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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Anything you can do, I can do better." Robot Robert (a.k.a. #x35n589340)

"No you can't"

"Yes I can!"

"NO! You can't!"


So it's come down to this, huh? In today's world, you either learn to love robots or... zap! You... or your job... is eliminated.

But. if you can't beat 'em, you could join 'em... IF you have an extra $400,000. Then you could buy a robot that scoops poop (true)... but that's not all it does. It also makes breakfast and cookies... presumably after it has washed those tiny robot hands... I hope!

Then there is something quite different... the Robotic butt (also true), no relation to Robot Poop Scooper though they must have a lot in common. Medical schools have different ways of teaching vital medical techniques such as administering a prostate exam. So instead of doing something disgustedly uncomfortable to volunteers, schools have a butt for that... or, a robutt (my most clever word). It is a realistic looking/feeling male mid-section torso bending over an examining table... and on the TV screen the doctor-to-be faces, a real image of the rest of a man so the student gets the full picture (oh joy!)... and a most realistic feeling for the task. The robutt does give feedback according to the sensors inside it. I wonder if one of the reports is "OW!" (Picture available butt... not for here. It's pretty realistic though.)

Then there is the Rubic's cube robot solver... in seconds... every time.

And the robot dart thrower that always wins the beer... and subsequently rusts to death.

There is also a robot stand-up comedian. Honest. "Did you know atoms have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic."  Not bad... for a robot. And they say Andy Kaufman is dead.

My favorite though is the robot that plays rock-paper-scissors. It wins 100 percent of the time... and here's its secret: It cheats. It processes your throw in 1/000 or a second and counters it perfectly... every time.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot this one... you switch this robot on... it opens, a mechanical finger comes out... and it turns itself off. 
Now that's efficient function. Nice.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

EVERYONE has someone on this earth who looks exactly like them. It's nature's law of doubles.

So I was walking into my favorite coffee spot the other morning when a woman in a passing car stopped, rolled down her window and asked, "Are you Art?  You look just like him."

No, I said. "No, I'm not Art... but he must be a ruggedly handsome son-of-a-gun."

"Oh, he IS, she assured me."

So next morning, I'm already in my coffee shop enjoying my first and in walks this guy. Two people wave and one of them says "Hi Art."

Now I ask you, do we look exactly alike?


 I dunno, I just don't see it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A True (made up) Superheroine Story

Author's note (me): This is my submission to NYCMidnight that sponsors a number of writing contests annually. The assigned genre for the 30 in my group was comedy. The scenario had to be The Boardwalk and the object that had to be included was anchor...1000 words max. Comedy, I found, is a bear. It's like "OK now, be really funny." So I tried. What do you think?

The Bruise Heard 'round the World

Help! HELP!

She heard the cry. Somewhere in this city by the sea, someone was in trouble… and it sounded serious.

Atlantis City had seen its share of lawless days when gangs of hoodlums prowled the streets making life terrible for the average, law-abiding citizen. But when gambling came to town to dominate its famed Boardwalk, people came. It was thought--and promoted in every ad and commercial--that big money alone would make the place safe even for families. 

Not so.

The bad guys just saw this happy occurrence as the opening of a mile-long smorgasbord that served money, jewelry and vice every night with roast beef on weekends. Even the millions of dollars the casinos spent to protect their investments didn’t help. Crime had already made this city the vacation destination of pickpockets, con men and ‘muscle’ around the world.

If money talks, then Atlantis City was singing an opera called “Mama Mia, that’s one spicy meatball.” And all the meatballs--er, pigeons, were served nightly with neon spaghetti. But still they came. Everybody wants to get rich quick… and “What shakes in Atlantas City, awakes in Atlantas City.” Capiche?

As Yogi Berra said, “Nobody goes there anymore because it is too crowded.”

But that infamy is now all in the past… ever since Wonderful Woman came to town about three years ago. It was amazing really. One night, as a young family was being robbed at gunpoint, an occurrence that happened all to often on the Boardwalk, out of the sky came an incredible streak of light and a flash or brilliance that the city—no, the whole world—would soon know as WONDERFUL WOMAN!

She was striking in her patriotic red, white and blue skin-tight spandex costume with a big anchor symbol on its front—“To sink crime for good,” she later explained. Her flowing dark hair and tall black boots would make any average citizen and tourist take proud note… and every lawbreaker tremble in fear.

It was her second appearance to stop the beating of a ‘high-roller’ walking from one casino to another that brought her to national prominence.  “Oh my God, they’re killing me! HELP…PLEASE HELP!” Again, it was Wonderful Woman to the rescue… out of the sky to play Whack-A-Mole without having to put in a quarter.

Another time, as a con man’s shill was showing a dozen curious tourists how easy it was to find the red card on the Three-Card-Monte makeshift table, Wonderful Woman came out of the crowd to bet a pair of handcuffs. She won.  

It certainly didn’t take her long to put a serious dent in Atlantis City’s evil side. Nor did it take long for the media scramble to descend. Every newsperson wants to pluck an exclusive… and Wonderful Woman was a plum worth picking.

“Wonderful Woman… Wonderful Woman… “they shout as microphones were thrust in her beautiful face… “Who are you? Where did you come from? Why are you here? How do you fly? Are you from another planet? Are you a spy from Russia or China? Does your mom know where you are? Where did you get your boots (which drew the Women’s Wear Daily reporter boos from her colleagues), Will you marry me? Etc.”

Wonderful Woman was all “No comment, no comment, no comment,” but with a wink and a smile that melted every Clark Kent heart and frosted every Lois Lane who sought the truth… and only the truth.

Then, she raised her arm to the crowd and as they hushed, she cupped her hand behind her ear to hear a faint cry for help.

With a “Sorry folks, I gotta go,” she took to the sky and was out of sight before anyone had a chance to say “Just one more question.” It was the microphone-boy for one of the big “NETS” that summed up all of their frustrations when he sighed loudly and said “Shucks. Darn it all.”

But the photogs had their front-page pictures, thanks to their new high-speed cameras. And tomorrow, all the world will know what we know… which is not much really. But, thank goodness that doesn’t stop today’s media. Who needs all the facts when you have juicy?

Diligently on the job again and again, Wonderful Woman later zeros in on a very worried old lady yelling for help. She must be found and removed from whatever danger faces her. As Wonderful Woman peers down from the sky between the tall buildings, she can feel the dramatic tension and then sees her damsel in distress.

“Wonderful Woman! Thank goodness you are here. My cat is stuck in that tree and only you, Wonderful Woman, can rescue her.”

Wonderful Woman looks at the frightened helpless feline high in the tree and unashamedly wipes a tear from her eye… “Oh! A kitty! Poor, poor kitty. Be calm, I’ll rescue you, sweet thing.

“Her name is Princess.”

“Of course. Oh Princess. Hold on sweet darling, Wonderful Woman is coming.

She leaps into the air and… WHAM! She suddenly flies into the side of a building…

“Oh no,” Margaret said as she woke with a start to find herself on the floor, jostled immediately awake. Her side and arm hurt from the fall. It is only then that she realized she was having her Wonderful Woman dream … again, when she rolled off her bed and against the wall. She shook her head as she recalled her dream… and she smiled, grateful that this time, the only damage was an enormous bruise ‘from here to Hong Kong.’

“Tomorrow night,” Margaret said to herself… “Tomorrow night Wonderful Woman will rescue that kitty.”