Robots Who Are Trying Their Best

Robots. In fiction, they range from homicidal to cute and they are incredibly smart machines who more often than not outwit us monkey-brained humans. But in real life? They have a lot of catching up to do.

But they’re trying just so hard.

Cereal Box Battle Bot

The Bot: “The Krave Monster” is like an angry kitten. An adorable cute little thing but also surprisingly dangerous and pointy. Just look at it masticate its enemies in its adorable, delicious maw! Aww!

Room For Improvement: In order to be considered a truly fearsome foe, it needs to find a much scarier look than bizarrely goopy cereal.

Rating: 7/10

The Heinz Automato57

The Bot: MIT’s follow-up to the seminal Catsup Crapper, the Heinz Automato57 offers automatic condiment dispensary with the talent and enthusiasum of a three-year-old. Even if you do manage to stop it before it makes your entire life resemble a sticky murder scene, all of your food ever is now an inedible mess.

Room For Improvement: Aim, for one. Control of application is certainly another. Not having terrifying chicken wing arms would also be a plus.

Rating: 2/10

The Breakfast Machine

The Bot: Don’t’cha just hate mornings? This robot is here to help! Even in your most hungover, apathetic, or lazy state, this cheerful little friend will pour you a bowl of cereal and even feed you, you clumsy ape!

Well, in theory, anyway. It tries and then drops the spoon like one would drop a mic after spitting a fire rhyme.

Room For Improvement: It’s great if you only want a shot of breakfast and not an entire bowl. So there’s that.

Rating: 1/10

Ben and Jerry’sBot

The Bot: After careful selection and entering of the keypad, and diligent work by the robot to retrieve your daily delights, BEHOLD! LID!

Room For Improvement: Unlike most of the robots on this list, it doesn’t suck enough.

Rating: 1/10

Deliverybot

The Bot: Special Delivery! This robot is trying so hard to be organized and helpful but he does about as well as trying to arrange things in a game of Skyrim.

But he isn’t just a robot made to arrange things. He FEELS things too. And those things are despair.

Room For Improvement: This robot doesn’t need so much as more work in programming as much as emotional support. I hope someone gives him lots of hugs, even when he fails.

Rating: 9/10

Can’t get enough of adorable robots who are just trying to make their way in this crazy universe? Check this out!

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:
www.interlinkedtheseries.com

5 Hilarious and Terrible Foreign Covers of Familiar Books

1. A Game of Thrones – Russia

In the dark times before HBO/Starz/Showtime/Taco Bell/KFC/NASA told us what everyone looked like, bizarre fantasy book illustrations reigned supreme and this Russian cover for A Game of Thrones from the 90s is beautifully, horribly no exception.

Who even is that in the front? Arya? Joffrey with unfortunately-shaped armor that gives him ladylike curves? Is that supposed to be The Hound? Yoren protecting Arya from the Kingsguard? And who the heck is that ponce with a hat? Is that supposed to be a direwolf beside him because it looks like a husky with a mental deficiency.

Russia, you’re so strange.

2. Eragon – Italy

Apparently, Italy missed the memo that the first book is The Blue One and that it’s the second book, Eldest is The Red One but the confusion is understandable considering the dragon on the cover is name Saphira like sapphire like blue rock.

I’d also just like to point out that in the International Covers Gallery on his website, Christopher Paolini has pictures of his leather-bound copies of the series that look like they belong on your grandma’s bookshelf next to the 1984 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.

3. The Hobbit – Sweden

Tove-Jansson-The-Hobbit

Being such an older and ubiquitous book, there were lots of weird foreign editions to choose from but this one is just beautifully bizarre.

I like to call this “Ten Year Old Bilbo Takes a Power Nap” because, I mean, just look at it. Between the nightcap and the youthful, cartoony face beneath it there’s just a lot here that makes no sense, up to and including the battle axe. Sting? More like Smash! Maybe they confused him with Tyrion for a hot minute.

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This action figure deserves its own article.

4. The Catcher In The Rye – Arabic

The Catcher in the Rye cover Arabic by دار المدى للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع

The original cover of The Catcher In The Rye is already kinda out there with its terrifying carousel Pale Horse Of Death thing going on (I still have nightmares of the giant poster in my freshman year English classroom), this one is. Um. It’s there.

Some other covers play up the hat or just go full abstract, but this one… this one looks like the kind of project I’d make in the third grade when we had to design new covers to go with our book reports. It certainly gives Holden Caulfield a reason to be so depressed and obnoxious. Just look at that hairline, you’d be whiny too!

5. Harry Potter – Korea/Japan

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source

No, it’s not technically a cover, but it’s too amusing not to share.

I recently discovered in my adventures in NYC’s Koreatown that Harry Potter is actually split up into smaller, easier-to-carry novella-sized volumes since small books are much more popular there.

While it must be nicer to carry than the massive tree-chunks that were the later books, that means that the entire series is broken up into 23 volumes.

In Japan, there are only 19 books, much more convenient!

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Special Mentions go to:

Harry Potter and the Cooky Art Teacher Vibes

(Germany)

Harry Potter and the Alarming Reminder That He’s WAY Too Young To Be Putting His Life In Danger Like This
(He Should Be Worrying More About Pokemon Cards Or Something)

(Spain)

Harry Potter and I Have No Idea What Is Happening Here

(Italy)

Harry Potter and Have They Ever Seen A Train Before, That Might Be the Ocarina Of Time?

(Sweden)

Harry Potter and The Only Things Still Clean on Laundry Day

(Denmark)

Harry Potter and IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE UMBRIDGE THEY DID NOT NEED TO MAKE HER WORSE and Also Why Are There Two Harry’s and Hermione Is Now Part House Elf Now, Cool and Everyone Is Wearing Ravenclaw Colors There’s So Much Wrong With This Help

(For f&@(‘s sake, Finland!)

And Finally:

Harry Potter and I’d Like To Point Out That Snake Has a Face

(Ukraine)


If you love my writing with all its snarky sarcasm and hilarious commentary (if I might toot my own horn for a moment) you’d love inter_linked the Series, a serialized novel about friendship, sarcasm, and robots.

Anny messed up. Big time. Now she’s stuck with WISR, the most bitter and sarcastic android every programmed. Now they travel the stars, trying to save every robot they can – if they don’t kill each other first!

It’s free to read on www.interlinkedtheseries.com with updates every Monday and Friday.
Patrons read a day early!

Read More:

Read It and Weep Re-Read
4 Books That Are Just Un-Film-Able (and How to Pull It Off Anyway)
I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have to (Part 1)
I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have to (Part 2, Rogue One)
Steven Universe: The Movie: The Review

You and Your Writer: A Guide To Your New Friend

Today we have a guest post from the lovely Mae McKinnon!

Writer 1 by Maeix2

So you have yourself an author. Now what?

There are many types of authors. In fact, there are as many different types of authors are there are people being authors and then some, because, being creative beings, they’re quite capable of seeing a different point of view, or two, or ten, all at once, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Some require more attentive care, while others, like weeds, will flourish everywhere and anywhere, including where you least expect them.

After many years of studying this elusive creature – the author – I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some attributes that are shared, to a greater or lesser extent, across the field

 Image result for free to a good home sign

Approaching

If your author is staring vaguely ahead, making “hmm” noises in random places in your conversation or has managed to finally fish their pen out from between three notebooks, a jar of phoenix oil, two crumpled up ticket stubs and a shopping list last seen in 2001, leave them alone or they might be prone to biting. Better yet, bring them another cup of something hot and some nibbles and tiptoe gently away.

Interruptions

Unexpected interruptions are amongst the five highest reasons why you might see your author begin to amass blankets, books and walls in an effort to create a writing den where the world stays firmly on the other side of the walls.

Questions and statements such as “you said you’d be finished three hours ago!”, “what d’you say we go to the beach tomorrow?” and “did you see where I put my wallet?” are highly discouraged and will often illicit a gruff response which should not be taken personally.

“Excuse me, I think your leg is on fire!” will receive the same response, but there are times when you must brave your author’s personal space for their sake.

Distractions

Seemingly random cries of “SHINY!” or “PRECIOUSS!” is a good indicator that you have acquired a fantasy author. These are easily distracted *and* completely absorbed in their work. This isn’t a contradiction. In fact, it’s perfectly natural and just means that your author is hard at work and it’s *not* an invitation to interrupt with questions about what they want for dinner.

Editing

It’s important to supply your author with a good editor in addition to their normal diet. This will reduce the amount of being woken up in the middle of the night by your trusted companion having nightmares about commas and fanged grammar sites chasing them. It also contributes to a glossy coat, reduces stress and gives your author someone to talk to that understands what they actually mean compared to what they’re saying.

Bookshop 1 by Maeix2

Bookshops

Bookshops, especially well-stocked larger stores or small second-hand shops designed as a maze built out of books in various stages of falling apart, are excellent if you need to park your author somewhere for several hours.

Warning: You may have trouble retrieving your author again.

 

Cat on keyboard 1 by Maeix2

Four-Legged Strategies

If you’ve got four legs, fur, and are known to go meow, woof, whuff or eeep, you will already be an expert in how to best distract, comfort and confuse your author. For best result, we encourage you to place yourself where you can achieve maximum amount of disruption to your author’s writing while obviously still having their best interest at heart.

Sitting on the keyboard has been called the ultimate strategy but should only be attempted when you know that your author has not hit the save button yet.

 

Curious Habits:

Include:

  •  Staring vaguely into space.
  •  Building up a small collection of hot tea or coffee next to them and only remembering said beverage when it’s grown cold.
  •  Forgetting to eat. This is a frequent occurrence, especially if your author is drafting, editing or writing. Please feed your author regularly after midnight for best result.
  •  Walking into things. The more stationary the better.
  •  Talking to themselves, characters, plants, pets, furniture or, should all other intelligible conversation be exhausted, to other human beings.
  •  Attraction to the nocturnal (steaks rather than stakes will keep your author healthy).

And last, some nuggets of wisdom gathered by our trusty field operatives…

DO’S

  •  Encourage your author with words, their favourite cookie and scratches behind their ears when they’ve finished that manuscript/draft/paragraph.
  •  Make sure there are plenty of your author’s favourite pens, papers, treats and toys at home.
  •  Be ready with a hug or five when your author is feeling dejected. Rejections has been known to hit many authors very hard, but some days even just waking up will have a similar effect.

DON’TS

  •  Ask what your author’s book is about or how it’s going or go “gosh, I haven’t seen you in three years, didn’t you use to scribble back in the day?” unless you’re prepared for the consequences.
  •  Bring your author to social gatherings without ample warning and an escape route planned in advance.
  •  Forget to feed or exercise your author regularly.

Sunrise 1 by Maeix2

Remember, an author is for life, not just for Christmas!

 

i8uNnm96_400x400Mae McKinnon is a fantasy and Sci-fi author and, is a rather peculiar creature herself. This is a tag she wears proudly. She’s got a penchant for dragons, and really, really wishes she could send her Muse to obedience training. When not busy being dictated to be her characters or tearing her hair out at their latest antics, she enjoys crafting, painting, and reading and a whole lot of other things ending in –ing.

She is the author of many titles, including: Academia Draconia, The Damsel and the Dragon, High Fyelds: A New beginning and High Fyelds: The Big Race as well as You’re a dragon – a gamebook

You can find her collection Amazon and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Where Are They Now? Classic Children’s Book Characters’ Modern Lives

There are some real classics in children’s literature, stories and books that have been passed down for generations. But those fictional kids can’t be little forever, right?

So here’s what they’re doing with their lives:

Please note: This is all purely speculation and as such, I did not include characters like Meg Murray and Anne (of Green Gables) as most of their lives are already spelled all the way out. Feel free to point yourself towards Wikipedia if you feel like having your heart ripped out.

Peter Thatcher

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Age Then: 10
Publication Date: 1972
Age Now: 56

These books have been updated a few times over the years, although they can’t seem to get rid of the bellhop minor character, I guess it’s really hard to push elevator buttons when you live on the Upper East Side. Either way, I’m going by original publication date.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the chronicles of one kid who just wants a normal life in a family with a turtle-swallowing, obsessive, eccentric little brother who makes an ordinary existence impossible.

After getting a useless Graphic Design degree from some college upstate, Pete’s dad gets him a job at his ad agency where he outshines his papa because he “gets the kids”. He goes on to marry Sheila (the Great) and they have three kids who get on the Honor Roll and stuff. He dreams of retirement in a decade and is secretly planning on buying himself a convertible as a present to himself where he can blast Blue Oyster Cult without anyone nagging.

Fern Arable

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Age Then: 8
Publication Date: 1952
Age Now: 74

Fern was a weird kid. She had maybe one human friend her own age and also thought she could talk to pigs and spiders. I guess that’s what happens when you’re an only child on a farm in a state shaped like a square.

While the kids and grandkids loved their Disney Princess lady who insisted she could speak swine, later they all came to realize that Grandmama Fern is insane. It’s become a bit of a family sport to see who can get her to tear up about the spiders first. There’s also been a decades-long argument about naming a kid after Wilbur. She’s holding out for that Terrific pig.

Madeline

madelinepic1.jpg

Age Then: 7
Publication Date: 1939
Age Now: 86

Don’t let the prim and proper French-ness and the fancy hat fool you, Madeline was a wild child. She yelled at tigers when they annoyed her. She adopted stray dogs when she felt like it. She made the future psychopath Spanish kid next door think “Wow, I should really mellow out.” If she wasn’t sent to a boarding school with math-inclined nuns, she would have become a pirate and taken over a small island nation.

And even at 86, Maddie is rocking. it. She skydives. She owns a hanglider. She’s planning to be the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest. And this is after she took off for the circus (she ran with gypsies in one of those books!), saved an entire platoon in the war as a teenager single-handedly, and invented numerous sick skateboarding moves. Although she strangely has a habit of breaking into rhyme…

Matilda Wormwood

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Age Then: 5-and-a-Half
Publication Date: 1988
Age Now: 35-ish

Matilda was an odd child, not only because she read the entire local library at age four but also because she’s got superpowers.

So in the summer of 1993, a mysterious owl flies into the window of Miss Honey and Matilda carrying a letter from a mysterious school with a funny name somewhere in the mountains of Scotland.

Matilda is sorted into Ravenclaw, becomes the Prefect in her second year (because once an overachiever, always an overachiever) and graduated despite the kids two years older than her trying to get the rest of them killed.

She goes back to teach in the Muggle system and uses her scary brain nonverbal magic to get her kids in line.

Alexander

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Age Then: 7 probably
Publication Date: 1972
Age Now: 53

Alexander was having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. And he swore he was moving to Australia.

So figuring his whiny kid needed a little escapism from his jerk brothers who beat him up all the time (seriously, why did the parents never step in those parts?), hippy-dippy Frodo Lives Dad slips Alex a copy of The Hobbit which launches a life of fanboyism.

Working as a lowly PA and fluffy-microphone-holding guy in LA finally netted him a dream job on the set of Fellowship in New Zealand where he married a beautiful Kiwi woman and he’s almost developed the accent.

He still threatens to move to Australia when things go sideways, but this time he does it in Sindarin.

What do you think of these predictions?
Any favorites that didn’t make the list?
Leave a comment!