Monday, August 30, 2010

Nursery Rhyme Parodies

It's raining, it's pouring;
Politicians are snoring.
They had their chance
To save the world
Now we’re screwed by global warming

Mary Mary quite contrary,
How has your garden thrived?
With fertilizers and chemicals?
Or is it genetically modified?

Yep, this is the kind of Nursery Rhymes we'll be singing to our kids soon.

Taken from this parody website.

Public Servants Strike...

And The Empire Strikes Back!

I've been following the Public Servants strike on the news and in the papers over the past two weeks, and by "following" I mean I skipped through the news pages on my way to the comic section, or caught it on the telly as I was flipping channels in search of "Girls Of The Playboy Mansion."

So here's the thing I don't get.
The Public Servants are demanding more money or else they won't go back to school and teach the learners.
The Government is refusing to give them their 8.6% salary increase demand, saying there simply isn't sufficient funds to cover these extra costs.
Learner's are edging closer to matric exams and there's a very high possibility that we may see the year end with thousands of kids without a qualification worthy enough of getting them jobs to clean the very toilets at the schools that have abandoned them.
Through all of this, MP's, politicians and other corrupt bottom-feeders in society continue to scramble over themselves like gluttonous vultures at a Mad-Cow Diseased culling site for tenders and bribes.

The dodgy deals continue unabated; the arms deal has been swept under the carpet; we never heard anymore of the missing millions from the SABC, Eskom and other parastatals.
The fat-cats just get fatter while the country gets over-run with rats.

Quite simply, the chickens have come home to roost... and this once proud land of milk and honey that the ANC inherited with more than it's fair share of problems, and promised to turn into the Utopia we so believed they would, has not materialised.
Sixteen years into our democracy and we still have townships without clean running water or proper sanitation.
The gap between the Upper Class and Lower Class is now so wide, the working Middle Class is simply lost in translation. We might as well just be regarded as being Lower Class too.

It's almost as though a culture of greed and corruption has seeped so deeply into the very fabric of our once proud freedom fighters and social activists, that the cleansing process would require a complete purge of all that we once had faith in, or believed in.
I once was a believer in the ANC.
Then Madiba retired.
Now his legacy has been taken over by henchmen only interested in power and money.

Among my labourers the general consensus is that they the ANC, as fraught as they are with corruption, are still better than the DA.
Rather the devil you know.
There's no trust in the DA, simply because their upper echelons are not truly representative of the nations make up.
Their words. Not mine.
Is there any truth in this?
Possibly. Joe Seremane is the longest serving politician in parliament and a member of the DA.
How many have heard of him, until he was paraded by the DA to score brownie points from non-white voters?
Joe Seremane has since retired.
I'm guessing he finally grew too tired of waiting for Uhuru from his party.

The ID, now in an ANC (Ante-Nuptual Contract) marriage with the DA, would have been a contender for my vote had they not been so focussed on the Cape only, and possibly also if they were a tad less unstable.
Too much firecracker, and not enough pyrotechnics.
Maybe that's just me.
It's great that they're so vocal and always barking in the corridors at the Union Building, but unless that barking is stopping the thieves and waking the owners, i'm afraid all it will ever be is simply noise.
I'm seriously hoping that their merge with the DA will be positive.

I'm excited about the future of my country.
I love the fact that we have this many problems, because it means that we will need to dedicate ourselves to that many solutions.
Only the strong will survive.
I'm also excited about the open debate that people are willing to have about issues such as these that affect them.

And that right there is why the Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT) should not be supported.
In my humble opinion, the ruling party is trying to get the media to clean their stories of damaging reporting on the MAT and only publish that which won't tarnish the image of the corrupt.
Government will have the right to decide what we the public can have access to; what information regarding their dodgy deals and dodgier tender awards we can read about. It's the perfect carpet to hide all their dirty under-handed dealings under.
That's just my opinion.

Wait... how did I end up discussing politics?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Week That Was - August 29, 2010

The end of another exhausting week, and before I can truly enjoy my weekend it's already Sunday afternoon.
Again, not that I'm complaining much because even when I'm working I'm still having the time of my life.

Today really tested the fun aspect of my work though.
I had to meet a Nigerian client in central Joburg at 9am to discuss renovations to a building he is occupying as a tenant. He finally gets there at 9:30am, sporting the bluest of blue eyes I have ever seen on a north-african man. No, they were not contact lenses; I asked.
I expected to be on site on site for about an hour at most.
By 11:30 he still hadn't fully decided what he would like done.
I thought it would be easier for us to go through the building plans, in the hope that this would speed up the process. He wanted to install a lift on his floor. He happens to occupy the seventh floor of a ten-storey building. He chooses an empty corner on the floor and suggests we install the elevator there.
The fact that an elevator by nature goes up and down, and through other floors, didn't seem to register in his head. He just assumed that if he had a convenient spot on his floor to plonk an elevator, it didn't matter that it would go right through the floors below and above him!
When he finally got the elevator concept, he got this really sheepish expression come over him, and lost some of the blueness in his eyes.

Speaking to a friend of mine from Cape Town earlier today and she was telling me about the exhorbitant cost of hair relaxers for people with curly hair.
That got me thinking...
A hair-straightener aimed at the South African Christian market, called Croesi-Fix.
I patent it tomorrow.

I read an article in the Sunday paper that said the Chinese call clean shaven lady-pubes "White Tiger".
My gardener's always asking for a Half-Tiger.
I'm not sure if he means a semi clean-shaven chinese gal?

On Thursday of this week I received another of those annoying calls from the SABC, reminding me to pay my  TV Licence.
I informed the caller on the line that it was against me religion to watch TV, and thus I didn't own one.
She asked me what religion that was.
I told her "Mormon. There was a documentary about us on Discovery the other day. Didn't you watch it?"

This week coming is shaping up to be my busiest yet.
If I survive to Wednesday I will have surprised myself.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Philippine SWAT?

I watched this video of the Philippine SWAT storming a bus carrying Hong Kong tourists that was taken hostage by a disgruntled Manila policeman.
Now I'm no Navy Seal but it would seem to me that these Philippino SWAT members are rather useless at their job.
I'm not sure what hacking at the bus window's was meant to achieve, but with 4 people dead I'm assuming it was a massive fail.
Also, whats with that stupid vehicle trying to rip off the bus doors?
Seriously guys. If I'm ever taken hostage in Manila, please call a Pizza Delivery guy armed with a hot Vegetarian instead of those useless SWAT guys!
What does their SWAT stand for anyways?
Sorry We Aren't Trained?

All That Jazz

When I hear music like this, it convinces me more than ever that I was born in the wrong decade!
This is my kind of music... the kind that gets my feet tapping, wondering why there aren't any dance clubs around that cater to those with this kind of taste in music.

Queen Latifah killed it in this video!
She totally owned this song :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August Playlist

I'm voting this as my favourite song for my August playlist.
I love everything about the video except the flag.

Enjoy :)

Counting My Blessings

I came home at around 7pm this evening, hungry, sore and totally exhausted.
That's how I come home most evenings.
I could complain about it, but to be honest I quite enjoy it. It's my sign that I've put in a good, hard, honest days work for an honest days pay.

Among my peer's I regard myself as being truly blessed to be doing that which I really have a passion for.
I enjoy what I do and I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at it too.

So today I was asked by my client what my dream job would be.
Honestly I've always imagined myself being a currency trader some day.
I've been trading for over ten years now, but never as a career and certainly never seriously enough to contemplate doing it full-time.

I know I'll get to live this dream, but right now I'm having a blast living my present dream :)

Oh, and here's a picture of the ultimate trading desk. The kind of desk I'd like to have some day, with a view of the ocean in the background of all those monitors.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Wedding Report

I got an invite in the post earlier this week from my friend Elvira, or Elle as I like to call her.
She's getting married end of October of this year, and I couldn't be happier for her.

I've been to so many weddings from so many different cultures already, I've reached the point where I no longer prepare ahead. You know, like whether you should eat before heading to the venue, or what to wear, or even if you should have a few words on hand in case you get called upon to say something.

Back in my college days, I was invited to a friend's sisters wedding.
They're Russian.
There was plenty of bread and alcohol served. No food.
Since I don't drink, I came home starving, thirsty and with a terrible yeast infection.

A few years later I was invited to a neighbour's kids wedding.
They happen to be Hindu.
Plenty of food everywhere!
If you like vegetables in every possible serving variation.
No meat. No chicken. But it was awesome and we danced so much I didn't even notice that the Beans Curry had started working it's magic! True story.

It's no big secret that I once dated a Chinese girl.
When her brother got married, I was the only Indian guy at the wedding.
For an Indian guy to say there was too much rice, would tell you just how much rice there was at the wedding!
Even in uncooked form on the floor! Ok this turned out to be a cultural thing where the family threw rice at the couple as they were leaving the hall.
For a split second I imagined this custom being adopted by an Indian family.
Bride and groom slowly walk down the aisle to "Everlasting Love", and suddenly WHOOMP! They get hit by a pot of fish beryani!

Indian weddings are much like their favourite sport, cricket.
It's like a 5 Day Test Series.
There's feeding of guests a few days before the wedding; then there's the feeding when the overseas guests arrive; then more feeding on the day of the wedding; and finally the function called the "Walimah" a few days after the wedding. Again, more feeding.
The "Walimah" signifies the couples consummation of their marriage.
What better way for an innocent girl from a decent home to proclaim the loss of her virginity then to invite 500 people over and have a mutton beryani feast?
I had 1000 people at my wedding, and another 500 at our Walimah.
Of the 1500 people who came to these functions, I probably knew about 30.
But, admittedly, it was tremendous fun and quite frankly if I ever attended an Indian wedding of less than 100 people, I would think they must be the village outcasts who nobody really likes, getting married.

So come 31st October I'll be attending Ms Elle's Portugeuse wedding.
I'm really looking forward to it, because everybody I've told thus far said "Ooh the fish will be delicious!"

So without further ado I dedicate this video to my dear friend Elvira

May your life be filled with only the most awesome memories on your journey ahead.

Love always.

Funny Videos

Ok so I'm a sucker for funny videos.
Given a choice between watching a movie or spending my evening crawling the interweb looking for bloopers and funny video's, I'm going with the latter.

This one got over 22 million hits!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

And You Ask Why The World Doesn't Trust America?

3 Reasons the “Ground Zero Mosque” Debate Makes No Sense

  • By: Gladstone
  • August 20th, 2010
I don’t usually write about politics. It’s important, but something I want no part of – kind of like a raw sewage treatment facility. But frankly, I haven’t been this upset in a long time. And it’s due to the logic-hating, herd-mentality rhetoric that some have been flinging in opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” For the uninitiated, there are plans to construct an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan. And, of course, lower Manhattan is where the World Trade Center stood before terrorists destroyed it, thereby murdering 3,000 Americans. I was working in New York City at the time. As was my father. As was my pregnant wife. I remember the day well. And the days that followed. I think most of all, I remember standing on the Staten Island Ferry, coming home with 200 other silent, reverent New Yorkers of every age, race, and religion, as we watched our city still smoldering a full week later. And it is with this backdrop that I can say to every politician spouting off and opposing the construction of this Islamic community center: “Shut up. Go away. You hate America.”
I’m talking about people like professional political tumor, Newt Gingrich, and future worst President ever, Sarah Palin, who have both slammed supporters of the Islamic community center with rhetoric so flawed, I’m afraid even linking to it might impair your computer’s higher functioning circuits. But it’s not just them. Due to the wave of misinformation being spread, apparently 68% of Americans also oppose the mosque.
How did this happen? Well, basically a complacent or a complicit media helped perpetuate three ideas that are either outright lies or intellectually dishonest arguments designed to bring out the very worst in all of us. And as you continue to hear them–and you will–take out this column which you will have already printed and laminated, and recite thusly:
1. It’s Not at Ground Zero
The proposed structure is not on the hallowed ground of the former World Trade Center. It’s at an abandoned and private building blocks away that used to be the Burlington Coat Factory. That means that if every one of the “g’s” that Sarah Palin drops when she’s talkin’ folksy were 10 by10 feet large, you could still stack over 120 of them from Ground Zero to this community center. Easy.
That sort of makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I know, when I first heard they were building a mosque at Ground Zero, I literally said, “What the fuck.” Like out loud and everything. I didn’t even pull a “WTF” despite years of writing for the Internet. That’s because for the last nine years, we New Yorkers have listened to countless proposals and plans and ideas of how to best rebuild the area while honoring the memories of those who died. And suddenly it seemed we were being told, “Yep, it’s all decided. Mosque. We want a mosque here. Just feels right.”
So yeah, of course, no one was on board. That just made no sense. What happened to that proposed waterfall and wall of names? Nothing happened. Because no one was ever building a mosque on that site. It’s just a lie that was told to you by people who wanted you to be afraid, upset, and hurt. People who wanted to manipulate your tender emotions to inspire contempt for the government. It’s about as intellectually dishonest as manipulating debate footage to make it appear that “Drill, baby, drill” is Sarah Palin’s stance on partial birth abortions. It’s just wrong.
And to those who say that any location in lower Manhattan is too close for a Muslim structure, let me remind you that right now, in the shadow of what would be the former World Trade Center, there’s a Halal Meat Hot Truck with a multi-denominational line that wraps around my building every day at lunch time. And I’m positive that’s owned by a Muslim. And I’ve even suffered at his hands. (Spoiler alert: avoid the goat rhoti). Should he move a few more blocks away too? Of course, not. That would just be silly, right? Is it different? Why? Because mosques are religious and the 911 terrorists perverted Islam into something violent and hateful? Guess what? Those knights did the same thing to Christianity for the 300 years of the Crusades, and no one’s saying that churches shouldn’t be built anywhere in … Europe.
2. It’s Not Strictly A Mosque
A mosque by definition is a purely religious structure. This is a large proposed community center, open to the public and set to house, among other things, a basketball court. Yes there will be a prayer space inside it as well, but you don’t call St. Mary’s Hospital a church because it happens to have a chapel inside it, do you? Well, maybe you do. You read about politics on the Internet from a guy who claims not to write about politics, so maybe you’re functionally illiterate. But the point is, you shouldn’t.
But “Islamic Community Center open to the public” doesn’t have the same ability to scare people the way “mosque” does. I mean, you hear “mosque” you think mosquito, you think STING! You hear “mosque” you think “mask,” you think DECEPTION! You hear “community center” you think “OK. One more place I’ll never go.” So, yeah, clearly the decision was made by those who hate you to call this the “Ground Zero Mosque” even though it’s not at Ground Zero and not technically a mosque. Why are we still discussing this? Why haven’t you already asked Sarah Palin if she’s the devil on her Twitter account? Oh, that’s right. Because the devil is supposed to be good at lying.
3. You Can’t Simultaneously Acknowledge A Right And Insist That Your Government Suppress It
But the real reason I’m writing is not just because of people like Sarah Palin, but because of shameful, spineless panderers like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Here’s a statement from each of them designed to give the appearance of being tolerant while adhering to good old-fashioned common sense values:
From Sarah Palin’s Twitter Feed:
And from Harry Reid’s spokesperson:
Let me make something clear. In order to make these statements you must hate two things: logic and America. There is NO way to say that an individual has a protected right to do something and simultaneously criticize your government for not suppressing the execution of that right. There is no way for President Obama or any other president to put a stumbling block in the way of the free exercise of religion without violating the sanctity of that freedom. Should I say it more simply? OK.
You can’t legally stop people from obeying the law.
The Burlington Coat factory is private property. Those who want to build on it are private citizens. They are violating no law in wanting to build a community center. Under what authority do you propose we stop them? There is no “unless you’re a Muslim within X yards of a national tragedy exception” to the free exercise of religion. Do the Gingrichs and Palins and Reids want to start a precedent where you can compel people not to exercise the freedoms guaranteed under our Constitution provided enough people don’t like you?
And what are we saying to Muslims? That if they were good Americans they would willingly give up their rights? I can’t think of anything less American than that? This is America. We do what we want. And all you have to do to have that right is be a citizen here. And if you’re a traitor, well then we will prosecute you for treason and penalize you for taking up arms against the greatest country in the world, but we will NOT start curtailing your freedoms based on mere speculation fueled by lies about what you’re building and where you’re building it.
In the days following 911 it was very popular to say that we couldn’t do anything differently in America or “the terrorists would win.” We can’t stop driving gas guzzling cars. We can’t stop supporting dictators in other parts of the world for financial or political gain. We can’t vote for a Democrat. Most of that was rhetoric. Some of it was probably true. But one thing is definitely true: if we ask our leaders to start dishonoring the freedoms that make this country great, the terrorists surely will have won. And I don’t want to see that. Because unlike those with power and influence who would lie to you, I love America.

Read more:

The Death Of Chivalry

The end of another amazing week, and never a dull moment in sight when it comes to the people I meet on my average day.
Most of my blog posts are about my clients and the various people I meet during my working day.
Sometimes the blogworthy comes in the form of the things they do, sometimes in the things they say.
On Thursday it was in a reaction I got to something I said.

By nature i'm a very complimentary individual.
Like peanuts in a bar.
Sometimes salty, sometimes spicy, never sealed and always complimentary.

I had a meeting with a new client to renovate their offices.
I got there earlier than expected, as I planned ahead for traffic which didn't turn out to be as hectic as I expected.
The client, a lady in her early thirties, decided to get right into it and within an hour we had already mapped out the course of work needed. She was seated next to me while I did rough sketches of her proposals, and without thinking I turned to look at her and complimented her on her perfume.
I turned back to my worksheet and continued with my sketches; but I could feel her tense up and keep her steady gaze on me, unsure what to make of what I had just said.

For those that know me, they know that I hardly ever get uncomfortable; couple that with the fact that I have a knack for speaking my mind before my brain has had a chance to process, and you're left with a potential powder keg for a personality.

I turned to her, smiled and said "Well you either going to thank me or slap me. Either way, I was just paying you a compliment. No more, no less."
That broke the ice.
She smiled back and said I had taken her by surprise.

Thats what I don't get.
People nowadays are so nervous and afraid to just be nice or polite, for fear of being misunderstood.
I still stand up when a woman enters the room.
It's a force of habit, even if I'm the only guy standing in a room full of men when she walks in.
Maybe it's because that's what my mentors growing up would do, maybe it's because I realised early on that I always want to be ready to run in case a girlfriends mom walked into the room. Either way, I stand when a woman enters.

When I had my retail outlet I once complimented a client on her perfume as she waited for her credit card payment to go through. I thought nothing of it, but she blushed to a beetroot purple and almost tripped over herself leaving the store.
How do women go from "I love that perfume you're wearing" to "I want to jump into the sack with you and shag your brains out"?
I don't get it.
How is a guy complimenting a woman mistaken for sexual harassment?
Seriously. How terrible must you be at complimenting a woman that they mistake it for sexual harassment?

It's not only the women that get all weird when complimented.
I remember going to a restaurant once where this portly grey-haired guy sat at the head of a table of almost twenty people. They were obviously family and he was undoubtably the head honcho.
I was so impressed with the scene, I walked up to him at one point and complimented him on his family and how great it was to see so many people of different ages having so much fun around a dinner table.
I swear he looked at me like I was trying to score a free meal or something.
It's only when I pointed to my own table of friends that he realised I was also a patron. That's when he cracked a feeble smile and said that they were celebrating his grand-daughters birthday.

I'd hate to think that my daughter will be growing up in a world where guys would think it improper to open her car door for her, or pull her chair out for her, or simply just treat her like a lady. Worse still, I hate to think that the young men of her day won't even realise their shortcomings. It's one thing to think chivalry as improper, it's another entirely not to think of it at all!

It reminds me of the weddings and family functions I attend.
I may have mentioned this in a previous blog post, I'm not too sure.
Anyways, I still have the habit of greeting aunts, friends and the elderly with a kiss on the cheek. I'ts what I've always done.
We attended a function two years ago and a cousin of mine pointed out that he thought it was inappropriate. Suddenly I became self-conscious of it. The manner of greeting I had been so used to all my life suddenly became foreign to me, and when the moment came where I had to greet another female, who happened to be a family friend I had always known, I simply stuck out my hand and shook hers.
No hugs, no peck on the cheek. Just a handshake.
I bumped into her about a month later, and we got to chatting.
Believe it or not, she brought up the incident and asked what that was all about.
She asked me why I was acting all weird.
She'd known me for over ten years and that was the very first time I had just shaken her hand.
So I told her what had transpired, we laughed about it, and I promised her that normal transmission would resume.
With that, I hugged her, gave her the standard issue kiss on the cheek, and left smiling in the knowledge that never again would I have my personality questioned to the extent that it changes who I am.

So to the men reading this, here's hoping you keep the flames of chivalry burning long and bright.
To the women reading this post, please don't act all weird and get your knickers in a knot if we ever do meet and I happen to compliment you on your perfume, and then kiss you on the cheek.

The Moment Before The Moment Of Truth

This video was taken literally the day before Sabreen took her first steps.
Thursday 6 December 2007, age 16 months.
You can see her contemplating it, and in deep discussion as to how it should be project-managed.

The Pacifier

I was going through some of my old videos earlier this morning, and came across this one.
This is Sabreen at 14 months.
Her favourite doll, Baba, which she received as a gift when she was born, finally got lost after four years of intense friendship and bonding.
She watched this video with me earlier, and the tears slowly rolled down her cheeks.
Amazing how kid's get so attached to their favourite toys!

A previous blog post about Baba can be found here

Friday, August 20, 2010

2010 Definitions

Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.

Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything and then leaves.

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

An office filled with cubicles.

When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. (This also applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake.)

An excellent phrase for an overweight person.

A deeply unattractive person.

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (e.g. You've hit 'reply all').

A very short skirt, only an inch from the hare.

The contents of a Wonderbra, i.e. Extremely impressive when viewed from the outside but there's actually naught in there worth seeing.

A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go: 'Oo! Oo! Oo! Aa! Aa! Aa!'.

The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you're in the toilet after your 10th pint and whisks away all the unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in.

Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women.

Tattoo on a female.

A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she's got 4 buttocks.

Sent from my Apple iPad® wireless device

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Show Me A Sign

Hungry, anyone?

The Dumb Inventions Gallery

Just when you think you've seen it all.

Just look at this metal wing angel. His name was Leo Valentin, and he probably read too much Buck Rogers. He became a real angel after his Birdman Suit failed in a jump from an airplane in 1956. Fusion Man Yves Rossy actually got it right in 2007.

The good thing about the 1966 external turkey roaster was that you could cook a turkey and anyone around at the same time. They weren't too crazy: Some people used infrared lamps to cook pizza in this instant pizza vending machine. It probably tastes the same.

In 1961 Goodyear thought illuminated tires—made of synthetic rubber and plain bulbs—were going to be all the rage. It wasn't until the 21st century when some other idiots had the same naff idea.

Back in 1963, some crazy Japanese inventor thought that a pulsating breast, with a built-in heartbeat, will make young children sleep. Even if it had no body attached to it. In 2008, a crazy German inventor thought that a pulsating body would make everyone sleep and feel loved. Even if it had no breasts. Someone is really missing the point.

This robot could pick up the phone but not answer it. Apparently, Claus Scholz of Vienna didn't get the concept of the answering machines quite right. As much as Anna Jane Grossman likes her real answering machine, I'm sure she won't miss this one.

Also in 1963, another Japanese inventor thought that his Cat-Mew machine—capable of meowing and lighting its eyes every ten minutes, was the answer to mice plagues. They need three millions of these in Bangladesh. Nowadays, electric cats are equally harmless.

The M3. A deadly sub-machine gun designed to fire around corners with its curved barrel, without even aiming. It's not 1953 anymore, so some smart minds kept the deadly sub-machine part, and came up with a solution to actually aim and fire around corners.

In 1970 someone thought a shower hood was great. You know, so you can get out of bed and get a shower without having to get rid of your makeup and dirty smokey hair from yesterday's night out. Nowadays, you only get to do something like this if you have no hair at all.

This is the laryngaphone. Invented in 1929, it was designed to cancel the ambient noise and make you sound like Darth Vader: Instead of using a microphone, a mechanism transmitted the vibrations from the vocal chords. Now, vibration-conducting headsets won't make you sound like Darth Vader. They will just make you look like a douche.

Who could be so stupid as to put a live weapon in the hands of a robot? Apparently, in 1960, they thought it was a-ok. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, there are plenty of equally stupid people.