Oldster's View

Fight Against Maturity

Cuddly robobunny

A pet robot that communicates with humans only by touch is being used to probe the way the oft-neglected sense bolsters our emotional relationships. The findings could be used to make humans’ relationships with robots and other pieces of technology more emotionally rewarding.

Steve Yohanan at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, says that robotics researchers too often neglect haptics – touch – as a form of communication. Vision and sound have been concentrated on instead.

But missing out tactility has a detrimental effect on the quality of the interaction, he says.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | Robots | | Comments Off on Cuddly robobunny

Act like a jackass, go to jail.

A Mexican donkey has been freed from jail after doing time for acting like a jackass.

The Televisa network on Wednesday showed Blacky gobbling food from a bucket after spending three days in a jail that normally holds people for public drunkenness and other disturbances.

Blacky was jailed for biting and kicking two men near a ranch outside Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of the southern state of Chiapas.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | animals, Strange | , , | Comments Off on Act like a jackass, go to jail.

Are we boaring you?

A herd of wild boars has thwarted a suspected car thief’s getaway. Police in Schwerin, northern Germany, said the 18-year-old abandoned a stolen vehicle he was driving after failing to shake off a chasing patrol car by driving into a field.

The driver initially got away by running into nearby woods. But officers then heard the fugitive shouting for help – he had run into a herd of angry wild boars which were keen to protect their young.

Police rescued the man from the boars – and took him into custody.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | animals, Cars, Dumb Crook | , | Comments Off on Are we boaring you?

Tiny bubbles…in the bread

A leading UK chemical engineer has revealed the unlikely ingredient needed to make the perfect sandwich … bubbles.

Speaking at an Institution of Chemical Engineers’ (IChemE) lecture, Professor Grant Campbell said that bubbles in bread are as important for making a good sandwich as its filling, due to the unique composition of wheat.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | Food | , | Comments Off on Tiny bubbles…in the bread

Stupidity reigns in Santa Fe

A group in Santa Fe says the city is discriminating against them because they say that they’re allergic to the wireless Internet signal. And now they want Wi-Fi banned from public buildings.

Arthur Firstenberg says he is highly sensitive to certain types of electric fields, including wireless Internet and cell phones. “I get chest pain and it doesn’t go away right away,” he said.

Firstenberg and dozens of other electro-sensitive people in Santa Fe claim that putting up Wi-Fi in public places is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | Dumb Stuff, Strange | , , | Comments Off on Stupidity reigns in Santa Fe

See? He told you so.

A popular motivational speaker from rural Cambridge who used his life story as a morality tale to warn kids about the dangers of drugs is in jail, facing nine felony charges for allegedly going on an alcohol- and methamphetamine-fueled shooting spree.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | Dumb Stuff | Comments Off on See? He told you so.

A six-pack of beer seldom makes you smarter.

This is the heart-stopping moment a photographer leapt between two rocky outcrops over the Grand Canyon.

A crowd of onlookers gasped as the man – wearing just a pair of flipflops – risked serious injury to capture a stunning shot of the Arizona sunset.

Just minutes earlier the unknown man had been sunbathing on a rock column and even downed a six-pack of beer. He then tucked his camera and tripod under his arm and leapt across the 8ft gap – grasping hold of the opposing rock face with just one hand.

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May 23, 2008 Posted by | Dumb Stuff | , , | Comments Off on A six-pack of beer seldom makes you smarter.