This is Arisa, the “Information Robot.” It was recently installed at Yamato-Saidaiji, a Kintetsu Railway station in Nara City that I travel through to go to work.
Actually, today I went through the station on my way to renew my driver’s license. Interacting with the robot was much easier.
She (oops, I mean “it”?) can speak four languages (Japanese, English, Mandarin, and Korean) at the touch of a panel. But the functionality is still only limited to basic phrases about where to change trains and which platform to use. Still, it’s a first step (toward replacing human-controlled info booths, so get started learning programming, kiddos!).
I should be finishing the SF novel I’ve been working on (and off) for the better part of four years now. Instead, I’ve found myself obsessed with letters recently found in my dearly departed mother‘s possessions…letters written from my grandmother’s first husband, John Hart, while he was in the US Army in the 1940s.
He died. This ain’t no story of heroic sacrifice or rah-rah patriotism. This is reality. Continue Reading
“Being able to get humans on Mars and actually collecting one of these samples would be such an incredible moment, I would kind of hope it would almost bring us back to the moon days of everyone being glued to the TV.”
Um. Well. OK. TV is dead so we’ll all be watching it streamed on our smartphones, but the point is taken.
Are you sitting down for this? Well, you’re not really. Your butt isn’t actually touching the chair you’re sitting on. Since the meat of your atoms is nestled away in nuclei, when you ‘touch’ someone (or something), you aren’t actually feeling their atoms.
The Witching Hour and Hallowe’en have come and passed, but there’s still time to think about family history…since, of course, it does involve witches. And ghosts.
We have two witches and one ghost in the family tree, on my mother’s side (my father’s side has pirates, kidnapped settlers, and Captains who start intercontinental wars, but more on that in another post). The witches, of course, were caught up in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and 1693. Otherwise known as the Salem Witch Paranoia. Victims of insecure white men. So what’s new? Continue Reading