Which column do you choose?
Archive for the 'Science' Category
Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, paralyzed by Lou Gehrig’s disease, floats during a zero-gravity flight; an apple, a tribute to Isaac Newton, drifts along with him. (By Steve Boxall)
Stephen Hawking is one of the coolest guys on Earth— for now. He’s crippled by Lou Gehrig’s disease, he’s 65 years old, and he says we’re all f*#&ed unless we get off the planet. Says Hawking:
Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers… I think the human race has no future if it doesn’t go into space. I therefore want to encourage public interest in space.
Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic hope to make that dream a reality for Mr. Hawking in 2009.
Doom meets Escher via Looney Tunes.
Check it out: www.cbc.ca/testthenation/
NewScientistTech reports that South Korea took a page from Isaac Assimov’s famous I, Robot series and began work on a Robot Ethics Charter. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy claims a five member task force, which includes a science-fiction writer, have been pondering this since November of 2006.
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen anything to worry about from the robot camp. But the robot researchers are creeping me out a bit with comments like these:
“Imagine if some people treat androids as if the machines were their wives,” Park Hye-Young of the ministry’s code of ethics team says. “Others may get addicted to interacting with them just as many internet users get hooked on the cyberworld.”
Uh… what are these rules for again?
Well folks, we are a looooong way off from having these things clean our houses and perform light yard work. Not only is this cute little guy unbearably slow, but he can’t make it up a simple flight of stairs. I like the way the Honda team immediately blocks the view of the robot, like some twisted Japanese version of the restaurant scene in Brazil. Suddenly the lights are dimmed, dividers are unfolded around Asimo, and the young girl just stands by the stage the entire time. It sounds like the robot keeps talking, even after he smashes his head, but I can’t speak Japanese. Can anyone translate? I think my favourite part is when Honda turns off their sign that reads, “Honda: The Power of Dreams”. It’s all kind of sad, but I’ll say it again: I don’t think robots are going to take over the Earth any time soon.