Frisk #160

Cinders and ashes, it’s Frisk #160! That’s the year the Ancient Romans started manufacturing soap. Well done, lads – stink-free for 1,857 years.

Garçon Wines
How do you fit a full-sized bottle of wine through a standard letterbox? How can you send wine through the post without it smashing? Such concerns probably don’t keep you up at night, but someone’s been scratching their head over at Garçon Wines and they’ve hit upon a nifty solution: slimline plastic wine bottles.
Pretty simple concept, really – they use a glass-like heavy-duty plastic, package the thing up like a Graze box, and send it out to subscribers. So you need never miss out on wine again, even if you’ve nipped out to the offie for five minutes and no-one’s there to answer the door. Now, is anyone doing this for gin…?

The state of the trains in Britain is a perennial cause for concern (and/or misery, depending where you live and where you need to get to on a regular basis). Industrial action from Southern, creaking electrical issues from SouthWest, ageing fleets of rolling stock… it’s a mess, and our sole solution at the moment seems to be to bitch about it on Twitter. Which sort of stretches the boundaries of the term ‘solution’.
In Germany, commuter action has been more forthright. Locomore is an eco-friendly train service crowdfunded to break the rail monopoly and offer fairer fares. Its ticket prices are half that of Deutsche Bahn, the hitherto monopolistic rail operator, and the new trains also have wifi, power outlets, and tables. Ooh, fancy. They run on green electricity (if that’s not too much of a misnomer), and they even serve sustainable, locally-sourced food.
Think about that next time you’re crammed in like a sardine on the 07:27 to Waterloo.

Donation jacket
Fewer people carry cash these days, thanks to the ever-expanding universe of contactless payments, mobile checkouts and whatnot. Which is a bit of a pisser for the homeless, buskers, conceptual street artists, and anyone else who relies on coins being cast into the coffee cup at their feet by altruistic pedestrians.
However, a new innovation from the Netherlands is extending a helping hand. This is a nation with a huge homelessness problem, with numbers increasing 74% since 2009. What these designers have come up with is a jacket with an integrated contactless card reader, that homeless people can wear to provide some vital extra warmth. Passers-by just tap their cards on the jacket and a Euro gets automatically debited into the homeless person’s unique donation account, which they can use to buy their way into shelters with hot meals, beds and baths. Perhaps not a perfect system, but pretty damned clever.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

11th January 2017