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Friday, 5 June 2015

Decorating The Battlefield

Blast-proof wallpaper ... whatever next.

Apparently the US Army has developed a Kevlar lined sticky wallpaper which can be put up on buildings and tent walls, by ordinary soldiers in minutes. The idea being that if there is a blast nearby the wallpaper blocks the amount of loose debris fired through the walls and thus reduces the chances of injury to occupants of those buildings.

Kevlar Wallpaper ... Snazzy!

This story brought to mind the furniture in a UK government office I worked in the 1970's, when we still thought world war III and M.A.D. was an immediate and real possibility. We had that tubular steel 'office' furniture, the ones with no arms usually but pre computer user ..... not quite quill and ink-pot (that was my school desk), but pretty vintage stuff.

One day we were issued with 'new' seat covers for the seat and back support, and thus were instructed to remove the old ones. When we did so we found that the otherwise plain white fabric was stamped with a guarantee that the seats were guaranteed to be reusable after being subjected to heat bursts of several hundred degree's Fahrenheit. They were also 'flame resistant' according to the labels ...

This caused much comment, as it dawned on us that the government furniture was expected to be reusable after a nearby nuclear blast, where as we weren't expected to be quite as reusable after the same event.

Of course the arrival of desktop computers made them redundant and they were withdrawn from service.

Lurking In A Secret Government Warehouse .....

But I suspect that even now, somewhere in a vast secret warehouse, there are stack upon stack of these chairs, waiting for the moment when their hour comes round at last ....

12 comments:

  1. Alec Guinness wore a suit made from an indestructible fabric in the 1951 film The Man in the White Suit. Workers in the textile factory that produced the suit revolted after realising that they would be making themselves redundant if their products lasted forever.

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    Replies
    1. In engineering, built-in obsolescence aka Planned Obsolescence, is a design concept that has been known about since the 1920's, when General Motors came up with the idea of "dynamic obsolescence". The idea was to introduce new styling every year or so, to encourage new sales to existing owners.

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    2. I'm less sceptical about the origins of built in obsolescence as materials that don't last forever were the only ones available and creating new styles to make products more attractive is an integral part of design. The workers in the factory which made everlasting textiles would have kept most of their jobs as consumers tired of wearing the same clothes year after year.

      Planned obsolescence though is unfortunately one bullet in the arsenal of some capitalists' mission to destroy our planet.

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    3. As I have been away for a couple of days, I am late to the discussion. There is a wiki page for Planned Obsolescence which suggests that Kenny has a point about its origins. Also don't capitalists' also live on our planet?

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    4. Yes, you'd think that they'd have more sense than to blindly make profit over the environment but that's the way some people operate : short term outlook, denial, greed, not to mention the fundamental Christian's who welcome Armageddon and are actively working to bring it on.

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    5. Vroomfondel, I am afraid that you are just a tad too far over to the left for me to go with you on this one ..... I don't happen to believe in some super conspiracy theory, that see's some capitalists' twinned up with fundamental Christian's, on a mission to destroy our planet, and thus hasten Armageddon's arrival. Still its an interesting idea LOL.

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    6. No conspiracy, just overlapping interests, or lack of it.

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    7. If you say so ....looked like one to me though.

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  2. Yes, I can see how one might join the dots in my comments but the first one about "some capitalists mission..." was facetious and the second one was meant just as list of self destructive people, not necessarily connected to the "mission to destroy our planet".

    As if our consumerist societies aren't wasteful enough it's annoying to think that the short-sighted and the Rapture loving Christians don't feel the need to recycle.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mr vroomfondel. To be fair it can hardly be described as just Christian Fundamentalists who don't recycle. Islamist across the globe are using enough high explosives on themselves and the rest of the world to raise world temperatures by 1%

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  4. Actually it does raise the question of what does happen to old office furniture? Much of it in the 70s and 80s was built to last forever.

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    Replies
    1. Good point .... I can't imagine them in landfills for eternity. Maybe they were shipped to third world countries. Thanks for the comment on topic. Funny how the comments have a life of their own and wander as they will LOL

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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....