Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The New Hotness: "Heatballs" in Germany!

Do you remember this idiotic EU attempt to ban incandescent lightbulbs?  Now Dignified Rant and awesome Aussie Tim Blair report a supremely glorious act of legal, commercial, creative, humorous defiance by two enterprising Germans:
A German entrepreneur is bypassing a European Union ban on light bulbs of more than 60 watts by marketing his own brand as mini heaters.
Siegfried Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law have come up with a legal way of importing and distributing 75 and 100 watt light bulbs – by producing them in China, importing them as “small heating devices” and selling them as “heatballs.” 
… On their website, the two engineers describe the heatballs as “action art” and as “resistance against legislation which is implemented without recourse to democratic and parliamentary processes.” 
Outstanding!  *MM blows a kiss and throws roses.*  

Blair also notes the free market at work:  "the first batch of 4,000 heatballs sold out in just three days, generating a toasty turnover of more than $9,500."  For the record, I only half-joked when the EU lightbulb ban went into effect that soon we would have "a thriving international black market in contraband lightbulbs."

Here is the official website of the Heatball, by the way:  http://heatball.de/   Take a look at their self-description:
Ein Heatball ist ein elektrischer Widerstand, der zum Heizen gedacht ist. Heatball ist Aktionskunst! Heatball ist Widerstand gegen Verordnungen, die jenseits aller demokratischen und parlamentarischen Abläufe in Kraft treten und Bürger entmündigen. Heatball ist auch ein Widerstand gegen die Unverhältnismäßigkeit von Maßnahmen zum Schutze unserer Umwelt. Wie kann man nur ernsthaft glauben, dass wir durch den Einsatz von Energiesparlampen das Weltklima retten und gleichzeitig zulassen, dass die Regenwälder über Jahrzehnte vergeblich auf ihren Schutz warten.
All the same, my favorite bit is this statement about the heatball: "Die beste Erfindung seit der Glühbirne!" -- "the best invention since the lightbulb!" Oh, I laughed out loud. Fantastic!

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