Monday, March 29, 2010

The virgin, the genius and the robot

It’s coincidental, but synchronous, that yesterday’s Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix occurred in the same 24-hour period as EH10. Environmentally the GP and EH10 are diametrically opposed. Yet governments compete to host a car race that’s ruinous to their credibility on global warming and climate change. Maybe their focus groups show that punters don’t, or can’t, connect the dots. It’s all stupid. Talking of stupid, though F1 holds itself out to be at the automotive technology’s cutting edge, three days ago the geniuses in Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Racing team discovered their cars’ fuel tanks were 13 litres too small for the cars to complete the race without refuelling. Ho hum.
Talking of geniuses, as I wrote here I’ve long been captivated by robots; and I’ve admired the people who make them. Tonight’s the first Seder – the ceremonial dinner that starts the Jewish festival of Passover. An important element in the ceremony is Ma Nishtana, i.e. the asking of four key questions. Traditionally the youngest person present asks these questions. Tonight I’m not hosting or attending a Seder. I’ll be alone, and so the youngest person here. I won’t say, or sing, Ma Nishtana; but I’ll play this YouTube clip – courtesy of the geniuses in the Research and Development Institute for Intelligent Robotic Systems, Computer Science Department, The College of Management Academic Studies. COMAS is Israel’s leading academic college. This clip shows why. Happy Passover to you.


Meg said...

Oh No! The clip's no longer available. Please let us know if you find it elsewhere. xx

farmdoc said...

Try now, Meg. xx

Meg said...

Ha ha! Imagine Zeida's face next year when we bring out one of those robots to bargain with him at afikoman time.