Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Throw Another Human On The Grill

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) whose TV ad featuring naked veggies was deemed too steamy to screen during Superbowl XLIII, has turned up the heat with it's President Ingrid Newkirk willing her body to the organisation and stipulating that "the meat of my body, or a portion thereof, be used for a human barbecue".

PETA draws a lot of criticism for it's unabashed publicity seeking, with each campaign more wacky and sensational than the last. On the other hand, when you are up against some of the biggest advertising budgets and most powerful congressional lobbyists in the country, it's very unlikely that the meek will inherit anything much at all.

Although PETA is loathed by many conservatives in the US, especially in the South, where BBQ comes just after guns as a fundamental right, I don't see what's so incompatible with being a carnivore and believing in humane farming methods.

PETA also draws a lot of criticism for "objectifying women" in pursuit of animal rights (or self glory, depending on your view) and it is true that attractive women, usually scantily clad, feature prominently in many of their campaigns.

It seems to me that the reason this grates so much, is that this advertising staple looks so out of place when the object being advertised isn't a car or an up market consumer brand. When The Onion makes such an observation it's satire when PETA does it, it's exploitation.

All very interesting. Take some time to wonder around the PETA website and don't miss PETA TV. You may not agree with any or all of it, but it's worth a few minutes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Wombat Portable BBQ and Fireplace

One of life's most enjoyable pleasures is relaxing around a campfire.

But having a campfire these days is increasingly regulated so Gold Coast inventor, Grant Sampson, turned his talents to the Little Wombat - a compact bbq grill with rotisserie that doubles as a fireplace.

Whether you’re in the backyard, on a beach, or caravanning, the Little Wombat is definitely a nifty gadget. The non vented fire box and double skinned insulation delivers all the pleasure of a traditional open fire with a real safety focus.

The non vented construction means the fire can't drop ash on the ground and the wool keeps the box cool and kid-friendly.

The Little Wombat has been brilliantly designed with specially made cast iron cooking plates, a D cell battery operated rotisserie for cooking roasts and the stainless steel lids double as serving trays.

500mm x 360mm x 235mm High
Total height off the ground with legs extended is 430mm.

Weight is 15kg.

Each Little Wombat comes complete with;

  • Fire box

  • 2 lids/serving trays

  • 2 cast iron cooking plates plus

  • Hotplate Magic for treating plates

  • Complete rotisserie

  • Canvas carry bag

  • Full instructions

The Little Wombat is currently available for $299 + $30 postage incl GST. Order here.

Be sure to tell Grant you heard about his wonderful Australian invention at Charcool.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What the? $100k and no BBQ?

Ingenious, minimalist, cubist, plain, stark, austere - they all describe this "typically Japanese" portable home design.

Despite some tongue-in-cheek commentary from GadgetKing, in some way this just works, showing just how much space we really require for all the necessities -- just 3 square meters.

If you hooked it up with a Helios portable solar bbq you'd be pretty set for just about anything.

It's rather hard to tell how much under floor storage the Paco carries so 3 days with the kids and the inside would most likely resemble a dumpster. Maybe that's why they designed the hinged lid?

And at around $AUD100000 for the deluxe version, even after $21,000 first home owners grant, I think it will be a long way from cencept to commercial reality.


If you cannot resist a peek inside, the home’s innovative roof flips up to reveal a modern interior. The movable roof is achieved by hydraulic cylinders, allowing you to sleep under a roof or under the stars without ever leaving the comfort of Paco House.


The Paco House is available in four basic plans.

Plan A features the kitchen, shower, shower curtains, bathroom, epoxy painted floor and ceiling lighting at a total price of 6,300,000 yen. Plan B boasts a kitchen, epoxy painted floor and ceiling lighting at a price of 5,250,000 yen. Plan C features the epoxy painted floor and ceiling lighting for 4,725,000 yen. Plan D is the home’s basic shell, which you can customize to your needs and interests, selling for 4,200,000 yen.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Grill a Bastard. Honest!

What's left of the Australian Democrats have come up with a cunning plan to make themselves relevant again following the loss of their last senate seat in the 2007 Australian federal elction

The Democrats have launched a new site: bastardwatch.com.au with a new twist on their old slogan of "Keep the bastards honest".

The Grill a Bastard game was launched on the Australia Day week end and involves scortching 5 sausage pollies (Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull, Julia Gillard, Stephen Conroy and Peter Garrett) on the grill by turning up the heat.

The Dems have announced that over twelve thousand visitors grilled the pollies over the Australia Day weekend.

Visitors were also invited to ‘nominate a bastard’ of their own. Predictably the "human press release" Kevin Rudd was nominated (24%) well ahead of other pollies for his support for the ban on gay marriage.

Stephen Conroy was nominated by 15% of players for his plans to censor and slow the internet while Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull barely registered (3%) with site users.

According to the Dems, a lot of people wanted to nominate the banks.

To nominate your own bastard click here. To date, no one has nominated charcool.com.au but you're welcome to draft us into the Bastard Hall of Fame