Posts from 14th June 2006

14
Jun 06

RoboCup

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 450 views

Yes, yes the football World Cup. But also in Germany concurrently as if to cash in on the interest in football in that country we have the Robot Soccer World Cup. A great idea, and one which suffers slightly from Robot Wars syndrome. ie You say the name to me and I think of C-3PO kicking a ball around, not a souped up remote control car. I think it will be some time before we see Number Five playing at number 5, or any position.

Still they are an ambitious sort according to the BBC story. The hope is that a robot team will be able to beat the Human World Cup champions by 2050. One assumes just before subjugating us under robot control and then destroying all of mankind. Maybe football is all we have left.

Unfortunately I can’t find any UK teams. So instead I might be rooting for: RFC Cambridge: from Harvard / MIT, The Orient (Japan) or Austin Villa from the University of Texas.

Bath (Social) Science

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 293 views

I think I first got a scientific urge from when I was allowed to take baths on my own as a child. Luckily my urges tended away from the biological and towards the chemical, as my main source of experimenting would be with the various shampoos, soaps, conditioners and other potions in the bathroom cabinet. They were coloured chemicals just like wot Jerry Lewis had in the nutty professor.

The only really interesting one though was Dettol. As a young child I was regularly bathed in dettol, a capful per bath, and kind of assumed everyone else did. There was always a piney fresh smell at school in the morning. Dettol (a disinfectant) however seems o be bath fodder for a minority of other punters. Doing a quick survey in the pub it was noted that it seemed restricted to the slightly older, and slightly more working class bunch. As you’d expect right?

Everyone else expressed a preference for Matey. Pah – I said. Soft middle-class Matey, and Ms Matey (sister or girlfriend, never sure) and the robot mate, and now the parrot (Matey has reverted to its nautical theme). Until a bit more research came up with a relative pricing, where 500ml of Dettol (a multi-purpose disinfectant after all) was twice as much as a bottle of Matey.

So my class stratification seems not to work. UNLESS: We poorer chaps were washed in Dettol because
a) Family bought Dettol for multi-purpose activities, bathing was one of many
b) We were much dirtier and prone to be covered in germs
c) Parents found idea of anthropomorphic bubble baths a bit fey and spooky.

Later I had to give up bath science as I used some of my Mum’s special shampoo on my hair which made it go all silvery. How was I to know.