Archive for December, 2012

Contactless Revolution Comes to Busking


2013 promises new advances in the application of contactless transaction technology.

Buskers have enjoyed official pitches at London Underground stations for many years now.

However, the traditional practice of leaving their instrument cases  for passers-by to throw coins has been considered to represent both a tripping hazard and a crime risk.

Now planners have come up with a solution.

Starting in January 2013, all licensed buskers will be required to have Oyster card readers attached to their instruments.

Instead of throwing coins, appreciative travellers will be able to just touch their Oyster card as they pass. Their cards will be automatically debited with the equivalent of a return to Mornington Crescent.

Not all musicians are convinced. “I’m a singer”, complained one student from the Central School of Music, “they want to hang the reader round my neck”.

Some travellers who’ve taken part in the trial have been confused too … unsure of whether they need to “touch out” as well as “touching in”.


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US Second Amendment Debate Rages On

Mushroom cloud

Argument rages over the US Constitution’s Second Amendment this week after the detonation of a small tactical nuclear weapon by a disaffected teenager vaporised a small town in Arkansas.

The device, believed to be approximately 5 megatons, is said by investigators to have been exploded by angry youth Duane Nerfin after a family dispute.

The town of Champignon was completely destroyed in the conflagration.

Father’s cache

Nerfin is believed to have stolen the bomb from his father’s collection of nuclear devices, which had been legally purchased over the course of many years, from a nearby Walmart store.

Nobody from the store was available for comment. Indeed, the store no longer exists.

Duane Nerfin Senior was one of many Americans who steadfastly believe in a citizen’s right to bear thermonuclear arms. Mr Nerfin was not available for comment, having been vaporised along with his son.


The incident, not the first of its kind, has reignited the old dispute in the United States over a citizen’s right to bear arms. And, in particular, for this right to include stockpiling a personal nuclear arsenal.

Proponents argue that unless citizens have the right to hold the ultimate deterrent, they have no protection against incursions by an expanding government. A representative from the National Rifle Association explains, “the tragedy that befell the town of Champignon points to the need for an expansion in sales of tactical nuclear weapons. None of us will be safe until every citizen has the capacity to use the ultimate deterrent.”

A spokeswoman from the Pentagon disagreed: “We think it’s actually unfair. As a government we’ve had to sign treaties with other countries specifically limiting our own nuclear arsenal. There is a dangerous imbalance if ordinary people can just pop down to Walmart and arm themselves with more megatons than we are allowed ourselves”.

Sales surge

Sales of personal nuclear devices (PNDs) have rocketed since this week’s events. “People are just snapping them up” said one supermarket manager who declined to be named. “Nobody wants to be the one without a big red button to press if a neighbourhood dispute gets out of hand”.

As he spoke to our reporter the manager was nervously eyeing an angry dispute in the parking lot, as one excited customer had backed a protruding warhead into the adjacent SUV.

As we hastily left the scene supermarket staff were refilling the shelves with containers of nerve agent. Until a decision by the Supreme Court the people are assumed to have the right to bear chemical as well as nuclear arms.

Protective wear

Meanwhile, stores around the newly named Champignon Crater are stocking up with this year’s new style in radiation protection.

The dispute over the Second Amendment is not expected to be resolved any time soon.

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