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Dombo Journal (Est. 1873)

Latest update : 23 Oct 2002

Compress your friends :

Do you have your partner wrapped around your little finger ? Would you like that to continue after their death ? Then cruise on over to LifeGem's site, and arrange to have your loved one made into a piece of jewellery after their demise.
Yes, for just $3000 they will squish your husband/wife (or, of course, your pet) into a 0.25 carat diamond. From the big-boned they also offer to make a 1.25 carat diamond for $28000.
I think I'll mail them and see if they can immortalise my goldfish as a glass-cutting tool.
And in case you are worried that you might go first and that your mate might forget to carbonize you, you can sign up on a "pre-need" agreement to make sure that "you will be as brilliant and unique in passing as you are in living". If egomania isn't a good enough excuse to do that, then they remind you that you can do it for "ecological reasons". Return your beer bottle to the shop and you get 10 cents, return yourself to LifeGem, and you get a diamond.
So next time that cutie at the bar says "I'll ring you", make sure she's talking about the phone. I'm not just scared, I'm petrified.
After all, a diamond can be a girl's best friend.

Check your flies :

And here is a Christmas present for the fisherman who doesn't have everything - "The ultimate fly-testing device". There is an implication here that there exist inferior fly-testing devices, but Google doesn't seem to know about them. Kalax is a windtunnel (or rather a watertunnel) for fine-tuning the design of wet fishing flies, in case your drawing-board finite-element analysis failed to model all aspects of your new fly. It even has adjustable water-flow speed, so that you can see when laminar flow breaks down.
It's a beautifully-engineered piece of machinery with a nicely polished wooden base, but sadly costs 250 USD, a little expensive for my plan to have one on my desk as a goldfish exerciser.

Physiology :

Live in a basement, but wish you had a top floor flat ? Boyfriend troubles, but tired of explaining the empty HCl bottles under the sink ? Then this is the site for you. For a mere $5000 you can suffocate yourself and/or your loved/unloved one and put the blame on the marketing department of Hypoxico inc. Besides the valid use of this device to preacclimatise to high altitudes, these guys explain how MOST diseases are caused by poor oxygen supply to tissues, and so sell this tent which allows you to sleep in an atmosphere with reduced oxygen content equivalent to being at 2500m altitude. Huh ? Anyone want to invest in my company that will sell cigarettes to asthmatics, so that they will feel really good when they stop smoking them ?

Photography :

A lot of space in instructional photography books is devoted to the elimination of distracting backgrounds, but very little has been done about obtrusive foregrounds. Kaya Special Optics have remedied this ommision with some very sophisticated image processing. It's very encouraging (but not completely surprising) to see that physicists are not only thinking about abstract concepts, but also want to solve real-world problems, like the inability to read a sign carrying the company logo after it has been stuffed down a mannequin's tight-fitting dress. This site will appeal to those of you who work with IR spectrometry, especially those of you who study it way too much and have an otherwise completely empty life. By the way, the delivery times are very optimistic.

Sweat :

Christmas is coming. Ooops, sorry, that was very Macintosh, the PC version is 'holidays'. Anyway, you're probably already worrying about what to buy everyone, and I have some answers. 1) I would like a Ferrari. 2) If you have any really sweaty friends, Blackburn Design has the perfect stocking filler for them. Yes, it's the SweatNet(TM), a 76 cm long piece of Terry cloth that protects their bicycle from "damaging rider sweat corrosion". Personally I haven't yet met anyone who has corroded away their bicycle with bodily secretions, but if I did I think I would first point them at .

Business cards :

Bored with those tatty business cards that have been in your pocket for months ? Worried about the fire hazard they present ? Want to save the forests ? Then stop being so second-millenium and get yourself titanium business cards from RVT Inc. "Perfect for cyclists, golfers, climbers, aviation buffs, doctors or anyone interested in titanium". I would add firemen to that list, as they point out that their melting point is 1677 °C. And burglars, as I bet they don't wear out as quickly as credit cards.

Potties :

Tired of carrying around that big porcelain bowl ? Then Banyan Industries offers the relief you've been looking for. A toilet that folds up into a briefcase. Why has no-one thought of that before ?
And not only is it a must-have for all commuters, but according to the manufacturers, it is ideal for all those "disasters striking different parts of the world". Isn't that just what you want after an earthquake has demolished your town, ten thousand little briefcases discreetly sitting around the countryside ?
They also claim that most of their sales come from "word of mouth" recommendations, but my guess is that they are talking out of their bottoms.
And by the way, Packin' Potties are so popular that I advise against carrying them in New York City, but if against my advice you try and are mugged, here is a site that will help you choose the best public toilet

More Potties :

Was the Packin' Potty (above) too expensive for you ? Then for only $60 you can be the proud (or ashamed) owner of Uncle Booger's Bumper Dumper ®. This is another portable potty, but for some reason they think that having to attach it to the tow hitch of your car is a selling point. Again, it is touted for disaster relief (you just need one vehicle with a tow hitch per victim...), but this one is "just as comfortable as home". Remind me not to accept dinner invitations from these guys. If you are still hesitating, remember that it's "the only portable toilet you can use your own seat on", and that "it makes a great gift". Go make someone happy.

Number ones :

A cheap, simple device to help ladies return the calls of nature is a good enough idea (and not new), but what gets this device into MMM is the promotional material. Firstly, they go out of their way to deny what this device really is - an artificial willy. They claim the nozzle was "inspired by a firehose", but it is still "shipped in plain brown envelopes". It can be accessorised with a 3/8" rubber hose so that "it can be used in a car or a small plane". When will they supply a hose long enough that it can be used in a large plane ? Actually, looking at the picture of the accessory hose on the 'ordering' page, it looks like they already have. And then in the FAQ one finds the question "Can females write their names in the snow with the TravelMate ?". I thought they always could. I guess they mean "Can they now do it alone".

Lingerie :

Defence lawyers taking all your spare cash ? Getting bored with the contents of the girl next door's washing line ? Then pre-owned panties is the site for you. From here you can buy discarded undergarments from the rich and famous. (They were just famous until they thought of this idea). $30 gets you the contents of the laundry basket of a girl photographed by Annie Leibowitz, but it will cost you $100 for something from Mistress Master (a "POP DOM").
The company also makes finger panties ("MINI POPS"), which curiously cost vastly more than the full-size variants. They don't say whether they have been worn by other people's fingers, but they do say that wearing these garments and rubbing the material with your thumb in boring business meetings slows your heart rate and helps you think more clearly.
About what, one wonders.

Relaxation :

Errr, what more can I say....

Web Lifestyle :

Are you one of those people who likes to surprise airport security ? Has trouble hiding the fact that they are a geek ? Or just watches too many cop shows ? If so, go immediately to eholster's site and check out the 3-D interactive demo of the pocket protector for 3rd-millenium nerds.
Buying one of these e-holster? units (the question mark is apparently an integral part of the name) to conceal your PDA or phone under your jacket will, according to the ad, "make a strong fashion as well as technology statement about the user". Personally, I thump people who make statements like that about me, but if your reputation is robust enough to handle it, then all that is left is to decide between ballistic nylon (could save your spleen in the shoot-out that follows a frisking in the airport) or neoprene (better for when The Mob thinks you're an undercover cop and "takes you for a little drive to the marina").
What I really like about this unit is that you don't remove or detach the accompanying e-pouch? from the e-holster?, but you delete it. Oh, and it only costs $99.95, not much more than you paid for your phone.

Cryptohalitosis :

Do you have bad breath ? Then this product is not for you. Are you unsure if you have BB ? Then you need BreathAlert[tm] to find out if you are one of the 40% of the population that apparently does (not applicable in France, I would guess). So much easier than asking your friends (if you still have any), this device detects objectionable thiols in your breath and tells you whether this is a good night to go clubbing, or whether you should stay home and clean out the garlic from your fridge. Alternatively, you can use it on your date to find out her BBQ before you get close enough to find out in the conventional fashion. A perfect gift idea for loved ones at $24.99.

Toilet tanks :

This product distinguishes itself from other MMM products in that it is cool as well as odd. I want one ! Oliver Beckert has designed a fish tank in a toilet cistern, which is yours for a mere $1200. Apparently a range of fish can live there since the fish tank is separate from the rest of the plumbing, otherwise I guess you could only keep salmon in it.