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us gillette disposable waste environment humans

Gillette razors are entirely responsible for f*cking planet Earth. Here’s why.

We’re all doomed, of that there is not much doubt

The resources and environment of planet Earth have been used up and ruined by humans.

Everything is disposable, and the entire capitalist economy of the world is structured around a consumer society built upon throwaway living and planned obsolescence.

And we have Gillette to thank for this

How so?

Well, we’re talking about how the company changed the culture of planet earth for ever around a hundred years ago. We’re talking about how they were the first company on earth to make and sell things explicitly as disposable items.

The improbably named King Camp Gillette, pictured above, was a travelling salesman and inventor

He worked for the Bottle Seal Company, in the days when bottles were returned to stores for a discount on the next drink. The bottles were then washed and reused. But the cap wasn’t: it was designed not to be reusable, to just be thrown away.

The design is still in use:

Gillette was fascinated by this

Oddly, for a business tycoon, he was also a socialist and an idealist, who had dreams of setting up a Utopian town powered by the Niagara Falls in which every single person in the USA would live.

His book The Human Drift had suggested that all industry should be run by one publicly owned corporation.

But applying his socialist ideals to everyday life meant that he was always trying to come up with inventions to make life better for everyone. (His first patent, though, was for a device for “facing bungholes” - it was a brush for cleaning the bungholes in beer barrels. Presumably using TP.)

His masterstroke came because, as a travelling salesman, he was fed up that his razor always seemed to be blunt

Being clean shaven in the 19th Century was a special treat: a lengthy process involving a cut throat razor or a visit to a barber.

The photos of men from the time generally showed them clean shaven in planned studio portraits they had specifically prepared for.

Even the so called “Safety Razor” had a fixed cutting edge - so when someone shaved they had to “strop” the blade, kind of like your Mum or Dad does with the carving knife at Christmas, but using a leather strap to straighten, rather than sharpen it.

They also would have to take it to a blade sharpener or a barber when it got worn down, which it would do pretty quickly.

It was, to put it bluntly, a faff

Gillette’s revolutionary idea was to make the razor handle as a separate product, and then make thin blades that could be thrown away when they got blunt.

How smart! How convenient it would be for consumers! How much better lives would be made by this innovation! How brilliant that people would have to keep buying the blades.

When he wrote to his wife from on the road he said “Our fortune is made”

In fact it took several years for a prototype to be made, because trying with steel ribbons used in clock springs hadn’t worked, and he was repeatedly told by steel machinists around the country it was impossible to sharpen the edge as he wanted.

Eventually though, Gillette’s bloody minded persistence paid off

An expert machinist, William Nickerson, perfected a process of sharpening the steel.

It was the start of a slippery slope.

Yes, it did make life easier, but it also encouraged people to throw things away in a way that had never been properly exploited before.

In 1906 sales of blades overtook the sales of complete razors for the first time, and the die was cast

The idea of throwaway items was suddenly mainstream and international, as factories opened across the world.

This was helped in no small measure by the start of WWI. Every single American soldier had a Gillette razor supplied to them for free. The US government picked up the tab for that one, and additional new customers were automatically created through word of mouth.

Other business saw the razor and razor blades model as a perfect way to empty the pockets of consumers, as well as to make life easier.

Disposability became, and remains, endemic as a result.

As early as 1955, America realised there was something happening

In August of that year, Life magazine printed an article titled ‘Throwaway Living’ - excitedly explaining how much shit America could throw away rather than bother cleaning.

The genie is now well and truly out of the bottle

In 2005, a survey of New York rubbish collectors found that, depressingly, 50% of all waste was packaging and non-durable goods like razor blades.

To this day, Gillette buys up patents for long lasting, stronger, sharpness retaining blades for big money, and then sits on them. It makes sad business sense. Innovation is an anathema now.

Why manufacture something you’d only have to sell once?

them jfk john peel jack ruby

Did you know DJ John Peel was in Dallas the day JFK was assassinated?

He snuck in to the press conference when Lee Harvey Oswald was first presented to the press by pretending to be a correspondent from the Liverpool Echo

So who is he in this image?

It is stitched together from a news footage shot during the conference.

This is him, on the far right of the image

And this, on the far left of the image is Jack Ruby - the man who went on to assassinate Lee Harvey Oswald

We don’t think Jack Ruby was pretending to be from the Liverpool Echo though.

them boars wanking

Is your dream job wanking off boars? Well then do we have the position for you!

Well, as long as you’re prepared to move to Georgia, and have 10 years experience

(From UNjobs)

Sadly, it’s a volunteer position, but does pay travel and living expenses. As well as 10 years experience of “boar semen collection technologies”, you’ll also need to be familiar with Word, Excel and Powerpoint!

A boar, not being wanked off, yesterday.

So get those CVs ready, boar wankers!

Via @supernowoczesna

them prometheus we want to believe

Does this 13th century manuscript prove that the film Prometheus was based on a TRUE STORY?

Were facehuggers roaming monasteries in Middle Ages?

Hey! Remember the plot of the film Prometheus? No, of course you don’t. Nobody does.

Still, we’re willing to bet it had something to do with aliens having set up the Earth just to grow people as food or whatever.

And this bit of marginalia from a thirteenth century calendar may be the first bit of evidence that facehuggers have lived among us for hundreds of years.

Look, there it is, nestling in the margin, just waiting to shove its ovipositor down your throat and leave its young in your chest.

Yes, it could just be a representation of Scorpio, given that its nestling at Scorpio, but couldn’t it also be ONE OF THESE?

Don’t have nightmares, people of the thirteenth century!

Hat tip to @SLevelt and @freyjawaru.

them maps ottoman empire

Have the EDL’s worst fears come true?

No.

Despite the fact that Prince Charles is having Arabic lessons, the fact that we might accidentally ingest halal meat without being able to distinguish it from other murdered animal-parts, and that you can’t even get a wet wipe from a restaurant that has run out of wet wipes, this image is not an image of creeping sharia.

No, it’s an image from an Ottoman map of England and Wales from 1803.

And look, here’s Wales!

Lovely Arabicky Wales.

Now someone find us a map of Wales in Hindi. So we can make a “How Green Is My Divali?” joke. Ta.

Hat tip to @AbdulAzim

zombies them local papers

Why is this Scottish newspaper reporting a zombie outbreak?

Currently the most viewed article on the Motherwell Times’ website is this:

According to the article:

Lanarkshire has become a toxic environment after patients trialling a drug for encephalitis have suffered adverse reactions.

Patients displaying ‘zombie like features’ have spent the last 24 hours terrorising locals and causing chaos on the roads.

Worryingly, the Motherwell Times is definitely a real local newspaper, but there’s nothing in the article to indicate why they’re suddenly reporting on a zombie outbreak. Unless it’s because there actually is a zombie outbreak.

There’s even an emergency phone number for anxious residents of Lanarkshire to call, which might be a clue

As it’s the number for a Scottish theme park.

So we suspect this might just be slightly confusing promotion for a halloween-themed series of movie screenings the park is planning. Or it could be a zombie outbreak. Probably the first one, though.

Stand down, Scottish zombie killers, stand down!

Source: Motherwell Times