The Null Device
The Merseyside village of Lunt is considering changing its name to Launt, because of vandals who keep altering signs in the village, changing the 'L' to a 'C'. The village (records of which date back to 1251) has never been referred to as "Launt", and some villagers are loth to change its ancient name.
Alternately, they could twin the village with the Austrian village of Fucking (whose own villagers voted in 2004 against changing its name).
They're now selling toy airport screening machines for children. the Scan-It Operation Checkpoint Toy X-Ray Machine, a colourful box with a conveyor belt and a built-in metal detector, is designed to "help children understand and be comfortable and confident in the need and process of higher security protocols" in the post-9/11 age.
If there is a need for toys to instill into our children from an early age the awareness that we, as a society, are in a permanent low-level state of siege and need to accept increasing amounts of security control in our lives for our mutual safety, perhaps we can soon expect other similarly educational toys. How about a Biometric ID Card Play Set, with several Flash-based cards and a reader with working digital camera/fingerprint scanner, hich stores and checks the users' details? Or a Junior CCTV Surveillance kit, which lets youngsters play at silently keeping the city secure from ever-present threats? Or perhaps the Guantanamo Interrogation Play Set, with 9V battery-powered electric shock machine and waterboard? The possibilities are endless.