Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, September 13, 2021

In Virginia’s state capital, a house and its owner eye each other warily:

I think the ladder is up to something. The mattresses are doing undercover work. The chimney is acting all high and mighty. I think the garden has some dirt on me. The rocking chair keeps moving behind my back, and even the washing machine is agitating. The soap dish is quite a slippery fellow. I’m pretty sure the pillow shams are hiding something.

Domestic paranoia made cute. The idea of scheming amongst inanimate household fixtures reminded me of this lyric from The Police song “On Any Other Day”:

Throw down the morning papers
And spill my tea
I don’t know what’s wrong with me
The cups and plates are in a conspiracy
(I’m covered in misery)

In both cases, the fair question of who’s really conspiring against whom — off-kilter homeowner versus utensils, or vice versa — remains open. Or, not so much.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/13/2009 07:45:05 PM
Category: Comedy, Creative, Pop Culture, Wordsmithing
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Somewhere in the American Southwest, a mechanical mommy-to-be screams:

It sounds like a joke, but it’s not. The University of Arizona Medical Center is the proud owner of their very own pregnant robot-mannequin lady. Named Noelle, she grunts, screams, yells at the doctors, pees, bleeds — and yes, even gives birth (to a cute little robot baby named Hal)…

[The robots help] an average of 20 medical students a week diagnose all sorts of birth complications like cesareans and breach births. Noelle can even hemorrhage, all while screaming in pain and yelling things like “don’t touch me” at the medical students. And let’s not forget little Hal, who can change colors, ranging from healthy pink to blue to simulate asphyxiation, so medical students can practice diagnostic techniques.

Is this how the robot-human wars will begin — as a symptom of post-partum robo-rage? If so, these procreating ‘bots already have a psychological edge:

First of all, robots with vaginas are scary enough. But a robot with a vagina that can scream at you and pee on you simultaneously? THAT IS THE FUCKING SCARIEST THING EVER.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/13/2009 02:25:37 PM
Category: Science, Tech
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EA has been letting it rip with the shock-value stunts to promote upcoming title “Dante’s Inferno”. Following incitements to commit “acts of lust”, fake religious protesters, and gluttony-inspired cakes in the shape of severed limbs, the guerilla marketing machine is moving on to bribery, in the form of $200 checks sent to gaming journalists.

They are being thoughtfully creative within the Divine Comedy theme, though:

[T]he checks arrived in presentation boxes accompanied by a note reading:

“In Dante’s Inferno, Greed is a two-headed beast. Hoarding wealth feeds on beast and squandering it satiates the other. By cashing this check you succumb to avarice by hoarding filthy lucre, but by not cashing it, you waste it, and thereby surrender to prodigality. Make your choice and suffer the consequence for your sin. And scoff not, for consequences are imminent.”

Because of this talented output on display, I actually don’t have a problem with this tactic. Nor with any of the preceding trickery, for that matter. My only criticism is that, if anything, all this build-up will heighten expectations too much. If “Inferno” doesn’t deliver an amped-up gameplaying experience, the promotional trickery will have backfired, and EA will be (pun intended) burned.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/13/2009 12:31:37 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Videogames
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