Friday, 6 April 2018

Life imitating art!

So Boris Johnson lied. Well, maybe not so much lied as made assumptions and decided that his assumptions were the truth. How amazing to be so confident that you can feel sure that what you think happened must be correct. So confident that you can tell the world that that is so. This is the confidence you get from a good education, I suppose!

If it all leads to another cold war, well, that’s how it goes.

Rather like a spy story! 

And then we have bits of London turning into Baltimore, USA, the parts of Baltimore that we see depicted in “The Wire”. For I am sure there are parts of Baltimore that are perfectly and not at all dangerous to live in. In fact, if I remember rightly, many of Ann Tyler’s excellent novels are set in Baltimore and it seems to be a very nice, ordinary place. Anyway, London has seen 50 killings this year so far and it’s only April 6th! Not at all unlike the gangland, drug-selling Baltimore from the TV series.  

Getting into the realms of science fiction we have already had the first driverless car fatal accident. A driverless car somewhere in the United States failed to register a cyclist, I think it was, and went on its way into a collision with the cyclist. The robots taking their revenge perhaps?

I read that NASA has a project in hand to replace the “rovers” which up to now have carried out remote exploration on far way planets with robotic bees. The plan is to produce swarms of micro-bits, called Marsbees, studded with sensors and able to move quickly over the surface of Mars collecting data.

We keep on hearing that bees are endangered. Numbers are dropping and, according to some, the worst case scenario is that when the bees have died out, humankind is doomed. It’s not the lack of honey that is the problem. That would really only affect Pooh-bear-types like my husband, who uses honey instead of sugar, and our eldest granddaughter, who still loves honey and banana sandwiches! NASA has two teams of researchers working to design a robotic bee that can fly on Mars. No, the problem is the pollination work done by bees.

And so lots of scientific agencies are busily working on robot bees which could be programmed to do the job. In fact, Walmart has already filed a patent on robotic bees to pollinate crops. Cynics are already saying this is because Walmart want to have control of food production as well as distribution. Who knows!

I do, however, know that there was an episode of the very dark sci-fi series “Black Mirror” where someone hacked into the robot bees and reprogrammed them to carry out a revenge plan for him.

Be careful what you wish for and what you say. Fact is stranger than fiction and may come back to bit you in the end.

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