Name That Thing

Entrants were asked to submit ideas for what the hell this dangerous thing is called, and a brief description of what it does. Readers voted on their favorite entry.

The World's Most Powerful Modem

This particular device is The World's Most Powerful Modem! It can connect anytime, anywhere, with no delay or lag! It has a connection speed that presently exceeds the processing power of all known computers except that one that beat that guy at chess. It's compatible with all systems and can accurately receive content from any source at all! Warning: radiation may cause brain, lung, eyeball or spleen tumors; electrical discharge may be painful or fatal; high electromagnetic field will almost certainly erase all hard drives within 500 yards; and it tends to make screens explode about half the time it's used. Order now!

The Balloon-O-Matic

Thought to be the 'party essential' from August of 1992 to September of 1992, the Balloon-O-Matic was the cheap, easy way to blow up those long balloons that you use to make balloon animals. If you've ever seen an untrained person try to do it, it's damn near impossible, and so the Balloon-O-Matic was thought to be the solution. Up to six balloons could be inserted into the inflation holes (Three on the side, three on the top), and you could program it one of two ways; manually by the buttons on the right side on the front of the machine, or by remote control (the signal received by the small dish on the top of it). The small switch on the right side was to turn it on and off of course.

Up to one million were sold in the U.S. before people started noticing the hazard signs on the front of the machine and the multiple disclaimers to injury and death that were in small print in the instruction pamphlet. Firstly, the Balloon-O-Matic used nuclear power to make the machine run so it didn't need an outside power source like an electrical outlet, and mishandling the machine could rupture its aluminum frame and cause a catastrophic nuclear meltdown. Secondly, the wiring on the inside wasn't organized very well, as can be seen by the viewing window, plus if you wanted to store your balloons you could open the window and put them in there. In the event of an electrical failure, digging around in the small compartment with the mixture of wires and balloons in it typically resulted in a nasty accident. Thirdly, the biohazard sign was tacked on because the balloons were inflated with methane instead of the traditional helium, because landfills paid the makers of Balloon-O-Matic to help them dispose of the methane gases given off by garbage, and so methane was incorporated into the design of Balloon-O-Matic. If the inflated balloons or the machine were to spring a small leak, exposure to the gas would probably result in a nasty death by gas poisoning, and if the inflated balloons would pop, or the machine would have a serious malfunction in which the methane tank would be immediately depressurized, the large amount of methane exposed to oxygen would cause a pretty big explosion.

Balloon-O-Matic was soon pulled off the market (even though the disclaimers had kept the company from any possible lawsuit for injury or death, the IRS discovered that they had filed their taxes wrong by filling in a space that said "Do Not Write Here" and wanted a massive settlement for the error, causing the company to be forced to file for bankrupt), and most of them were sealed in a large steel box and now sits on the bottom of the ocean...except for one.

The FastForward Machine - WINNER

It makes anything in the immediate vicinity of it's ray move as if it's in fastforward. So you take a step while under the influence and instead of taking one step you're halfway across the room! omg. I can so see Davis figuring this out and doing some sort of weird dance in place.

(Dangerous because you can accidentally smash through a wall this way.)

The Box

Discovered in the 1960's by a small group of tourists in the Ozark mountains, this little box is said to be the one most dangerous object in the world. Putting aside the multiple warning labels of nuclear, electrical and biohazardous agents within the box, it's what it does that put it in the RDT. The Box has the ability, and has been doing since it was invented, to receive every transmission on military channels ever sent through the airwaves, including transmissions thought to be on closed circuit radio, and to record it, storing it for anyone to listen to. The government first recognized this as a dangerous thing because it probably has on record any sort of questionable and even illegal activities they've done as cover-ups in the past, but they kept it around for a very long time because they just didn't know what to do with it. They didn't want to destroy it because at the time they thought it might be useful for recon missions during the Cold War, but they decided that there was too much dangerous information on it and handed it off to Mr. Tavlin.

Could be hilarious if it fell into the wrong hands.

Backwards Talking Machine

(aka the Yoda Translator)

Makes anyone in the influence of the ray talk like Yoda. Or simply in reverse, whichever you prefer. :)

(Dangerous because people get so frustrated by not being able to understand you they often erupt into violence. Also courtesy the ray. Yep!)