“He’s a sort of new sort of Republican. Old style was a Boston Brahmin liberal Republican.… What followed that was the scrappy Reagan Democrats, ethnic and working class. This is something new now, regular guy, looks like an American…” —Wall Street Journal Columnist Peggy Noonan on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” This is the kind of thing that I’ve come to expect when traveling abroad: Like the time I was waiting in line at the Islamabad Airport, and the Customs official, apparently disregarding my U.S. passport, asked me if I’m Pakistani. Or the Mayan Indian kid in Guatemala, who told me that there’s no way that I could be American. Gesturing at his brown arm, and then mine, he said, “You’re black, like me!” Americans, he told me with all seriousness, are blonde. And male. And loud. So if you’re hitting up various ports of call, and you don’t look like Brad Pitt—or Michael Jordan, for … [Read more...] about Tell Me, Peggy Noonan, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin: What Does an American Look Like, Anyway?
Dogs that look like bears
Ubisoft's Massive Entertainment are working on a next-gen, online, open-world RPG called The Division. Set in a realistic, albeit bleak take on the near future, it's a world in which our complex society and systems have broken down. The trailer, perhaps intentionally, looks a lot like that used last year to reveal Watch Dogs. Gameplay footage shown is from a third-person perspective, with fancy map overlays and a highly-detailed city. While Ubisoft says this is an RPG, the gameplay footage shown is almost exclusively action/shooter stuff. To be crude, it looks like a cross between Mass Effect's action and the world of The Last Of Us. It's due on PS4 and Xbox One. UPDATE - While at first it looked to be entirely new IP, that's only half true. While it's a new series, it's bearing the Tom Clancy brand, with the game's full name being Tom Clancy's Division. More to come... … [Read more...] about Ubisoft Has A Next-Gen, Open-World RPG (And It Looks Like New IP)
Meet Jibo. On track to exist next year, Jibo is being marketed as "the world's first family robot." The bulbous little guy can read to kids in the living room, recite recipes in the kitchen, take photos in the yard, and perform a handful of other simple tasks. Jibo is also a little bit creepy. The idea of a robotic family helper is a terrifically timeless one. At least as far back as the original Jetsons series, we squishy humans have longed for someone to do our dirty work around the house. And over the years, we've gotten various versions of homebots. While Sony's robotic dog Aibo and iRobot's roaming cleaner Roomba aren't quite Rosie, progress has been steady, however slow. Jibo, however, looks like a leap forward. At first, Jibo just looks like a screen on a stand. But with three joints that would let it emote and express itself physically, Jibo could follow people around the room, and thanks to an on board camera with facial recognition capabilities, it could recognize the … [Read more...] about The World’s First Family Robot Could Be Like HAL in Your Home
The Flintstones had their trusty pet dinosaur, Dino. Now, new research published this month in the Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology reveals that another ancient family may have had an unusual pet -- a bobcat they adorned with a necklace made from seashells and bone carved to look like bear teeth. The bobcat, a juvenile, was found beneath a dirt dome on a bluff about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of St. Louis, Missouri. The dome was one of a group of 14 excavated in the early 1980s. At that time, the excavation found the remains of 22 people buried in a circular pattern around the tomb of an infant. Also found was the tomb of the bobcat, although at the time, scientists thought it was a dog. That's because the Hopewell -- the villagers who lived in the region 2,000 years ago and built the mounds -- did indeed practice canine burial. At the time, the remains of the bobkitten and the necklace were put into a box labeled "puppy burial" that was stored at the Illinois … [Read more...] about Ancient bobcat buried with bear-tooth bling
In 1977, I was a 4-year-old who lived on a farm, kind of like our hero Luke Skywalker. I longed to spend time with toys that ignited my imagination, but all I had were hand-me-down dolls, Lincoln Logs, pick-up sticks, View-Masters and a few creepy puppets. Then I spotted a dirty action figure carelessly discarded outside my preschool that looked like a cross between Big Foot and a skinny bear. And I realized I might have found a new plastic soulmate. With the mega-marketing push that is Force Friday focusing so much attention on "Star Wars" toys this week, I can't help but think back to that moment. I can't remember most details from my childhood, but there was something about that odd-looking toy that stole my heart. I put the figure in my pocket and never let him out of my sight. I called him Harry until I knew better, and I made up adventures for him, usually consisting of foiling evil plans by Saturday morning cartoon monsters. Related stories Force Friday: May … [Read more...] about The ‘Star Wars’ toy that made me a geek