Where’s Yoshimi when We Need Her Most??

I know it’s a serious issue, but I just can’t discuss the subject of killer robots with as much gravity as I should. With drones galore, the Phalanx CIWS all worked up, and this

Sean and the Robot

going on in cities all over the world, it’s no small wonder that movements like the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots are real things, championed by serious people. And when a weaponized Vicki kicks in my door and tears my spine out with her petite, possibly-flour-covered-from-cookie-baking-with-Joan hands, I’m sure I’ll regret being so blasé about the potential threat the new Stabitron 7800 poses to us all. Battlestar Galactica should’ve set me straight because if [SPOILER ALERT], the nicest [SPOILER ALERT] on the planet can be a robot in disguise, then I should be really scared.

A couple of months ago, Ken Jennings, Super Nerd gave a TED Talk about his record-setting stint on Jeopardy. More to the point, KenJen talked about what it was like to have his Neufchâtel schmeared all over the stage by Watson, an artificially intelligent computer that is capable of answering questions posed in natural language, as well as the future Robot Overlord of New Asimovia. Watching those episodes of Jeopardy, it quickly became clear that Watson will be a stern but benevolent ruler, and also that humans had instantly become obsolete in terms of what they could contribute to televised trivia competitions. In his Talk, however, Kenny Jee said something interesting. He said that no matter how much data computers might have access to, they lack the creativity and cleverness–and I would add the taco-eating-ness–of humans.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, although robots will soon rise up and attempt to enslave us–and then quickly succeed in those attempts–the inherent ingenuity of our species will guarantee that we’ll always be able to find employment as trench diggers and rock movers. And someone’s going to need to clean up after all those electric sheep.

Cry Little Sister. Then Stand by Me. And then Do the Twist[er].

It’s been a random kind of day.

That being said, remember that shirtless, oily sax player who jammed out during that boardwalk-hoopla scene in “The Lost Boys?” Remember? Jami Gertz (sans flying cows) bounced through the crowd while that sax dude gyrated and whipped and PT-ed his way into history. That dude was so, so oily. How old do you think that guy is now, anyway? I’m told he was Tina Turner‘s oily sax dude for several years during her Mad Max period. Sometimes I watch him and the way his juiced-up pecks seem to be working so hard not to explode out of his oily, oily skin, and I just feel sad. For him, mostly. No one should have to wear that many chains. Nor should anyone ever be that oily.

Putting that oily sax dude aside–his name is actually Tim Cappello, bee tee dubs–somebody should really convince Kiefer to resurrect David the Vampire’s immaculate white spikes (mullet optional). He rocked ’em when he was Ace Merrill, too. He seemed to be pretty much in love with them all through the 80s. I’m sure they must’ve somehow bestowed him with Samson-like powers because there’s no other way anyone would’ve been that afraid of either Ace or David, I don’t care how Canadian their mutual dad is. Then again, maybe at that point Wil Wheaton had already become incapable of fear.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

p.s. Timmy C. just celebrated his 58th birthday. But his moves are timeless.

You Ain’t Got No Alibi

Yeah. For starters, I have to apologize to my reader. I’m so sorry, Manjeet! I should’ve warned you before I took a few months off to become gainfully employed and get married. It was totally inconsiderate, and I feel terrible that your Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman prequel screenplay didn’t pan out. But I’m back now, and [fill in the blank] than ever!

And now that I’m back, it’s as good a time as any to tell you that I’m not a huge fan of the word carbuncle. I know–I can hear your indignant gasps. It’s not because I’ve had any experience with a precious carbuncle to call my own, and not because I’m in general opposed to the extended family of any saccharide. [pause for rim shot]

It’s because it’s an ugly freaking word. There, I said it.

And so is bequeath. [SPOILER ALERT] I used it in my last post, and afterward thought, Gross. And when a friend of mine used it again today and my bowels suddenly started talking like Billy Bob in Sling Blade, I knew it needed to be added to the Ugo List (or Las Palabras Más Feas as it’s affectionately known in Paraguay).

The thing about bequeath is, it’s not one of those words that’s ugly by association. It’s not a crotchety, a tampon, a canker, or a moist. It’s attached to a decent enough meaning. I wouldn’t mind if someone bequeathed something to me. As long as they did so in other words because bequeath still offends my ear spirits.

Here’re some more fugly words.

Nugget
Crusty
Unctuous
Ointment
Lipid
Clean
Grind
Anklet
Paunch
Chafe
Hoary
Juggle
Noisome
Gist
Graduate

Feel free to add to this list. Just don’t try to add the word oatmeal. You might think it sounds ugly. But it doesn’t.

French-fried p’taters, all!