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It is probably best, when reading this story and watching the accompanying media, not to spend too much time wondering at the motivations of the people involved. Let the facts speak for themselves, do not ask why, for there are no satisfactory answers beyond a simply stated “because.”
Colin Furze is an inventor. He likes to make things just to see if he can. In the past, such things have included hoverboots, a supercharged mobility scooter and some mechanical claws, like those of Wolverine in the X-Men movies.
Naturally this makes him something of a noisy neighbor, but rather than spend his time building a perfect soundproof workshop, he got to thinking about whether you could make a noise that was loud enough to be heard across the English channel. And then he remembered that valveless pulse jets make a noise that is not unlike flatulence—he already made his own pulse jet, of course—it’s just far, far louder.
From there, it was only a short hop to the conclusion that what he needed to do is build a 16ft high metal bottom to house a particularly big pulse jet, and then take it to a concrete beach in Folkestone, 21 miles across the channel from France, where, to quote Monty Python, he can fart in their general direction.
Here he is explaining the project and making the mechanical bowels:
And here he is making the bum.
The event takes place at 6pm GMT (that’s 1pm EDT) today. And you’ll no doubt be able to see footage on his YouTube channel shortly afterwards. That’s if he hasn’t caused an international incident in the meantime, of course.
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic