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First Impressions, Last Impressions

What’s the first and last thing you’re likely to experience in a country you visit? And what kind of lasting impression is that going to leave? Cigarette-burn marked toilet paper dispenser (empty) at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, April 28 2007 Toilet paper dispenser at Singapore’s Changi Airport, April 28 2007 Investment in tourist attractions, advertising campaigns and big ticket infrastructure projects may lure visitors, but chances are they will remember what hits them first and last. If you want to win visitors over, bathrooms at airports might be a good place to start. Travel tip: the practice in an Indonesian bathroom, by the way, is toContinue readingFirst Impressions, Last Impressions

Put My Book in Your Toilet

John Graham-Cumming, the father of the excellent Bayesian spam killer POPFile, has written a review of my column collection, Loose Wire. It’s a fun read (the review, not the book, although the book is. Really.) He even adds a word to my lexicon: ‘wagstaff (v): to poke any new technology with a long stick, make sure it does what it says on the box, and summarize the experience in less than 2,000 words’. John concludes that the book “should be in the toilet. In fact, I think it’s such a good book for reading in small doses in a small, quiet room, that a globalContinue readingPut My Book in Your Toilet

This week’s column – Not Wired, Just Weird

This week’s Loose Wire column is about some of the more obscure gadgets I found at CommunicAsia Expo in Singapore last week: WANDERING AROUND last week’s technology exhibition, CommunicAsia, in Singapore, I was struck by the gulf between the big players–with their huge, noisy stands, populated entirely by well-shaped, scantily-clad men and women all under the age of 25–and the somewhat forlorn little booths in the ghettos at the back. I’m sure this is not a phenomenon exclusive to CommunicAsia but it seemed to be particularly acute there. Sure, there were some cool gismos on display among the big boys, but I found the mostContinue readingThis week’s column – Not Wired, Just Weird

News: Flushing Nemo

 Wireless Flash reports that the movie Finding Nemo, about a fish that escapes from its tank by getting flushed down a dentist’s spitoon, is inspiring some idealistic kids to flush their pets down the toilet.     RotoRooter plumbers report their technicians in Los Angeles have “rooted out a whole zooyard of critters from American toilets including frogs, ducks and snakes”, Wireless Flash reports. Last week, a plumber rescued a five-week old puppy from a drainpipe in Demossville, Kentucky, and another couple even tried to flush a cat down their commode. Other bizarre animals found in drains include Cornish game hens, pot-bellied pigs and evenContinue readingNews: Flushing Nemo

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