Editorial: Australia's foray into 1984.
Travel: Get "disturbingly informed" at the Mütter Museum.
Technology: Runge RS - a new vintage car.
Stationery: Moleskine Passion Journals
Gadgets and Gear: Bomo really cool compact wallet.
Books and Writing: Mouse Books Season 2.
Miscellaneous: Dangeous experiments for after dinner.
PD: Store

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EDITORIAL: Australia's foray into 1984.

PD: Cool Things rarely ventures into politics, however Australia's new anti-encryption laws are a concern as they will leave all of us vulnerable. Effectively this law demands that companies allow the government to have the ability to access and read encrypted messages. Although superficially this may sound like a great crime-busting move, it has alarming implications for ordinary citizens, especially coming on the back of privacy breaches such as the Facebook scandal.


Encryption is used everywhere by ordinary people. These people may want privacy, especially when sensitive information such as health records are involved. Companies such as Protonmail claim that they do not have access to the encrypted messages, so to have this ability would mean deliberately creating vulnerabilities.This would make it vulnerable to hackers and leaks. And yes, even the Australian government has had significant leaks of private data, with personal information such as health records being left fully open on line for all to see.

Another problem is that of enforcement when the company involved is an overseas entity. Australia's new law conflicts with European law, so the company will be in a bind - in order to comply with Australia's law it will have to break its own country's law.


No doubt Australian companies will have to comply by building back doors and so risk being shunned by consumers.

In this era where privacy is under attack from both governments and private companies this is an alarming development. Yes, it will allow authorities to better combat crime but at the cost of bringing law-abiding people, who form the vast majority of the population, closer to totally having no privacy and being controlled by government and unscrupulous companies, not to mention the very criminals that this law is supposed to combat.

Australia's lower house in parliament has already passed this law, rushing it through on the last sitting day, however there is no doubt that there will be a backlash from companies and from law-abiding people who do not want the risk of having their personal information open for all to see.

This report was largely prepared by MOTS (PD's man on the spot in the Asia-Pacific region).

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TRAVEL: Get "disturbingly informed" at the Mütter Museum.

Mütter Museum

[Photograph: Smallbones]

Tired of art galleries and ancient pots and statues? Want something different? A little disturbing with a twist of morbid fascination? Or are you just scientifically curious, or as the museum puts it, want to be "disturbingly informed"? Then the collection of Dr Thomas Dent Mütter, donated to The College of Physicians of Philadelphia (USA) in 1858, may be of interest to you.

[Photograph: Mütter Museum]

Full of anatomical specimens and medical instruments, this museum is open to the public.

[Photograph: Mütter Museum]

[Photograph: Mütter Museum]

[Photograph: Mütter Museum]

Great stuff. Get all of the details here:

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TECHNOLOGY: Runge RS - a new vintage car

Chris Runge has a passion for making cars by hand. It can take 2.000 hours but what a result! It could be straight from the 1950s.





Full specs are as follows:

Steel Ladder/Tube Frame Construction
4 Wheel Disc Brakes
5x205 Bolt Pattern "Wide Five" Wheels
4 Speed "Longbox" transaxle (Highway cruising speeds are no problem)
Newly Built Air-cooled "Flat Four" cylinder engine 159HP
Polished Aluminium body
2 Seat leather trimmed cockpit

Optional Equipment:

Vintage/Period Mechanical Components
Qualifier Tank
Singleman Tonneau Cover/Windscreen
Removable Canopy  

And yes, Chris will make one for you too (production is 3 a year).

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STATIONERY:  Moleskine Passion Journals

Moleskine notebooks need no introduction. Starting off as humble notebooks, they have evolved into a series of notebooks, diaries, pens and bags. The Passion Journals have specific themes for everything from travel to weddings.


The books have space to record things and add further information, making them personalised records.

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GADGETS AND GEAR: Bomo really cool compact wallet

This is probably the best minimalist wallet that PD has seen. It comes from the creators of the top quality Mykee key tool which was featured in PD: Cool Things issue 162 (GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-162/).

[Above: Mykey 2.0]

Anyway, PD digresses. Back to the wallet.


Slightly larger than a credit card, this slim wallet features a stepped case that allows you to carry a key and SD card, as well as credit cards. The lid is hinged. It comes with an organiser for your cards.



The Bomo has an aluminium body with a carbon fibre lid and a silicone band. The lid has an ID window.

Here's how it works:


Get yours here:

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BOOKS AND WRITING: Mouse Books Season 2

Regular readers of PD: Cool Things will be aware of Mouse Books, the pocket sized books that were featured in PD: Cool Things issues 138 (GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-138/) and 187 (GHOST_URL/prowling-dog-cool-things-issue-187/).


What makes these books so great is that you can slip them into a pocket (they are the size of a Field Notes Brand note book) or bag and read them anywhere; on a train or at the airport. Certainly better than being on Facebook.


Anyway, now Mouse Books is publishing a second series in quarterly installments.


Get your subscription as well as series 1 here:

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MISCELLANEOUS: Dangerous Experiments for After Dinner

Do dinners degenerate into gossip, people cataloguing their ailments, or arguments about politics, or are embarrassingly silent? What you need is a tin of Dangerous Experiments for After Dinner.


You get 21 parlour tricks to perform to add laughter and a bit of danger to spice up your dinners.




Follow the link before to see a vintage style movie showing some of the experiments being performed.

Get yours here:

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PD: Store

X90 Planner

The X90 Planner has been thoroughly tested by PD and featured in PD: Cool Things 178:


The planner is hard back but opens flat. It is clearly laid out and uses quality paper. It is undated, so you can start working on your goals immediately. There are 90 days in the planner, the ideal length of time to achieve goals.


From US $31.95 plus shipping. Local taxes may apply in your country.

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Important disclaimer: Remember that crowd funding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

Note: Photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

© 2018 Prowling Dog