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Is Ann Curry Getting Fired From “The Today Show” Because She’s Too Asian?

June 22nd, 2012 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

There’s no shortage of theories as to why Ann Curry will be imminently fired, er, “replaced” as co-host of “The Today Show” after only a one year-stint, a fact first reported by the NY Times’ Media Decoder blog this week. The theories range from the timeless Ann Is Awkward to Ann Is A Bad Actor to the widely-acknowledged but still news-to-me Ann Prefers Hard-Hitting News To Fluff–I guess I’ve always been better-acquainted with this side of her work–to perhaps the least-relevant but still sorta-funniest theory of them all,  Ann Has Terrible Fashion Sense.

The Unfortunate But Perhaps Not Totally Unintentional Chyron That Appeared Under Ann Curry The Day After News Spread Of Her Getting Canned

It’s not just, as Gawker pointed out, that everybody hates Ann Curry, it’s that everybody loves to hate Ann Curry. And though we’ve partaken of this pastime considerably over the years–see Ann Is Making This All About Her or Ann Is An Idiot For Not Letting Ryan Gosling Put His Hands All Over Her or Ann Can’t Dance For Shit or the general Ann Is A Robot category–this latest national piling-on in anticipation of her firing just feels too mean.

Perhaps the most interesting theory put forth as to why Ann Curry’s failed to connect with her audience is that she’s Asian. The NY Times’ Mike Hale, who is himself of Asian descent, called Curry “The Today Show” family’s “stepsister,” musing:

I don’t know what personal factors might come into play in creating an on-screen distance. You could speculate about certain things. Ms. Curry is biracial (Japanese-American) and spent part of her early childhood living overseas, a situation that has been known to generate self-reliance and reserve. (Barack Obama probably wouldn’t make the warmest of morning hosts.)

Funny thing is, I never really think about Ann Curry’s Asian-ness. Except when contemplating her flawless, 55 year-old(!) skin. (Bitch, give me the name of your derm.) Then again, descriptors that have been used to describe Curry time and again and especially of late, descriptors like “robotic,” “awkward,” and “unable to emote,” are pretty much code for “Asian.” I mean, hug one of us if you don’t believe me.

Or better yet, save that hug for Ann Curry. She needs it, y’all, poor thing. And while you’re there, lightly feel around, between the shoulder blades I’m guessing, to see if you can make out the almost-imperceptible outline of a control panel. Won’t hurt to look, and it could potentially explain everything.

[NYT: Morning TV's Stepsister Feels the Ratings Heat]

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And You Thought Today Was Bad

April 8th, 2011 | 1 comment | Posted by Diana

I once had a coworker that never actually read any books. She did, however, always read the NYT book review section before all social engagements, so that she’d be prepared to converse semi-knowledgeably about the newly released texts creating conversation among reader folks (aka pathologically pretended to be reader folk). I’ve always found this trick to be pretty abhorrent–HOWEVER, we all have our bad days. So I’m gonna hop on the hypocrisy train for just a minute!

Soooooooooo… I haven’t actually read physicist/string field theorist Michio Kaku‘s book, Physics of the Future, which pulls together conclusions about what the world will be like in a century based on interviews with 300 of the world’s top scientists. And maybe that’s a good thing, since NYT’s Dwight Garner found all that science talk to be “dull” and “charmless.” (<– See how I did that there? You’d like, never even know!) I did, however, read Kaku’s essay about 10 of his most fascinating conclusions, which was originally published in the NY Post.

Here are the headlines, via excerpt: Continue reading And You Thought Today Was Bad

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Japan Revolutionizes The Girl Group

October 19th, 2010 | 10 comments | Posted by Jen

Watch your back, K-pop!

Although Japan’s been eating your dust for years in the girl group game, it’s recently produced quite possibly the most unforgettable pop sensation this world has ever seen.

Give it up for HRP-4C!

Unforgettable, in every way, but mostly in the skin-crawling, vertigo-inducing, scarier-than-clowns, make-it-stop way.

The upshot? She’d make for a terrific Halloween costume, especially if you hate trick-or-treaters, children in general, or, really, all people.

[via The Awl]

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DISGRASIAN’s Summer Reading: We All Scream For Ice Cream

August 24th, 2010 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

We’ll be away from our desks the month of August, carrying on with the non-bloggy aspects of our lives, watching mindless movie blockbusters, and indulging in summery drinks made with generous pours of bourbon. During this month, we’ll be linking each day to a different website that we ♥. Hopefully you’ll discover something delightful and new while we’re gone. If not, you are a serious Captain Crankypants and are probably in dire need of a summery drink made with a generous pour of bourbon.

‘Til September, lovelies.





Summer shmummer. Guys, it’s too fucking hot in Los Angeles right now to do anything. Too hot to walk, too hot to think, too hot to blog, too hot to be nice. It is literally too hot for me to like anybody else’s site enough to send you there, so I’m breaking the DISGRASIAN vacasian rules.

Instead, I am sharing a video of a Japanese robot serving ice cream. It’s the only thing that can make me smile at this particular moment because I am COOKING INSIDE MY OWN SKIN. GOD HELP LOS ANGELES.





[YouTube: Yaskawa-kun Robot Sells Ice Cream In Japan]

Thanks, G Scott and Doug!


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Ann Curry Was Wrong, Therefore We R2

May 25th, 2010 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Y’all know we’ve always thought Ann Curry was a robot. A really silky-voiced, smooth-skinned, awkward-dancing, non-aging robot programmed to never have her lipstick smudge and to have a fangirl’s devotion to Brad Pitt.

BUT WE WERE WRONG.

Because over the weekend, Ann Curry made a mistake. While giving the commencement address at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, she confused it with the Wheaton College in Illinois by citing the latter’s illustrious alumni, which include evangelist Billy Graham, director Wes Craven, and 9/11 hero Todd Beamer.

Proof positive that Ann is…human?

DOES NOT COMPUTE, DOES NOT COMPUTE.

Read her charming apology here, where she asks for forgiveness twice and admits, “I am mortified by my mistake.” She may not be a robot, but feeling shame over making a very public mistake means she’s most definitely Asian.

[via HuffPo]

Thanks, Shaheen and Dave!

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How To Make A Wedding Even More Awkward: A Robot

May 17th, 2010 | 7 comments | Posted by Diana

Here’s a romantic story…

A Japanese robotics professor falls for a beautiful female employee of Kokoro (Sanrio’s humanoid robot division). They tumble deeply in love, and are married at a beautiful ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. The sacred, romantic service is officiated by none other than their close friend… a humanoid robot with the world’s cutest voice.

And no, it wasn’t Ann Curry:




Robot. Wedding. Robot. Wedding.

OMG OMG OMG I JUST HAVE CREEPY AWKWARD TINGLES RUNNING ALL THROUGH MY BODY RIGHT NOW! MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP MAKE IT STOP!

[via Boing Boing]

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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This Robot Woks

April 14th, 2010 | 6 comments | Posted by Jen

Finally, a robot’s been invented that isn’t just an expensive (read: sad), cutting-edge (read: sad), and sad (read: pathetic) excuse for a blow-up doll.

Students at Yangzhou University and Shanghai Jiaotong University in China have come up with a fully-automated robot that can cook “600 classic Chinese dishes,” according to Popular Science. (Only from a civilization that’s been around for a gajillion years like China could you have 600 “classic” dishes.) All you have to do is pour in the ingredients and let it go to wok.

Here’s a demo from the 2009 version (begins at :30):

This is so much better than a sex robot. Actually, this may even be better than sex.

[via Neatorama]

[Popular Science: Student-Created Wok Robot Can Cook 600 Chinese Dishes]<--Look, Dad, I read a science journal!

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AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Naked Padma Lakshmi

December 7th, 2009 | 3 comments | Posted by Diana

Padma Lakshmi tells Page Six Magazine this week, “I like me better naked.”

Here's hoping she never gets dressed again

Here's hoping she never gets dressed again


And we couldnt’ agree more. To be clear, the context of that comment is actually about being perceived as one’s genuine self:

“I don’t mean that in a vain way… When you put clothes on, you immediately put a character on. Clothes are adjectives, they are indicators. When you don’t have any clothes on, it’s just you, raw, and you can’t hide.

Continue reading AMAZIAN OF THE WEEK! Naked Padma Lakshmi

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! Ann Curry

November 19th, 2009 | 2 comments | Posted by Jen

Our pal Angry Asian Man haaaaates it when we make fun of Ann Curry, because he’s got a mad crush on the Today show anchor, who turns 53 today.

People CurryBut the truth is, we do, too.

There’s something ineffably charming about her, whether it’s her repeatedly wishing you a good morning or her oogly-love for Brad Pitt that makes her go all fangirl during an interview. We’ve called her a robot time and again, yet we can’t actually remember how that got started in the first place–must have something to do with how perfect she always seems (and certainly how perfect her lipstick always is).

She’s just trying soooooo hard alllllll the time, y’know?

She should get points for that. And since it’s her birthday, we’re only going to say nice things about Ann. Here goes:

Ann, baby. You turn 53 today, and you look fuckin’ amazing. Please email us the name and number of your derm when you get a chance. You seem like a nice person, way nicer than us, all oozy with compassion, even when you’re talking to hideous fame trolls like Octomom, i.e. people we’d rather punch in the face. Your voice, that silky, smooth alto, could soothe the bloodlust of famished baby hyenas. We kid and we tease you only out of love. Now please don’t stop doing ridiculous things like really awkward hip-hop dancing or attempting to scale one of the world’s tallest, cruelest mountains or inappropriately touching movie stars’ faces, or we won’t have anything fun to write about anymore.  Oh, and happy birthday!

Source

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ROPID: Cuter Than A Baby Prawn

November 6th, 2009 | 4 comments | Posted by Diana

Meet Ropid (Rapid + Robot), a new robot just unveiled by scientists in Japan that jumps, responds to directions…







…and is about 10,396,574 more adorable and fun to watch than your obnoxious little cousin with 1 year of ballet and 4 years of piano lessons under her belt, who your aunt dresses up in stupid party dresses every time there’s the teeniest, mundane family function going on–who she will HUSH AN ENTIRE ROOM FOR (sometimes even an NBA Playoff game) so that the little fucker can sing a song and dance it out, then follow with an encore presentasian of a plunked-out, shitty Sonatina on the piano.

10,396,574 more adorable and fun to watch than your cuz. And you can turn it off.

[BBC News: Jumping Robot An 'Entertainer']

Thanks, Jasmine!

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BIRTHDAY CELEBRASIAN! Julie Chen and Les Moonves’s Baby Boy, Charlie

September 24th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Congratulations to Julie Chen and Les Moonves, who welcomed the birth of their son, Charlie, Thursday morning in Los Angeles. The baby was due October 4th but arrived a little early. This is the first child for Chen, 39. Moonves, 60, has three children from a previous marriage.

Although Charlie was born just a few hours ago, the media-savvy couple have already released his first baby picture:


BABY CHENBOT!!!

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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Padma Lakshmi Has a Secret Talent

July 22nd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Padma Lakshmi has a secret talent. In addition to her obvious ones, like rocking a huge scar, making food from Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. actually seem desirable, and looking good naked, the 38 year-old Top Chef robo-host is secretly FUNNY.

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


Although I’ve never seen evidence of this in the five seasons she’s hosted Top Chef, I cleverly deduced this when I learned that she’d signed a development deal to star in her own sitcom. And, you see, “sitcom” stands for “situational comedy.” And Comedy = Funny. So that must mean Padma = Funny, right?

What kind of funny do you think Padma is exactly? Sardonic funny, like Jon Stewart? Prop-comedy funny, like Carrot Top? (Okay, Carrot Top’s not funny.) Rape-joke funny, à la La Silverman?

Ooh, I just had a terrible thought. What if Padma’s not funny at all? Hmm…

Let’s go over this again together. She’s going to star in her own sitcom. Check. And sitcom stand for “situational comedy.” Check. And Comedy = Funny. Check. So that means Padma = Funny.

Phew! Glad I worked that one out. Padma = Funny, end of story.

[Variety: Padma Lakshmi stirs up sitcom plans]

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Thanks, Jasmine!

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