content delivery apparatus
University robot ruled too scary
Meet Morgui, the new robot constructed at the University of Reading, which has been deemed so scary it has been banned from interacting with anyone aged under 18.
Morgui, the scary robot
The x-rated robot is a disembodied head with five senses and big bright eyes and is able to follow people around the room.
But the university's ethics and research committee took one look at Morgui and decided it might be just a bit too scary.
This is ironic. Morgui, which is Mandarin for Magic Ghost, cannot experience emotions - it is an experiment in how people react to robots.
The metal head, a bit like a cadaverous automaton from Star Wars or a Terminator, is the creation of Kevin Warwick, a University of Reading cybernetics professor with a long record in attention-seeking robots.
"We want to investigate how people react when they first encounter Mo, as we lovingly like to call the robot," said Prof Warwick.
"Through one of Mo's eyes, he can watch people's responses to him following them around.
"It appears this is not deemed acceptable for under 18-year-olds without prior consent from their legal guardian.
So, I'm in need of a replica human skeleton. Specifically one of the arms. Anyone know where I can get one on the cheap?
The commenting system (verbal beatdown) is gone for now. BlogOut keeps going down and inadvertantly creating excessive loading times for the site. They may come back once BlogOut has it's act together or it might not, it's not like anyone was using it.
First photo taken from FuturePhone.
(Found by Amy)
the Verbal Beatdowns are back, and the loading times on the site are no longer excessive. As you can plainly see things are being tweaked these days, mostly out of envy of X-top's thoughtpeach 2.0
redesign. Working the kinks out of my very first idea for my first longform series. Very interesting thing, it is. Entertaining the idea of writing a novel. Lots of brainpower being used these days.
In other news, a Milo L. Baird
, has emailed me an offer that I can't refuse. I'll simply leave you with the subject line of a recently received email: "Instant Boner in a few minutes".
The big news of the day isn't about America's favorite breastfeeder, Ashton Kutcher.
Instead its something that hits a little close to home. For the dead Iraqis! ZING!
A U.S. military operation in the city of Mosul reportedly did something or shot something off, and Saddam Hussein's two baby boys; Qusay and Uday were, in the words of one fictional soldier, "blown the fuck up, dude!" when Helicopter gunships, armored vehicles and ground troops opened fire on the Los Bros Hussein.
The BBC reports that the following forms of artillery were used on the Hussein's':
-Mark 19 Grenade launchers
-Humvee-Mounted machine guns
-AT4 rockets- OH58 Delta helicopters with rockets
This comes as a relief to many Iraqis, and more importantly to many American's. This murder -- I mean --slaying-- I mean -- military operation signals the end of Saddam Hussein's regime, which this mock-journalist already believed was already over.
U.S. officials claimed they have positively identified the bullet-ridden remains, General Ricardo Sanchez said dental records for Qusay were a perfect match, and they were a 90 percent match for Uday, whose teeth had been damaged...
...by a rocket to the face!
But we don't have to just blindly accept their word. Because U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says that the United States will release photographs of the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons Qusay and Uday to prove they are dead.
While a timeframe for the release has not been given, http://www.checkoutthemissleholeinthisguy.gov has already been registered. It's also been reported that FOX News is stroking itself at the thought of airing these photos.
Now, if you'll allow me to editorialize a bit. I can't help but find myself a bit flabbergasted by the current distraction. This whole thing just reeks of an alpha-male posturing. They're one step away from dropping trou in order to prove who has the biggest dick.
Young and armed : Fighters loyal to the government take a break
as rebel troops fight to keep control of the old bridge in the waterfront
port zone which gives access to Monrovia. (AFP/Georges Gobet)
If you like the writings of Ernest Hemingway, J.D. Salinger, or Hulk Hogan then you'll find me to be woefully inadequate.
Part One of however many parts this ends up being. Maybe only one.
He threw a stick at the accelerating van. It bounced upward from the tinted windshield and firmly lodged itself between
the van and its spoiler.
The van swerved toward Omar, his body was lifted by the impact of the van's fender.
Omar, grew up in a family where the men were born wearing mechanics' jumpsuits. Hard-men doing honest work. His family owned one of the last full-service gas stations in the area. In an era where paying-at-the-pump has become the credo of many motorists, Omar's family took pride in pumping gas, and tending to the automotive needs of many a passerby.
Omar was the black sheep of family. His hands were pink and soft, his hair longish and misshapen. His red-brown native
skin set him apart from his predominately Caucasian family, to say nothing of a pacifistic attitude.
And having a baby at such a young age, and being a single parent didn't help endear him to anyone.
Nearly a year-old was little Harvey. And even at that age, she was quite the fireplug. Always exploring things and managing to get into trouble. Harvey was more often than not placed under the watchful of Omar's mother. She kept Omar at arm's length, after all, what could such a young man know about raising a child. He was a mere child himself.
No one in the family spoke to Omar unless necessary, customers on the other hand seemed drawn to him, with some of regular customers asking for him by name. Omar's father, oft prone to suspicion, would crane his neck when these instances occurred. He didn't trust the boy any further than he could throw him. And combined with the fact that Omar's
father was wheelchair bound, throwing him wasn't really an option.
Omar didn't care. He kept his head down and his mouth shut. His days were spent manning the gas pumps, and his evenings spent playing with Harvey in front of the static glow of the television set. Playtime never lasted as long as it should. As Omar's mother was quick to break it up, often citing that Omar was "playing too rough" with the precious child. Harvey would wail each and every time playtime was destroyed by her Grandma.
Contempt often filled Omar's eyes as well. He longed for the responsibility of putting his child to bed, the responsibility of being a father. Of course, his longing was, as always, quickly followed with self-doubt. Could he even be capable of raising a child? Could he be at the beck and call of this child, twenty-fours hours a day? Never having a minute of privacy?
It was the same each and everynight. These questions battled through his mind like rival martial artists. But this night was a special night. It was the night that answers came forth from the bottom of the bottle. Omar had made a decision.
The very next day, a black van with a spoiler pulled into the station. Omar walked up to the driver side window and exchanged pleasantries as he always did. As Omar pumped the gas, he noticed that the young males were giddy with stupidity.
After filling up the van, he returned to the driver-side window. The pimply-faced midwest "punk" nodded toward him.
"You the dude that sells weed?"
"Comeon man, I know it's you. Fats told me he bought from you."
"Sorry. "Fats" must have me mistaken for someone else."
"Come on, motherfucker! Just sell me some!" The boys voice cracked when he attempted to put some bass in it.
"Listen, you're total's $16.07. I suggest you pay up and stop bugging me before --"
"Before what? You call the cops? I'll call the cops on you, you faggot!"
The boy revs the engine and puts the van into gear. Omar smacks the side of the van as it begins to pull away. He races between two of the pumps and gets in front of the van as it turns around.
The passengers in the van laugh and goad the driver on. The young driver grips the wheel, and barrels toward Omar. He reaches for a fallen tree branch and throws it at the vehicle in a vain attempt to get it to swerve. It works.
The van swerves right into Omar, knocking him back and towards the hot blacktop.
The van screeches out of the parking lot and two mechanics sprint toward the fallen Omar.A flurry of questions barrage Omar. How many fingers? Are you okay? Did ya see the license plate?
Omar's father emerges to check on his son.
"Boy? Get up, boy."
Omar cracks his eyes open. His vision was terribly blurred.
"They didn't hit me," he said "I hit them".
Me: What's your favorite cartoon?
4 year old: Ummmm... George Bush!
Received a "kill-fee" for Red Horse yesterday.
I've pretty much been taking off for the last few days, dealing with real life stuff. Some comic related things are in the works, but it's really to early to talk about it. Regular updates return soonish.
An Afghan man exercises at a gym in Kabul July 3, 2003. Unlikely as it may sound, the Afghan capital is becoming a muscleman's paradise, with gyms sprouting up across the city-featuring posters of scantily clad, oily-skinned strongmen. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters)
Mother Kept Mummified Daughter for Aliens
ALMATY (Reuters) - A distraught Kazakh mother kept her daughter's mummified corpse in her apartment for three years hoping she would be resurrected by aliens, police said on Thursday.
Police spokeswoman Nina Tsys told Reuters by telephone from the town of Pavlodar in northern Kazakhstan that Olga, 27, was believed to have died from an autoimmune disorder after her mother failed -- or declined -- to call for medical help.
She said Olga's cousin, worried by her long absence, had repeatedly tried to see her, but the mother would always refuse to let him in under various pretexts. Finally police broke in and made the gruesome discovery.
"We believe death was from natural causes, although due to the long time that had passed we can't be absolutely sure," Tsys said. "At least we found no signs of vandalism."
Popular Kazakh daily newspaper Vremya carried a picture of the mummified body, with withered limbs and parched skin, lying on a plain bed in the flat in this industrial town.
Vremya suggested the mother -- a former nurse -- could have known how to treat the body to preserve it.
Tsys said the mother appeared to have been influenced by a sect preaching "cosmology" that promised resurrection of her child with the help of a "third cosmic eye" or by aliens.
Twelve-year-old Shane Bowman plays with his old heart
in Edmonton, Canada on Friday, July 11, 2003. Bowman
had a heart transplant and got a chance to see his old
heart to have some closure on his illness. Bowman had
dialated cardiomyopathy, a condition caused by a virus,
and his heart was enlarged to about 555 grams. A normal
heart is about 200 grams.
(AP Photo/CP/Edmonton Sun, Perry Mah)
Peru Doctor Performs Brain Surgery with Store Drill
LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - Lacking the proper instruments, a Peruvian doctor at a state hospital in the Andean highlands used a drill and pliers to perform brain surgery on a man who had been injured in a fight, the doctor said on Thursday.
"We have no (neurosurgical) instruments at the hospital. ... He was dying, so I had no choice but to run to a hardware store to buy a drill and use the pliers that I fix my car with, of course after sterilizing them," Cesar Venero told Reuters in a telephone interview.
The patient, Centeno Quispe, 47, had arrived at the hospital in Andahuaylas, 240 miles southeast of Lima, after being hit in the head with a metal object in a street fight, Venero said.
"I drilled holes in his skull in a circle, leaving spaces of 5 millimeters, took out the bone with the pliers and removed the clots that were putting pressure on his brain," he said.
I've just received word that neither BY ANONYMOUS or RED HORSE are going to happen. So, I'm left with a 96-page graphic novel and a 22-page "issue one" w/ proposal on my harddrive. I don't expect them to see the light of day, ever.
DISPOSABLE BOYS, BOANTHROPOLOGETIC, and THE GUIDE TO FAST LIVINGSTON are still in the pipeline. Maybe I'll find and artist in Chicago, maybe I won't. But I promise this much, I will make a living writing comics. And I'm going to do it the only way I know how.
My own way.
(Equation: a + b - c = FUCK YEA!)
Ping Pong +
Bullet time -
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Offered without comment.)
A runner looks up as bulls pass over him after he fell during the fourth running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain July 10, 2003. Three Spaniards were gored onThursday as they were pursued by bulls down Pamplona's narrow streets in the latest of the city's traditional bull runs. (Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters)
Number 73 on a List of 99 Ways to Die.
A short story that quickly devolves into sentence fragments strung together to form haphazard sentences.
Samuel. H Teer
The pulse races, sweat bores its way through ill-defined pores, dripping down to the small of the back. Muscles feel super-heated, as if the blood the courses over them have managed to ignite.
They are almost superhuman creatures, indistinguishable from each other. They seemingly only travel in packs. And always running.
Grey days were upon us. Cold and wet, windows easily fogging up if you even looked at them funny. My girlfriend drove, and that's when we saw them.
The local high school track team. Young, dumb, and wearing shorts that are far too short.
"These boys are clearly not properly equipped for the ravages of our current weather situation." I pretend I said.
To which the love of my life replies, "Sure. So, where do you want to eat?"
But I had no time to allow the thoughts of terrible tasting "value meals" to sashay through my brain. I was concerned with the well being of the future Running Guys Association of America.
Unfortunately, my will is weak and the pangs of hunger strong. The stoplight turned green and my girlfriend, a compassionate woman to be sure, pulled her purple -- I don't know the make and model. I don't even have a driver’s license -- automobile away from the runners.
Obviously, she believed the fate of these men would be left up to a higher power. Or at least that's what I imagine she thought. Maybe she didn't care. Who can fathom the complex operations of the female mind? Not I, and after many wasted years, I decided to start channeling my energy productively.
I do freelance scapegoating.
But we're getting off the subject here.
Yeah, I don't really remember the food. I couldn't tell you where we ate or what I had, or even if the minimum wage slave was thoroughly snotty upon taking our order.
I can't remember these things for a specific reason. But I can't remember what that is.
So the act of consumption is completed, and we begin our trek back to our humble abode. (I.E. my parents house.)
Millions of brilliant thoughts race through my brain. "What do they call African-Americans in England?" I have no time investigate this mind-boggling query, because as we pass an empty church parking lot (The denomination of the parking lot isn't important. Plus, I don't remember anyway), and this visual is what hits my optical image absorbers;
The runners are circled around a fallen member of their pack, he lies face up, eyes clenched shut. Elder folks run around trying to cover the half-clothed man-cub with towels and blankets.
As we pull up to another stoplight, this one adjacent from the epic scene I've just described, I gawk. Gawk like I've never gawked before.
The blaring sirens of an emergency rescue vehicle interrupt my “real good gawk”. My girlfriend startled by the mechanized beast, pulls out toward the side of the road to let the ravenous ambulance toward it's intended destination.
Again, the light turns green and we begin to pull away. I face forward, pretending the scene that's rapidly shrinking. Apparently people don't take well to gawkers. Jerks.
We sit silent in the car for a couple of seconds, and finally I say "what do ya think happened?"
"That guy probably passed out or something." I love her for her ability to simplify the most complex of situations.
"Yeah." I respond, absorbing her amazing knowledge.
"We're going to Wal-Mart still, right?" She asks me, her brain switching from subjects faster than a track star.
"Sure, I guess." But deep in the recesses of my mind I've always wondered, "What happened to that guy"?
But then the electricity usually comes back on.
Andi's left for Hot Springs, Arkansas. She'll be competing in a national dance competition for the next five days , I try to rectify this by pretending I’m going to pull 17 hour writing sessions, which seems pretty unlikely. Already, I've found myself wandering the house aimlessly, trying to find something to do.
And my mind keeps floating back to the thought of burying myself in an abundance of work. In theory it would keep me from thinking about her.
I doubt it though.
I mean we've spent every single day together for the better part of 9 months. We moved in together after just 2 months, it's hard to forget about someone that you fall asleep with every night and wake up with every morning.
It'll be fine, I mean really, it's just five days.
A PETA(People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) activist
is pushed by a policeman during a protest in Pamplona on
the eve of the famous week-long running of the bulls festival
July 5, 2003. The activists said they were trying to draw attention
to the suffering of the bulls during the bull runs.
Photo by Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters
Singer Barry White, velvet-voiced R&B crooner, dies at 58
Velvet-voiced R&B crooner Barry White, renowned for his lush baritone and carnal lyrics that oozed sex appeal on songs such as "Can't Get Enough of Your Love," died Friday morning, his manager said.
White, who had suffered kidney failure from years of high blood pressure, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center around 9:30 a.m., said manager Ned Shankman. He was 58.
White had been undergoing dialysis treatment and had been hospitalized since last September.
"Barry's kidneys had failed and he was on dialysis but in good spirits," Shankman said in a statement. "In Barry's case, the kidney failure resulted from hypertension."
The day started with Andi calling in hysterics. She was watching her sister's 4 dogs and this morning the St. Bernard, Ki, didn't wake up. She can't get a hold of her sister or her brother-in-law, so the dog had to be taken to an emergancy vet type thing. Where they'll "hold" the body till until Monday morning.
In other news, her driver's side door has decided that it's no longer interested in opening, and she's preparing to go out of town with two other people in less than a week.
All of this before 4p.m.
Hooray for America!
For an unprecedented third straight year, rail-thin Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi out-gorged the competition Friday in the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest, downing 44 1/2 dogs and dominating adversaries three times his size.
Kobayashi, the Michael Jordan of wiener wolfing, twitched and twisted to finish his franks at the rate of one every 16 seconds in a 12-minute display of gastronomic supremacy at the annual Fourth of July extravaganza.
Once again, the American competitive eaters were left to fight for second place as a Japanese champion was crowned for the sixth time in the seven years. Runner-up Ed "Cookie" Jarvis of Nesconset, N.Y., 6-foot-6 and 420 pounds, trailed the champion by 14 dogs.
Celebrity contestant William "The Refrigerator" Perry, the 410-pound former NFL star, dropped out after just five minutes and only four hot dogs.
ha HA! Got my Visor working again. I'm on the move now, you motherfuckers.
Tucson porn-proprietor Tyrone Henry wants you to know that blowing your load on the faces of blindfolded, underage girls who think they're participating in a facial cream marketing study is not fraud or any other crime, no matter what the Arizona Court of Appeals said last month. He also wants you to know he was framed.
Whether he did it or not, he's serving a seven-year sentence because of the creative legal work of a Pima County prosecutor, Brad Roach.
In the summer of 2000, Roach was assigned to prosecute Tyrone Henry after two teenage girls said he lured them to his home to try out a product called "White Dew" facial cream he was developing. Instead of exfoliation, they said they got ejaculation.
The girls, 15 and 16 years old at the time, said Henry showed them examples of women with "clumpy" white cream on their faces and then blindfolded them. The girls said they heard heavy breathing and Henry say, "It's coming," and then felt a thick, warm substance applied to their faces. They said he took photos, paid them $10 a piece and convinced them to make follow-up appointments. Thinking about it later, they realized they'd been hoodwinked and called the police.
I'm With Busey.
It's so good that I can't tell if it's staged or not.
I haven't gotten anything substantial written in about two weeks, ever since I finished the proposal and first issue of RED HORSE
, which I'm working on with (THREE STRIKES artist) Brian Hurtt.
I've been tooling around with BOANTHROPOLOGETIC
, it’s slow goings since I never bothered to hammer out the plot. But it’s starting to come together, which is nice as I'm already ten pages deep in the script. The mythical rewrite of THE GUIDE TO FAST LIVINGSTON
may actually happen soon, since I need something small and action-y to entice artists at the Chicago Comic Con.
I've also been entertaining the idea of writting some kind of comics related column-thing, and putting it up here. But really, do we need more
comics journalism? How 'bout just some more decent comics?
Should be moving onto an actual server and getting a dot com in the coming months. Possibly a site redesign as I'm debating whether or not I should move over to MT instead of Blogger. I like Blogger and other than it sucking ass, I’ve got no real reason to dump it. And MT? Well, just looking at the code is enough to make one shit his or her eyes out.
In other news, I didn’t take any pictures or get ink done