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At Your Deathbed: Last Moment Robot

Sick Woman
© David Chen
I've nearly lost count of how many ways robots are making life's carnal origins more synthetic. Whether it's robot prostitutes, kiss transmitters or life-like mechanical butts, baby making has become less human and more humanoid.

Since coitus seems to have been compromised by the bots, while we're at it, why not skip ahead to the bitter end and bookend this thing we call life with even more robots?

Laying lonely in a hospital bed wheezing your last breaths? Sad no one's there to comfort you as you slip into the great beyond? No problem.

Artist, designer and engineer, Dan Chen, has you covered. In fact, he'd like to introduce you to his robot. Here it comes now and it has something to say:
I am the Last Moment Robot. I am here to help you and guide you through your last moment on Earth. I am sorry that your family and friends can't be with you right now, but don't be afraid. I am here to comfort you. You are not alone, you are with me. Your family and friends love you very much, they will remember you after you are gone.
Not only that, as it coos those final words, Last Moment Robot will caress the soon-to-be dead with a soothing, not-at-all creepy animatronic arm.

Thankfully, Chen's robot is more of an artistic statement than a pinch-hitter for missing family members. In his interactive End of Life Hospital installation, at least Chen is conscious of the contemplative duality that his robot conjures.
Handcuffs

28 Arrests as Protesters, Police Tangle, Clash Near Grand Prix Parties in Montreal

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Steeve Duguay
Montreal police make one of 28 arrests during a chaotic Saturday night near the centre of Grand Prix festivities, near Crescent St. and Ste. Catherine St. W.
Canada, Montreal - Organizers of this weekend's Grand Prix festivities in downtown Montreal saw their worst nightmare play out on Saturday night as protesters and police clashed for two hours along one of the city's busiest thoroughfares, trapping thousands of revelers in the middle of recurring episodes of chaos.

Police reported a total of 28 arrests.

The night began peacefully around 9 p.m. as a group of about 600 protesters set out from Émilie Gamelin Park near the Berri-UQÀM métro station and made their way west, walking at a brisk pace until they ran into a line of riot police that forced them to turn south. A game of cat and mouse ensued, with officers from both the Sûreté du Québec and the Montreal police force continually blocking access west and pushing the demonstrators further and further south.

At 9:45 p.m., however, the crowd finally managing to dart up toward Ste. Catherine St. W. and into the heart of the Grand Prix party, which at that point was in full swing.

Within minutes, all semblance of order along the already bustling street appeared to collapse.

Traffic ground to a halt and the crowds - party-goers and protesters alike - flooded into the roadway.
Info

Severed Hand Found in Gandhinagar

Ahmedabad - In a bizarre incident, Gandhinagar police recovered a human hand, suspected to be part of a female body, from InfoCity circle early on Saturday. The police have started search for the body.

According to police, watchman at a construction project near the InfoCity saw a dog chewing something that looked like human remains.

He went to the spot and shooed the dog away. To his horror, the watchman saw that the object was a hand from elbow to fingers in a decomposed state.

He immediately raised an alarm and informed police about it.
Info

Massachusetts Town OKs $20 Fine for Swearing in Public

© The Associated Press/Steven Senne
Residents of Middleborough, Mass., pictured here, voted on Monday to impose a $20 fine for public swearing.
Middleborough, Massachusetts - Residents in a town outside Boston voted Monday night to make the foul-mouthed pay fines for swearing in public.

At a town meeting, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity.

Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.

"I'm really happy about it," Mimi Duphily, a store owner and former town selectwoman, said after the vote. "I'm sure there's going to be some fallout, but I think what we did was necessary."

Duphily, who runs an auto parts store, is among the downtown merchants who wanted to take a stand against the kind of swearing that can make customers uncomfortable.

"They'll sit on the bench and yell back and forth to each other with the foulest language. It's just so inappropriate," she said.

The measure could raise questions about constitutional free speech rights, but state law does allow towns to enforce local laws that give police the power to arrest anyone who "addresses another person with profane or obscene language" in a public place.
Pistol

Update: SWAT Team Sent in Home to Hunt for Auburn Suspect

© The Associated Press/Dave Martin
Law enforcement officials search a home in Montgomery, Ala., Monday, June 11, 2012. Authorities searching for the man charged with fatally shooting three people near Auburn University swarmed the house Monday where they believe he's hiding, firing tear gas and sending a tactical team on cautious forays inside.
Montgomery, Alabama - Authorities searching for a man charged with fatally shooting three people near Auburn University swarmed a house Monday where they believe he's hiding, firing tear gas and sending a tactical team on forays inside.

Authorities arrived in the late afternoon, and investigators were still on the scene after midnight without bringing someone out of the house. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said they were going to continue to scour the attic, air conditioning ducts and "every crevice" of the house until they were satisfied. Still, by early Tuesday morning an Associated Press photographer on the scene saw much of the activity diminish while investigators stood guard outside.

Investigators said thermal imaging and other technology indicated a person was in the attic area of the house and that they'd heard coughing and movement. But after midnight, they acknowledged that they hadn't heard those noises for several hours. Strange said the next briefing was likely to come after daylight Tuesday.

The tactical team had searched the lower portions of the house and made deliberate moves into the attic where suspect Desmonte Leonard was believed to be hiding, said Montgomery Public Safety Director Chris Murphy. He declined to give a timetable for them to bring someone out.
People

'You're not special' graduation speech sparks buzz

Social media was buzzing about a Boston-area high school teacher's blunt commencement speech that told students they "are not special."


Wellesley High English teacher David McCullough Jr. told graduates "You are not special. You are not exceptional," quoting empirical evidence:
Stormtrooper

Police State: Aurora Police Stop Dozens Of Innocent Drivers at Gunpoint Looking For Robbery Suspect

Aurora Police Searched Series Of Cars Looking For Suspect


Denver - Aurora police stopped dozens of cars and pulled out their drivers at gunpoint looking for a bank robbery suspect Saturday afternoon.

Police said an armed man robbed a Wells Fargo bank on E. Hampden Avenue and S. Chambers Road and fled.

Police tracked the robber to the intersection of E. Iliff Avenue and S. Buckley Road.

Responding officers barricaded the area, trapping about 25 cars near the intersection. Then police went car by car and pulled out each occupant at gunpoint and handcuffed them.
Attention

More U.S. Soldiers Take Their Own Lives than are Killed in Action

dog tags
Almost every day this year, a soldier on active duty took his or her own life -- meaning that suicides killed more troops than war, according to a just released study.

The Times as well many other media organizations have reported that there had been 154 suicides this year, compared to 124 military fatalities.

This means that 2012 might mark the highest number of recorded suicides since the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dollar

Increasingly, Europe Looks Like America of 2008

banking collapse
© unknown
Events in Europe are following the pattern seen in the U.S. several years ago. In Europe, financial crises in small countries are now giving way to crises in large ones.

This parallels what happened here. In 2005, home-building stocks peaked, and the national housing market peaked around year-end. In 2006, mortgage lenders and brokers began going bust. In winter 2007, the stocks of large financial companies peaked. In the spring, Bear Stearns announced problems with two real estate funds it sponsored.

In July, the Russell 2000 peaked. In August, the Fed temporarily reversed its tightening bias by announcing a small emergency cut in its "discount window" interest rate.

Also that month, if memory serves me correctly, the economist Ben Stein announced that no one should worry, what was happening in sub-prime would stay in sub-prime.

In the fall, problems with bond insurers became apparent, and cracks started appearing in the auction rate securities ARS) market. The Dow and S&P 500 peaked.
Arrow Down

Economic Insanity: Italy bailing out Spain?

house prices
© Forbes
Will Spain's bailout boost the markets on Monday? As Abram Brown points out the markets are eager for good news. But there are serious question marks over the bail out. Not least that the Spanish can't seem to agree on what they have agreed to. And Euro zone members don't actually know how they are going to pull off this refinancing.

What they believe they have done is create a plan that will ward off contagion if the Greek election goes against the pro-austerity parties Monday week. That might be unraveling already, as Spaniards take to the streets to protest against the deal. Add in to the mix, skepticism about the size of the rescue - $125 billion is just not enough some analysts are saying. The real figure is at least double that.

Comment: This extract from the article is very telling:
"The bailout seems to be coming from the EFSF [...]. Italy, a country with its own serious sovereign debt problems, guarantees 18% of the facility."
If you have watched the comprehensive documentary on the global financial crisis of 2008 "Inside Job", Narrated by Matt Damon, there is a very similar financially corrupt illusion of stability presented: Goldman Sachs (and probably JP Morgan) bought Credit Default Swaps (insurance) from AIG to cover their potential losses on the collapsing housing market they were heavily exposed to. However, AIG simply did not have enough collateral to cover the 'insurance' when it was called in for the amount Goldman Sachs had bought.

The Eurozone ponzi scheme is similar: Spain's banks speculated massively on the property bubble and are now, due to its collapse, liable for massive incurred debts. The fragility of the whole economy becomes startlingly clear when we see that to cover these losses, loans are coming indirectly from Italy who itself is completely insolvent and next in line for a bailout..

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