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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2019 edited
     
    Does anybody know of a picture of the "turkey baster" device? I seem to recall Steorn offered it as a product once. I never could understand why anybody would want such a thing.
    •  
      CommentAuthoraber0der
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2019 edited
     
    Iv'e never heard of such a thing. And I hear everything. Call an ambulance.

    ETA: *
    •  
      CommentAuthorpcstru
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019
     
    I can't recall a baster, there was a picture of Sean with a device which looked like a chicken rotisserie thing but they claimed to be a hysteresis measuring rig (or some such rubbish). Someone pshopped in a chefs hat for Sean and some carving knives and a chicken on the spit.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019
     
    That's the thing. Anybody seen a picture?
  1.  
    A free range chicken is not a free energy chicken.
  2.  
    Are you talking about the Hall Effect Probe, that sort of looked like a toothbrush without the brush, and came in a transparent plastic tube?
    https://www.wired.com/2009/06/steorn-snakeoil-salesmen-hawk-400-magic-wand/
    •  
      CommentAuthorDuracell
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019 edited
     
    maryyugo posted this picture of Steorn's torque measurement device (aka the chicken rotisserie) here:



    ... and DerrickA posted his caricature version of it here:

    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019
     
    Thanks Duracell.
    • CommentAuthorthehard
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019 edited
     
    This forum is amazing and still full of amazing people.

    Yet I wonder what line of thought took you to ask for that picture, Angus.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019
     
    Nothing ever dies. Other amazing people come out of the woodwork asking questions.
    •  
      CommentAuthorgoatcheez
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2019
     
    Reminds me of a movie I saw recently.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2020
     
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2020
     
    Are we in it?
  3.  
    Oh, _that_ Barry Whyte.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2020
     
    Posted By: loremanAre we in it?

    There's probably only one way to find out. Barry Whyte has promised me a copy, so I'll report if I get it.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2020
     
    Oh, you’ll undoubtedly be in it Herr Professor Doktor-but will our limericks?
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2020 edited
     
    It is surely our own responsibility to capture the unparalleled creativity of the 'trap. Unless, of course, we are too damn lazy.

    I did have a go at it a while back, but quailed at the amount of material there actually is.

    That's in dropbox.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2020
     
    Thanks for that
    •  
      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeFeb 6th 2020
     
    •  
      CommentAuthoroak
    • CommentTimeApr 30th 2020 edited
     
    Posted By: Angus
    Posted By: loremanAre we in it?

    There's probably only one way to find out. Barry Whyte has promised me a copy, so I'll report if I get it.


    .
    Review in The Sunday Times (UK):

    .



    .
    The Impossible Dream by Barry J Whyte review

    The story of how one of the Celtic tiger’s most audacious start-ups went out with a whimper makes for compelling reading

    by Mel Clarke
    The Sunday Times
    April 19, 2020

    Shaun McCarthy “seemed to be the embodiment of the Celtic tiger economy: brash, confident, maybe a little boorish. Money with an Irish accent driving an expensive car.” Barry Whyte’s early description of the man who dominates his book sets the energetic tone of a compelling and, frequently bizarre, read. At its fantastical core is McCarthy, the brains behind Steorn, a company that “discovered” and developed a magnetic technology that purportedly produced energy for ever. Was he sitting on a gold mine that could solve the global energy crisis? Some thought so.

    Yet, as Whyte makes clear, lots of people weren’t thinking straight when Ireland first heard of Steorn in the early 2000s. Veni, vidi, Visa was the catchcry of the masses, plenty of whom had cash to burn. More than 400 of them put large sums into Steorn — €23m was invested, and lost, by shareholders — and they “weren’t just the gullible and unsophisticated investors . . . the share register was a veritable who’s who of high society during the Celtic tiger years”.

    McCarthy’s brand of go-to charisma, and the magnetic “time machine” he peddled, wooed barristers, solicitors, bankers, doctors, consultants, academics, accountants and business owners. It also seems to have rubbed off on Whyte, who has an obvious soft spot for his subject. “McCarthy is an eminently likeable character,” he says of someone “pegged as a scam artist”. To Whyte, McCarthy is simply misunderstood.

    Pitched as a parable of the Celtic tiger, Whyte’s version of the Steorn story zooms into top gear four chapters in with the discovery of Orbo, the name of the new technology. “Hang on, there’s something f****** strange here,” hollered McCarthy and his engineers when they learnt that a generator seemed to be putting out more energy than it was taking in, defying the laws of physics.

    “The cold splash of realism to McCarthy’s enthusiastic fervour” was company co-founder Mike Daly. Described as a “stocky, guarded man with sleepy eyes and the demeanour of a small bear”, Daly thought McCarthy was “smarmy and condescending” when they first met. His comprehensively researched back story — like others in the book — adds verve and colour to the tale. They also break up reams of technical jargon, which many readers may want to skip.

    Daly agreed to be interviewed by Whyte. Pat Corbett, the lead fundraiser, did not. Compellingly contradictory, this “absolutely fantastic f****** guy” — McCarthy’s description — seemed capable of sociopath-like coldness, as he demonstrated when sitting impassively as an investor’s wife burst into tears after being “reassured” about the value of shares.

    A follower of the self-help guru Tony Quinn, Corbett put himself in charge of raising the €20m required to finance Orbo. “Ah, let me have a go,” he said, when told of the amount needed. Within a day of the first product presentation meeting, he had come up with a quarter of a million — within two years, the tally hit €16m-€17m. “This is too easy,” was McCarthy’s hubristic response.

    The lengthy quest for product validation was farcical. From the start, eminent scientists treated the system with “as much regard . . . as doctors have for anti-vaccine campaigners”. Of course, this didn’t deter McCarthy. A test in 2005 by the engineering department in Bolton Street DIT, his alma mater, suggested Orbo merited further examination, so a highly regarded English physics professor was invited to dig deeper. Almost immediately he noticed flaws, but McCarthy “didn’t seem to get [his] polite message”. The boffin concluded McCarthy “was never going to give up”.

    Sadly for those who invested in his product, he didn’t. In August 2006, he placed a brash ad for Steorn in The Economist. “All Great Truths Begin As Blasphemies,” read its headline, borrowing from George Bernard Shaw. Having been ridiculed by academia, this was Steorn’s “attempt to bring the universities to them”. Whyte describes this stunt, and the extraordinary episodes that follow, in a suitably breathless manner.

    Convinced that his company “challenged the crusty dogmas of professional science”, McCarthy ratcheted things up. Maurice Linnane, who had produced music videos for the Rolling Stones and U2, was hired to make a documentary, and a live public product demonstration was planned for London in 2007. It turned out to be a disaster, deepening suspicions about McCarthy.

    There’s a touch of Spinal Tap about Steorn’s inevitable demise. Moving away from magnetism in the early 2010s, the company focused its energies on a new water-heating system. Naturally this was “incredibly dull compared with the adrenaline of challenging the foundations of physics”. Prospectuses were now being printed on bog-standard A4 paper and staff were nervous about getting paid. The launch of a new phone in 2015 was a last roll of the dice that failed, and Steorn’s eventual liquidation feels like a relief.

    “We approached [Steorn] completely wrong,” McCarthy says on the final page. “Which is a horrible, horrible, horrible thing, because a lot of people lost a lot of money.”

    Hindsight is an exact science — unlike the dubious logic underpinning his magical machine.

    .

    The Impossible Dream by Barry J Whyte
    Gill Books €16.99 pp239

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    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/the-impossible-dream-by-barry-j-whyte-review-z8j7gq2gf

    (paywall)