silly tshirt for people who write in vim or vi. Do you prefer the good attitude? Or bad?

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Pacman Cookies

We interrupt this serious broadcast to say that there should be more Pac Man and Space Invaders cookies. Someday I’ll make myself Pacman cookie cutters. Space Invaders cookie cutters would be great too.

Also, someday I’d like to create the entire Pacman board out of cookies. The fruit should be made from marzipan!

pacman cookies

It’s not hard to shape these by hand from sugar cookie dough and a lot of food coloring. These cookies were made from pre-colored dough. I think sugar cookies with a lemon glaze would work very well next time!

If you enjoy 80s geek nostalgia like I do, then you might like this amazing crocheted Atari console with Pitfall on the screen, made by jackrabbit, whose crafts you can buy on etsy!

best thing EVER

Or these incredibly great tshirts… I want the Missile Command and Asteroids ones.

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What happens at BlogHer… goes on teh Internets

Uh oh, I had a beer in front of a videoblogger!

In which I tipsily endorse Batman Pez for President, since he will be my puppet.

I wasn’t the only one, but where are the videos of other people making asses of themselves? Then you can see it properly in context.

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Geek dress code, Silicon Valley version

Skud blogged a very funny comparison of geek vs. non-geek dress codes. I think the geek code allows for a more fine-grained analysis!

THE GEEK DRESS CODE
With elements of clothing listed in order of ascending formality
================================================================

Shirts:

Tshirt your mom bought you at Kmart when you were in high school. Ill fitting; 80s colored; perhaps with abstract designs.
Tshirt for tech company, probably white, grubby, boring.
Tshirt for unboring tech company or science fictional thing.
Cool tech tshirt, black.
Cool tech tshirt, black, tucked in, with belt.
Snarky geek tshirt perhaps from threadless or Thinkgeek; tight fitting to show off boobs and/or muscles.
Snarky geek shirt with sports jacket; best multitool on belt.

Underwear:

Underwear worn yesterday, turned inside out.
Underwear your parents or s.o. got you for a utilitarian present.
Underwear that is actually cute and fits, that you bought for yourself.
Underwear with snarky geek saying on it. Impressive!

Pants:

Baggy pants, too short, bought in high school by mom; used to be either green, grey, black, or brown; now a greyish nothing-color; holes optional.
Jeans.
Jeans without prominent holes.
The “nice” jeans; no holes, no stains; they fit.
Black jeans!
Pants that are not jeans but are not quite suit pants either -OR- a misguided Utilikilt.

Skirts:

Long flowing hippie skirt, unfashionable, no underwear, or boxers
Skirt that is more current style of some sort.
Miniskirt and combat boots ( with snarky tshirt, multitool, and jacket, this is punk geek formal).
Ball gown of amazing ridiculousness, with sneakers.
Actual fancy dress that looks fantastic, with girly shoes (to be used sparingly).

Bras:

None.
Tank top.
Tank top with shelf thing built in.
Actual bra, scungy.
Fun colored lacey bra -OR- none, with Snarky geek shirt, tight.

Stockings:

Mismatched white tube socks.
White socks.
Black socks.
Fun socks.
Tights.
Ironic leg warmers.
Stripey knee socks.
Stripey thigh highs.
Fishnets, pristine.
Fishnets, artistically torn, with safety pins. Especially on guys. Guys, y’all are taking notes, right?

Accessories acceptable for dressing up:

Laptop backpack.
Laptop bag, fancy.
Laptop modded in any way; stickers; etching; plastic case.
A funky vest. (For hippie chicks or old unix sys admins).
Pocketwatch. (Sys admins ONLY).

We could keep going, I’m sure! I can’t even begin to touch upon shoes.

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Vanity, pride


oh yeah
Originally uploaded by Liz Henry.

For 41 bucks, I have bought the ability not to forget my license plate number. I know it’s silly, but it feels highly gratifying. I wish I’d thought of it to put on my truck, long ago!

Now it’ll just have to go on my little car, “Bruiser”!

Woot!

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