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Ah, the joys of sending your child out to his or her own apartment. This scenario will be a humorous reminder to a few of you.

A Moving Experience

A Moving ExperienceIve found a cool apartment! Okay, okayso its not perfect. Just a few bugs. I mean literally! First expense? An exterminator! Is it worth the cash? Well, I cant afford a more expensive place, so a one-time (please!) cash outlay should be okay. Maybe just a can of Raid?I need a way to move my stuff. Daddy, can I borrow your truck? You dont have one? Why not? Do you want one? Ill help you pick it out! Well, it was just a suggestion. No need to get all bent out of shape! I guess Id better call the truck rental places. What do you mean$200PLUS mileage? AND Gas? Good grief!While Im on the phone Ill call the utility and phone companies. Yes, I know I havent used your services before. No, I dont have a credit card; this is my first place. You want what? A $100 deposit? For EACH? Holy cowdo you people have a license to steal? Daddy, I need $500 for moving expenses! I used all my money for the first and last months rent AND the damage deposit. Well, how was I to know this was going to be so expensive? Sell something? DaaaaadI NEED my TV!Boy, this place is pretty empty. Maybe I should buy a couch and a chair. NahI have my bed. Thatll be good enough. I dont need a table; Ill just use this box.Renters Insurance? I dont think so! What do I have to insure?Just got my first phone call! Id love to come to your party! Daddy, I need a car. Because its too far to walk to work, thats why. Umm, Daddytheres car insurance too! Thanks, Dadyoure the best! And gas? I didnt think soTime for dinner. Lets look in these boxes. Oh, No! No dishes or pans. No FOOD! Uhhh, Mom?

The Science of Robosapien

The Science of Robosapien

At a glance, Robosapien looks great versus the old school box on wheels with clear dome head. Ooh, you say, looks kinda like a muscled storm trooper and the fart button now thats a hoot. We nod in polite agreement, but behind your back, we snicker at your total lack of appreciation of the advanced robotic theory involved.Robosapien is a modern day turning point in the evolution of robotics and is the first-ever robot based on the science of applied biomorphic robotics. (Thats what you should have been telling friends and family all this time rather than pointing out amusing cat-chasing ability.) Biomorphic robotics stems from Mark Tildens innovative new concepts in BEAM technology. A New Philosophy for Robot Kind BEAM is an acronym for Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics and Mechanics. Dr. Mark W. Tilden founded this relatively new branch of robotic sciences in 1989, based on the premise that behavioral-rich robots need not be the wickedly complex projects reserved only for well-funded labs and cartoon villains. Put another way, traditional approaches to creating robots have started with creating a sophisticated brain to maneuver the mechanics of the body. Though not discounting the incredible engineering feats of robots built this way, most notably the Sony Qrio and Honda Asimo, Mark Tilden strongly contends that this is the wrong approach to take. Its like trying to emulate a human when modern technology and research cant realistically copy a bug from your garden. [Its] an evolutionary dead end, says Tilden. BEAM robotics is about taking the bottom-up approach, to start from mastering the simple bug and moving up from there. Rather than attempt to create a centralized robo-brain to process every variable input and spit out a decision (much, much harder than you may think), why not use a system known as "subsumption architecture. Subsumption architecture is a clever technique where the actions of a robot are managed in layers, each layer controlling one facet of the robots operation. For example, a low-level layer could be Walk Forward, which the robot will happily do until it bumps into something. At this point, the slightly higher level Lift Leg Higher kicks in, overriding the Walk Forward layer until the robot successfully climbs over the obstacle, at which point Lift Leg Higher stops, and the low-level Walk Forward takes over again. * Egocentric BugsSo Tilden began building robot bugs on this principle, and more selfish creatures they could not have been. Whys that? Well Tilden decided that Asimovs famous Three Laws of Robotics: 1. No hurt human. 2. Listen to human unless told Do hurt human. 3. Try to live with that. were antiquated notions that left no room for a good practical joke at parties. So one dark and stormy night he penned Tildens Three Laws of Robotics: 1. A robot must protect its existence at all costs. 2. A robot must obtain and maintain access to a power source. 3. A robot must continually search for better power sources. informally known as*: 1. Protect thy butt.2. Feed thy butt.3. Move thy butt to better real estate.1. He justified this robotic declaration of self-interest as the only way robots can start evolving the way humans may have came from guppies looking for a good time by leaving the ocean.From Bugs to SapiensNeeding to find a lighter-minded group of people from his government and NASA days, Tilden decided to go and join a toy company. Who better than one audacious enough to self proclaim themselves, Wow Wee! It was a great match, and they gleefully began working on toy dinosaurs and bugs based on Tildens now renowned expertise.Then came the master project that one could fairly say would change the landscape of robotics altogether. FartDude, later named Robosapien after initial market testing, was to be the culmination of Tildens work, finally bringing to bear a humanoid (sapien-like, if you will) robot capable of an impressive list of moves and rude sounds. In Robosapien, you see the basics of BEAM philosophy and technological research. It follows the B as a biomorphic rendition of humans, E for the fact you cant throw it in a bathtub, A because its stylin the latest magazine covers, and one heck of a lot of M going into the robo dancing capability. Thats Mr. Sapien Like no robot ever before, the Robosapien is affordable to the unwashed masses. The Robosapien is a crowning accomplishment when it comes to mobility, power consumption, programmability, and maybe most importantly: hackability. Each arm has full 360 motion ability allowed by the, ahem, biomorphic shoulder joints and flexible elbows. Ending in three articulated fingers, Robosapien is capable of picking up, gripping, and throwing objects. The genuine full walking motion (most robots dont genuinely walk outside a lab) is made possible design of the large feet and well placed sensors.And do you know how much power it usually takes to run a robot Fuggedabowdit. Regular robots are dishonorable little battery-eaters always hungry for more, more, more! And whos going to pay for these batteries, hmmm Well Robosapien brings no shame to itself when consuming power, essentially due to the astounding mechanical physics. It runs a full 6 to 10 hours on just one set of batteries. In fact, if you move Robosapiens arm youll actually generate power for it! Hey man, thats shrewd. For those of you who want a robot that will fetch you a frosty one from the kitchen, you lazy bums will just have to wait until later versions. But you can program your Robosapien to do some pretty cools things in the meantime, like wander around taking swings at things, guarding your bedroom while you sleep, and a hilarious game of pull my finger. Try teaching your dog that trick smart guy. So whats so hot about the hackability, and is that even a word you ask? Youve got some nerve. Tilden went through some serious, serious effort to be sure that robot enthusiasts could take apart the robot, as he would have done as a child, and tinker with modifications. Everythings color-coded in there to make things easy for those of us without PhDs, and by all accounts, theres plenty of additional room and power to accommodate whatever Frankenstein thing you can think up. There are entire books written on the subject should you wish to learn, so go forth and hack away. If its a good one, send it in and well publish for all too either mock or applaud. And Another ThingSo the next time you look at your Robosapien give a respectful nod to the worlds first-ever robot based on the science of applied biomorphic robotics. Then go chase a cat with it. * Graciously lifted from Dr. Tildens excellent Junkbots, Bugbots & Bots on Wheels book.

The evolution of jeans

The evolution of jeans

Thought of the day: Why is it acceptable to wear the same pair of jeans for days, even weeks, without being questioned by friends? Yet wearing the same pair of cargos three days in a row would be scowled upon and considered un-hygienic. Do we actually believe jeans are immune to dirt? Still on the topic of jeans remember when all we had to choose from was either a pair of Levis, Lee or Wranglers? And all you had in your wardrobe was a choice of black stone wash and blue stone wash?I remember this quite vividly. There was no such thing as engineered denim in the early 90s when I was a teenager. Yet in the pursuit of being cool, I had to conjure up my own version of engineering. I got my worn in look by way of scraping my ass up and down the cement footpath out the front of my house (I lived on a main road by the way). Later my mother told me that it would have been a hell of a lot easier to take off the said pair of jeans and rub them against a rough stone. Thanks for the advice mum, but too late. If only my nickname ass scraper wore out as fast as my jeans didThen something revolutionary happened in the mid nineties (that saved my ass, so to speak). Levis decided that we didnt have to wait years and years to wear in our favourite pair of jeans, cause Americas convicted criminals could do all the hard work for us! Yep, all those second hand Levis being sold in boutiques actually came from Americas prisons. Imagine the satisfaction for the prisoner, knowing that some good came out of their existence? As long as they served their full sentence, of course (jeans just didnt achieve an optimum level of worn in-ness if prisoners got out early on parole). So my pre-worn Levis alla break and enterer became the hottest thing in my wardrobe (just kidding, I paid for them). Really, how could I have been so narrow minded as to think crime didnt pay? Moving into the new millennium, jean manufactures suddenly realised that it was wrong to allow such an obvious exploitation of Americas prisoners. Especially when the Chinese could do it for a whole lot less, and quicker too! Engineered denim was born. All of sudden, we didnt have to wait years for our jeans to hit the perfect level of worn in-ness, because we could buy a brand new pair of pseudo old that looked like, well, a bad pair of new jeans. Like anything in its infancy, there is always something NQR (Not Quite Right) about it. Kinda like when CGI special effects first started to appear in film. Much to the rile of everyone around me, I just couldnt help the comment Aw that looks so fake! every time a dinosaur ripped apart a person, or when a ship collided with an iceberg in the middle of the Antarctic. It was just a natural reaction to something that looked completely unnatural when trying to appear natural (also my natural reaction when I see a man with hair plugs, or a woman with a bad boob job. But thats another blog entry all together). And while I didnt go around pointing at people wearing badly engineered jeans on the street (only because I too was a serious offender), I did wonder when the edges of pockets were going to be grinded evenly, rather then looking like they had been attacked by cat claws. Today however, while we are finally perfecting pocket grinding, crotch whisker marks, and thigh and ass sand blasting, isnt this all merely an improvement on the fake worn-in look? I mean, I have a pair of jeans that I bought almost four years ago in dark indigo denim with only a basic enzyme wash. Over the years of wearing, there has not been even the slightest beginnings of fraying along any pocket; the whisker mark around the crotch goes straight across the thigh, (not splayed out in all kinds of unsightly directions drawing attention to my bathing suit area); and my ass does not look likes its been dragged over coloured sand! Perhaps we have forgotten what a real pair of worn in jeans looks like? In saying this, Im certainly not against engineered denim. Its interesting and its getting better. And while the new pseudo old look has now become my daily bread, the engineered price tag that comes with the jeans is nauseating. Authentic looking old jeans will set you back around $350 (AUD) these days. Common! For me to even want to pay that kind of money, Im hoping some Chinese worker is scraping their ass up and down the factory room floor for me.

Double High Air Beds

Double High Air Beds

In recent years, air bed design has begun to transcend to accommodate the ever-growing demands of consumers. One significant change in air bed design has been the adoption of a double high design. Since the average person is accustomed to sleeping several feet off the floor, air bed manufacturers have started making air beds that mimic the height of a traditional mattress.Raised, or double high "air beds" , offer several advantages over shorter air beds. To begin with, their increased distance from the floor allows for a warmer sleeping experience. Since shorter air beds are closer to floor (which tends to be rather cold during the night), they can cause sleep interruptions and thus a poor sleeping experience. Raised air beds eliminate these minor yet irritating problems.The increased height which raised air beds have to offer also works to ease the burden on those getting in and out of bed. Older citizens and those with back problems have always had issues getting in and out of air beds. This has come as a result of the beds' small distance from the floor. Raised air beds remedy this issue and allow for easier maneuverability in and out the bed.Finally, raised air beds can save you time and anger by dampening the effects of air loss. Raised [*_*] store almost twice the volume of air that traditional air mattresses carry. This extra air works wonders in terms of reducing the effects of air loss. A twenty percent loss of air is much less noticeable in a raised air bed than it is in a typical air mattress. Thus, when such air loss occurs in raised air bed, owners don't need to be as diligent in refilling it. On the other hand, those with a typical air mattress may have to awake in the middle of the night to re-inflate their bed.Now that you're in the know of all the benefits raised [*_*] have to offer, you can go ahead and purchase one! Although it may cost you more upfront, it will surely pay for itself in the future.

Blackjack: Learn How to Become a Champion

Learn How to Play and Win Blackjack after practicing some basic steps that can be learn easily. Blackjack is one of the more easier card games that you will come across, and its basic concept is simple: get 21 as the sum of your cards or get as close to 21 but higher than the sum of your opponent's cards.1) Do not try and reach 21.Yes. Even though blackjack is also commonly called 21, trying to reach 21 with every hand is an amateurish move. You will, most certainly, lose the hand. Statistical research conducted has shown that the odds of reaching 21 is lesser than the odds of getting more than 21. 2) Try and Beat the Dealer.Since blackjack is a one on one battle: you versus the dealer, focus on beating the dealer. Instead of trying to get 21, try to guess what hand the dealer will receive and accordingly play your hand. Remember that the dealer at a regular casino or even at an online casino has to stop taking more cards if the cards on the table add up to 17. But if their cards add up to 16 or any number less, they will have to take another card. 3) Look at the dealer's card facing up.The only way to play is to look at the dealer's card facing up. If it is a low card like a two or anything up to a 6 or 7, try and get a high number combination. If its a 9 or 10, the odds are high that he has a 10 underneath or at least he will be forced to take another card. So, reach anything up to 20 or 21, but its better to even stop at a 18 or 19 and hope they will over-run the sum of 21.How Blackjack is Played at a Casino:1) Place your bet on the table.Each blackjack table has a set beginning bet and this ranges from a dollar to ten or twenty for the high-rollers crowd. This is the amount of chips you will have to put down, and this signals to the dealer that you are taking part in the next round.2) You will get a card.The dealer then deals a card to you and all the other players who have also placed a bet down. 3) The dealer places a face-up card in front.This is one of the cards of the dealer, and since its facing up, all the players have a chance to judge the outcome of his cards.4) The dealer deals the second card.The dealer, then, deals you and all the players an additional card. This is the time to have a look at them and at the dealer's card and decide whether you wish to get another card.5) The dealer asks.The dealer now turns to each player and asks them if they wish to receive another card. If you wish it, the dealer will give you a card. Then, the dealer will ask you again. Note that the dealer will be with you until you decide that you do not want to receive any more cards. Then, the dealer moves on to the next player, then, the next, and so on.6) The dealer starts playing.Only when all the players have said that they do not want any more cards, does the dealer start playing. He takes cards until he has reached 17 or above. Then, he has to stop.7) The dealer opens the cards.When he's done, the dealer first reveals all his cards. Then, he moves from one player to the other opening their cards. After revealing each player's hands, the dealer pays out the bet or takes the bet away according to who has won and who has lost.

The Innovative Autobin

If you are looking for a new-to-market, innovative and useful product within your home, the Autobin is it! The Autobin is a revolutionary automatic opening bin. It has a built in infrared sensor on the lid, so when you place you hand near the lid of the bin, it opens, and shuts again after about 8 seconds, allowing you to drop your rubbish into the bin without the need to touch it at all. However, if you need more time, say if your peeling eggs or emptying leftovers into the bin, you can override the automatic feature by pressing the open or close button on the front panel. If used in its automatic setting, the touchless Autobin is incredibly hygienic, and helps to prevent the spread of germs within the family household, hospitals, public toilets, offices, airports, care homes, or wherever you need a bin. Hospitals around China and Singapore are using the Autobin to help prevent the spread of the SARS virus and other superbugs.The Autobin is also great for both elderly and disabled, and children just love the function of the Autobin. It encourages children to put their rubbish into the bin, and it injects a bit of fun into an otherwise boring chore for them. The Stainless Steel Autobin ranges are very stylish and hygienic. They have a special coating inside the bin that prevents rusting, and they are very easy to clean inside and out. The Autobin runs on 4 x D batteries, which are usually supplied with the bin and can last between 6 and 12 months dependant on use. I have had my Autobin for over 12 months now and I havent replaced the batteries yet. I really would recommend the Autobin to anyone. The range includes 24 Litre, 32 Litre or 50 Litre bins, finished in either brushed satin stainless steel, or with a shiny mirror effect. I went for the 50 Litre Autobin, which looks fantastic in my kitchen.

Summary

Ah, the joys of sending your child out to his or her own apartment. This scenario will be a humorous reminder to a few of you.