Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Three Laws of Robotics and why I wish I had put those chocolate chips somewhere else.

  • Law #1: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • Law #2: A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • Law #3: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


Isaac Asimov. This picture is amazing.

I, Robot is a fascinating collection of stories by Isaac Asimov that explore the interaction of these three laws and in what situations robots might malfunction while trying to follow them. 

In one story, when a robot has its Law #3 strengthened a bit by its programmers, it becomes "drunk" as it vacillates between saving a human's life and keeping itself from harm. It goes cuckoo and recites poetry while running in a circle. 

I realized the other day that I, too, have a few laws I live by.

Law #1: You should try to limit the unhealthy food you ingest.

Law #2: Chocolate and ice cream (and chocolate ice cream) are delicious, and you should eat as much of them as you want.

Look, we all know that Law #1 is supposed to be supremely important. But for some reason, my Law #2 has been strengthened. Who did that? Not my fault. 

The result is that the two laws are so equally and harmoniously balanced in my brain that I am stuck in a loop of insanity. I go from enjoying my ice cream --> to deciding I probably shouldn't have ice cream next time --> to enjoying my ice cream again. And I enjoy it immensely, don't you worry. (Please stop right now if you're about to say "moderation in all things" in a wise voice. Thank you in advance. I am not interested in moderation.)

Fortunately, there is a third law that I can't overlook:

Law #3: Exercising can be difficult, but it feels great.

Will this law balance the other two? Will it save me? Will it? Only time will tell. 


this isn't actually chocolate, it's dirt.
Bennett's three laws might be a little different from mine...


UPDATE:

Uh-oh. I just discovered Law #4, which might trump all previous laws: The R*&ch Law. I saw a r^@ch in our garage yesterday in a box right in front of our extra freezer. The freezer which happens to contain the chocolate chips AND the ice cream. Things just got real. If I start spouting poetry, you'll know why.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Solo-Certified!

This morning, after logging my 18th jump, I finally got solo-certified. I'm officially a licensed skydiver! And I'm on my way to becoming an instructor. It's been an amazing journey, one I never thought I'd go on. Thank you to everyone who has helped me and encouraged me to follow my dreams! You guys are the best :)

(April Fools!)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Santa Baby

Santa baby, 

Slip a smile under the tree

For me


Been an awful good mom (I mean, within reason),

 
Santa baby,



So please, won't you sleep through the night?







Santa baby, some boxes came from Amazon
Get Mom
To spill the beans about what's in them, Santa baby



Hurry up! We're burning daylight
(and you know she can't resist you)



Santa baby, can you get a simple message across:
I'm the boss.

Tell our brothers I'm the oldest and in charge, Santa baby,
Get them to obey me, all right?






Santa baby, it's time while the others are at school
To rule
The house and play with all their stuff, Santa baby,
Little brothers unite!



Santa honey, one more thing that would be really great?
A date
To the movies with your daddy out late, Santa baby,
Take a bottle from the sitter tonight
(no? it was worth a try...)




More Christmas Karol-y fun:

Monday, October 31, 2016

The True Story of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Once upon a time, in the east, there lived a very wicked witch.


However, she was also a very unhappy witch.


And honestly, what good is being wicked if you feel unfulfilled?

The wicked yet miserable witch decided to ask a friend -- a professor of Divination -- for some advice.


Well, the Inner Eye predicted that the witch could and would achieve true happiness on one condition:

If she got a dog.

The witch loved puppies! She decided to set a trap by wearing a pair of cute red shoes. 


Sure enough, a house soon fell from the sky. It was a close call, but the wicked witch stepped aside in the nick of time. Out of the house came a dizzy girl with a little black puppy.


The girl was all too glad to trade the shoes for her dog. She had a party with some munchkins to get to, and ruby slippers were just the thing to complete her look. Besides, she was tired of cleaning up after the puppy, who still wasn't showing any interest in potty training.

The witch was super excited about her new pet.


Until she realized she had no idea how to take care of a puppy. I mean, how do you keep them from crying??



Yes, our wicked witch needed help. She decided to look up a local scarecrow who was known for his brains. Surely he would think of something.


And although the scarecrow wasn't real good with crows, 


he did have a few tricks up that straw-stuffed sleeve for keeping puppies happy. With a game or two of fetch,


a little cuddling,



and a decent nap,



things were working out pretty well.

However, it turns out this particular dog breed doesn't like to sleep through the night. Yeah, nighttime was rough.

The witch decided to contact a local woodsman who'd slept standing up for years after an unfortunate rusting incident. Surely he'd have some tips for insomnia.



She asked him if he'd be willing to take a break from destroying the forest to help a sister out.



Fortunately, he was willing.

But unfortunately, neither of them had taken into account the puppy's incessant drooling. Moisture isn't good for tin woodsmen if they want to stay un-rusty, and it DEFINITELY isn't good for wicked witches, if you know what I mean.


Yes, things were getting downright dangerous. 

So they called in the King of the Forest. Who better to protect them from every kind of peril?


And you better believe that lion was good at his job.


But let's be honest -- being a king isn't always all it's cracked up to be. I mean, doggies are constant work, and we all know that a cat's patience with them can wear a little thin at times.


So... after some brainstorming, the witch's assistants suggested seeking the help of a local wizard. One with a reputation for being great and powerful. 


At first, the witch was hesitant; you know it can be pretty risky to get involved with a wizard. 

But there were monkeys to enchant, after all, and flowers to be made poisonous, and the witch needed some serious backup if she was going to get anything done. 


Plus, the lion could eat the wizard if he gave them too much trouble.


So they were off to see the wizard, the one who was rumored to be so wonderful.


And to make a long story short, I know it's hard to believe, but that wizard lived up to his reputation in every way. 

Among his many other talents, he was one magical puppysitter.
Let's hope he's good at potty training too.


And they all lived happily, albeit wickedly in one case, and hungrily in another case since the lion didn't get to eat anyone, ever after. 

And their little dog, too.


(At least, I'm pretty sure that's how the story goes. I'm not great with details.)


for more merrilykaroly (+addie) Halloween adventures:
A Cautionary Tale About Using Science to Accomplish Your Evil Goals

Thursday, September 22, 2016

all you need to know about babies.

(by an expert)

well, he's finally here, guys.


so just let me know if you have any questions.


by now I know all the important things about babies.


like the right spot to hear a baby's heartbeat.


and all the best baby knock-knock jokes.


and how to knock out anyone
who doesn't treat my baby brother with respect.
  

that's right.
I know people.


on the whole, babies are really pretty easy.


 all they need is a little bit of lovin.


(and a lot of diaper changes.)