Before flushing remote-controlled toilet, duck behind Steven Seagal

New clothing-generated electricity could help Steven Seagal provide his own power for gigs, with surplus for parts of Chicago.

Hello, and welcome to another edition of High-Tech Watch, a consumer information guide to the latest technology, and the exciting items you can expect to see following the eventual collapse of the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

We begin in Scotland, where textile researchers are currently working to perfect material that can generate and store static electricity through the natural rubbing of material. This would allow wearers of clothing made with “Smart Yarn” to generate their own power for things like cell phones, iPods, laptops or, in the case of a full-length kimono worn by Steven Seagal, a small Chicago suburb. The technology is relatively simple, and dates back to the early 1970s, when a combination of corduroy pants, wool socks and shag carpeting was blamed on the electrocution deaths of several people in the U.S. and Canada. Continue reading