Archive for September 14th, 2006

Where’s Holden?

From the always-fascinating and sometimes-alarming Pink Tentacle, it’s My Little Robot Pony!

Dreaming of owning a pony, but anxious about taking on the necessary responsibilities? Fret no more, there’s an alternative. By the end of the year, Sega Toys will begin selling a life-sized robotic pony.

The 1.2-meter tall, battery-operated Dream Pony (Yume-Kouma) is outfitted with sensors that enable it to react to its environment. Pet the pony’s neck and back and it shakes it head and moves its ears and tail in appreciation, just like the real deal. Dream Pony also responds to audio and visual stimuli with a whole repetoire of reactions – including an anxious-sounding whinny when the room becomes dark and a jerk of the head in response to a sudden loud noise. Dream Pony also comes with a plastic carrot that it attempts to eat when held in front of its face.


Another of Sega’s recent mechanical pets is the popular Dream Cat Smile (Yume-Neko Sumairu), previously known as Near Me (Nyaa Mii is a Japanese play on words mimicking the sound a cat makes). There is a fantastic video (.wmv) on the Near Me homepage (near the bottom) that is worth a look. Another video of Dream Cat Smile can be found on YouTube here. The fluffy white feline is priced at just over 8,000 yen (US$70).

Sega Toys has made significant progress in carving out a market for alternative pets for families unable to keep real animals, and the company is now developing virtual dogs and birds to capitalize on the rising demand for “healing” pet robots. Blade Runner, here we come.

Creepy or cool? What say you?

12 comments September 14th, 2006 at 09:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Technology,Weirdness

Quote Of The Week

From Matt Stoller:

Put Karl Rove in charge of the Democratic Party, and we would still lose badly. Put Bob Shrum in charge of the Republican Party, and, well, actually, seriously, please put Bob Shrum in charge of the Republican party.

Heh. Indeed. And amen.

September 14th, 2006 at 09:05pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Quotes,Wankers

They Get E-Mails

Swim/Hope at Deep Confusion has a lengthy post up about the importance of electoral reform, which is a subject near and dear to my heart. The Democratic party has frustrated and infuriated me with its complacent passivity about election reform; yeah, I’m sort of dimly aware that they’re working on it behind the scenes, but where’s the urgency? Where’s the passion? Why aren’t they making a big deal about this and forcing the Republicans to defend their antidemocratic position?

In the post comments, Swim/Hope has urged everyone to write their congresscritters, in hopes that if enough people do so, the Democrats might actually sit up and take notice. So here’s my attempt, directed at Representative Mike Doyle, PA-14 (my Senators are Specter and Santorum, so not much point there…):

Where do you stand on election reform (i.e., open, accessible, and accountable elections)? Democrats cannot afford to let Republicans tilt the playing field by weeding out, intimidating, and otherwise discouraging Democratic voters; or possibly even electronically tampering with votes outright.

I know congressional Democrats are working on this, but they’re doing it very slowly and quietly, when this is something that should be a high-profile and urgent issue. I understand that there is probably wariness about being labeled sore-loser conspiracy theorists, but that is easily countered by pointing out that the world’s greatest democracy should have elections that are above reproach or question, not clouded by mystery and suspicion. If our elections are truly free and fair, the Republicans should want everyone in the world to see it. Force them to either give in to election reform, or else explain why they are so opposed to the ideals of democracy that they profess to love and want to spread across the globe.

Please, I beg of you, take up this cause. Light a fire under your fellow Democratic congressmen and congresswomen. This country cannot afford to let the Republicans mute or distort the voice of the people any longer.

I don’t know if he’ll do anything with it, but maybe he can slip it to Conyers or Waxman or Waters…

1 comment September 14th, 2006 at 07:49pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Favorites,Politics

Happy Burghday To Me!

It just occurred to me today, that as of, um, sometime this week I will have been in Pittsburgh for 15 years.

Wow. Where did all the time go?

5 comments September 14th, 2006 at 11:48am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness

…In A Photoblogging Down By The River!

Some photos from Riverside Park and, well, the riverside.

They’re coming for you…

I know that the human and the cyclist can coexist peacefully.

We’re sorry, but the river is currently under construction. Please come back another time.

New York has seagulls too! I had no idea.

9 comments September 14th, 2006 at 08:10am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: NJ/NYC,Photoblogging

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