Download this weeks episode! Robin Williams was our comedian for the week. ELoi did the overdubs. We even payed tribute to Michael.
Ludwig Meidner (1884 – 1966)
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist and entertainer. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 and began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the “King of Pop” in subsequent years, four of his solo studio albums are among the world’s best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995), while his 1982 Thriller is the world’s best-selling record of all time.
In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African-American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as “Beat It”, “Billie Jean” and Thriller—credited for transforming the music video into an art form and a promotional tool—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.
One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for “Most Successful Entertainer of All Time”—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era. Jackson’s highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades. Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009, aged 50.
A multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she first appeared as private investigator Jill Munroe in the TV series Charlie’s Angels in 1976. Fawcett later appeared off-Broadway to the approval of critics and in highly rated television movies in roles often challenging (The Burning Bed, Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story, Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story, Margaret Bourke-White) and sometimes unsympathetic (Small Sacrifices).
Fawcett was also a pop culture figure whose hairstyle was emulated by millions of young women and whose poster sales broke records, making her an international sex symbol in the 1970s and 1980s. She died of cancer on June 25, 2009, at the age of 62.
Robot shows human emotions
By Emma Woollacott
Waseda, Japan – They really do like their robots in Japan. Now, it seems, they want their robots to like them back. Researchers at Waseda University claim they have developed a humanoid robot which can express human emotions.
We reported on this robot a while ago, but it was formally launched yesterday,
The Emotional Humanoid Robot, also known as Kobian, can display delight, surprise, sadness, disgust and dislike, though different poses and facial movements. To show sadness, for example, it hunches over, hangs its head and holds a hand to its face. It can also walk around, perceive and interact with its environment and perform simple tasks.
The developers reckon that equipping a robot to show emotion will make it more suitable for interaction with humans – particularly important given the enthusiasm in Japan for robots that can help with the care of old people and children.
Waseda University’s Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering developed the robot in conjunction with robot manufacturer Tmsuk, which hopes it will eventually be used in nursing.
Not all the company’s robots are so friendly. It recently launched a security robot which detects intruders through their body heat and automatically alerts a human via a cellphone – and which then attempts to catch them by throwing a net.
– Taken from Wikipedia
Thinking machines and artificial beings appear in Greek myths, such as Talos of Crete, the golden robots of Hephaestus and Pygmalion’s Galatea. Human likenesses believed to have intelligence were built in many ancient societies; some of the earliest being the sacred statues worshipped in Egypt and Greece, and including the machines of Yan Shi, Hero of Alexandria, Al-Jazari or Wolfgang von Kempelen. It was widely believed that artificial beings had been created by Geber, Judah Loew and Paracelsus. Stories of these creatures and their fates discuss many of the same hopes, fears and ethical concerns that are presented by artificial intelligence.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, considers a key issue in the ethics of artificial intelligence: if a machine can be created that has intelligence, could it also feel? If it can feel, does it have the same rights as a human being? The idea also appears in modern science fiction: the film Artificial Intelligence: A.I. considers a machine in the form of a small boy which has been given the ability to feel human emotions, including, tragically, the capacity to suffer. This issue, now known as “robot rights”, is currently being considered by, for example, California’s Institute for the Future, although many critics believe that the discussion is premature.
Another issue explored by both science fiction writers and futurists is the impact of artificial intelligence on society. In fiction, AI has appeared as a servant (R2D2 in Star Wars), a law enforcer (K.I.T.T. “Knight Rider”), a comrade (Lt. Commander Data in Star Trek), a conqueror (The Matrix), a dictator (With Folded Hands), an exterminator (Terminator, Battlestar Galactica), an extension to human abilities (Ghost in the Shell) and the saviour of the human race (R. Daneel Olivaw in the Foundation Series). Academic sources have considered such consequences as: a decreased demand for human labor, the enhancement of human ability or experience, and a need for redefinition of human identity and basic values.
Several futurists argue that artificial intelligence will transcend the limits of progress and fundamentally transform humanity. Ray Kurzweil has used Moore’s law (which describes the relentless exponential improvement in digital technology with uncanny accuracy) to calculate that desktop computers will have the same processing power as human brains by the year 2029, and that by 2045 artificial intelligence will reach a point where it is able to improve itself at a rate that far exceeds anything conceivable in the past, a scenario that science fiction writer Vernor Vinge named the “technological singularity”. Edward Fredkin argues that “artificial intelligence is the next stage in evolution,” an idea first proposed by Samuel Butler’s “Darwin among the Machines” (1863), and expanded upon by George Dyson in his book of the same name in 1998. Several futurists and science fiction writers have predicted that human beings and machines will merge in the future into cyborgs that are more capable and powerful than either. This idea, called transhumanism, which has roots in Aldous Huxley and Robert Ettinger, is now associated with robot designer Hans Moravec, cyberneticist Kevin Warwick and inventor Ray Kurzweil. Transhumanism has been illustrated in fiction as well, for example in the manga Ghost in the Shell and the science fiction series Dune. Pamela McCorduck writes that these scenarios are expressions of an ancient human desire to, as she calls it, “forge the gods.”
– From the laist.com
While most Angelenos will urge their visitors to try a meal at In N’ Out (the best to capture that classic sunshiney L.A. drive-through burger experience), they often forget about the other local fast-food burger phenomenon: Fatburger. Both establishments boast excellent burgers and a fool-proof menu, but there are some major (and delicious) differences that make it almost impossible to decide which is better (kind of like the Pink’s versus Skooby’s debate — but that, dear reader, must wait for another time).
Fatburger just as much the juicy slice of L.A. history that In N’ Out is: the first of the spreading chain was opened in 1952 by Lovey Yancey and Charles Simpson at 31st Street and Western Avenue (In N’ Out got its start in Baldwin Park in 1948); the decor and free-wheeling spirit were inspired by Yancey’s home-cooking style and love of r&b, soul, and rock n’ roll music. They’ve franchised out much further than In N’ Out, and you can now enjoy Fatburgers in New Jersey, Florida, and Texas – but I’ll bet that nothing comes close to a Kingburger with Skinny fries, topped with an egg and chili, enjoyed at your closest SoCal location. You can’t franchise freshness, my friends.
Everyone knows about In N’ Out’s “secret” menu (you probably had a friend in college who ordered 6×6’s and 8×8’s, I did, and his name was Josh Brooks and he had been an undergrad at UCLA for nine years, but that is also another story), but Fatburger really brings is with the add-ons: chili, fried eggs, bacon (cheaters), pickles, and a lavish helping of pickle relish, which bring a tangy crispness to each bite of burger.
But how strange is it that one particular geographical area led to such different interpretations of the burger? In N’ Out chooses to garnish its burgers with grilled onion, cheese, and that inimitable special sauce — pink, speckled with their own relish, and absolutely luscious once it mixes with the juices of an well-grilled all-beef patty. We are surrounded by an embarassment of hamburger riches, people. Don’t even breathe the word Tommy’s. Just don’t. Not now.
Both chains aspire to an ideal of “freshness” and hand-grilled goodness that are meant to contrast against the frozen, warmed-over artificial yuckiness of your corner McDonald’s. This doesn’t mean the food’s that much healthier than ol Mickey D’s, but it does taste a heck of a lot better.
Wanna take a look at Fatburger’s nutrional stats? Oh, come on, it’ll be fun! The Kingburger definitely should be avoided if you’re worried about calories: one of the fun things about Fatburger is that you can pile on a ton of extras, so you don’t need a giant 800-calorie burger on top of that. The In N’ Out Double-Double, on the other hand, packs in only 690 calories, but 90% of your daily fat intake. (Blame cheese: the food that giveth the taste but taketh away the slim waist.)
The Baby Fat is a great option for those of us less interested in pigging out — all the phat flavor in a 300-calorie package (so you can go a little crazy with the egg & bacon toppings if you want). An In N’ Out hamburger (no cheese), with mustard & ketchup substituted for the pink spread, comes in at a tidy 310 calories – score on both counts, honestly. Although – that pink mayo-relish secret sauce is pretty phenomenal.
Like I said, Fatburger’s fries win for crispiness and seasoning, but In N’ Out does have that great super-secret menu option: fries doused in grilled onions, special sauce, and cheese. Ask for it next time, I think it’s just called “fries animal style”.These are the things that unite us as Americans: melty cheese and special sauce over grilled onions and fries.
The burgers themselves are about equal quality: although I have to say, I prefer Fatburger fries, and you can get them skinny or fat. I’ve never really understood In N’ Out’s fries. They’re almost never crispy (except for those little ones), and they get cold and soggy almost immediately out of the fryer. Fatburger fries stay crispy and warm – unless you choose to dump chili all over them, which is a totally understandable impulse. One advantage In N’ Out does hold is that it’s a lot cheaper: two burgers, two drinks, and one order of fries came to $15.00 at Fatburger, while the same could be gotten for under $10 at In N’ Out.
What’s that you’re saying? You want to know about the shakes? Erm. Uh. Well, see, the thing is — you’ve just discovered the chink in my foodie armor. I am not into shakes. I am not into soda pop. When I go to a burger stand, I want nothing but burger — perhaps a cool iced tea on the side, but I have no time for these sweet, thick, mucus-making “shakes” you speak of. I could not tell you who does it better if you paid me twenty bucks (I’ll take your money though). But I am absolutely sure that somebody out there has an informed opinion. Do share. Do.
I do not see an end in sight to these burger wars: and like I said, I haven’t even begun to explore the many-lettered world of Tommy’s (Tomy’s? Tommi’s? Tomi’s? the mind is boggled!). All I know is that thanks to the many In N’ Outs and Fatburgers scattered around the Southland, I could conceivably go the rest of my life without ever venturing into a McDonald’s. And that, my fellow foodies, is a very, very, very good thing.
Will you come and have a drink with me?
one perhaps two, that is all
Let’s scan the room to find a seat
carefully set against the wall
Vulgar lighting hugs your face
endlessly rotating in the same position
In this crowded room west of the lake
only muted stares escape suspicion
We still have time to catch the show
hurry up, my friend you’ll see
An empty road we found to drove
that slithered alongside docile trees
Departing from Los Angeles,
jolt pass a sign read – outta luck
No city built with fantasy
or dreams in mind as much
We are in our third week of the show!! Thanks if you tuned in. We played some cool jams today. We had our usual “Tea Time with Herzog” and “a Moment with Ziezek.” The turntables were up and running today too, so ELoi got to play selections from his vinyl archive.
You can even hear me this time…well kind of.