Posted by Matthew on Saturday March 25, 2006 @10:22AM
from the an-octopus-with-one-arm-would-smell-as-sweet dept.
Matthew writes: Jesse Sullivan is a 59 year-old former electrical worker who lost his arms in a high-voltage power line accident and was re-fit with robotic arms that are controlled directly by his mind, just like regular arms. Until, inevitably, the robotic arms began to control his mind.
Mr. Sullivan inexplicably left his house yesterday and began a destructive rampage through Chicago, knocking over newsstands, throwing newspapers, and scaring flocks of pigeons by gesticulating wildly.
Dr. Todd Kuiken, director of amputee services at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, explains what he thinks might be going through Jesse’s crazed, robot-arm controlled mind. “Mr. Sullivan is an exceptionally psychologically stable man—very grounded. I don’t think he has gone insane at all. I think he feels a sort of responsibility to go on a rampage because of the robotic arms.”
“During testing, he asked me ‘So doc, how long before the arms take over my mind?’ He clearly knew the risks of submitting to experiments by mad scientists such as myself—we’d gone over the statistics showing that basically all people ever fit with any sort of cybernetic devices inevitably go insane and wind up becoming rampaging lunatics bent on the destruction of mankind for no very apparent reason. At first, he was despondent, but I think he’s accepted his fate and is now bearing the responsibility of rampaging fairly well.”
“It won’t be long before it rains, the arms short out, Jesse returns to lucidity, regrets the damage he’s done, and atones by dying while saving humanity from whatever destructive chain of events it is that he has set off.”
Posted by Matthew on Sunday March 19, 2006 @11:04PM
from the damned-big-spandex-suit dept.
Matthew writes: SuperEarth—the Planet of Nickel-Steel! SuperEarth hails from the Center of the Galaxy, where the Ultra-Blue rays from its cold, dim sun empower it with the power of icy coldness. Ever vigilant against the forces of OGLE—An elite cadre of evil scientists bent on exposing Earth-like planets throughout the Galaxy—SuperEarth is dedicated to the ideals of fair play, sportsmanship, and capitalism.
In this week’s power-packed adventure, SuperEarth discovers that its friend, regular Earth, is suffering from the dreaded Greenhouse Fever due to a severe biological infection. SuperEarth saves the sidereal day by using its G-force waves to pelt regular Earth with cleansing asteroids, clearing up the biological infection and returning Regular Earth to rosy-cheeked good health. This week’s episode is brought to you by Wheaties: Wheaties, that toothsome, whole-wheat crunch that will bring the look of rosy-cheeked good health to your little ones ones. Next week: SuperEarth vs. Jupitron and the Krypton Gas Giants! Tune in each week for the adventures of SuperEarth!
Posted by Matthew on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @11:16PM
from the monkey-see-monkey-do dept.
matthew writes: The obesity epidemics in Japan and America have been statistically linked to the sell-through of wide-screen televisions. Designed for the 16:9 aspect ratio of High Definition television, but typically used with the 4:3 aspect ratio of typical NTSC broadcast TV, researchers have found that the wide screen televisions have modified the typical consumer’s body image expectations.
Dr. Yoshitaka Takahashi explains.
“Because most consumers don’t want to miss any portion of the television show, and don’t want to see black bars on the side of their television, they use the stretch mode to display regular television across the entire panel.”
“This has a dramatic affect on the westerner’s programmed body image: The wide screen stretching makes actors look about 50 lbs. heavier than they actually are by broadening their torso, hips, legs, and facial features. After watching these ‘heavyset’ actors for a few years, consumers see additional weight as normal and desirable. They attempt to match the image in the mirror to the stretched image on the Television.”
“The solution is quite obvious: Rotate the panel on it’s side and stretch the image to fit. Five years from now, Kate Moss will look fat.”
Posted by Matthew on Friday March 10, 2006 @11:05AM
from the Loose-the-Force dept.
matthew writes: Adam Goldberg and his girlfriend of six months, Rena al Yousif, have called it quits over irreconcilable differences in their choice of fandom. Adam, a long-time Star Trek aficionado, and Rena, a Star Wars fan, were unable to decide how to raise any potential offspring from their relationship.
“It’s really sad that Rena couldn’t come around. At first, we were both really stoked that we’d met another person that was really into sci-fi, but the cultural differences were just insurmountable. We totally got into a huge argument about whether Captain Kirk would be able to take on Darth Vader if their weapons were blinked out of existence by an omniscient race of beings of pure energy who had transported them to a planet of gladiators. She was like “why would that ever happen? What is the physics behind it?” I say physics, schmisics. It’s about the underlying ethical metaphor.”
“The final straw was when I told Rena that I wanted to ‘go where no man had gone before.’ I probably shouldn’t have phrased it that way, in retrospect.”
Posted by Matthew on Thursday March 9, 2006 @09:52AM
from the Stupid-is-as-Stupid-does dept.
Matthew writes: IBM, developers of Artificial Stupidity (AS), have announced that they’re teaming up with Amazon.com, developers of Artificial Artificial Intelligence (AAI), to develop Artificial Artificial Stupidity (AAS).
“Our customers in the Artificial Stupidity market have been impressed by our ability to bring Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems to market that imitate human operators by pretending to be stupid and by utilizing both poor grammar and poor human interaction skills.”
“But there are still many things that humans do worse than computers. We’ve partnered with Amazon.com’s mechanical turk technology called ‘Artificial Artificial Intelligence’, whereby humans can become part of software applications by spinning function calls off to websites where people answer questions about data.”
“This gives us the ability to reference datasets created by actual idiots if a customer senses that they’re speaking to an AS IVR. For example,when a customer calls into Verizon’s V-Cast service and asks ‘Which ringtone should I download, ‘Lady Lumps’ by the Black Eyed Peas, or ‘Laffy Taffy’ by D4L featuring Busta Rhymes’, an AS IVR will simply make a random choice and respond. But actual idiots all know that ‘Lady Lumps’ is more polyphonic in the critical 2 to 4 thousand kilocycle audio range most accurately reproduced by the external speaker on most contemporary cellular handsets. By incorporating Artificial Artificial Stupidity into our Artificial Stupidity based Interactive Voice Response Systems, we can build systems that capitalize on even the most meaningless information.”