I, for one, welcome our new robot masters.

Please keep in mind that the primary function of stories like this is to distract us from the fact that a whole fucking lot of people are going to die.

That said, this is pretty neat:

Military robots well trained for war

[...] But the new conflict persuaded the military to move faster. At the time, the state-of-the-art means for clearing a cave was to tie a rope around the waist of an infantryman, who would crawl in and toss ahead a grappling hook to probe for mines or booby traps.

[...] Able to ride on tracks like a small tank, climb stairs and work under 3 meters of water or force of up to 400 times gravity, Packbots made their debut just six weeks later at a cave complex outside the village of Nazaraht, near the Pakistani border.

[...] Later, they offered advice, complaining that the signal wasn't penetrating the walls of deep caves. So Tom Frost, an iRobot engineer at the scene, built a makeshift network of radio repeaters by scavenging old Soviet trucks that littered Bagram Air Base. And when soldiers asked Frost if PackBot could work with the computers integrated into their clothing, he downloaded the necessary code over a satellite.

[...] And sometimes, especially in towns, what the soldiers really wanted was a "throw bot" they could toss over a wall or through a window.

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Clergy Discount

Well today's big news, of course, is that the Supreme Court (posessed by the ghost of Sony Bono) choked on Disney's cock. But I have nothing to say about that that hasn't been said better elsewhere:

lessig, eldred.cc, boingboing.net;

So instead let's just make fun of priests:

Clergy Discount:

The double-sided sign stands outside Pure Pleasure in Stewartville so people going to and from the neighbouring Midwest Baptist Church can see it.

To people driving towards the church, the sign reads: "And God said go out into the world and have great sex. God's gift to women. Amen and amen." People leaving the church see: "No need to mail order. Gay videos in stock. Clergy discount. Have good sex. Hallelujah!"

The Rev Joseph Grimaldi, who heads the church said: "This sign shows me that he's not only thumbing his nose at the laws of the township, he's thumbing his nose at the laws of God. I just hope I'm not too close when the lightning strikes."

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you'll hang for that, Barry Whittaker!

Australian miner frames father's tattooed skin

An Australian miner has framed his dad's skin, complete with tattoos, and is hanging it in the dining room. Carl Whittaker's father, Barry, asked for the four tattoos on his back and arms to be removed and preserved following his death from cancer in 1999.

The tattoos - including a large image of an eagle entangled with a snake that once adorned Barry's back - now hang in his son's home.

Mr Whittaker, 31, admits reactions to the memento are mixed: "You've got your fors and againsts, and a lot of people are quite horrified by it all - they look and say 'Oh my God'. The people that know me just know it was out of respect for my old man, because he ... was my best mate."

Mr Whittaker, who lives in Mackay in northern Queensland, said his father got the tattoos when he was terminally ill and asked in his will that they be removed and saved after his death.

A taxidermist was employed to remove them and a company agreed to tan the skin. "I thought it was a bit on the wild side myself," Mr Whittaker said. "But that's what he wanted, and I had a lot of respect for the man, so I did it." "I suppose it preserves his memory," he added.

Mr Whittaker says his wife did not object, and he hopes to pass the memorial on to his daughter, who is now 15 months old.

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