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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Let's Do the Time Warp Again... NO! I really mean, let's DO IT this time.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, some say, was based on a true story... and it kind-of gave us the inspiration to dream big. There is today, a real belief that we can do The Time Warp Again... for real. if NASA can land a man or two on the moon, who's to doubt? (FYI: Lyrics to the whole song--for inspiration-- are found at the end of this post... but you have to supply your own tune.)

So here's how this dream started... astronomers last month discovered an Earth-sized planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, a star in the closest system of stars to our own... and this planet might just be so much like ours (size, distance from a sun, etc.) that it could foster life. That raised the question... could our children's children be the ones to discover life elsewhere in the Universe? There is one itsy bitsy potential problem however.

That potential Earth is four light year's travel away... much farther than the distance Red Riding Hood had to travel to grandmother's house... and, if you can believe it, a lot more dangerous. Since four light years is too far on a tank of gas, it is way out of our reach... unless... unless there is some way to create a time warp for real. 

An MIT astronomer thinks that is quite possible. She says we have the capabilities to get to a tenth of the speed of light if we catch a solar sail or take advantage of nuclear pulse propulsion... time-warping space. 

Now here's the secret-- and don't you tell anyone: "In terms of the engine's mechanics, a spheroid object would be placed between two regions of space-time (one expanding and one contracting). A 'warp bubble' would then be generated that moves space-time around the object, effectively repositioning it--the end result being faster-than-light travel without the spheroid (or spacecraft) having to move with respect to its local frame of reference... This takes advantage of a quirk in the cosmological code that allows for the expansion and contraction of space-time, and could allow for hyper-fast travel between interstellar destinations. Essentially, the empty space behind a starship would be made to expand rapidly, pushing the craft in a forward direction--passengers would perceive it a s movement despite the complete lack of acceleration... "

Of course! Why didn't I think of that?

 That puts 'Earth Jr.' just a little over 40 years away. But if Superman can do it, then why can't we?

Forty years though is a long rocket ride... and if there is traffic, it could take forever. At the end, there is the rude awakening that this is a one-way trip. (I don't think we need to tell the travelers that right off the bat. We could leave a note for them to find later.) We really don't know if those on 'Earth Jr." would like us. The only clue we have is from astral-radio waves that have been picked up, and 'they' seem to be benevolent. We are decoding one of their books and we don't know much yet... but the title gives hope.... To Serve Man. So it seems they would like us very much.

The Time Warp   

(Riff Raff) It's astounding
Time is fleeting
Madness takes it's toll...

(Magenta) Ahh...

(Riff Raff) But listen closely...

(Magenta) Not for very much longer...

(Riff Raff) I've got to keep control.
I remember doing the Time Warp.
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me.

(Riff Raff & Magenta) And the void would be calling.

(Guests) Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.

(Narrator) It's just a jump to the left.

(Guests) And then a step to the right.

(Narrator) With your hand on your hips.

(Guests) You bring your knees in tight.
But it's the pelvic thrust.
They really drive you insane.
Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.

(Magenta) It's so dreamy
Oh, fantasy free me
So you can't see me
No not at all.

In another dimension
With voyeuristic intention.
Well secluded I see all...

(Riff Raff) With a bit of a mind flip...

(Magenta) You're into a time slip...

(Riff Raff) And nothing can ever be the same.

(Magenta) You're spaced out on sensation.

(Riff Raff) Like you're under sedation.
[ Lyrics from: ]
(Guests) Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.

(Columbia) Well, I was walking down the street
Just having a think
When a snake of a guy
Gave me an evil wink.
Well it shook me up
It took me by surprise
He had a pick-up truck
And the devil's eyes
He stared at me
And I felt a change
Time meant nothing
Never would again.

(Guests) Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.

(Narrator) It's just a jump to the left.

(Guests) And then a step to the right.

(Narrator) With your hands on your hips.

(Guests) You bring you knees in tight.
But it's the pelvic thrust...
That really drives you insane
Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again

(Columbia) Ah! Oh! Oh! Yeoooww...

(Guests) Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.

(Narrator) It's just a jump to the left.

(Guests) And then a step to the right.

(Narrator) With your hands on your hips.

(Guests) You bring your knees in tight.
But it's the pelvic thrust
They really drive you insane.
Let's do the Time Warp again.
Let's do the Time Warp again.

More lyrics:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

If Michael Jackson (God rest his soul) is/was the undisputed "King of Pop," then STAND BACK because I have something to be proud of.

A while back, I posted about a common dog-owner incident...

Wife and I were walking our two dogs with her son and his two. One of his dogs pooped and, as his dogs were going in different directions, I, plastic bag in hand, was the de facto 'PPU' (Poop-Picker-Upper).

When he said, "No, that's my job," he was calmly reassured. "Don't worry," wife says, stopping him with an extended arm, "Jerry is... (are you ready for this?)...

"The King of Poop."

And so I am. But titles must be defended from all comers, right?

This past 10 days my wife and I were caring for our 3rd youngest beautiful grandchild, two-year-old Audrey. We also had our two grand-dogs while mom and dad were on an anniversary vacation on some incredibly beautiful island in the Caribbean. And if this sounds like a "poor me," it is not. We had a ball, especially with Audrey.

Tess (golden), Abby (Lab), Zoe and Kasey (Aussies)

But, with four dogs (counting our own two), a grand baby... and a wife heavily burdened with the flu, it was a busy time.

With four dogs in the house and one baby, that's a lot of poop! Count two a day x four dogs x 10 days +  at least once a day of the baby variety = 90... yes, 90 poops that need cleaning/picking up... + the average wait time which is no small consideration. Given that the typical dog poop of this group runs to an estimated (but not officially weighed) 1/2 pound... and baby isn't a piker in that department, that's a lot of mass, time and effort spent on poop!

So, Guinness Book of Record guys, how about it? And this time, I want to be declared more than just the "King of Poop"... I want to become the "Ace of Poop!" 

Oh, you say I am more than that? OK, now we are getting somewhere. And while I don't want to brag, just relish in the glory of the master... the officially titled:



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Now do you think I am kidding?

There is a change going on... a subtle but very real change. And if you think I am kidding...

Makes you stop and wonder though because the fix is in... and look who's fixing it. Yep, definitely, robots are slowly and surely taking over our world. They are infiltrating at every level in ways the average, intelligent human being would never suspect. Now aren't we sorry that we pushed so hard to create artificial intelligence (AI)?

Just look at some of the evidence: We regular humans love comedy, right? Well Marilyn Monrobot (really) is slaying them on the comedy circuit. "'She' is a 22 1/2 inch robot that tells jokes: "A doctor says to his patient, 'I have bad news and worse news. The bad news,'" says Monrobot, "'is that you only have 24 hour to live.'

'That's terrible,' says the patient. 'How can the news possibly be any worse?'

'I've been trying to reach you since yesterday.'"

The audience roars... of course, because they are probably all robots. I tell you, they are infiltrating everywhere.

Engineer Heather Knight built Marilyn, who also hosts the Robot Film Festival (see, Robert Redford may have already lost... unless he is a ro... No! He/it can't be, otherwise would his face be so wrinkled?

Says Knight, "My job is to give robots the charisma that makes us want to bond with them." What is unsaid is that after bonding, maybe replacing? Give these machines an inch and they will take a mile.

There! Need more proof? There is a new movie out this fall: Robot & Frank, staring Frank Langella as the human jewel thief who uses a robot as an accomplice... or is it the other way around?

Then there is Kate Darling, a (supposed) human who is an Intellectual Property Research Specialist at the MIT Media Lab. She presented her paper, "Extending Legal Rights to Social Robots" at the University of Miami's We Robot Conference. In it, she reasons why we might consider granting limited legal protections to social robots designed to interact with and elicit emotional responses from human beings, much like the protections granted to animals. Oh yeah? This when even many actual human beings in the world don't have such rights. See what I mean?

You can buy a book for $26: How to build an Android, by Henry Holt and actually make a robotic you... so when you die, who would know? Yes, it has been done. Have you ever asked yourself, if Michael Jackson is really dead, how come he is still making all that money? Hmm.

There is another book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? that concedes robots probably have dreams.  I guess that would naturally lead to a robotic Sigmund Freud to analyze them. "Hmm, I see. And to any of your dreams have a train going through a tunnel?"

Think robots have no emotions? Where do you think emoticons come from? 

Detroit... and Korea and Japan, etc. are all working on robot controlled cars that drive better than we do. I wonder if those guys wear chauffeur caps and uniforms?  And while we are at it, who do you think builds our cars? And computers? And other robots? This is getting downright scarey.

That's Baxter on the left... for just $22,000, he can be taught to do anything. While first thoughts go to working in factories, Baxter, in affluent households could actually take out the garbage, do the dishes, change the baby, do windows. Who needs men if you have the money. And what are men good for anyway. Oh, don't go there. We have robotic devices that do just fine, thank you.

There was an article in today's NYTimes that supposed many athletes would replace good legs with artificial ones if they made you run faster. With speculation that the marathon record would soon fall to under 2 hours, how about 55 minutes if robots have their way? And it probably would even be a Kenyan robot marathoner to boot.

We have robotic legs that climb stairs better than human legs can do, robot planes that spy and kill, robot bomb defusers, robot vacuum cleaners and robot surgeons who operate under the guise of a human doctor enabler, probably from the planet Zyrcon, if you ask me.

Peter Remine is the founder of the Seattle-based American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Robots. He says he will know it's time to get serious about rights for robots "when a robot knocks on my door asking for some help."

Ever wonder who is on the other end of those robot phone calls asking for your vote or does it all come down to this... the robot signings that displaced many with eviction notices supposedly coming from lenders?

Have robots not only taken over the top echelon of our society but also, secretly taken over the bottom. That is a perfectly planned operation that could only come from AI (artificial intelligence)... to "squeeze" the human life from the world as we know it. Could a human be so conniving? (Oh, ok... but not all humans.)

Every nation, cause and charity has it banners. So then do robots. Is this the end as we know it... or, the beginning, the beginning, the beginning, the beginning....