Boston Dynamics’ Robot Dogs Have Start Working Together, and I’m VERY Concerned

We previously brought you an article about ONE robot dog from Boston Dynamics that appeared so lifelike it gave all of us the heebie-jeebies.

Well apparently that was just a warm-up.

Because Boston Dynamics recently released a video of 10 of the company’s robot dogs pulling a truck, so you can view at a slightly unsettling vision of what the future might look like.

Not only is the visual pretty frightening, but the thud-thud-thud of the 40 robotic dog legs pounding the pavement adds to the creepiness.

Photo Credit: YouTube

Boston Dynamics said, “These Spot robots are coming off the production line now and will be available for a range of applications soon.” Uh oh, now I’m really scared.

Watch the video below and FEAR FOR THE FUTURE.

Life is turning more into a sci-fi movie by the day…

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In 2002, Fujitsu made a device…

In 2002, Fujitsu made a device called the “iPad,” and Apple had to pay over $4 million to Fujitsu to buy the trademark rights. A Brazilian electronics company is legally allowed to call their phone ‘iPhone’ because they trademarked the word in 2000, 7 years prior to Apple’s iPhone. The phone runs on Android.

Scientists Can Harness Electricity from Your Skin’s Melanin, and Melanated People Are… Uneasy

Scientists are figuring out how to harness electricity from your skin’s melanin, and, as a melanated person, IDK if this is good news or bad news.

A group of Italian scientists recently made a breakthrough that allows them to conduct electricity from eumelanin, the pigment that colors human skin, hair, and eyes. In its natural form, eumelanin conducts electricity, but not very efficiently – these scientists figured out a way to give it a boost.

The process is still very much in its early stages, and there are still challenges to figure out before it becomes applicable IRL. But eventually, this technology could help power bioelectronics, like medical implants, and lower the risk of rejection.

“This is the first [stepping] stone of a long process that now can start,” said Alessandro Pezzella, the University of Naples Federico II chemist who authored the study.

Meanwhile, I and my fellow brown-skinned people are, um, nervous.

Is it just us or does this sound like something from a dystopian sci-fi movie?

Because where are they gonna get all this melanin from, hmm?!

Some folks are already ready for a fight.

“Not if I electric shock they ass first,” one woman wrote.

“I got some electric for they ass,” another agreed.

On the other hand, some people are also thinking ahead about how to use this tech to their advantage.

“But in all seriousness, can I pay my light bill with this?”

Goooood question.

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Startling Report Finds the U.S. Has Over 47,000 Bridges That Are “Structurally Deficient”

Rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure has been a big talking point among politicians over the past several years, but it doesn’t seem like any real action is ever taken.

And the news isn’t getting any better. A new report from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association revealed that more than 47,000 bridges in the U.S. are in bad condition and need urgent repairs. The organization estimates that it would take 80 years to repair all the bridges in the U.S. that are deficient.

Stillwater Bridge, MN
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The term “structurally deficient” doesn’t necessarily mean that a bridge is in danger of collapsing, but it does mean that a bridge needs repairs and renovations. Clearly that’s not a good thing.

Alison Black, the chief economist for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, said, “In addition to those bridges that are structurally deficient, about 4 out of 10 bridges across the country need some sort of major rehabilitation work. So unfortunately, it’s not just these 47,000 structures that need to be fixed.”

Arlington Memorial Bridge, VA
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The report says that the deficient bridges in the U.S. are crossed 178 million times each day. Many notable bridges are on the “structurally deficient” list, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Arlington Memorial Bridge that connects Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia, and the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge that stretches across the San Francisco Bay.

San Mateo Bridge, CA
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

To add insult to injury, 2018 saw the slowest rate of repairs in five years. According to Black, “There’s not a lot of new money. It really is just keeping pace with project costs and inflation. I think if we saw a significant increase in the federal funding side of this that would really go a long way to help states that are trying to provide some of these repairs and fix these bridges.”

Let’s all hope that our local, state, and national politicians can work together to repair our infrastructure and ensure the safety of the millions of Americans who drive across these bridges each and every day.

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Mom Has the Funniest Response to Her Daughter’s Struggle with a Robotic Baby

I used to date a girl who was obsessed with the idea of having a baby, even though she had pretty limited experience with them. For whatever reason, the whole fantasy of how fulfilling being a mother is caught her hook, line, and sinker. I often wonder, however, if she’d have felt that way after doing one of these mechanical baby exercises. I’m betting on “No,” because the reality of having a baby is VERY different from the fantasy you see on TV.

A teenager named Olivia thought she’d have an easy early childhood education class…but nope. Her ‘walk in the park’ ended up teaching her a valuable lesson in just how difficult child rearing is. And her mom was there to capture it, of course!

Her mom, Lawren, shared this post on Facebook, which has since gone viral because you know every mom out there can relate to this scenario.

Meet William. He’s Olivia’s interactive baby assignment for her Early Childhood Education Class. Now, meet Olivia with…

Posted by Lawren Cole Galloway on Sunday, March 17, 2019

Doesn’t Olivia just look like exhaustion, personified?

People on Facebook responded with their thoughts.

Photo Credit: Facebook

Photo Credit: Facebook

Photo Credit: Facebook

Photo Credit: Facebook

Lawren told Buzzfeed that after the assignment, “Olivia thinks she may adopt an older child, like a 10-year-old, when she’s ready to be a mom!”

I think it’s safe to say that “William” the robot did his part…

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Wifi Stone

Berlin-based media artist Aram Bartholl created a rather curious work: a 1.5-ton rock that doubles as a WiFi router and is powered by fire. Located in a forested spot by a river at the Springhornhof outdoor museum in Germany, the “Keepalive” rock requires that visitors brush up on their survival skills to build a fire […]

This Woman Silenced Her Bullies in the Best Possible Way

The world can be so cruel to anyone who seems a little different, and the internet has only made it easier for hateful cowards to hide behind their keyboards as they spew their vitriol everywhere.

That’s what was happening when a young Sikh girl named Balpreet found a snapshot of herself online along with some negative comments about her appearance – particularly her facial hair.

However, her response, thoughtful and affecting, is what ended up garnering attention. Her self-confidence, self-awareness, and grace in the face of ruthless bullying is a thing of beauty. It is something we could all aspire to reach.

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You go, girl. You go.

Source

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There’s a Championship for Excel Spreadsheets, and a 17-Year-Old Just Won

Ahhh, good ol’ Microsoft Excel! It’s that program we all lie about how well we know on our resumes, and then just spend half a day Googling it when someone actually asks us to do something slightly advanced on it.  But, there are some folks out there who aren’t exaggerating their Excel mastery at all.

An international competition for Excel spreadsheets took place in Anaheim, California, recently. The competition is limited to participants from ages 12 to 22.

The top prize went to John Dumoulin, a 17-year-old from northern Virginia. He’s never worked in an office — he’s in high school, and he works at Chick-fil-A part-time.

John first learned about the competition through an IT class at school. He scored the highest score on the Microsoft Excel 16 certification exam in Virginia, leading him to a national competition and then the international competition, where he won $10,000 in prize money.

John says he was surprised to learn that people actually take these competitions very seriously.

“Some of the foreign countries, they’ve been training for hours and hours and hours on end,” he said.

Photo Credit: Excel Easy

“When you first meet the international students, everyone’s friendly, but when they find out you’re competing against them in the same category, they get this fire in their eyes. They want to win.”

“Most of us in an office think that we know how to use Excel. These kids really know,” said Aaron Osmond, general manager of Certiport, the company that runs the competition.

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People are Building Bridges for Animals to Safely Cross Freeways

It’s always a terrible sight to see a dead animal on the highway, whether it’s a deer, coyote, dog, cat, armadillo, or whatever. Unfortunately, we’ve built endless ribbons of roads through wilderness (aka, the homes of animals) and that is just part of everyday life. It’s estimated that roads affect one-fifth of the ecology of the entire United States and that vehicle collisions with animals cost $8 BILLION per year.

Of course, you’ve seen the “Deer Xing” signs and other notices for animals that might be in a particular area, but those warnings can only do so much. That is why animal overpasses and underpasses are so important to maintaining animal habitats and saving the lives of all kinds of creatures – not to mention the hoods of our cars.

Photo Credit: Reddit

The trend started in France in the 1950s, and Europe remains a trendsetter for animal bridges. The Netherlands alone has 66 bridges scattered throughout the country to protect their wildlife, like the one you can see above. Below is an example of an animal bridge in Belgium:

Photo Credit: Reddit

The trend has taken hold in the United States and Canada over the past 30 years. The bridges and underpasses come in all shapes and sizes and are specifically designed for each ecosystem. Here is an example from New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Here are some other great examples from across the globe. One from Germany.

Photo Credit: Reddit

One from Montana.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Alberta, Canada.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Here’s a video about the animal crossings in Banff National Park in Canada that will give you some more insight into how important this trend really is.

Now this is a trend we can all get behind in a big way.

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