Sunday, January 26, 2014

Socio-economic and moral impact of drone warfare in post-modern America: And Robots, yo

The “Robocop” remake and I have a long and winding history.
                When the news broke that a remake was in the works, my initial response was something along the lines of the sound you make when you accidentally hit yourself below the belt. You know what I’m talking about fellas. Sometimes you get a little carried away when you’re talking with your hands and bad things happen.
                I grew up with “Robocop.”  That’s an absolutely terrifying thought considering the bone-numbingly graphic things that take place between the opening and closing credits of that movie, but it’s true.
                I was allowed to watch people get melted by toxic waste, get torn to shreds by machine guns and have their arms shot off at close, bloody range, as long as I promised I didn’t say any of the bad words.
                Also, I had all the toys.
                Sure, my beloved parents’ priorities may have been slightly askew, but I never turned into a serial killer or even just a regular killer. So if you’re looking for a case study to prove that media violence doesn’t lead to real world violence, get at me dawg.
                Anyway, that shiny metal so and so (happy mom and dad?) still holds a special place in my heart, so I wasn’t thrilled with the notion of a remake. Some things are best left alone.
                Casting news began to filter out and my ears perked up the way a dog’s would if it heard a dinosaur skeleton fall apart in a museum.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Don't Forget Your Coat - And other not-so-helpful emails from
In a lot of ways, is like a doting mother.
For one thing, it knows its way around a good bedtime story. But beyond that, if you ask Monster, there is literally nothing you can’t do.
You want to be a cowboy? Of course you can. What about an astronaut? You betcha.
Even if by the very make-up of your DNA you lack the skills required to hold a job, Monster still has the upmost confidence in you.
Say for example, you want to be a cowboy, but you’re fiercely allergic to cows, denim, wide-brimmed hats and rugged handsomeness. Monster doesn’t care. Monster wants you to follow your cowboy dreams no matter what god or your genes have to say about it.   
As part of its efforts to help users find jobs, Monster likes to send out emails every day with a list of jobs it assumes you’d be perfect for.
The only problem with that is Monster’s motherly inability to filter out jobs that users are in no way qualified for. The results of that design flaw can be equal parts funny and depressing, with a heavy-helping of confusion worked in.
Let’s take a look at the ten most bizarre recommendations I’ve gotten recently from Monster.
  • VP National Sales, Mid-Atlantic Territory. If there’s one thing don’t want me doing, it’s selling things. Just ask Blockbuster how putting me in charge of selling stuff worked out for it. And that VP title? That’s a surefire way to put your company out of business.
  • Instrumentation & Calibration Tech II. I have no idea what this even means, however, I was encouraged by the II in there. At least Monster had the good sense not to ask me to pursue a VP of Instrumentation and Calibration position. Not yet anyway.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Zen and the Art of Headlight Bulb Replacement: A Journey Through Time

I’m not what you’d call a handy person.  I have hands, two of them, and I use them in the fashion that society deems appropriate.
                But when it comes to using those hands to fix things in and around the house, well, that isn’t what you’d call a strong suit.
                I like to dabble though. When something minor breaks, I’ll usually pull out my jar of elbow grease and at least attempt to fix whatever it is that needs a-fixin’.
                And I’ll apply that kinda-can-do attitude with my car whenever possible.
                I know nothing about cars or how they work. If I opened the hood of my car and saw a team of hamsters in tracks suits poised on wheels, waiting for a larger hamster holding a tiny pistol to pull the trigger, I would not be surprised.
However, getting your car repaired is very expensive. So anytime my car has an issue that seems doable, like it needs gas or oil or hamster food, well, I’ll roll up my sleeves, tuck my pant legs into my socks and give it a whirl.               
And hell, there’s something quite satisfying about tinkering with your car.
Maybe it appeals to that prehistoric part of a man’s brain. The part that gets mocked on network sitcoms because it refuses to ask for directions, preferring rather to starve to death on America’s interstate system on its own merit, then find shelter with the help of another person.
That’s also the same part of a caveman’s brain that, when his foot-powered car broke, insisted on popping the hood and taking a look-see.
Now cars and caveman culture may not be my strong suits, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.