An interesting robotics programming problem–how does one teach a Roomba to detect (and avoid) pet droppings? IRobot has taught the robot vacuum cleaner to avoid falling off the stairs, striking the baseboards too hard, and getting stuck under furniture. Now they are working on the problem of smearing pet poop all over your house.
Heard on the radio today.
The video is from 1985, the MTV days, when music videos were often elaborate, with high production values, and often had nothing to do with the lyrics of the song. And with Tom Petty, often quite weird.
August 18, 1872–Aaron Montgomery Ward publishes his first mail order catalog. You can still get one here.
The British actor played R2-D2 in the Star Wars films has died at the age of 81 after a long illness. Kenny Baker, who was 3ft 8in tall, shot to fame in 1977 when he first played the robot character.
He went on to play the character in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as the three Star Wars prequels from 1999 to 2005. He also appeared in a number of other much loved films in the 1980s, including The Elephant Man, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon.
Never could notoriety exist as it does now, in any former age of the world; now that the news of the hour from all parts of the world, private news as well as public, is brought day by day to every individual, as I may say, of the community, to the poorest artisan and the most secluded peasant, by processes so uniform, so unvarying, so spontaneous, that they almost bear the semblance of a natural law. And hence notoriety, or the making a noise in the world, has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration.
–John Henry Newman, 1849
And the land of opportunity
Spawned a whole new breed of men without souls
This year notoriety got all confused with fame
And the devil is downhearted babe, cause
There’s nothing left for him to claim.
–Don Henley, 1995