So this past Monday was an interesting day in the workplace. To begin with, let me set the stage. Because of where Canada Day fell this year (Tuesday, July 1), Monday was pretty much going to be a wash to begin with. Most people were taking the Monday off to make a nice long weekend, while poor saps like me were stuck dragging our butts in.
I had all sorts of plans – I was going to do my online banking, work on my resume, write a nice post for Ben Co., and generally dink around online. But something went horribly, horribly wrong…on Monday, June 30, I had no internet for the entire day.
Believe it or not, I don’t have anything that is infuriating me today (outside of my works network, which I won’t get into…grr). So, how about a little harmless fluff courtesy of Gizmodo?
It seems that Panasonic has developed a lil’ robot (under 7″) that just climbed part of the Grand Canyon in 7 hours and on two AA batteries. Called the EVOLTA (like revolt? like I, Robot? eep!), it’s a cute little devil. Coming to a crawlspace near you…equipped with a camera…hooked up to the Feds.
Image courtesty of Gizmodo
So Gizmodo is reporting that a game developer really is planning on releasing a Wii pole dancing game. I don’t know if I believe it or not, but it’s a mildly amusing tidbit nonetheless. Check out Gizmodo’s take here.
[Creative Commons photo – don’t even know]
I can’t really figure out the logistics of it. Do you strap the nun-chuck to your, umm, bits and the wiimote to your chestular region? Can’t really see it. And, as the Running Blogfather pointed out when he tipped me to this, do you think it comes bundled with a G-string?
Really, the best part of all of this was the video Gizmodo included with their post. Those crazy Germans will fight over anything:
Finally I have an answer to the age old question, “Where is your keyboard?” I can say with great certainty that I gotchere keyboard right here [insert thrusting motion here].
No word of a lie, pants with a fully functioning, blue tooth enabled keyboard and speakers. Check it out at Engadget here.
I don’t know if this is cool or not (I’m leaning towards the not), but with the propensity I have for either getting beer spilled on my pants or getting caught in the rain, I don’t think I’ll be investing in a pair of these.
The Wall Street Journal ran a nice piece on Monday looking at 9 cities around the world and steps they’ve taken to reduce energy consumption.
Some of the highlights:
Chicago’s efforts to plant rooftop gardens to cool municipal buildings.
Amsterdam’s cool water air conditioning system.
London’s “localized power” concept – moving energy generation closer to users.
- New York’s tidal generation – this is my personal favourite.
The only one on the list that didn’t make sense to me was Bejing. Apparently, in an effort to both cut energy consumption and reduce pollution leading up to the Olympics, Bejing has been focusing on closing and moving a number of cement kilns, coal mines and chemical plants. I think the key piece is the moving aspect. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count as reduction if you’re just shifting the plant to another area…but I’m not an scientist, nor am I Chinese.
The New York Times is reporting that San Francisco has just completed a year long project which converted all city vehicles to be able to run on bio-diesel fuel.
The fleet of city vehicles have been converted to run on B20, a mix of 20% soy-based fuel and 80% petroleum based diesel fuel.
This fleet switch over has also been coupled with a new “SFGreasecycle” program designed to collect fats and cooking oils from city restaurants for conversion to bio-diesel fuels.
While there are obvious benefits to using bio-diesel fuel, the method is not without critics. Some argue that bio-diesel fuels have the possibility to create food shortages while the positive overall impact on the climate is questioned.
However, do I think this is better than a strict fossil fuel diet? Can’t hurt.
Here’s an interesting tie-in to my earlier post on the “ShotSpotter” that was being set up in Boston.
Apparently, Washingon D.C. has also rolled one out a while ago, and it is playing a part in the recent shooting death of a 17-year-old by two off duty police officers.
At first glance this seems very cut and dry: officers a pursuing a robbery suspect are fired upon and return fire, killing the suspect. This, however, doesn’t appear to be the case. Apparently these two officers were off duty when they discovered that one of their motorbikes was stolen. So, they do what any good cop would do – they go vigilante. After driving around the neigbourhood they eventually spot DeOnte Rawlings. After giving chase, the officers claim they were fired upon, after which they climbed out of their SUV and shot Rawlings.
There are three unsettling things here. First, the officers were off duty, out of uniform, and acting on their own. Second, no gun has been recovered, although according to ShotSpotter .45 caliber was fired. And third, the officers NEVER IDENTIFIED THEMSELVES AS POLICE. So, all this guy knew was that he was being chased by two guys in a SUV.
Futhermore, the police are relying on the evidence of ShotSpotter and its anlysts, none of which is allowable as evidence, nor is there any public oversight of this private organization.
Just some more food for thought for everyone who feels like the police can never do any wrong. Check out the article here.