Friday, April 20, 2007

What makes America great?

Well, it's good old American know-how, that's what. Two cases in point:

Exhibit 1: The Beer Can-Flinging Refrigerator:

Presumably anyone who'd rather do this than go get the beer himself (and let's be clear; this is definitely a Guy Thing) wouldn't mind that, when the robotic arm flings the can, it undoubtedly shakes it up enough that it'll spray everywhere when it's opened. The proud owner will simply point the top of the can away from himself, toward the couch, his roommate, or his girlfriend--whatever can be counted on to keep the foamy, sticky spray from getting all over everything.

And at the other end of several continua, from the Media Lab at MIT we have this non-labor saving, extremely inconvenient invention:

Exhibit 2: Clocky, the alarm clock that hides when you hit the snooze button:

Invaluable p3 correspondent James the Elder and I talked this one over, and the point seems to be not that it hides, per se, but rather that it moves off somewhere, so that you can't just reach over and whap the snooze button without waking up when it goes off again a few minutes later. You have to freaking get up, find your freaking glasses, find your freaking slippers, start crawling around on the freaking bedroom floor, bang your freaking head on the corner of the freaking dresser . . . until you finally find it and hit the button. At which point it takes off again for parts unknown.

The theory is that you're undoubtedly annoyed, but at least you're awake and out of bed. You'll be at the office on time, even if no one will want to deal with you in the mood you're in.

I haven't needed a Beer-Flinging Refrigerator in years, but I'm actually thinking about buying myself a Clocky.

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