The Rise of Johnny 5

robot-johnny5In the days of my youth, two movies were released that featured the robot “Johnny 5,” a military experiment turned sentient.  “Short Circuit” and “Short Circuit 2” blended technology with lowbrow slapstick humor in a tale about a three-fingered robot with a gentle soul.

After seeing the Youtube footage below, I’m dearly hoping any future three-fingered robots resemble “Johnny 5” more than the Terminator.  After you see what this robohand can do, I think you’ll agree that we better hope humanity doesn’t have to square off against any AI mechanoid.

It is somewhat of a leap to imagine a world of humans enhanced and outfitted with robotic prosthetics, or humanoid robots with a level of AI, but then again I wouldn’t have imagined the hand would be capable of what it achieves.  Of course, the real marvel is not just the speed at which the robot operates, but the minds that made it possible.  Maybe there is reason to hope humanity would prevail (not that we’d need to, oh benevolent robot masters that observe us even now from the future).


Irony: Obama and the Dalai Lama

6-02-fox-news-obama What do Fox News and the Dalai Lama have in common?  They’re both among the few people with whom Barack Obama refuses to meet.  When you look at the parade of crazies, tyrants, and murderers he has met with, the list of his snubs begins to look like awfully good company.

A more thorough examination of the political backhand the newest Nobel Peace prize winner handed to his fellow peace laureate can be read here.

It’s the height of irony that the Peace prize–a symbol of unity and willingness to step beyond the bounds of partisanship in courageous adherence to the truth–would be given to a man such as Obama.  I suppose it shouldn’t be much of a surprise, after the fiasco with Gore.  At least our president had enough sense left to feel some shame about the award.

I would say the last shreds of the Nobel committee’s credibility are yet another casualty of the Obama presidency, but Barack can’t really be blamed.  They brought it on themselves.

Cartoon by Glenn McCoy.

Some Real Solutions to Healthcare Woes

The video below is one of many that can be found by individuals that’ve lived under “universal healthcare” systems in other countries, and oppose the current attempts to institute it in the United States.

Further resources for those seeking solutions and information on healthcare reform can be found at . The site  has a tremendous amount of information, including reforms supported by conservatives, short informational videos, and factual information from third party analysts and the Congressional Budget Office.

“Feel the Steel”

steel-panther Yeah, the title of Steel Panther’s first album totally sounds like part of a “that’s what she said” joke. When my students initially introduced me to the band, my first thought was, “these guys are totally gay.”

Then I saw the Youtube video for “Death to all but Metal” (warning–not safe for work or decent company).  These guys have made a career making fun of the big hair bands of the 80s, and I find that hilarious.  My only complaint is that they do so with more vulgarity than necessary (f-bombs and over-the-top sexual innuendo).

I was in a band once.   We called ourselves “Porcelain Skunk”, and our 80s power ballad was called “Sprayed by Love”.  Oh, the good old days…