ROBOT PACK MULE. You heard me.

March 17, 2008

Some things:

First, some defense contractor is developing a four-legged robot mule. For the military. To haul around your stuff. Because I’m lame, I kind of found myself anthropomorphizing the machine and getting upset when it stumbled. Or, you know, when someone kicked it. (What a jerk.) And its name is BIG DOG, and it’s being designed to follow soldiers across rough terrain so they don’t have to carry their own snacks and whatnot. And it’s so DORKY and EAGER, and I got way too invested in it.

Also: it’s deeply, deeply creepy, like two sprightly Morris dancer bottom halves prancing about all disembodied-like, and it made me feel really uncomfortable and generally skeeved out. (Isn’t there some theory that the closer robots get to biologically-accurate behavior and appearance, the more troubling we find them? Perhaps I made this up.)

If The Robot Pack Mule doesn’t lead to immediate and overwhelming military superiority in difficult arenas, it will at least completely creep out the opposing forces. “HOLY SHIT. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT.” “I DON’T KNOW. OH GOD.” “LET’S RUN AWAY.” “YES.”

Money well spent!

Second, this weekend I went to my friendly neighborhood grocery store, and I was standing in line, minding my own business. When I saw a giant headline on some women’s magazine:

Men’s New Sexual Needs
Thanks for sharing, guys


“Listen, can we talk? I haven’t been sure how to bring this up, but here’s the thing. You know how pretty much the same stuff has worked for tens of thousands of years? Well… the guys and I all got together last Tuesday, and we all decided– No, no. I won’t say it. But if you really love me, you’ll figure it out.”

And then I heard the “Thanks for sharing, guys” in my head in really sarcastic tones. Which seemed kind of bitchy. (“Oh, really? You have NEW SEXUAL NEEDS, do you? Here’s an idea, write up a manifesto and NAIL IT TO A CHURCH DOOR.”) But on the other hand, it would be pretty hilarious if women’s magazines suddenly shifted from breathless articles like FOURTEEN WAYS TO TRICK A MAN INTO MARRYING YOU: OVER ONE HUNDRED UNHAPPILY MARRIED MEN REVEAL ALL to being all crotchety and sneery.


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