The Null Device


A South Korean man calling himself Profesor Kim is facing fraud charges after selling devices that he claimed transformed tapwater into "holy water", having "digitally captured" what it is that makes holy water from Lourdes holy. The devices, of course, did not work.

As absurd as the idea of holy water is (that an almighty deity has specifically blessed a location—a French town or an Indian river or similar—with magical healing properties), the idea of knockoff holy water takes it one step further. Surely in the sort of universe which features omniscient and omnipotent (not to mention judgmental) deities bestowing boons, actually pirating these boons and passing them onto the unworthy would be impossible, or at least ill-advised. But Kim cherry-picks the most convenient bits of two types of universes—the rational, technological one we live in and the mystical, demon-haunted one in which our fates are controlled by ineffable forces and holy water could be considered to work—and mashes them together like P.T. Barnum's mermaid, hoping that his marks don't notice the seams before parting with their cash.

(via Arbroath) charlatans holy water new age pseudoscience religion scams south korea 4

13-year-old Hibiki Kono built a machine allowing him to climb walls; the rig consists of a backpack with two small vacuum cleaners strapped to it, suction pads attached to the nozzles; the pull seems to be strong enough to allow him to climb as high as the power cord lets him. (Meanwhile, some commenters here claim that Kono merely copied somebody else's design without improving or modifying it.)

awesome diy hacks tech 0

Here come flying cars; only a decade or so late:

The two-seater Transition can use its front-wheel drive on roads at ordinary highway speeds, with wings folded, at a respectable 30 miles per gallon. Once it has arrived at a suitable take-off spot - an airport, or adequately sized piece of flat private land - it can fold down the wings, engage its rear-facing propellor, and take off. The folding wings are electrically powered.
Robot housemaids and three-course meals in pill form are still nowhere to be seen.

In other news, airships could soon be used for transporting freight, being faster than oceanic ships and cheaper than powered aircraft. While they're only talking about freight so far, I imagine that if you outfitted them with comfortable cabins, observation decks and satellite internet access, they'd be good for recreational travel as well.

(via Infrastructurist) air travel airships cars infrastructure retrofuturism transport 0