SynPet Newton on KFDX Broadcast News clip ~1980s

My uncle, Steve Hodges, is a very successful electrical engineer and inventor who’s made a fair number of useful devices such as the fisherman’s Depth Finder and now builds cellular-based utility status-monitoring devices (M2MComm). A while back he owned and headed a company called SynPet, that manufactured household robots by the name of Newton. Here’s a news broadcast segment from the 1980’s demonstrating the voice interaction functions and giving a few random details. One of these days, I’ll post the entire Newton promotional video, once I hunt it down again =)

Very Tall Bicycle + Giant Cowboy Hat

The description says “giant” bike, but to me that means something with giant wheels akin to one of those funky old “penny-farthing” things. Instead, I dub it the Tall Blue Ladder Bicycle, as driven by a dude with a very large Top Hat (as I don’t know any cowboy hat with a black top-hat / chef hat head section. Anyway. Much more entertaining that my description, notably when having to dodge traffic signals overhead =P

While looking up penny-farthing, I found there is actual entry for “Tall Bikes under which the above video would certainly qualify, though being a bit taller than the one the article offers.

Don’t want to be treated like a criminal? Newsflash!

1. Stop acting like a criminal.
2. Profit.

Home Depot Customer Detained by PD, and as noted by BoingBoing.

Here we go again with yet another anusclown complaining to the world at large who could frankly give a nonzero’s worth of big-freakin-deal, who refuses to show his receipt at the exit to a store, gets detained, and then complains that he was treated like a criminal. Newsflash, Sherlock — the fact that you were being a total spoogemunch about showing your receipt is identical cop-speak to flooring the gas when a cop flashes his reds-and-blues as a signal to pull over. Regardless of whether you personally think you are in the right, do what the cop says. It’s precisely when you put up the fuss that you draw more suspicion to yourself than had you just forked over an inchy-squinhy nonpersonal piece of paper. The other 2.38 fillion dillion people that do it think it is a perfectly legitimate request and not at all impeding.

Another like-minded nutcase
Yet another.

Commentary: Creationist-Diorama-Rama

The link here, of a non-Creationist going on about a science fair he recently visited of Creationist-taught kids and their projects, irked me a skosh. I am a former atheist, but still tend to look at most everything with a very skeptical eye — particularly those who are overly assumptive and tend to make absolute statements without any backup than just “common knowledge,” despite the fact that common knowledge says both that silence is golden and the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I am not much of a Creationist — I believe portions of the bible (not all of it by any means) was largely written in the language of the commoner, that is, akin to a science professor explaining to tribal peoples lacking in advanced academia about the nature of the sky and why it is blue by talking about sand falling through a piece of cloth. The atmosphere is not literally a giant cloth that filters literal sand. One of my former pastors relayed it best when trying to describe what baptism is, in pointing to a painting on the wall asking, “What is that?” “It’s a eagle.” “No, it is a painting of an eagle. Baptism is just a picture that represents to others that you trust Jesus. It doesn’t mean that you actually do. You can’t rely on your baptism to get to heaven, just as you can’t rely on a painting of an eagle to fly away.”

A common thing among the overly assumptive, as this person demonstrates, is to just say that something is without giving one lick of evidence while at the same time criticizing others for doing precisely that — having no evidence and purely based on assumption. For example:

The projects all used classic high school science language: Start with a hypothesis, move on to testing, and then draw a conclusion. The problem was that much of the science was backwards. In good science, you start with a piece of evidence and try to find a truth. With creationist science, you start with a truth (the Bible), and try to find the evidence.

Being fairly unfamiliar with creationist science (having written the article as someone who did not presume to be a creationist scientist) this is the position the writer immediately takes, without bothering to check to see whether or not he is right, relying solely upon whim as evidence — precisely the criticism he is making.

They stood around the suburban mall, in the prime of the most awkward years of their life, being forced to preach blather.

This could be said for anything, including traditional science fairs. Singling out creationism science fairs as blather-preachers is an attack against one’s own version of a science fair — calling into question whether judges (blather verifiers) can actually be capable of discerning truth. In the context of a creationism science fair, the winner is for the best creationism science project. A creationism science fair project about how the oceanic currents are amassing pollution into a giant island of trash off the remote coast of California would not win, being largely-if-not-wholly off topic. The writer of the article seems disgusted by the fair’s offerings by deliberately criticizing them for being largely-if-not-wholly off topic from his perspective of what he presumes to be truth (whereas perception of truth is defined by one’s personal gullibility that evidence is actually evidence).