Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Robots in Webcomics: Kiwi Blitz

Alright, so I found this new comic through Scott Kurtz's PVPonline. It's a project by their intern Mary Cagle called Kiwi Blitz.

For the last few days I have been contemplating reworking the website to perhaps remove And I'll Form the Head and create a webcomic review section. This comic might be the motivation I need! Well, atleast to make a new section specifically for comic critique.

Based on my first impression of the comic, which is a generally quick once over of the last few pages, the comic has the appeal of a Pokemon episode. The art is stylistic but simplistic, and the dialogue is whimsically technological and charming.

"Activating... lower... view window things..." Cagle allows us to suspend our belief and think that "window things" are scientifically founded in a comic environment where riding around in a robot kiwi bird is practical.

I'm gonna go ahead and give the comic kudos. It's gonna go places (in a robot kiwi).

Monday, November 23, 2009

R.O.B. Up In This Brawl

Sure, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is an older game now, but it still has great replay value!

Recently, I've been playing a lot of this game and more times than not our arch-nemesis in the apartment, Dave, plays R.O.B. While most of his strongest attacks are close range, he's got an unusual array of offensive projectiles that make him a versatile foe. 

What's the point of this blog post? I love me some Super Smash Bros. and R.O.B. is a fighting robot. Give me a break! I'm too busy smashing people to write anything too thought provoking. Pick yourself up a Wii and this game and you'll see what I mean. Way too addicting for its own good.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Robots Need Love Too, With Proper Legal Representation

I want to thank Rich for finding this article, and I want to thank Hurray for Mollywood! for the perfect image.

Lets skip to the most interesting part of this article, when Anna Russel, author of the article "Blurring the love lines", warns that when robots are smart enough, they will want the same legal rights that humans have,
“While this humanoid is a giant leap forward technologically, if a self-aware, super-intelligent, thinking, feeling humanoid is developed, the legal system will be hard-pressed to distinguish this creature legally from human actors on grounds not stemming from a religious or moral prejudice.”
One of the biggest legal battles which might arise, according to Russel? Sexual rights. People can't decide what is morally correct now just between human beings, how much more complicated will the laws be when robots are thrown in the mix, especially when the robots will be able to voice their own opinions.

The article was thought provoking, but I'm not sure if we will be able to create a fully conscious robot. And if we can, will we be able to program it to feel emotions, such as love and animosity? If you want more information about this dilemma check out the science fiction soon to be turning documentary Bicentennial Man

I'm still giving kudos to Anna Russel for her foresight. She's just trying to avoid the Matrix becoming reality (because we all know the robots will win if we ever war with them).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A GPS That Yells Back? Robot Interacts With Your Driving

Researchers at MIT are working on a robot that interacts with your driving, not only working as GPS but also giving gentle reminders to drive safely. The idea is that Aida, "Affective Intelligent Driving Agent", is supposed to encourage good behaviors.

What about people who drive while using a cellphone, or eat on their way to work? Aida should also be taught to smack the hell out of the vehicle's passenger like a stern parent. Now that would be revolutionary.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Robot Gaming: Build a Robot 3

Even though I haven't played the first two games, I don't think I've missed anything by skipping directly to this third installment. Also, I didn't need any prior experience building robots, it's easy to learn; drag and drop the pieces, and then click on the pieces to move them around the screen and adjust the dimensions and colors of every single item.

At first it's amusing, then it gets monotonous. Even though I'm talking about the gameplay, I'm also talking about the grating music, even though if you let it run for long enough, it plays "Still Alive" from Portal. That would be a redeeming quality if it wasn't blatantly trying to rip off Valve.

The game is MS Paint, with less features, packaged as Build A Robot 3. It would be a fun game to play with the young ones, but anybody else will probably get bored in fifteen minutes, more or less.  

Monday, November 16, 2009

Geeks Amongst the Meek Now Live!

Geeks Amongst the Meek will be the new main hub for all of my geeky rants and raves. Expect the Manventures to continue over there too, alongside other content that I have planned to add as the new blog grows, such as interviews, projects, and general mischief.

I'll be exporting some of the old content from this blog to the new one, and will continue posting on And I'll Form the Head for anything still relevant to giant fighting robots. You know how it goes.

Peace! Check out the new blogs.

Furby Link Round Up? Why Not.

I thought it would be fun to check out one of the more prominent fads of the late 1990s, the Furby. According to Wiki, and common knowledge, the Furby was one of the first attempts to sell domestic robots. Pretty fascinating, even though they got old really fast.

The people at Phobe got some replay value out of their Furby by performing an autopsy on one. It's disturbing and morbidly amusing, like the Adams Family.

Even though this website doesn't update anymore, there had been research into how to hack the Furby. Some of it is pretty complicated, but this video shows some of the potential behind the manipulation of a Furby.

Another video shows how a group of Furbies were transformed into a hurdy gurdy. This video out of all the others is the most unsettling for me.

Finally, a website documenting and analyzing Furbish, the language of Furbies. Might seem mundane and impractical but someone had to do it!

Oh, and thanks Fortress of Steveitude for the picture. Pretty nice duds!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Farewell My New Robot Friends [By Becca]

Unfortunately my time here as come to an end and I have to return to my regular blog.

I learned a lot about myself in writing about robots; I laughed, I reminisced, I probably even cried at one point.  Thanks for letting me take over Tony!

Oh, and those Pac-man robots are so cool! I wonder if I could get one to chase my nephews around the house and tell them the robot is going to gnaw off their legs if they don't move fast enough?

Pacman Roombas: Some More Info

The other day I posted a link to the cnet article about the Roomba vacuums programmed to simulate the Pacman video game.

If you want more information, head to the projects main website (why I didn't think of this before is beyond me). There's pictures, complicated computer mumbo jumbo, and more links and videos to help get your nerd on. Also, what I was most excited about, was that there was contact information for each programmer listed on this website.

So expect some questions via email, Jack Elston!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Water on the Moon!

Living on the moon might be a possibility again. Eleven hours ago, NASA revealed that they had kicked up a substantial amount of water in their recent probe of the moon's surface.

From the Associated Press, "Having definitive evidence that there is substantial water is a significant step forward in making the moon an interesting place to go," said George Washington University space policy scholar John Logsdon."

Think of the possibilities. A colony off of Earth will be a big step in the right direction of having a Jetsons like future. Lets make it happen people.

Also, I was wondering if the moon will ever be given a proper name? Other planets have named moons, but we just refer to ours as "The Moon". How lame is that? I want some suggestions, damnit. I'm thinking Unicron. He's the size of a moon already!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Different Kind of Manventure [By Becca]

I had the best of intentions in going on a wild and crazy Becca-style Manventure this week but due to unforeseen circumstances and straight up awful planning on my part, I unfortunately won't have time for such shenanigans.

But fear not loyal readers, I will dig through my mental vault and share with you an old-school, Manventurish tale:

This past July, my friend, AllOneWord and I went to a baby shower.  For those of you lucky enough to never have suffered through a baby shower, they are hell but in shades of pastel and with cake.

From the get-go, the day was bound to be a disaster.  We stopped at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through where AllOneWord somehow misjudged the distance between the drive-through window and her window.

She smashed her iced coffee against the roof of the car and screamed, "Oh My God! I can't do this!" Being the supportive friend I am, I broke down in a giggle fit complete with tears, as did the girl working the drive- through.

Our pregnant buddy neglected to put a street address on the invitation so we spent most of the afternoon driving around Troy, guessing where the Elks Club was.  As it turns out, my GPS Seamus (named by AllOneWord for the disembodied navigator's Irish accent) is only useful if you know where you're supposed to end up.

Poor Seamus. He's not really a lying, sleazy ho though AllOneWord and I called him much worse as he lead us everywhere but the Elks Club.

While making haphazard guesses as to where the Elks Club was, AllOneWord noticed a huge spider on the inside of her windshield. After a brief stream of curses, she whipped off her flip-flop and smashed the spider.

There was a window of time where I pictured us veering off the road and to a fiery death because of the damn spider, but AllOneWord didn't so much as swerve as she savagely murdered the vicious, eight-legged beast.

Somehow, we found the Elks Club and stumbled into the baby shower an hour late.  Our glowing, knocked-up friend had saved two seats for us at the head table, which is always right where you want to be when you show up late.

Droid: Crazy Awesome Phone or Mechanical Menace?

While getting my daily dose of CNN, I was interrupted by one of those nasty little intruding advertisements that websites like to use to infuriate their fan base. However, this one caught my eye with the catchline "Droid has arrived", and meteor like cellphones plummeted through the atmosphere with catastrophic results on impact. Then, a red eye, similar to Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey, appeared and further enticed a robot nerd like myself to actually click on the advertisement.

That in itself warrants respect.

What kind of angle were the Google, Verizon Wireless, and Motorola companies trying to exploit though? Robots can be really scary, buy it or else? While I think the marketing is clever and a great homage to the spooky robot genre, I can see the regular consumer being intimidated by this commercial campaign.

Look at this advertisement for instance

Seriously, who's the target demographic for this? Cylons?

It's basically a big "fuck you" to Iphone users. I guess the pitch is that the Droid is the bully of the phone market, that they want to be abrasive just for the sake of it.

In short, the Droid wasn't hugged enough when it was a child and now it's taking it's aggression out constructively, but menacingly.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Fighting" Robots [By Becca]

So, um, it looks pretty awkward when Rock Em Sock Em Robots do more than just punch each other in the face.

As long as they love each it's ok.

And Now A Word From The Robot Mariachi Band

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lego Factory Ran 24/7 By Robots

Becca has been banned from posting on the blog for posting way too much awesome content. Take your classy robot pins elsewhere.

Speaking of awesome content, I started to read up on the whole Lego robots thing after Becca wrote this link round-up and found some staggering information. The Lego Factory manufactures 19 billion toy pieces every year as it is mainly controlled by robots that keeps the manufacturing process going all year round.

The student robotics contests, it seems, are a means of employing future engineers for the production of more legos! Now it's all starting to make sense.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Robot Pins [By Becca]

I was so enamored by these robot shoes that it sparked my curiosity about what other awesome robot products are available.  I had no idea there was such a large market for robot pins.  I think they'd go nicely with the robot shoes.

Now that I've accessorized the spiffy robot shoes, there's a good chance Tony will change his password and ban me from his blog...but it will be worth it because that's a damn cute robot if ever I've seen one. 

Roundin' Up The Robots [By Becca]

The only thing I ever built with Legos were lopsided houses and huge walls that looked like, well, huge walls made out of Legos.  These kids are infinitely cooler and way smarter than I ever was.

A green robot sounds like an oxymoron to me but here's a robot made out of recycled type-writer parts, and his scared yet ridiculously awesome cat.  The last picture seems to be of a creepy, pedophile robot exposing himself in a futuristic park to other young robots, but I think it's up for interpretation.

"What Dr. Hall is advocating is a future in which we let robots handle whatever load they can, freeing up the rest of us to live more leisurely."
Isn't that why we have child-labor and illegal immigrants? What will become of them, Dr. Hall, you lazy, selfish sleaze?

Sweet. Literally -- they're robot cupcakes with frosting and Twizzlers and marshmallows and pretzels and I'm now starving, damn cupcakes.

I might of gotten a little teary when I saw this. I used to try to steal my older brother's My Pal 2 on a regular basis but it's hard to hide a talking, barking robot when you're a foot and a half tall.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Robotic Introduction [By Becca]

Hey, I'm Becca and I'll be taking over Tony's blog this week. I have to confess robots and technology are not usually my thing, but this week I will be all about them, so be patient with me as I delve into Tony's world! 

My usual blog is about my job as a waitress and waitressing can feel pretty robotic at times; I'm conditioned to say "Hi! How are you?" when I hear a door open, for example.  And adding some sick robots to my restaurant, or even just a robotic third arm, would make my job a whole lot easier.

I'm excited to increase my robot knowledge and I hope to do justice to Tony's awesome blog!

Leaving On A Jetpack

I'm going to fight alien invaders for the rest of the week over at Dana C.'s blog Mundane Mischief.

Becca F., mastermind behind Waiting on Wisdom, will take the reigns for the rest of the week as second in command. Wish her luck! (She needs it).

A Questionnaire for Joss Whedon

After Tuesday's tantalizing news break, I became more interested in Joss Whedon's involvement with the auction of the Terminator Franchise.

I figured I'd try to reach him with a few questions regarding the subject. Even if this message never crosses his sight, it's always fun to speculate how he would answer! So here we go:

1. Assume that you bought Terminator for $10,000. Would you put the extra $59,990,000 the auction estimates to sell the franchise for to good use in production of more Terminator films? Or would you save the extra dough?

2. Let's say you didn't spend the $59,990,000 on Terminator. How would you spend it? I'd live like Bruce Wayne (even though if Bruce Wayne woke up one day and found he only had $60 million left he'd probably kill himself and every criminal in Gotham.)

3. Would you go television series or film first? Or were you thinking of any other alternative mediums? A Terminator table-top game would be bad ass.

4. Would you try to get Arnold involved again? Who do you think would make awesome replacements? Gerard Butler for T-600 or bust!

5. You said you'd also take the Batman franchise for $10,000 as well. What do you do if you got your hands on that hot ticket?

6. You can buy any series for $10,000. Which would you buy? Which wouldn't you touch with a ten foot pole?

7.Not related, but certainly important, if you had a robot that transformed into anything, what would it be? I'd want  a  robot polar bear, because when you're face to face with a polar bear you know you're boned. If it transforms into a crazy fighting robot in front of you, you know you're double boned.

I think these questions are appropriate! I'm hoping for the best.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Airplanes Should Blow Your Mind On A Daily Basis

A long, long time ago I wrote about how people will constantly be marveled by the advances of technology. This sentiment was reaffirmed by a little old lady that I see every day when I walk to class.

She stopped me one day and pointed at the sky, "You see that?" She was looking at an airplane overhead with astonishment.

"Airplanes are pretty cool, aren't they." I said and smiled politely before telling her to have a good day. That moment was just interesting to look back on, because I know one day I'm going to stare at a teleportation machine or something and say "Isn't that the most incredible thing you've ever seen?"

The person I'm talking to might be a smart ass, though. "Who hasn't seen a teleportation machine?" He'll goof to his friends after I had left, "Guy probably drives his car like Barney Rubble, too." They probably won't make that comment because they'll have forgotten who Barney even was. Sad.

Friday, November 6, 2009

F.A.Q. Numero Uno

Someone asked me, "What was the first movie about robots that made me so interested in the subject?"

I answered, "The Brave Little Toaster. Even though he wasn't a robot, he was a little piece of technology that really made an impact on my childhood. He taught me how to be brave, damnit! He couldn't teach me how to be a toaster, so I'll go halfway and say he did an alright job with the whole being brave thing. And nobody wants to be little, unless you're Vern Troyer, then you've got the market for being little by the sack."

"That's offensive!" That someone responded.

"Dude, that guy is making bank. Sometimes I wish I were a foot tall so I can star in the next Willy Wonka film" The person walked away, and I felt bad. Now I think that my F.A.Q. will only be one question long. If you're reading this, frequent asker, and I think you might, I want to say I'm sorry! Ask me more questions that won't insult people. What's my favorite icecream flavor? Chocolate. It's so tasty.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Joss Whedon Makes a Serious Bid for Terminator Franchise

And his serious bid was $10,000. No joke.

Even though Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffy, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse series, isn't offering a substantial amount of dough, (the auction, according to CNN, is supposed to accumulate around $60 million) Whedon promised that his direction would rejuvenate the series.

In his bid he hinted at some changes he'd like to make based off of his opinion of the Terminator Salvation film, "Christian Bale's John Connor will get a throat lozenge. This will also help his Batwork (ten grand for that franchise too, btw.)"

My take on this jab at the Terminator franchise auction?

1) Whedon needs to back the hell up from the fragile beauty that is the new Batman films. If Bale's contract is terminated (harhar) then what stops director Chris Nolan from up and leaving (besides millions of dollars)? There is the slight possibility that we'd have to deal with Joel Schumacher again. Dear lord, no.

2) Even though his auction was in jest, I think Whedon has some real interest in acquiring the Terminator franchise. Sure he probably won't put up sixty big ones to outright own it, but that ain't stopping him from directing a couple of films, or more interestingly a television series?

Now let's assume that Whedon was able to buy Terminator for $10,000. Do you think he'd do the franchise justice? My bet is that there would be some real sexual tension between the T-600 football jock and the 25-year-old going on 18-year-old high school bombshell. It's time to buy me a TiVo!

What I Hate About Human Contact (As Opposed to Robot Contact)

"We meet again." The hypothetical hippie was sitting on my porch, waiting for me to get out of class.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Get So Many Random Spontaneous Questions That I Sometimes Burst Into Flames

Some hippie asked me today, "What are your five favorite animals?"

Without hesitation, I answered "Sabertooth Tiger, T-Rex, Triceratops, Mastodon, and Pterodactyl."

The hippie responded, "Those aren't animals! Those are dinosaurs."

"Sorry that my answer doesn't make creationists cream their pants", I responded to the hippie's objection, "but I do have a certain affection towards the platypi." 

"Did you know that they have an awesome traveling  robotic animal zoo which features a robotic platypus?" the hippie inquired.

"No, I didn't!" I enthusiastically exclaimed, "But how did you know I like robots?"

The hippie shrugged, "I'm a writing device, you see. I can be used to better assimilate homework assignments into your blog posts."

"Well, thanks I guess. I'll see you when I see you!" And with that, the hippie tipped her straw hat and flew off into the sun.

Holy moley am I sleep deprived.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Robot Halloween Costume Round Up, Yall!

I know Halloween's over, but if I got to suffer Christmas already then you can deal with some awesome costumes a couple of days after the holiday!

1. Look at this guy's gams over at oobject. I wonder how he was able to move with all that extra height (stilettos are still out of my grasp of comprehension.)

2. Another impressive model that probably took years to manufacture. Thanks Dave Moodle Dad!

3. Skullheadonpants at Deviant Art made a Gir costume for his eight year old. Don't know who Gir is? The eight year old probably didn't either. Educate yourselves.

4. There are probably a million costumes of transformers on Youtube.

5. To end, Jew-ish proves that all you need is love (and a pop to the chin once in a while).

Here's to Halloween, the least lame holiday of the year!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mini-Manventure: Salem On My Mind

I was planning on weaving an epic tale through this post filled to the brim with my wacky adventures accompanied with photographs. But the camera never charged so there are no pictures. Instead, I will give you sample of a Salem, Massachusetts Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sometimes Robots Can Be Scary: A Link Round-Up!

The title says it all after I saw this in my regular Robot News. A robot which controls a robot army to explore new worlds? What kind of implications can be made about robots that command other robots? Soon they will be self-sufficient, I'll bet you on that.

And that is the day when we'll be completely boned. Speaking of robot-boning, this year was the Matrix's 10th Anniversary. I was unaware of this because the sequels ruined the franchise for me, but I caught the first film halfway through yesterday on G4's Movies That Don't Suck feature. It was good to see how well that movie withstood time, and comparatively how awful the other two movies still remain. 

G4's other feature, Attack of the Show, also announced a remake of Short Circuit, which isn't scary in the sense of robots wanting to rip you into pieces and use you as a battery (spoiler for the Matrix, even though it's been ten years since the movie came out, get with the times) but it is scary because movie producers nowadays love to destroy their precious intellectual properties in order to make a quick buck.

One last scary thing: this one doesn't have to deal with robots specifically, but instead technology. The late Chris Farley was used in a commercial for DirecTV. By having supporting actor David Spade break the fourth wall, this blog post asks whether is resurrects the late comedian into something macabre.

My vote? Creepy but fascinating. I think Chris Farley's passing was one of the most tragic of celebrity deaths, right up there with Bernie Mac.

Also, Happy Halloween (soon). Expect a post of some Halloween shenanigans (and the Max Brooks footage once I can edit the film).

Zombie Survival Guide author Max Brooks at Sage College

Let us wax philosophical for a bit. There is one question which should burden every human's mind, and in this question you have to understand what kind of person you are, and clearly understand your interpretation of the world. There is no room for second doubting your beliefs with this difficult, if not maddening, issue.

What is your zombie plan?

I know I know. This is a blog about giant fighting robots but humor me for a minute! 

Max Brooks, author of the Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z, has dedicated much of his time to help those who want to prepare for the zombiepocalypse understand how to cope with all of the issues which will arise once the shit hits the fan. Transportation, weaponry, health- he's got you the bases covered in his two bestselling novels, and if you want to take Z-Day seriously, I'd recommend getting his books.

Albany, New York has been honored by Brooks by going to Sage College to lecture and tackling the questions of zombie enthusiasts with definitive answers. The event all together was fun and relatively calm; even though I expected a larger turnout for a superstar in horror literature, only half of the bleachers in the gymnasium which housed the event were filled.

And even though his public service was hilarious and well executed, the night of zombie mirth was hindered by the fact that I was the only person that dressed up as a zombie (a zombie clown to be exact).

Overall, it was a blast to see Max Brooks live and have him laugh at my costume. Check out the youtube clip below to see some of the show!

update: I will be editing the footage of the show for time, since Youtube removed the video from their website which took all night to upload because it was too long (it was thirty seconds over guys. thanks you tools).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Manventures: Karaoke Makes Me Feel Like a Beatle!

I think the lesson I learned over this weekend is that I should bring my own camera and take awesome pictures of the events I attend.

To keep it short and sweet, like Gary Coleman on Different Strokes:

I went to Daniel Nester's book release and karaoke party. The day after that I saw Dan  and his friend Chris Connelly again and stole their umbrellas. That same day, I went to the zombie march of Albany and didn't take pictures. And then Sunday I was supposed to go to the Mastodon/Dethklok show, but funds have been short and I really needed to go to the Grocery show, so me and my apartment dwelling buddies watched The Thing (spoiler in youtube clip. watch out!) while enjoying hummus.

The issue I have is whether to take a camera with me during these moments or not. All I know is that I missed out on some excellent photo opportunities this weekend, and now my blog is found wanting.

Sure is some crazy fun life experience though. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Speaking of Robot Dancing

To those who wanted to skip my more serious toned post, I suggested that you watch this video.

And in so many ways is this video more entertaining than my dreams and aspirations for this blog (one day it wants to be a firefighter). What I need you all to do is check out these videos because they will make you smile.

Battle of the Robot Dance Moves

From the film Eurotrip, this clip raises the question of what makes the weird robot impersonator. Is it their tenacity? Or is it the ability to make cool robot noises with their mouths?

I really don’t know what to say about this clip besides it has an awesome audio track. Also, it’s hard to turn away from the robot toy’s gyrating crotch. Why did I watch three minutes of this?!

Basically it’s a car that transforms into a robot and then dances. Michael Bay ain’t got shit on this commercial. It’s awesome.

You have to admit that Michael had some pretty sick moves. You also have to admit that he had an unfair advantage of actually being a robot.

I'm thinking I'll have to come back to the subject of robot dancing. Perhaps a study, because there might be a direct correlation between dancing like a robot and happiness.

Not really Manventures, but still: Deadliest Cans Haiku Epilogue

Deadliest Cans ends.
I donated the money
to fight world hunger.

And that's that. Moving on!

(DISCLAIMER: This post is about the blog itself, not robots. If you don't care, skip this post or click this link to see robot dancing.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Manventures: Deadliest Cans Part Tres

I've got myself in quite the mental pickle. The whole collecting cans for profit thing never sat right on my chest (akin to a recyclable cat trying to breathe out my soul!) so I've decided in good spirits to donate the money I've earned.

Also, it was hard to justify the gambling portion of this competition because both Frank and I were supposed to publicly address how much we each earned, but that didn't happen. Instead, I have decided to extend an olive branch to my opponent and call Deadliest Cans in.

So here are the final numbers:
$4.50 from cans
$2.15 from bottles
no bottles were refunded because that return machine was broken. The bottles will be donated*

And below is photo evidence

I want to thank everybody for their support in Deadliest Cans. Special thanks goes out to ENG315, and I want them all to know that if they want to compete on the blogs, let me know! 

Damn I'm a nerd. But I love it! Look forward to one more installment of Deadliest Cans and find out where I donate the money.

*left outside of Price Chopper for someone else to turn in.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

SNL's Insurance Against Robots for the Elderly

Thanks Dan for the link! I always figured prescription medicine could be used as an alternative source of fuel.

UPDATE: Had to remove Hulu from the page because they threatened legal ramifications.

Just kiddin'. It just looked like garbage with the current format.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Manventures: Deadliest Cans Part Deuce

And so the epic competition begins.

Frank Cutie agreed to the challenge, under the conditions of a bet; the opposing party to score the largest haul, in terms of monetary value, would win the other's cash. He calls himself “a gambling man”. Well, just to let you know I have a gambling problem. It really is an issue, and you’re the enabler, Frank! Shame on you. I accept your terms because I’m ill!

After my last class, I prepared a battle plan to pull a quick lead over the Catfish. More or less, I wanted to wear the proper attire. I concluded to wear warm, thick clothes (a sweater, a snow cap, and my awesome gloves that look like a muppet) and wearing my handy dandy headlight to help in the excavation process.

I would also need a mighty vessel to transport our plunders. The day before, when first negotiating the challenge with Frank, I happened upon a red spray-painted price chopper shopping cart pushed over neglectfully on its side near my house. I ran to it, and tipped it back on its side, and I felt like luck was on my side and knew it that this bet was a good idea.

Or some kind of demonic crimson red shopping cart which refused to lose. I very well should have gotten rid of it; one of its wheels were busted and dragged on the cement walkways, making a horrifying scraping noise like fingers running over a chalkboard made out of sand paper while a chorus of demons ran their fingers over the surface of a stretched balloon. Yea, it was that grating on the nerves.

 A friend presented me with a superior Home Depot shopping cart, and I refused to take it. It didn’t make any sense at first when explaining why I liked my shopping cart better; the Home Depot cart was twice the size, very sturdy, and orange, which possibly could be helpful in promoting proper traffic safety.

I didn’t want it. All the reasoning I needed was that “it’s badass”, if I remember stating correctly. (And by the way, its name is Epyon now. Thanks Justin for your vote! I think its appropriate because both the Gundam robot and the cart look sweet, and they’re both red.)

I knew if I wanted to be successful against the hardened veteran, I would need more than just a rad shopping cart. I would have to employ a crew as tough as nails as I was. My usual partner in shenanigans ze Grif served as my first mate. The arch-nemesis that lived under us, Dave, decided he would photograph the opening ceremonies, which included coming up with pirate names for each other (I’m Cap’n Crunch and ze Grif is Peg Face. Why does he need a pirate name when he’s already under an assumed name? Because everybody needs a pirate name, naysayer. Dave didn’t want a pirate name or his picture taken. Such an elusive arch nemesis. I’ll catch him next time.) and then followed us as we ventured into the heart of the menacing urban community.

At first, we had our concerns about the whole premise of the venture, and these doubts did deter our first attempts at collection. We were nervous about getting into the recycling bins, flinched at every move, and after the first several unlucky recycling bins that some other connoisseur of cans had already beaten us to the punch and only left the rift raft of recyclables that were not valued in New York (I’m looking at you, Arizona Iced Tea, you delicious betrayer.)

However, after our first find, we built the confidence that we needed, like a Disney sports film, and started getting our hands dirty. I called our technique “conscientious shifting”, that if we didn’t see anything worth while we wouldn’t tear into someone’s garbage, for hygienic and courteous reasons. If we did hit a good recycling bin, we’d take a mental note of what the garbage set up looked like, go to town and conjure up any profitable recyclable we could find, and then replicate what the garbage looked like before we dug deep.

This process took a bit longer, but I think it was worth the effort since we didn’t get punched in the face for throwing garbage all over the place.

Over the night, the crew only got into two confrontations. The first was with an elderly couple, and the spat tore at ze Grif’s heartstrings. As we systematically shifted our way through the recycling bins in the neighborhood, one elderly man approached Jesse asking him “not to touch his garbage.” Concerned, I walked over and heard the man again plead to leave his garbage alone. I assured him neither of us would touch his garbage, when his wife, a woman similar in age, stated in an assertive and quiet manner “We’re too old to pick up what you throw all over the place. Please leave.”

We walked away, and ze Grif felt a tinge of remorse for our actions today. Sure, we did not abuse the old people, but we were taking away from a limited commodity neither of us really needed besides a way to amuse ourselves on a Tuesday night.

“Over two hours”, ze Grif calculated, “We might make five dollars. This doesn’t feel right.” I reasoned that this was a homework assignment, and even if we didn’t need this money we could put it to good use, unless Frank won it, then ze Grif should feel worse because then the two of us took away these precious recyclables for nothing. This encouragement, and Dave’s boredom of hearing us contemplate our devastation on the can economy, motivated ze Grif to strive to win this contest. For the little guy. And for me, since I didn’t want to lose and I’m a cold hearted bastard.

The second confrontation was not with a person. I kid you not, I was shifting through a recycling bin and saw a peculiar bottle in the holding. As I went to investigate it, a god damn opossum which had nestled in between some of the garbage bolted out and started to freak out, running back in forth. I reeled in horror and screamed. Dave and ze Grif had a good chortle at my expense, and then took a picture of my assailant.

That beast would have done some damage! I’m still shaking, hoping it doesn’t remember my face.

Overall, the first night was a fun endeavor and an eye-opening experience. HOWEVER, I will not be posting how much money I accrued yet, (is it more or less than five dollars?? Who knows?!) since Frank might be hot on my trail and I don’t want him to know if he should pick up the pace.

To be continued.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Manventures: Deadliest Cans Part One

This weekend has been less eventful than the previous two, and I fear that my apartment was not filled with fun. According to the study of Speedology, this house should have exploded.

Maybe some kind of deity has forgiven my trespass, (a deity of fun? St. Chucky Cheese?) hoping that next week’s Manventures will be so entertaining that my neighbors will quake in fear and awe while I clear my throat?

Uh huh uh huh uh huh. God damn. (I listened to this song a million times this weekend. And I listened to this one a lot, too.)

Regarding the weekend; it should have been more exciting than it actually was. The ruckus started Thursday night with a 21st birthday party, which was celebrated like a children’s slumber party. It ended with a black and white formal party which turned out to be me and ze Grif wearing suits around a bunch of people wearing sports jerseys and wife beaters who smelled like their spilled beer because after a point in their inebriated state, fratboys need a sippy cup and a fucking bib.

There was one fun part about this specific party, though Frank “the Catfish” Cutie, who sang a wonderful combination of songs (I couldn’t name them if I had all my lifelines), and danced on a glass table.

I’ve known Frank through several classes through my collegiate endeavors, but this was one of the first times that I was hanging out with him in a social event. Except for a “Whats up dude? Nothin’, glad you came!”, I only got to talk to the Catfish for about two minutes before he was consumed by the party horde.

Frank was wearing a cool suit though, his whole apparel completely white. Maybe like a phantom, he dissipated over the crowd like the fog.

I could come up with rhetoric all day. Push comes to shove I couldn't find Frank again because there were a ton of people in a small space, but I wanted to continue our conversation more than just the friendly formalities!

The day afterwards, ze Grif and I ran into Frank again. We talked about the party (and how craaazay it was), and then about the classes Frank and I share. ze Grif broke the ice and asked “Hey. You’re the can guy, right? We want to compete against you!”

Frank was curious, so I continued for ze Grif like a spouse, “I want to make a competition video, like Deadliest Catch, only with cans. Interested?”

And here we are, in this blog, announcing a collaborative effort. And I’ll Form the Head and Canned Heat will be going toe-to-toe to see how much recyclables we can procure over one Tuesday night.

One may ask, “How the duck does this relate to robots?” It doesn’t. Unless I can get my hands on a shopping cart which I will name after a Transformer. (Leave comments, damn you! Give me suggestions. Right now I am partial to Sound Wave- the audio cassette version. Not the satellite. Gotta show support for a robot in need.)

If I have to lug around cans by hand, maybe I’ll invest the money I earn into some kind of robot paraphernalia. Like an action figure with karate chopping action. Or one of those really complicated robot models that take hours to construct because the pieces are really tiny, and then you get high off of the model glue.

Aren’t blogs great? I worked out what I can do with the money over the course of writing a paragraph. If I can make enough money, I’ll invest it into one of those aggravating models and document or videotape the procedure! Are you not entertained?!

So this is something to look forward to, Robofans! Keep checking in for the next episode of Manventures: Recycling Edition, or whatever better title I can muster up. Deadliest Can? That sounds pretty good.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The robot companion picked up the elderly lady off the floor and walked her down the corridor to her bedside. It tucked her in with a vacant smile and light bulb eyes, promising to never leave her side.

Now available from Life Alert! Get yours today.

Robot Gaming: Android by Jadegame.com

Plunging into the drudge of addictinggames.com, I found a gem amongst the user created content. The game is called Android, and it plays like the classic Donkey Kong with its spring and ladder platformer elements, with a hint of Bomberman for a twist of problem solving.

Check this game out!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Star Wars with Live Orchestra and a Yodeling Yoda

I don't know if there is a yodeling Yoda or not, but wouldn't that be hilarious? In all seriousness, or as serious as you can be about Star Wars, the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA hosted a viewing of Star Wars with a full orchestra and CP30 voice actor Anthony Daniels narrating it.

This is relevant to my interests because of George Lucas' contribution to robots in science fiction. This event might intrigue you because, well, the Star Wars epic encompasses nearly every aspect of every science fiction genre.

They're good at what they do! And they can milk a franchise like a nursing Tauntaun.

NOTE: I just wanted to post a link to the Tauntaun just in case you weren't aware of what they were. I'm so happy that one of the first links was to a Tauntaun sleeping bag. It is so gross and funny at the same time and I WANT ONE.

Androids Learning How To Speak?

There's some interesting developments in the world of robotics and AI engineering- Italian Researchers plan on teaching one of their robots how to speak.

This specific robot, a toddler sized mechanized Android, is being designed as a social companion. It already has a recognition program that allows it to use cameras for sight and identification, and this robot already has the ability to interact with its environment.

Whether this specific robot will be taught to speak is questionable although it has the potential.

Stelfano Nolfi, one of the Italian researchers, holds hope that the robot will be able to speak, but programming the task will take effort and testing, "Like in the case of humans and animals, it has to develop these skills by a process of trial and error in a sense."

What I want to know is when we are able to teach robots how to speak, how will we be able to shut them up? They have been silent for so long lord knows what they'll complain about. They'll probably complain about shitty operating systems like Vista.

Atleast we'll be able to negotiate and compromise though before they begin the robot uprising. These kinds of relationships are all about communication.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Robot Gaming: Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar

I figured I'd also link this classic too-Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar is a staple game in the flash enthusiast's collection.

It's a bit easier than The Tickler and you'll find yourself laughing through it with the ridiculous sounds that your robot dinosaur, either Tyrannosaurus X or Dinomite, make when they shoot lasers out of their mouths.

The gameplay is simple and easy to understand too. Use your mouse to direct the flying robot dinosaur, and click to shoot lasers. There's something about writing the words "flying robot dinosaur" together that makes me feel warm inside like Christmas morning. Throwing the word "laser" into that same sentence is gratuitous though. There's so much sweet shit going on in this game that you're likely to develop a cavity.

In short, check this game made by Arcade Bomb out if you think you're awesome enough.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Robot Gaming: The Tickler

There's a multitude of things that can be happening when I walk into my apartment and I hear screaming.

a) ze Grif can be playing a violent internet flash video game.
b) Lunarsaurus is screaming to relax his throat for his heavy metal choir rehearsals. Therapeutic and Traumatizing.
c) My arch nemesis Dave is playing Dexter again.

Today was a little bit of a and b. Dave is dead to me (he's vacationing to see his girlfriend. DEAD I TELL YA). More importantly though, ze Grif happened upon the robot killer flash game The Tickler.

I just tried my hand at it and it infuriated me. The premise of the game is fun, you choke humans instead of tickling them, but as ze Grif stated today "If you don't have the chance to win in the first five minutes, you flip out". I gotta work on my gaming etiquette. Or maybe just flip out more while I try my hand at the game again.

You start out by killing your creator, and then you work your way through levels of killing civilians and military. As you go about your murderous rampage, you get fun little upgrades like extended arms to choke out people even further away from you, and lasers to shoot them with while you choke them out.

The game is about choking people out. That's it. It's like living the life of Wayne Brady.

Give props where props are due. Thanks Kongregate and Revzin Ideaworks for your propagation that all robots want to do is choke others. You're hurting the community (but you wouldn't be wrong).

Monday, October 5, 2009

Transformer Star turns Comic Creator

Tyrese Gibson, actor in such popular films as Transformers and Death Race, (the latter I just watched recently. Pretty decent if you're into the new gore cinema genre), is working on a new comic series called Mayhem.

Right now Image Comics has released two issues, and a third one can be downloaded through Itunes that has special effects and voice overs. Shiny.

The best part of this new super hero? Gibson and "Mayhem" have already been offered a movie deal, which he supposedly has declined for now until comic sales improve.

From his CNN interview, "You can't expect to sell out the Staples Center until you sell a bunch of records." Right on, Gibson. Everybody knows its a matter of time before Mayhem hits the big screen, but its nice to know that Tyrese Gibson wants to settle the roots of his character before he sells the fruit for millions and millions of dollars.

Manventures: Appleocalypse

You may or may not have picked up on the fact that if I don’t do anything over the weekend my apartment will explode. To save the lives of my innocent roommates, and my neighbor/arch-nemesis, Dave, I have to go out on MANVENTURES and witness the world and its awesome glory (all the while thinking of some horrible robot jokes to justify posting about personal outings in a hobby enthusiast’s blog.)

This week, instead of getting shit on by bad weather, I decided to head home and spend some quality time with the family. So, I guess this week’s installment of Manventures is more like Famventures (a mix between “family” and “adventures”, use it and love it). The first couple of days were marred by a weeklong sickness, evident in the post which I compared editing my blog-roll to the elimination process of the Next Iron Chef, which kept me incapacitated until this morning.

However, sickness can not keep me away from tradition. I forced the cold out of my body like an estranged lover and little steam engined through to our family activities; apple picking.

Let me put it in perspective to you- people love to do a little bit of manual labor once in a while for that authentic feeling of “roughing it”. A similar experience is using the automatic cashier machines at Walmart.

I’m not dissing on the picking of the apples. It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the year for me. Except for the part when my family gets rowdy and starts to chuck apples at each other. My older brother left me with a bruise on my knee that I know will leave me walking with a limp for the next couple of days, but I got the upper hand right before the event ended.

I can pass off the lurch like I’m Dr. House though, all sexy douchebag like. Did you know the new season started? That’s one of those shows where you don’t want to watch it but then you watch the first couple of minutes, then you’re definitely sure it is lupus and House walks all over you and he’s so bad but so good. What.

Tangents aside- famventures are much better than staying cooped up in a house rigged to explode unless I fill it to the capacity with fun.

I need to talk about a robot before I finish writing this blog. How about Astroboy? I should go see that movie, I guess. Looks decent.

In all actuality, I went to see Zombieland this weekend and it was zombielicious. Why don’t I just write about zombies instead like the genre traitor I am?

Next week prepare to see a change in content- “And I’ll Form the BRAINSS” is much more catchy anyways.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Titan Maximum Review: Based on Episode 2

The whole point of a series premiere is to get you hooked, and that's why I felt it was necessary to exclude the pilot episode of Titan Maximum from the proper review. There's always going to be bells and whistles going off when a show launches that will make you flip out like you just got an ice cream cake.

It’s a good feeling, and you wanna flip out with everybody else, but it dulls the critical senses.

After all the commotion died out around the Titan Maximum release, from the series premiere last week to their series premiere party (quite impressive for a cartoon, I’ll admit), I felt like I can watch the show without influence and give my honest opinion.

And now, for my honest opinion: AND I’LL FORM THE HEAD gives TITAN MAXIMUM a solid “cool”.

My main complaint would be its too short. Fifteen minutes barely does the show’s ambitious plot justice. I was just getting comfortable with the show’s new slew of characters, Admiral Bitchface, Sasha’s father, the President of Titan, and the new antagonistic chibi anime robot girl, Claire, when the episode abruptly ended. Maybe it’s a good complaint, because I want more, but it’s aggravating because I have to wait another week for another fifteen minute snippet.

The best thing the show has going for it is its humor. Not only does it poke fun at the genre- best scene of the night was the “Joker” of the squadron attempting to infiltrate Gibb’s fortress being quickly reprimanded for his corny jokes, and then he admits he was forced into the professional Joker military position in training camp- but Titan Maximum is also developing its own inside gags. A good example would be Sasha, the most characterized teammate of Titan Maximum so far with her over the top sex antics and general pleasure from tormenting the rest of the team. Right now she’s the only character rounding out, but the premise of a stereotypical giant fighting robot team allows for the flat characters which make up the rest of the cast.

So I’m sticking to my guns. Titan Maximum is cool. It isn’t great yet but the show is giving itself a lot of room to grow and that’s the best way to go about working on a show with such a peculiar story.

Titan Maximum, I’ll be watching next week and I hope you keep upping the ante. (and for all of you who didn’t watch this weeks episode, next weeks episode involves punching a giant frost monster in the junk. Who would miss that?)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Spread the Joy on Thick: Transformers 3 set to release in 2011

Michael Bay plans on releasing Transformers 3 as early as July 1st, 2011. Now to ask the big question: will the sexual tension between Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox's characters Sam and Mikaela result in a wedding ceremony? Speculation arises because everybody knows that the Transformers films, sans robots, is a direct adaptation of the American Pie series.

Episode One: Sam meets Mikaela and creams in his pants when his car turns into a robot.

Episode Two: Sam and Mikaela learn to love each other more after participating in their friends wonky sex adventures (Giant Robots beating the crap out of each other. Kinky.)

Episode Three: ...there's a pattern here and you can't deny it! Or Frodo throws a ring into the lava which burnt Anakin something awful.

Also, you cannot deny the similar proportions between Labeouf and Biggs' heads.

Triple also combo, you cannot deny that Jason Biggs would have made a way better Sam Witwicky. Let Shia out of the contract, Michael Bay! You know he's happier when he's impersonating Harrison Ford.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Giant Robot being constructed in Japan

Sure its a model, but it's still an impressive feat none-the-less.

Having the Transformer Live Action Movie Blog in my blog roll paid off afterall! Now, which of these RSS feeds are not worthy of my attention? I shall cut one of them off day by day until the true champion reigns supreme. Like Iron Chef.

Speaking of which, I am going to watch some Food Network, enjoying my Nyquil induced nonsense babble in one more post, and pass out. Goodnight ya'll! (Now I'm channeling Paula Deen. She sure loves butter.)

update: watch the clip here

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The issue with having a giant robot hand.

Had to post this because it's simply adorable.

This robot hallmark card short does bring up larger debates however. Is it plausible, or effective even, to shoot off your robotic arm like a missile?

Think of the repercussions! Now you're fighting with only one arm. Even if you survive after this point, shooting off your forearm can't be cost effective. Do you think giant robotic limbs grow on trees?

Food for thought.

And before I head out for the night (fighting off the swine flu. Not really, but I do have a craving for bacon. Oh no. Maybe I got the zombie swine flu?) I wanted to post another link to a robot related comic- We The Robots by Chris Harding. It's wonderfully drawn and touches base with robot philosophy without getting crazy ahead of itself to alienate a larger audience. Also, Mr. Harding's animation has appeared in The Animation Show. Basically, badassery.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Let our links combine: Degrees of Separation from Facebook

Lets start off with the official Titan Maximum Facebook Page. Right now it's a celebration of the premiere episode with random quotes, comments on the official after party, and proclamations of adoration for the shows roster of characters.

Here's a few comments left by fans. Sorry Andy for stealing your idea (but it's too good to pass up!)

Jason Van Horn- you suck up. Of course your review of the show is plastered on the fan page because you give it a "Five out of Five". Five what, huh? Fingers? Toes? I'm just yanking your crank though- Jason gives a good synopsis of the show, and points out a couple of high lights, such as Stupid Monkey's attention to Titan Maximum's joke pacing,

"The death of Spud, for instance, is a hilarious moment, which is nothing but him falling to his death for several seconds. Another delay joke has to do with Leon, the grease monkey that's actually a monkey, who never says anything, but rather only gives long and vacant looks."

Although I'm sure Mr. Van Horn (or is it just Mr. Horn?) had the best intentions for his write up of Titan Maximum, it is better used for product advertisement than an actual review.

Now for something completely different. No, not really.

Although Bonnie Burton didn't directly post her interview, labeling Star Wars to anything will give it fanatical attention. I would really love to know what kind of negotiations went behind getting this conversational piece together. Bonnie edits the interview to give the individuals behind Titan Maximum a relaxed tone, along with some light teasing.

A quote from the interview:

"Matt [Senreich]: We also had to one-up Clone Wars director Dave Filoni and integrate some CG into our stop-motion world a little bit. So we throw it back in Filoni's court, and let's just see if he can put some stop-motion into The Clone Wars now!"

What a goofy bunch of hooligans they are, sticking it to "the man" of sci-fi. The tone of this segment of the interview is carried throughout the entirety of the article, but you gotta know that Stupid Monkey is fiddling their thumbs in satisfaction because now every fanboy and their momma is going to at least check out the pilot episode.

And finally, the best post from the Titan Maximum Facebook:

Thank you, Mr. Crysix, for your honesty and ambition to announce your devotion to the public stage.

(Sasha was the promiscuous pilot of the black aircraft, in case you didn't know.)

Also while looking up some character information, I happened upon Dan Driscoll's, stop animator for the Titan Maximum show, professional blog. Something else is going up on my blog roll! While the website doesn't have any actual footage of the animation process, you can still check out some titan maximum clips and check out the direct link to his regular animation website. Perhaps I should look into contacting him? Why not!

Finally, a blog that hit close to home today. Rock on, Jeff Zwirek! Comic blogs FTMFW.