Robot Men

Lish sent me an ominous warning — “it’s happening!*”

The incident took place in June 2007 at a factory in BĂ„lsta, north of Stockholm, when the industrial worker was trying to carry out maintenance on a defective machine generally used to lift heavy rocks. Thinking he had cut off the power supply, the man approached the robot with no sense of trepidation.

But the robot suddenly came to life and grabbed a tight hold of the victim’s head. The man succeeded in defending himself but not before suffering serious injuries.

“I’ve never heard of a robot attacking somebody like this,” [prosecutor Leif Johansson] told news agency TT.

* The human-robot apocalypse that is.

Speaking of robots (TikTok), Nefarious and I have been reading Ozma of Oz (you can click here to download a great PDF of the book, complete with gorgeous illustrations). We’re about half way through it right now and it’s a big hit. Whenever I read these older novels, I worry about their accessibility — I find Alice in Wonderland pretty unreadable for example — because much of the writing is quite archaic and, well, boring to a modern reader, let alone a young reader.


I had a doctor’s appointment today — long story about unpleasantness that went on while they were taking my blood to make sure my liver is still working — that made a slight change to my current prescription. What’s quite interesting to me is how very slight differences in the formulation of Oxycodone-based painkillers — for example, two Percocet is quite different from an Oxy-IR, which is quite different from Oxycontin, even though they all have the same basic ingredients. I had some trouble finding a pharmacy that had the new prescription in stock, so I thought to myself, which pharmacy has the most Tang behind the counter? I remembered that the pharmacy in the world’s grimiest mall is also a methadone clinic, so they are well stocked in all pain killers.

Oh, and I think everyone is bored of my JavaScript ramblings by now, but I did some experimenting with integrating sound into the Bing-Bong! game. I used a series of <embed>’s which contained the sound effects, four for each sound. The reason I did four for each sound is for polyphony — it cycles through playing them sequentially, so if for example, you hit a bunch of bricks in quick succession, you hear more than one hit. That said, it was a failed experiment for two reasons — first, it really slows down load time (except, ironically, on IE, which is quite fast), and second, there’s some degree of latency (1/10 of a second, maybe more), which makes it essentially impossible to sync the sound effects to the game. That said, it’s given me some ideas for other amusements, and if you want to see it or check out the code, here’s the link. I might play with it more in the future and see if I can solve things…


  1. Ben wrote:

    As a child I enjoyed Carroll a lot.
    The real problem arose when I began using Carrollian words in the playground :P

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 11:58 pm | Permalink
  2. Allahkat wrote:

    I thought the grossest mall in the world (or at least the GTA) was the Dixie Value mall.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 4:41 am | Permalink
  3. estrojenn wrote:

    we call that mall “the mall that time forgot”…its not that its grimy…its just lost in time. i also had no idea that pharmacy was a methadone clinic, though i suppose its no surprise. i love it for the holy trinity – zellers, pet valu, lcbo.


    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  4. divisionbyzer0 wrote:

    I don’t see how a complex tool which has an extensive electronic control system misfunctioning and causing injury is much different from any other accident involving systems which don’t have complex electronic control system. It’s surely not a cause for excessive alarm, unless you read too many transhumanist bullshit fantasy scenarios.

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 12:43 am | Permalink
  5. Elijah wrote:

    ahh, i read Carrol books at age eleven, started comprehending them when i was 13-ish(with help from annotations),
    And still my favorite books along with princess bride

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  6. p7tms wrote:

    I’ve been working on a way for a body to be electrically stimulated to cause it to stay awake an additional 4-6 hours. Also, in the process, I have leared of a possible way for diabetics to reduce their glucose readings with being hooked up to an electronic stimulator unit.

    Friday, May 1, 2009 at 5:08 am | Permalink
  7. Amanda wrote:

    I had no idea that the pharmacy in there was a methadone clinic. I don’t know if that mall’s the grimiest — though I think the yellow flourescent lights don’t help its case at all.

    Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:56 am | Permalink
  8. Shannon wrote:

    divisionbyzer0, you do understand that it’s a joke, right?

    Friday, May 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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