New product: The Freewheeler speaker, designed by Ron Arad and Francesco Pellisari. It picks up a signal from the base unit and runs on 10-hour rechargeable batteries, so it's totally wireless. In case you haven't noticed, it's also totally round, so you can roll it from room to room. Talk about reinventing the wheel.

"I Said, Nine-One-f@#%ing-One!"

I once saw a guy down on Wall Street having an argument into his cell phone; he lost it and threw the phone at the sidewalk.

Now, thanks to technology, spazzes like him won't have to take Rage Management courses--Telespree Communications will start selling disposable cell phones before year's end.

Well, not completely disposable. The deal is, you buy a colorful Telespree handset. Then you buy a special disposable battery, called an AirClip, that has 60, 90 or 120 minutes of talk-time built into it. Attach the battery to the handset, and presto! You've got an instant cell phone for less than $30. When the time runs out, you buy another AirClip.

Interestingly enough, the handset only has two buttons, no dial, and works on voice-rec. You say the number you want to call, rather than dialing. Hmm....Depending on how good the voice-rec is (or isn't), maybe I'll see Wall Street Spaz repeating the number in frustration before turning his AirClip into a fastball.


Surprise booth at last week's Manufacturing and Design Show in Chicago: NASA. Apparently the embattled space agency is looking to make an extra buck by leasing their technology to the manufacturing sector.


- A fragrance manufacturer placed a fresh rose on a recent Shuttle flight, to learn if the flower's scent-secretions would change in zero- G. They did, and a new scent was created. (Thank God--in an environment where you're drinking recycled sweat and urine, I'd hope everything smelled different.)

- An auto manufacturer, experimenting inside NASA's "Vomit Comet" airplane (which sustains 40-second dives to replicate zero-G) discovered a casting technique in zero-G that enables them to even out their aluminum engine blocks.

- Curious fire-extinguisher manufacturers are looking at NASA's outer space fire-fighting device, which emits a spray of micron-sized water pellets to beat fire in a confined area.

- NASA rocket fuel is also currently being used to disarm live land mines. (No details provided on how.)


- Substitute bone may one day be created in a zero-G furnace, using composite ceramics. Apparently, the porous material would "allow" natural bone to grow into it and dissolve when no longer needed. - The vacuum of space is also being touted as the potential ultimate dust-free environment in which to construct super-intricate computer chips.

I was going to make a joke here about NASA selling passenger seats on the shuttle, then I found that they're actually thinking of doing so-- within five years. Nothing sucks like getting trumped by the truth.