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Weird Tech: Kung-fu monks fight back

An open letter from the Shaolin temple posted on the internet denies the fight ever took place and calls on the blogger to apologise to the temple's martial arts masters

It's a funny old world - and nowhere was this more apparent over the last seven days than in the weird world of tech...

Worldwide round-up:

In India, officials at Nepal's state-run airline responded to technical problems with a Boeing 757 by sacrificing two goats in front of the aircraft to appease the Hindu sky god. Meanwhile, reports surfaced in China of a woman chopping off her husband's hand (could be worse) after he continued to spend more time on the internet than he did with her.

Rather implausibly, the man claims to have only noticed that something was amiss after the "pointer on the screen stopped moving and he felt a numbness in his hand that had been on the mouse (and then he noticed the blood)". Sounds about as true as the iPhone-thumb man story, then.

And in China, kung-fu practising monks at the Shaolin Temple demanded a public apology from a blogger who claimed a Japanese ninja beat them in a fight. The incident comes amid lingering tensions between the two countries over wartime atrocities.

Toaster that doesn't toast

We saw a number of strong contenders for the title of Stupid Gadget of the Week this time around. Case in point: the Transparent Toaster from Chicago-based company Inventables. Clearly intended for the faint of heart, it's apparently made of glass so you'll: "never [be] surprised by toast that comes out too dark" again. How thoughtful. It's still at concept stage though, before you rush out to buy one - which is just as well given that it "does not currently get hot enough to toast bread".

The Holland Electro Wave TV took first prize, though - mainly because a prototype does in fact exist (it was even displayed at IFA 2007 in Berlin). Half microwave oven, half TV/ DVD player, the 23 litre Electro Wave TV takes the idea of convergence a bit too far. Not only did the prototype look cobbled together, Gizmag reported, but for the £340 it costs you could buy the two appliances separately and benefit from the extra portability of the media player.

And finally...

Programmer Ivan Bowman hit the headlines this week with IvanAnywhere - his robotic 'body double' for the office. Basically a "coat rack on wheels with attached speakers, camera and touch-screen computer", the robot wheels around the office doing Ivan's dirty work for him. It does presentations, takes meetings and hangs out in the kitchen while the real Ivan kicks back at home. Brilliant.

And finally II...

We'll leave you with a video. (Don't worry, it's fake.)

Julia Sagar

Julia is editor-in-chief of retail at Future, where she works across a wide range of leading consumer tech and lifestyle brands, including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, Woman & Home and more. A former editor of global design website Creative Bloq, she has over 15 years’ experience in online and print journalism, and was part of the team that launched TechRadar (way back in the day). When she isn't reviewing mattresses, she can usually be found writing about anything from green energy to online flower delivery.