There's been a couple of news stories running lately which I interpret of being of quite some concern.

The first is the story about scientists growing an array of rat brain cells in a dish and teaching it to fly an F-22 fighter plane. Aside from the “Ooooooh, aaaaaaah !” factor, this news unsettled one of Toby's mates somewhat because after years of wanting more than anything else to be a pilot, the guy had failed the physical and not been able to pursue this as a career option. However now it's apparently OK to give the job to a brain in a dish !? Hell of a way to make a bloke feel inferior… Mind you, it'll probably put another Top Gun film out of the question.

The part which started to worry me was another story which arrived in the daily wire – a “thinking cap” that can control a PC purely through brain power.

Now am I the only one who can see this, but aren't we leaving ourselves open to the problem of having rogue rat brains surfing the internet ? It's not that I have anything against rat brains as such, it's more that I'm sure they can do it more economically than I can, and… well, that'll be me out of a job ?

OK, the next thing of interest was a link that Mat sent me – a sort of a tourism site for Birmingham. It seems to be along the same sort of lines as I'd publicise Burra, or perhaps Goondiwindi ? Actually, that paragraph doesn't mean anything – I just wanted an excuse to post the link.

Now hopefully Paul the Dodgy Aussie doesn't get too upset about me posting this, but he's written rather a fascinating account of his experiences learning Funk Dancing. It's the kind of account I could only wish to be able to write… sadly though I'll never get anywhere near a funk dancing class; it's been outlawed by the Geneva Convention.

One final story before I go, which I suspect has made it down to Australia – London Underground maintenance requiring parts to be bought off eBay because the parts are so old and hard to come by that nobody's manufacturing them any more. A more common interpretation of the story around here though is general disgust that LU employees must have therefore been stealing the parts and offering them for sale – either on eBay or through other channels. It's weird, but I can't remember what life was like before eBay ?

2004-12-10 : OK, so James Cameron could have been right…
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