A room full of random

flights of fancy, politics, science, and whatever else catches my eye

No! Don’t Trust Them!

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on May 16, 2010

Seriously, people, does no one pay attention to leading German robot research indicating that robots are viscious, killer beasts full of evil and stuff?  No one?

At least these two don’t listen.  No, they think robots are cool enough to let one officiate at their wedding.  See how long you survive when the robot overlords come for flesh.

Japan has hosted the world’s first wedding to be conducted by a robot.

The automated creature, known as the I-Fairy, oversaw the wedding of Tomohiro Shibata and Satoko Inoue in the capital, Tokyo.

The couple decided to use the robot as they are both connected with Japan’s thriving robotics industry.

Since robots had brought them together in the first place, they said, having one officiate at their wedding was a natural choice.

During the ceremony, I-Fairy – which has flashing eyes and plastic pigtails – instructed the groom to lift the bride’s veil for the kiss.

The wedding took part in a rooftop restaurant in the Japanese capital.

A relationship built on robots can’t possibly last.

Posted in Foreign News, Nerdcore, Random News, really random., Robots! | 3 Comments »

Farewell, Old Friend.

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on May 14, 2010

Today was the very last flight of the space shuttle Atlantis.  She took off without a hitch, on a beautiful clear day.  Atlantis may be flown again – if there is need of a rescue mission later for the last flight of Endeavour or Discovery.  But it’s a shame to see her go:

“Good luck, godspeed and have a little fun up there,” launch director Mike Leinbach told the astronauts just before liftoff. He said he was speaking on behalf of all those who have worked on Atlantis since construction began in 1980.

“Like you said, there are thousands of folks out there who have taken care of this bird for a long time,” replied commander Kenneth Ham. “We’re going to take her on her 32nd flight, and if you don’t mind, we’ll take her out of the barn and make a few more laps around the planet.”

[…]

Alexey Krasnov, chief of the Russian Space Agency’s piloted program, said it was a miracle that Atlantis took off without any delays.

“It looks like that Atlantis is telling us, ‘Please use me again. I am capable,'” he said, smiling. “Maybe two-thirds of the launches were postponed by the weather or hardware … and today it worked exactly as planned.”

If only we could use you again, Atlantis.  ‘Course, you’d think the head of any Russian Space Agency would be thrilled at the vast amounts of cash they will soon be making off of the lack of US spaceships.

Posted in Random News, Space News | 1 Comment »

Prepare for Your Robot Overlords

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on May 10, 2010

Robots, while awesome, may also be evil.  Not that we didn’t all ready know that …

German researchers studied what happens in accidents involving robots using sharp tools alongside humans.

They used a robot arm holding a variety of bladed tools programmed to strike test substances that mimic soft tissue.

In some cases, the researchers found, the robots managed to accidentally inflict wounds that would prove “lethal”.

The tests were conducted to see if a prototype safety system could limit the damage done.

The tests involved a robot arm weighing 14kg and a 1.1m reach that was equipped with a variety of bladed household tools including a steak knife, kitchen knife, scissors and screwdriver.

The robot arm was programmed to use the bladed tools to stab and cut a silicone lump, a leg from a dead pig and the arm of a human volunteer.

Striking, stabbing and puncturing tests with the safety system turned off were performed on the silicone and pig leg. Deep cuts resulted in most cases that, the researchers said, could prove to be “lethal” if inflicted on a living subject.

When they turned their programmed safety protocols on, there were fewer potentially lethal “accidents”.  I think my favorite part of this story is that a couple of German scientists decided that they should make a robot arm for the sole purpose of determining if robots could kill.  Well played, German scientists; well played.

Posted in Random News, Random Science, Robots! | 2 Comments »

Space News for Your Reading Pleasure.

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on May 10, 2010

My weakness for space news cannot be overcome!  A recent study done on the ISS shows that stem cells grow differently in space than they do on earth, which raises some questions about the viability of long-term space flight and exploration for the human body; we know, after all, that zero G does cause deterioration in bone density and overall muscle strength – which is why astronauts have to work out so much.  The question now becomes, what do we learn from the changes in stem-cell growth in microgravity?

The work was conducted by Australian scientists using NASA technology.

The team discovered that 64 percent of the proteins found in the stem cells grown in simulated microgravity were not in control samples. In particular, the bioreactor cells contained several proteins involved in the breakdown of bone and in the regulation of calcium, neither type of which were found in stem cells grown in regular, Earth gravity.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study conducted that has investigated the effect of (simulated microgravity conditions) on an embryonic stem cell line and demonstrated a significant alteration in human cell function as a result of growth in microgravity conditions,” lead scientist Elizabeth Blaber, with the Australian Center for Astrobiology, wrote in a paper presented at a key astrobiology conference in Houston last month.

Posted in Random Science, Space News | Leave a Comment »

Yeeeeeees!

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on May 4, 2010

It’s slowly getting cheaper and cheaper to get into space.  Which is a great, great thing.  Thanks to a firm called Space Adventures (who get no points for creative company naming), it may soon be possible to get to the place where space begins and spend some time weightless, without having to be an astronaut, or, as was previously the case, quite as much as the average millionaire.  Now, if you’re a lower-end millionaire, you can book with Space Adventures for just over $100,000. 

Which is pretty darn cheap, all things considered.

Posted in Random News, Random Science, Space News | 1 Comment »

Completely Random Question:

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on May 4, 2010

I would dearly, dearly like to know who found my blog by searching (and I quote) “burlesque turkey cooked”.

Actually, I think I would be more interested in how, exactly, the search burlesque turkey cooked leads back to this blog.  Hmmm.

Posted in really random. | Leave a Comment »

Because I Should.

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on May 4, 2010

I haven’t been posting a lot lately, and I feel like I should, since Xbrad so kindly threw a few of you my way.  So, faithful followers and newcomers alike, I’m going to try to remember that I need to write more.

I said try, so don’t hold me to it, damnit.

Anyway, quick note on how awesome Manbearpig continues to be – did you know that he felt the need to spend almost ten million dollars on a giant house in Santa Barbara?  Now, I don’t begrudge the man the right to his millions or the right to spend that how ever the fuck he pleases.  But, I don’t think that having six fireplaces in fucking Southern California is a great way to save the environment.  ‘Course, what do I know?  It’s not like I have Al Gore’s credentials …

Posted in Liberals, WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE (of global warming) | Leave a Comment »

There IS Something New Under The Sun!

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on April 13, 2010

And it’s … Romeo and Juliet?

Apparently, the Royal Shakespeare Company is debuting a new twist on the Shakespeare classic, by “acting” out the drama over Twitter.  Yeah, you read that right: tweeting Romeo and Juliet.  The production, entitled “Such Tweet Sorrow” (oh, lord, that pun is painful) will be acted out by various performers, who will tweet in, uh, “real time” about their lives, basing their production on a rough outline of the series of events (modernized, obviously).  The twitter-duction will allow the characters to interact not only with each other, but with the audience.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

A Great Way To Die

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on March 17, 2010

Hey, there are definitely worse ways to die than from carbon monoxide poisoning while doin’ the nasty.  In fact, as far as ways to die go, this sounds like a pretty damn good way to do it.

“A man and a woman retreated to their Volkswagen to have sex… Most likely the lovers turned on the engine to get warm,” Interfax reported, citing a source in the Moscow police force. During a moment of “intimate closeness,” the pair, in southern Moscow, inhaled the gas and died, the source added.

Many Russians keep their cars in box-like iron garages near their homes, which snugly encase their cars.

So, let this be a lesson to you: if you’re going to fuck in your car, don’t turn on the engine.

Posted in Foreign News, Random News | 1 Comment »

Sometimes, News Depresses Me.

Posted by Skylia Z Ember on March 14, 2010

Okay, this story is just fucking depressing.

One in ten kids thinks that Buzz Lightyear was the first man on the moon?  That Isaac Newton invented the internet (we all know that the internet was Manbearpig’s invention, for heaven’s sake!)?  For the love of little green apples, if my daughter were to give such an answer in a fucking science test – primary school or not – she would be locked in a cupboard with science books to keep her company for a few years!  (No, CPS, I am just kidding, I would not lock her in a cupboard.  I’d lock her in her damn bedroom, though, and fuckin’ right I’d make her learn.)

This makes me super sad.

Posted in Edu-macation, Random News, really random., Space News | 1 Comment »