When Two Chatbots Talk Hilarity Ensues

I could see this coming - having moved Racter online for a major BBS in the late 80's, chatterbots have always been a fascination of mine. And of course there's RFC 439, when Parry went to the Doctor ...

There's just got to be a joke that begins, "Two chatbots walk into a bar ..." because when chatbots talk, it's funny. Cornell University researchers wanted to see what would happen when two chatbots talked to one another. So they rigged up two systems that would allow instances of the chatbot Cleverbot to interact. It doesn't take long for the two to begin arguing, to hold a conversation about God and to express their wishes that they could have body.

(link) [HotHardware]

08:26 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Designing an 18k gold, $60,000 phone

Cellphone of the gods? (Look at the company name ...)

It's not every day that we’re asked to make a mobile device that strives to execute contemporary luxury design without compromise.

(link) [DesignFax]

a tip of the hat to Karl

19:16 /Humor | 1 comment | permanent link

The Fountain of Youth

It seems as though a scientist had discovered the long lost formula sought by Ponce de Leon for the elixir of youth. But there was a problem: the recipe called for the eggs of a very particular species of sea bird, which was native to a very small portion of the Florida coast. And some developer had opened an African Safari theme park right on that very spot.

But this wasn't the only issue. According to some fragments of ancient documents describing the effects, it could be bungled in such a way as to cause instant death rather than everlasting youth. Those same documents stated that the only other animal besides man that was effected by the drink were cetaceans, a family of marine mammals, including dolphins, whales, etc.

But who could resist the Fountain of Youth? Our intrepid scientist got access to a local water park by posing as a marine biologist, figuring he could test the stuff on the animals there before he quaffed it himself. And he convinced the owner of the safari park that he was an ornithologist, in order to get to the nesting grounds of the birds. Everything seemed to be falling into place.

And indeed, all was going well - he gathered the eggs without a hitch. On the way back to his vehicle, he encountered a pride of lions directly in his path, dozing regally in the summer sun. He very carefully picked his way across, and finally got back to the parking lot, ready to jump in his car and hard for the aquarium. But instead, he was met by the police and arrested.

The charge? Transporting young gulls across stately lions for immortal porpoises...

21:40 /Humor | 1 comment | permanent link

Fossil found of prehistoric prawn monster

Jumbo shrimp ...

A giant prehistoric shrimp-like monster which terrorised the oceans more than half a billion years ago has been discovered by scientists.

(link) [Daily Mail]

20:51 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Wearable Sensor Reveals what Overwhelms You

Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive SunglassesIt's been done: pictured is Zaphod Beeblebrox, former Galactic President, wearing the Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.

MIT ain't got nothin' on Zaphod!

In fact, it's rumored that Joo Janta got the idea from an Earthling invention of the 1970's: the mood ring. But who knows?

What do you think most stresses you out during the day? A new type of wearable stress sensor, which constantly checks for signs of anxiety, could give you a precise answer. And it might not be what you think.

(link) [MIT Technology Review]

21:15 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Honest Politicians











20:08 /Humor | 2 comments | permanent link

Newspapers, GOP call for congressman to resign

This adds a whole new, realistic dimension to the term "Congress critters" ...

A photo of Rep. David Wu wearing a tiger costume and other unusual revelations about his mental health are increasing pressure on the seven-term Oregon Democrat to step down.

(link) [Yahoo!News]

22:48 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

MGM Grand No Longer Charging To Get A Non-Smoking Room

This one really deserved an irony meter graphic, but it exploded when I tried to attach it. It was beyond pegged by a country mile. Why? Here's how the MGM Grand explained their change in policy:

Some have accused our Company of encouraging unhealthy behavior through this policy. That was not our intent. We regret if this policy sent the wrong message to anyone. MGM Resorts International encourages healthy living practices for its guests and employees.

Mind you, this is in "Sin City" - prostitution is legal, gambling and drinking are encouraged, if not required. Banquets are laid out 24 hours a day, and food is served in portions practically guaranteed to turn an anorexic morbidly obese. Any manner of vice ever invented by humanity is available here, if not within the hotel itself then certainly a within a short walk. If the MGM Grand really wanted to encourage "healthy living practices" they'd have to tear themselves down and revert to desert, where no sane human wants to live in any case...

A couple weeks ago, we told you about how the MGM Grand Las Vegas had begun charging $20 per night to guarantee non-smoking rooms to guests. That didn't go over well with the general public and now the resort tells Consumerist that it's rescinded the policy.

(link) [The Consumerist]

12:57 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Catholic Church approves confession app

iConfess... from a long line of tat sold by the most materialistic religion on Midgard.

As the Washington Post's On Faith blog reported yesterday, an iPhone app designed to walk users through the sacrament of confession has received an official nod from a Catholic bishop in Indiana.

(link) [Washington Post]

22:11 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Saudi Arabia Detains Suspected Israeli Spy

Unbelievable ...

Saudi Arabia has detained a suspect accused of being a stealthy secret agent invading the kingdom on a spy mission from Israel. But interrogation could prove fruitless. The suspect is a bird.

(link) [AOL News]

14:25 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

What I Crave

Slider Candle

That's right - it's a slider scented candle! Gotta put this in my humor section, 'cause it's so over the top. But seriously, proceeds go to Autism Speaks, and as a grandfather to an autistic grandson, that's a worthy cause if there ever was one.

21:59 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Pat Robertson Calls For Marijuana Legalization

The End is Nigh ...

Count this among the 10 things nobody ever expected to see in their lifetimes: 700 Club founder Pat Robertson, one of the cornerstone figures of America's Christian right movement, has come out in favor of legalizing marijuana.

(link) [Huffington Post]

21:52 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Car-Eating Rabbits Invade Denver Airport

Bring forth the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch...

Travelers parking their cars at the Denver International Airport are falling victim to something worse than high fees: rabbits. The rodents seem to love the delicious soy-based wiring compound in cars built after 2002.

(link) [Jalopnik.com]

08:21 /Humor | 1 comment | permanent link

Monkeys hate flying squirrels, report monkey-annoyance experts

I wonder how one becomes a monkey-annoyance expert?

Japanese macaques will completely flip out when presented with flying squirrels, a new study in monkey-antagonism has found. The research could pave the way for advanced methods of enraging monkeys.

(link) [Christian Science Monitor]

via Dispatches from the Culture Wars

07:23 /Humor | 2 comments | permanent link

Report: Teens Using Digital Drugs to Get High

Never heard of this, but I've dealt with some software that got my blood pressure pretty high...

Kids around the country are getting high on the internet, thanks to MP3s that induce a state of ecstasy. And it could be a gateway drug leading teens to real-world narcotics.

(link) [Wired: ThreatLevel]

06:57 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link