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The worst invention of the last century is the car alarm.



True, but cellphones are also in the top 5.

Specifically, cell phones with American Idol themed ring tones.

Funny how car alarms don't stop the stealing of cars. They basically are for annoying people who like to keep their neighbors awake.

Car alarms are useless and very annoying, but my vote for the worst invention - if it qualifies for the category - goes to the television reality show. Arrgghhh.

While car alarms are annoying, a much worse invention is voice mail. VM has to be the number one productivity killer in all of business. You can jam through 20 emails in the time it takes to listen to that stupid woman tell you how many messages you have.

Voice Mail Must Die!

...In which they get their comeuppance...

Out here in the Northwest we have our own entry for the "The Tall Ships." I'm thinking of The Lady Washington which sails a regular schedule up and down the West coast.

On board they have a little cannon--a three pounder--complete with gun trucks and a port to fire it out of. On the sailing tours the "Lady" provides around harbors, the crew will stand the ship into shore, hard by a parking lot or parking structure. Once in position, they fire the gun (un-shotted of course) toward the cars. The result is loud and resounding. The day I was on board in Coos Bay they managed to set off over 30 alarms at once.

Wotta laugh!

(and yes, it was the ship used in STNG)

Sadly, I have to give Michael Moore (yes, that Michael Moore, sorry) some credit for a very funny piece of TV.

When he was making his short-lived series TV Nation, he parked at least a dozen cars just outside the gated home of the president of one of the premier auto alarm companies. In the middle of the night, of course. Then the crew activated all the alarms.

Hilarity ensued.

Too bad he couldn't quit while he was ahead.

Stephen- I've been around the block when the Lady fired the cannon (in Coos Bay). Not nearly as impressive as what happens in LA in the first 3 seconds of an earthquake. Impressive, nonetheless, though, that so many beaters locally have a stupid alarm on them.

Brian Anderson's "Let's Ban Car Alarms" in the Winter 2002 City Journal absolutely nailed it. I'd link it, except that there seems to be something amiss with their archives.

Seafarious, my sentiments exactly.

We used to enjoy setting off car alarms when I was on the drumline in our college marching band. A good solid thwack on our largest bass drum or a single rim shot from all of our snare drums was guaranteed to set off a bunch of alarms. Alternately, we'd march through the parking lot next to the music building while we were practicing our cadences, leaving screaming car alarms in our wake.

Leaf blowers are worse. Just barely worse, maybe, but they are.

I had a car alarm it didn't stop the people who stole my vehicle (week and half later recovered). We just didn't know that the car alarm wouldn't work properly if the battery is low. What is the point? Now I just check constantly the alarm is working and the car is in its place.