New Torture Device for Bad Employees

What the heck is this?

It is the Ostrich!!  For power-naping at work or if you want to get teased forever!

OSTRICH offers a micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap at ease. It is neither a pillow nor a cushion, nor a bed, nor a garment, but a bit of each at the same time. Its soothing cave-like interior shelters and isolates our head and hands (mind, senses and body) for a few minutes, without needing to leave our desk.

Coin Rebuilding Scheme Cracked

Here is  a creative way of committing fraud!

An airline stewardess struggling to lift her bag at a German airport led to the discovery of a 6-million euro ($8.4 million) coin fraud.

The customs officer who stopped the stewardess in early 2010 found thousands of one and two euro coins in her bag, Bild newspaper reported in its Thursday edition.

The incident sparked an investigation that has uncovered a forgery ring stretching to China and potentially implicating employees of German airline Lufthansa, the paper said.

The Frankfurt prosecutors’ office said on Thursday it carried out dawn raids on offices and residences and arrested six people, four of whom are from China.

It suspects them of having smuggled coins that had been taken out of circulation or bits of those coins into Germany from China, where they had been sent as scrap metal.

The suspects then put the coins back together and exchanged them for a total of 6 million euros at the Bundesbank from 2007 to 2010, the prosecutors said.

Airline cabin crew do not have a weight limit on their baggage, prosecutors highlighted in a statement.

There was no suspicion of any wrongdoing on the part of Bundesbank employees, the prosecutors’ office added.

The Bundesbank said in a statement it was aware of the investigation into the use of scrapped coins. It also said that no Bundesbank employees were subject to the investigation.

A Lufthansa spokesman on Thursday said it was aware that individual employees were under investigation, but said the group could not comment on the investigation.

Old euro coins are taken out of circulation by removing the inner part of the coin from an outer ring and thus effectively turning them into scrap metal.

The investigators recovered around 3 tonnes of coin pieces as well as a machine for putting them back together, prosecutors said in the statement.

The Bundesbank is the only institute in Europe that exchanges damaged euro coins for free, replacing them with new ones of the same value.  People will think of anything to make an easy buck!

Chavez Might Be Crazy!

Any on the topic of very strange quotes comes one from Hugo!

“I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,” Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day.

Chavez, who also holds capitalism responsible for many of the world’s problems, warned that water supplies on Earth were drying up.

“Careful! Here on planet Earth where hundreds of years ago or less there were great forests, now there are deserts. Where there were rivers, there are deserts,” Chavez said, sipping from a glass of water.  At least he is smart enough to be willing to admit there might be life on other planet?

Condom in Bad Taste

I am sure the Royal family is not happy about this one! British manufacturer Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction has announced the launch of their royal wedding collector’s edition condoms to celebrate the April 29 marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William.

“Crown Jewels Royal Wedding Souvenir prophylactics are a unique way to remember this great British occasion. All at Crown Jewels have worked tirelessly to craft these heirloom quality love sheaths. In years to come, they will be a timeless memento of a magical wedding day,” company spokesman Hugh Pomfret said in a release.

Along with the special condoms, the box comes with a pastel souvenir portrait of what the couple might look like on their wedding day.

“Combining the strength of a prince with the yielding sensitivity of a princess-to-be, Crown Jewels Condoms of Distinction promises a royal union of pleasure and style,” the release said.

The condoms cost about $8.  Now that is an expensive rubber!

iPhone 5 Spoiler?

Nicknamed the Silhouette, this semi-transparent iPhone will feature a 10 mp camera and will have an optional wall projector attachment!!  Is it real or is it not?

Earlier today BMCLDA Corp.  has been rumored for a while now and announced a partnership with Apple beginning with the iPhone 5 (aka: The Silhouette).

Device pricing for the iPhone 5 will be similar to the iPhone 4.  The 32GB model retails for $299.99 while the 64GB will set you back $399.99. There will be no white version available but the optional projector is an additional $199.99.

Swimming with the Dead

Well sort of anyways.

A local authority in England has given the go ahead for a swimming pool to use energy created by the next-door crematorium to heat its water.

The plan, the first of its kind in Britain, will see waste heat from the incinerator chimney used to warm up the neighbouring leisure centre and its new pool.

“The cremation process is a sensitive matter and we wanted to be sure our proposals had widespread support,” said Councillor Carole Gandy, the leader of Redditch Borough Council in central England.

Eighty to 90 percent of people who contacted the council had backed the scheme, she said.

“Throughout we have been careful to explain how the technology would work, that it is tried and trusted, and that the practice is quite common in parts of Europe and especially in Sweden,” she said.

“We already support our residents to insulate their homes and be energy-efficient, so it seemed only right for us to explore this re-use of energy.”

However, local trade union officials are less than impressed with the plan, saying it was a reflection of the massive public spending cuts being implemented by the government.

“These proposals … are sick and an insult to local residents,” said Roger McKenzie, regional secretary for Unison, Britain’s biggest public sector labour union.

I find this kinda gross and maybe even a tad offensive.

Robotic Monopoly Game? Say It Ain’t So!

Monopoly of the future is soon to be available in a space-port store near you. In the new version of Monopoly, the game’s classic pastel-colored bills and the designated Banker have been banished, along with other old-fashioned elements, in favor of a computer that runs the game.

Hasbro showed a preview of the new version, called Monopoly Live, at this week’s Toy Fair in New York. It is the classic Monopoly board on the outside, with the familiar railroads like the B.& O. and the development of property. But in the center, instead of dice and Chance and Community Chest cards, an infrared tower with a speaker issues instructions, keeps track of money and makes sure players adhere to the rules. The all-knowing tower even watches over advancing the proper number of spaces.

Hasbro hopes the computerized Monopoly will appeal to a generation raised on video games amid a tough market for traditional board games, a category where sales declined 9 percent in 2010, according to the market-research firm NPD Group. “How do we give them the video game and the board game with the social experience? That’s where Monopoly Live came in,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, global brand leader for Monopoly.

With free digital games everywhere, Hasbro is hoping to revive interest among young children and preteenagers in several of its games that cost money. (The new Monopoly, available in the fall, will be about $50). Battleship will undergo a similar digital upgrade this year, and other Hasbro games will be redesigned for 2012 and 2013, Ms. Ritson-Parsons said.

But for families used to arguing over Monopoly’s rules, players who slip a $100 bill under the board for later use and friends who gleefully demand rent from one another, it may not be so easy to adapt to a computer’s presence on the board.

“It seems that there’s a computer that makes most of the decisions for you — it changes a lot of the rules, it removes a lot of the skill,” said Ken Koury, a competitive Monopoly player and coach who informally settles rule disputes for others. “With this computer, I’m wondering what’s left for the player to decide — is it they just keep pushing buttons and wait for someone to win?”

Hasbro is aiming at luring 8- to 12-year-olds back to these board games. Its executives say this age group, accustomed to video games, wants a fast-paced game that requires using their hands. To move forward on the new Monopoly board, players cover their game piece with their hands, and the tower announces how many spaces the player can move. Players also hold their hands over decals to buy or sell properties, insert “bank cards” into slots to check their accounts, and send a plastic car moving around a track to win money or other advantages (only when the tower instructs them to, of course).

Hasbro executives also say that young players do not want to bother with reading instructions and toss rules aside.

“For games, but really for anything you buy today, you need to be able to take it out of the box and play it,” said John Frascotti, Hasbro’s chief marketing officer. “You’re not ensconced in the rulebook.”

To that end, Hasbro is shortening and simplifying many of its popular games, changing the formats of Scrabble and Cranium so they can be played in five-minute spurts. Rivals like Mattel are doing the same with games like Apples to Apples. Even video games often come in bite-size pieces, like the popular Angry Birds.

“There is a recognition that people’s attention spans maybe aren’t as big as they used to be, or they don’t have the time to dedicate to this activity,” said Sean McGowan, a toy analyst with Needham & Company.

Ms. Ritson-Parsons said that while some aspects of the game had changed, Monopoly Live still emphasized social interaction.

“Getting rid of the instruction book encourages a lot more face-to-face interaction,” she said. “If you’re not having to read as much, you are all chatting more.”

Hasbro has kept key social elements, like allowing negotiation for property.  I just don’t think we are ready for this type of high tech monopoly game, I will stick to the old version.