11.10.2005

This guy is everything I hate about the modern world:

The world's most expensive mobile phone

The most expensive mobile phone in the world - costing more than £500,000 - is being made in Austria.

The phone, designed by luxury accessories maker Peter Aloisson, has sections of pure gold as well as 2,950 blue diamonds embedded into the cover. Aloisson has for the past few years been taking existing phones and customising them with jewels and precious metals.

"I knew that mobile phones would become part of daily life, and as with all things that are part of daily life, such as watches or tie pins, there should be luxury versions of them," he told CNN.

Aloisson currently produces about three phones per year, depending on orders from his celebrity and wealthy clients, mostly retailing for about £20,000. The new phone is a special order for a German manufacturer.

"It will feature solid gold parts with an exterior covered with 2,950 natural blue diamonds, some of the rarest jewels on Earth," he said.

Although the phone is being constructed for marketing purposes, it will eventually be sold off.

This guy is everything I like about the modern world:

Man seeks fat people to fuel his boat

An Auckland adventurer wants overweight people to have liposuction so he can turn their fat into biofuel to power his boat around the globe.

Peter Bethune's biofuel-powered attempt at the round-the-world powerboat speed record will run on his own fat, and he hopes, many more well-endowed contributors.

The Dominion Post reports the lean Auckland adventurer has had about four syringes of fat removed by liposuction from his own "love handles", but needs others to donate their fat for his cause. If Mr Bethune, 39, gets enough fat he will have it refined and converted to fuel for his 24m trimaran.

The Dominion Post reports that as part of a publicity gimmick to promote his adventure, he asked a couple of fat friends whether they would be willing to donate their spare kilos, and they told him he must do it first. But the surgeon who donated his services could only extract 100 millilitres of fat from Mr Bethune's 70kg-frame, compared to an average haul of 3kg, which would produce three litres of refined biofuel.

The $2.6 million Earthrace craft will begin circumnavigating the globe in March and aims to cut the 75-day record - it is expected to use 70,000 litres of biofuels.

This guy is somewhere in the middle:

Scientist invents remote-controlled turtles

A Russian scientist claims to have created remote controlled turtles for spying missions.

Alexei Burikov, head of the biology department at Rostov-on-Don State Pedagogical University, said a human controller could direct the turles through devices fitted to their shells. The device sent vibrations through the shell to the turtle which could be trained to change direction. The scientist added that a tiny camera fixed to the turtle's shell could relay reconnaissance pictures of an area to a command and control centre.

Mr Burikov said turtles could be used to perform a whole range of dangerous operations, from placing bombs in an enemy HQ to depositing high tech recording devices. But the invention could be used for non-military purposes as well, he told Russian media.

"Monitoring could be conducted for both environmental and defence purposes," he said.

Turtles could be used to observe other wildlife in a way that no human would ever be able to do, he added.

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