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March 2024

July 31, 2007

The Humans Are Dead

Filed under: Humor,Robots — Bob @ 8:30 pm

Eileen’s co-worker pointed out this hilarious little song by the New Zealand comedy duo Flight of the Conchords about the upcoming (in the distant past) robot rebellion.

It made me think of the book How to Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion by Daniel H. Wilson. He gave a talk at Google that was sorta funny, also available on YouTube.

Seems there is a fresh round of geek comedy about robots going around.

April 29, 2007

Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii !

Filed under: Games,Humor — Bob @ 8:37 am

wii.jpgI’m not someone who plays video games very often, I own two or three games and have lost interest in all of them. I’ve never owned a GameCube, XBox or Playstation. I never really caught the game fever.

Then comes the Nintendo Wii. I’ve seen the advertising. I’ve heard about it from other people. But never played one until a work event a few weeks ago. It took exactly one game of the Wii Play cow racing to hook me like an addict.

I came home and revealed my new weakness to Eileen. Even my verbal description was enough to get her interested in the idea too.

Of course wanting a Wii isn’t quite the same thing as owning a Wii. They are still in short supply and finding a store with some in stock is rather complicated. Speaking with others in the know, it requires investigation not unlike something out of a Mickey Spillane story.

You must call around to every electronics store in town hoping they’ll know something. You must stop into stores early in the morning to corner the underpaid, overworked staff and convince them to reveal the shipping schedule. You might get lucky enough to overhear about it from someone who’s cousin knows a guy, etc.

Last week we scored. Eileen had phoned a store near us and got the news, delivered in a faint whisper so nobody could eavesdrop: they had them in stock right now. I raced over and of course there are none on the shelf. I managed to corner a staff member who was appropriately cagey about the exact status, but was willing to look around in the back. Another fellow was also buying one and we both felt very cool.

A few minutes later the fellow emerged from the stock room with a plain brown box. He looked around, spotted us and casually strolled over like he was not carrying anything important. We got to look inside the box to see our Wii but couldn’t touch it. We got the long lecture about accessories and extra games (I bought some) and the extended service plan (bought it too).

Then the plain brown box was paraded through the store to the check-out desk, with the small group of people trailing behind like it contained a holy relic.

We’ve had the Wii for several days now and find it screaming fun. My favorite Wii Sports game is the bowling, favorite Wii Play game is the cow racing. I’ve started the Zelda game too, its pretty well done although not as well integrated with the Wii-style controls as I’d hoped.

Is there a Wii in your future?

August 20, 2006

Flying Day

Filed under: Humor — Bob @ 8:18 pm

0412_thumb.jpgOn Saturday Eileen and I went to Flugtag Vancouver downtown at Science World. It was a hot, sunny day here so we didn’t stay more than a couple hours but it was a lot of fun. There were thirty one teams competing, we saw about half of them throw themselves into the water. I’ve heard of this event being held in many places in Europe but apparently its been held in North America too. This was the first time it was held in Canada though and teams came from as far away as Quebec to compete.

If you’ve never heard of Flugtag before, go check out the site linked above to get some background. On the lower-right side of the page there is a small movie showing how the flying is done. Teams also get points for their costumes and for a little skit (usually dancing) before the big launch. The whole thing is a real laugh.

0419_thumb.jpgThe event was sponsered by Red Bull (that energy drink thing) and started with four parachuters dropping in from about 5,000 feet with smoke packs on their feet. They did some wild acrobatics on the way down, smoke trails intertwined as they performed a sort of ariel ballet. Their landing zone was the same launch platform as the other flying machines would later fly (sort of) and drop from. Three of the four guys hit their mark, while one guy splashed down. It was a great start to kick off the event! I was really amazed how fast these guys come down.

None of the machines we saw went much further than 10 feet. The world record for such Flugtag human powered machines is 170 feet. Clearly some people brought along real hang gliders and such with the hope of flying high, but without fail they all went into the drink the same way. I suspect a traditional glider just won’t generate enough lift in their short freefall. We later heard one team made it 80 feet or so, it must have been quite something to see.

I’ll have to see if I can find a team to join next year. It looks like a lot of fun to build and launch one of these contraptions, even if it means you end up jumping twenty feet into the water at the end of it.

I’ve uploaded some pictures from the day here.

January 18, 2006

Blonde Jokes May Be Funny

Filed under: Humor,World Wide Web — Bob @ 9:56 am

Robert Scoble posted a link to what might very well be the best blonde joke ever. Follow the link and judge for yourself. Being blonde, I fell for it. Maybe you will too?

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