two robots

One by way of Danger Room, and the other

random weirdness

Elephant-shaped Ganesh growth cured my ills, Queens man says

Is the Jersey Devil’s range increasing?

The most famous tale of the origins of this cryptid is of Mother Leeds. In 1735, the story goes, the good mother had given birth to twelve children. Said to be a witch, Leeds said that if she had child number 13, it would be the devil himself. Variations of the story say that the Devil was the father, but in any case, the child was born completely normal. Within minutes, it killed the midwife, grew a horse’s head, forked tail, wings and hooves and escaped through the chimney and went directly toward the Pine Barrens.

Sarkozy voodoo kit tops Amazon bestseller list

Pictured: The mystery pink light that appeared over London

Packs of robots will hunt down uncooperative humans

The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. At least, it did mine. They are looking for contractors to provide a “Multi-Robot Pursuit System” that will let packs of robots “search for and detect a non-cooperative human”.

Teens convicted of virtual theft

The Leeuwarden District Court says the culprits, 15 and 14 years old, coerced a 13-year-old boy into transferring a “virtual amulet and a virtual mask” from the online adventure game RuneScape to their game accounts.

Woman arrested for killing virtual husband in Maple Story

She is accused of hacking into the profile of a 33-year-old office worker from Sapporo 620 miles away, whose avatar on the Maple Story computer game was married to her character until he unexpectedly demanded a divorce.

The spurned make-believe wife was so angry at being jilted that she logged into the game using her partner’s password and destroyed the character that he had spent a year creating.

news stories – more goddamn aliens

Alien-Like Being Born From A Cow In Thailand

OK, if you pay attention to one story today…
Missing M-16s Returned — With Apology

Hill [Air Force Base] has been embroiled in a chain of mishaps and scandals recently, including a friendly fire incident at the Utah Test and Training Range, the accidental burning of radioactive materials at a civilian incinerator and the mistaken transfer of nuclear-missile parts to Taiwan. The latter debacle sparked an investigation that led to the resignation Thursday of the Air Force’s top two officials.

In the case of the missing machine guns, Air Base Wing Security Commander Shannon Smith said the unit that lost the weapons was returning from field exercises and had loaded the container onto the flatbed back of a Humvee, but failed to secure the case, which apparently fell out of the vehicle just south of the base’s Roy Gate.

The artist formerly known as Yugoslavia:
U.N. and NATO rush to iron out Kosovo security snags
Macedonia’s EU hopes hinge on Sunday’s vote re-run

Piracy threatens Somali food emergency shipments
Pirates now go after Nigeria’s little fish

School Of Robofish Communicate With Each Other In Underwater Robot Teams

news stories- the end is nigh

World to be destroyed this Thursday

Nuclear war will begin next Thursday, June 12, or sooner, according to the latest prediction of self-proclaimed prophet Yisrayl “Buffalo Bill” Hawkins, the founder of a religious sect in Abilene, Texas.

Meanwhile, in other news…

Blackwater’s Private CIA
The notorious mercenary company now offers spy “services” to Fortune 500 companies, for the right price.

And speaking of mercenaries…
Agreement between Secopex CSA and Col. Yusuf
The article is about as clear as the headline, but the gist is that the Somali “government” has hired French “contractors” to provide “support for maritime security in Somalia, the creation of a coastal intelligence unit and the training of the Somalian presidential guard.” All that coastal stuff means customs and such, but it also means dealing with pirates. Which is a perfect segue into today’s pirate news….

Assailants attack Nigerian vessel in oil region

The boat was providing security for oil companies when it was boarded by unknown attackers who took control of the bridge, Nigerian Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said.

Nigeria has overtaken Somalia as the world’s pirate capital. There’s lots of oil there, and Nigeria is one of the US’s biggest suppliers of oil.

And finally, robots and cyberspace….
Pentagon Wants Cyberwar Range to ‘Replicate Human Behavior and Frailties’
Robots: Society’s helpers or mankind’s downfall?
Most interesting part of the robot story is the population figure:

The robotic population of the world is over 5 million, I learned yesterday at the Cheltenham Science festival. Noel Sharkey of Sheffield University, UK, told the audience that there are already 1.2 million industrial and 4 million service robots in use.

Wait, I almost forgot… goats!!
Pygmy goat boards a TriMet bus

news stories- treehuggers in prison, more pirates and kosovo

First: pirates!
Canadian frigate intervenes in pirate attack
Pirates Desert Malacca Straits for African Waters

Here’s the Oregonian on Tre Arrow, and his own site:
Radical environmentalist Tre Arrow gets 78-month prison term
Free Tre Arrow
He’s pleading guilty because he’s getting a deal and can have this all over with in just a couple of years or so, but he doesn’t have to inform on anyone and he’s not really confessing to the crime.
Tre Arrow speaks from a building ledge in Portland, Ore., July 13, 2000, while spending 11 days on the ledge protesting the cutting of old growth trees in the Eagle Creek Wilderness Area.To the chagrin of some, the FBI has likened the tactics of environmental activists like Arrow to al-Qaida. (AP Photo)

The Oregonian mentions in passing that Jake Ferguson got sentenced today too. Most of the ELF arson crew that got rounded up spilled the beans on each other in the end, but Ferguson was an informant all along. For sending his friends to prison, he got off with five years of probation.
Radical ‘snitch’ in Western arsons gets probation

There’s actually a crackdown underway:
Feds turn up the heat on ‘ecoterrorists’

Kosovo declared independence, but they won’t have real sovereignty for quite some time. In the meantime, their status is caught up in UN politics.
U.N. Kosovo mission awaiting word on power handover
Kosovo PM: New Kosovo Constitution Will Be Valid Throughout The Province
UN Sec-Gen Ban to offer partnership to Belgrade over Kosovo
The UN doesn’t have a very good track record when it comes to creating nation-states. Just ask Israel how that went.

And one more robot for the Pentagon:
U.S. Military Gets Newest Kill-Bot

news stories – robots and space

Martian ice or wishful thinking? We’ll find out soon enough:
ice under phoenix?
New Images From Phoenix Lander May Show Martian Ice

Of course it’s great that we’re exploring Mars, but why aren’t we giving this attention to the moon? The moon is much closer- we can get there in days, not months- and we’ll probably have to establish ourselves there before Mars becomes feasible for anything resembling a permanent presence. NASA sometimes has a conqueror’s attitude- “we already planted our flag there- let’s go mark our territory somewhere else.” At least someone’s going, though:
India’s moon probe being fitted with instrument suite

To be fair, NASA’s got something lined up for later this year, but it’s the only lunar project on a long list of current and future missions.

Everyone’s covering the plumbing problems on the space station, but the imminent arrival of the Japanese science lab is really the big story:
Discovery heads to space station with Japanese lab

And I’ve been saving up my robot stories all week:
dean kamen\'s robot arm

Dean Kamen’s Robot Arm Grabs More Publicity
(he’s building it for the military, of course)

Two more stories about military robots:
War Without Soldiers and Military Recruits Thousands More Warbots for New Unmanned Surge

And finally, one for the civilians. Civilian monkeys, sure, but you gotta start somewhere:
Monkeys Think, Moving Artificial Arm as Own

OK, we should be back with the usual depressing geopolitical headlines tonight.