“Lord Vader, Vomit Clean-up on Aisle 5”

Boing Boing hipped us to a hysterical Channel 101 series called Chad Vader, Day Shift Manager. So far, there are two episodes about Chad, Darth’s slighty less ambitious brother, who’s had to don the familar black cyborg suit after a particularly nasty bicycle accident. When he gets a job as the day manager of a grocery store, hilarity ensues. I had some really good laughs with this one. Definitely worth the download time.

Here’s the link to Episode 1.
Here’s the link to Episode 2.

How-To: Be Invisible

Okay, this isn’t really a how-to item, but it may be one day, if a Scottish theoretical physicist has his way. Dr. Ulf Leonhardt, of St. Andrews University in Scotland, believes that invisibility is possible via the optical technique of bending light around an object (such as you in a cape and a spandex suit):

“Leonhardt uses the example of water circling around a stone. The water flows in, swirls around the stone and then leaves as if nothing was there. ‘If you replace the water with light then you would not see that there was something present because the light is guided around the person or object. You would see the light coming from the scenery behind as if there was nothing in front,” he said.”

Dr. Leonhardt describes the physics behind the theoretical devices that could create such invisibility in the current New Journal of Physics. It is a follow-up to an earlier study he published in the journal Science

[Via /.].

Geek Chic Retro Wallet

Who doesn’t remember the bad ol’ days of two-color sprocket-feed dot matrix printer paper? Those perf tabs that would sometimes not separate properly and would rip your print-outs, and piles of them would gather around your office like so much space age confetti. Ah, good times. Good times. You can now relive those heady days with one of these tri-fold Dot Matrix Wallets (US$25) from Ever-Together Designs. They’re made of Tyvek and even have a secret compartment in them.

[Via Boing Boing]

Is There a Jet Pack in Your Future?

You know we’re all about the jet packs and silver lame’ flightsuits here at Street Tech Labs, so imagine our delight when we read this on MobileWhack (edited for brevity):

Richard Herron has invented the Skywalker Jet Pack which weighs around 40.91 kg and can fly for about five minutes with the current prototype. The production model jet pack would be capable of flying up to ten minutes and have a range of 4 miles (6.436 kilometers). It will also have an integrated GPS. Last week, Herron put a prototype pack on eBay and the winning bid was USD10,399. The prototype jet pack has 8 AT-450 turbine engines and can carry a pilot weighing over 95.45 kg for about 5 minutes. For the production model, the frame will be carbon fiber, and be much stronger and better looking than the prototype. The belt’s helmet will include a heads-up display with a timer which will show flight time and engine information.”

Paging Men in Black

If you’ve ever wondered what might happen if SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) actually did detect alien signals from space, one scenario might be that certain concerns would not want such information to come to light. Well, according to some in the conspiracy community, that’s exactly what’s happening right now. Allegations are flying through cyberspace faster than an out-of-control Area-51 black budget aircraft that SETI discovered a high concentration of signals from a certain area of space, and an unidentified group has stepped in to block those signals, AND SETI has covered up the whole business. Sound far-fetched. Probably. The person doing the whistle-blowing runs a sort of rival alien signal sleuth group (CSETI) and has apparently made similar accusations against SETI in the past. You can read more about the current “controversy” here.

How-To: Get Mobile Reception Almost Anywhere

So, what DO you do when your mobile phone reception perpetually sucks, especially in a fixed location, LIKE MY HOUSE? Well, this guy stopped whinin’ about it, and built himself an ingenius little bi-quad antenna which uses a set of Helping Hands as its antenna mount. Using this homemade rig, the builder was able to get a usable signal where NO signal had existed before. Gotta love that.

Chocolate Cellies: Make Mine Bitter-Sweet

Verizon sent out a mailing to its wireless customers today, teasing them about a phone they’re trying to make look good enough to eat. The LG Chocolate (Yes, its actual name) is another one off them newfangled mobile phone/MP3 player combos. Without further adieu, the feature set:

*Expandable memory with optional 2 GB memory card.
*Access over one million songs for $1.99 to
your phone.
* Touch-sensitive controls keep your music handy, or slide out the number pad to make calls.
* V CAST music **capable.** Add a V CAST VPak to enjoy the hottest streaming mobile video content.
* VZ Navigator **capable** to get real-time audible directions and maps with GPS.
* 1.3 megapixel camera with digital zoom plus video capture.
* Bluetooth® compability for wireless headsets.

Wait, so I can get songs on my phone for a dollar more than I can get ’em on my desktop/iPod AND I can subscribe to a bunch of add-on services? If you can promise me the same laughably-bad Verizon Wireless service I get now, I am SO there!

BTW: This little confection’ll set you back US$250, less via some service plans (e.g. $150 w/ two years of indentured servitude to Verizon). It’s definitely taste-lookin’ thang. I’ll give it that.