Frisk #139

Cheese and crackers, it’s Frisk #139! According to rapper Big L, ‘139 and Lennox is the danger zone’. But 139 is also the classification number of the lightweight single-carriage trains you find in Stourbridge, so it’s not all drama.


Noisy balls
There’s some kind of tennis thing happening in Wimbledon right now, or something, which means that now is the time to cash in on the ball-smashing hype by selling tennis-related stuff. Take HearO Speakers, for example – these start life as genuine championship balls used at Wimbledon (or other high-profile tournaments) and are upcycled into functional Bluetooth speakers. It’s actually quite a nifty idea, acoustically speaking, as the rounded cavity and soft felt give them quite a warm and rich sound; it also finds a use for the 200,000-odd tennis balls that are discarded from Grand Slam tournaments each year.
Obviously if you have one of these in your house then someone will inevitably pick it up and throw it one day, smashing it to bits and rendering it useless as either speaker or tennis ball, but still. Neat idea.

One of the most annoying things that can happen in the cinema is when you find yourself a few rows back from someone who won’t stop mucking about with their phone. In the inky blackness of the theatre, that shiny little screen burns through the murk like a frickin’ laser.
I say this from the perspective of an increasingly grumpy old git, of course; behaviour change is harder than you might think, and sometimes it’s easier to embrace evolving behaviours rather than telling people off. That’s why the nagging ‘Switch off your phone!’ announcements have been replaced with relentless hashtags and ‘Check-in at this cinema on Facebook to win’. Progress, innit.
And, much like with cinemas, fiddling with your mobile in church is now an OK thing. A number of Protestant churches in Germany now offer wifi ‘Godspots’, allowing constant connectivity while you’re getting your prayer on. So now you can watch Trap Door while kneeling on a hassock and drinking wine, which has always been the dream.

Tasty rings
There are a number of images that future generations can use to patch together a snapshot of the 20th century – the Berlin Wall coming down, Elvis’s pelvis, that self-immolating monk, ‘Do the Bartman’ t-shirts, the Nokia 3310, that Friends press shot with the umbrellas, Pogs, and six-pack rings in the ocean with dead cormorants in them.
Worryingly, this last one is still a thing, despite us having been wringing our hands over imperilled marine life for as long as anybody can remember. But Florida’s Saltwater Brewery has finally come up with a solution – their six-pack rings aren’t made from plastic, but from compacted waste products of the brewing process which are compostable, biodegradable and, most importantly, edible for sea creatures. So instead of posing a terminal threat to any bird, fish or whatever that may find one floating about in the ocean, it’ll actually just provide them with a nutritious snack. Ingenious.

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

29th June 2016