Anyone who knows me, or has read any of my books, will know that I have an interest in unusual machines – well, anything unusual really, but machines too. Here are a few that have grabbed my attention lately.
One of our Weird-Wide News roving reporters sent me this link – a bit of film about a New Zealand man who has created a jet-pack. The Martin Jetpack is the first of its kind that anyone can buy (a snip at just $75,000) and learn how to fly! There have been experimental rocket-packs around for years, but they were the kind of thing that highly trained test-pilots strapped on and risked their lives to fly at air-shows for thirty seconds or so before the thing ran out of fuel (hopefully after you’d landed). Apparently, anyone can learn to fly this one, and it can fly for up to half an hour.
During a recent parade, this tractor was spotted. Take a look at it . . . now look again. Yes, it is actually made up of two tractors, welded on end-to-end, with the front wheels taken off. You might ask: ‘How?’, or even ‘Why?’, or possibly ‘Well, why not?’. And did they make anything out of the two sets of front wheels they took off?
This car was spotted in Dublin. Now, either somebody is making a really low-budget science fiction film, or they’ve covered some poor sod’s car in tin foil and cling-film (or both). I suspect that somebody was getting married and this was a parting gift from his friends, before he gave up his free-wheeling lifestyle.
And finally, I was visiting a sick relative in a hospital in Drogheda recently, and discovered these buttons by the doors of one of the elevators. Most people would expect elevators to go either up or down. That is the essential nature of the mechanical lift. This elevator, however, would appear to move in another dimension. I was desperately disappointed to learn that – when the mysterious button was pressed – the lift did not move sideways, or break the fabric of time and space. It just went up.
But then . . . maybe I pressed it in the wrong way, or at the wrong time. This is a matter that demands further investigation . . .