What Role Will Robots Play In Our Future?

This is a tricky question for a scifi fanatic like me. Because we all know what the cylons in the reboot BSG do to the humans once they evolve past a certain stage.

Anyways, what I truly wish and hope that we do is that we get robots to do some tasks for us that are or can be dangerous. We make the robots in such a way that they are not damaged or ‘harmed” in any way when they do those tasks and jobs. Like for example security jobs and driving vehicles at night. Hey, since they will be programmed well we can totally avoid any sort or accidents and mishaps.

Then we should also look for making robots to be working trains, planes, cars – they won’t fall asleep or get tired late at night. It would be much safer. Then look at getting robots for residential and domestic help. Dad & mom could use a robot or two – with softer hands yet strong bodies – to help around the house and also to raise the kids. You need a feminine looking robot for help around the house and cooking, being nanny and helping to take care of the kids, feed them and do some of the housework. Along with a more masculine looking robot to help dad with his work, do some of the driving and helping with chores around the house as well as being companion to the dad while the female one is companion for the mum.

Hopefully by this time humans would have united and gotten rid of the poverty and crime and stand united as one race. We can then fully expect to travel the galaxy and see other planets and we will need protection from possible hostile alien races or just need help from the elements in other planets and moons. For that we will need militarized robots or robots that can wield weapons and fly our ships and other vehicles and help us. That is what I hope happens.

Prompt from 401 Prompts for Argumentative Writing at The New York Times

Banana & Strawberry

It  might not be my favourite flavour of ice cream from Baskin Robbins (or any place for that matter) but I do like this Banana Strawberry flavour mix that I bought this afternoon. Bite into pieces of fresh strawberries and bananas in every scoop of the delicious Banana ‘N Strawberry ice cream – as they say.

Well it’s not really all that. I have had this one before but this time I kinda felt that the ice cream was lacking a bit of quality. The banana part is actually pretty good, tastes refreshing and deliciously of the best kind of banana. You know, if you get a good banana and mash it in cold milk, ice and some vanilla ice cream – the freshness is intoxicating! This is similar but even more so. Top quality banana stuff.

Where it is lacking is the strawberry part. This time it felt it was more like the cheaper fake strawberry syrup with a bit of strawberry pieces in them. I didn’t enjoy them that much and I do remember liking it a lot more the first time I have had them. Oh well it still is an amazingly refreshing ice cream and we have more for dinner.

3 Day Relaxation

It’s a 3 day weekend once again. Woo-hoo! So happy that it has come at such a deserving time when my department has had such a busy 3.5 months with so many new people joining and we have to conduct their training and also sort out so much other stuff for them. Plus there are the reports and all such nonsense that goes hand in hand with working for a MNC in India and calls and meetings and such.

So it’s a perfect time to chill and relax and sit back. Drink a beer or 5. Actually tonight I’m just having a Pepsi and maybe on Sunday I might have some rum & coke or a beer. I am ordering in some southern style fried chicken from a new joint that has opened up nearby, a combo bucket with 9 piece chicken, some buns, fries and garlic sauce. I’m watching a bunch of Youtube videos at the same time. Once dinner is done, I will settle back and watch a movie (haven’t picked one out yet but I have quite a few that I can choose from and wanna watch this weekend). No football today as Arsenal is playing tomorrow night.

Sunday & Monday is open for me, only things sure is that I will watch a few movies and also a lot of Youtube and music.

Rapid Vienna 1 Arsenal 2

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said there is more to come from “fantastic” Thomas Partey after the midfielder’s superb full debut in the 2-1 Europa League win at Rapid Vienna. David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored two goals in five second-half minutes after a Bernd Leno mistake had gifted Taxiarchis Fountas the opener to ensure the Gunners began Group B with a victory. But it was the performance of £45m deadline day signing Partey that stood out. The former Atletico Madrid player was a calm presence in midfield, breaking down attacks and building play with apparently effortless ease.

It was only Partey’s second appearance in an Arsenal shirt after a late cameo in the 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in the Premier League at the weekend, and Arteta is excited by what is to come from the Ghana international. For a long time in this game, the performance of Partey was the only highlight. The midfielder oozed class, breaking up play with well-timed tackles, getting the ball forward with calm and accurate passes and being alert to any danger posed by the hosts. Partey made a particularly crucial intervention in the first half when he prodded the ball from under the feet of Fountas as the Rapid Vienna forward was about to shoot.

After a tight first half in which chances were few and far between, the hosts took the lead after a big error by Leno. The goalkeeper’s attempted pass was intercepted by Fountas, who then fired home from a tight angle. Another error by Leno almost gifted the Austrians a second when he hit a clearance straight at Fountas, but he was able to recover and parry the striker’s effort. Arsenal lacked quality in the final third as they struggled to open up the hosts but found their bite when Aubameyang came off the bench. Luiz put Arsenal level when he headed in Nicolas Pepe’s free-kick and Aubameyang secured the win when he tapped in from Hector Bellerin’s excellent assist. Leno still looked nervous dealing with passes back to him and another poor clearance hit Luiz and deflected to Fountas, but this time Rapid Vienna’s top scorer could not capitalise.

Garlic Mayo Spread

I use mayonnaise as my main ingredient in a sandwich. ***waits for the gasps to pass*** So for breakfast or sometimes even for dinner I eat what I call a mayo sandwich. Which is where I toast 4 slices of bread and apply liberal coatings of mayo on the sandwiches and eat them for breakfast.

At times, when I am not that lazy, I do like to wait and slice a tomato or cucumbers and add them inside the sandwich but those are rare, few and far between. Now since I like mayo a lot I have moved onto vegetarian mayo or eggless mayo, whatever ever you want to call it. I do like various brands and now I have actually made an online purchase for a Veeba Garlic Mayo jar.

Veeba is an Indian brand and among their various spread they have these garlic mayo. I think their regular eggless mayo is a bit too sweet but it is still ok but the garlic one is better. I did buy another brand which was terrible and I am just gonna dump it in the trash once this one arrives through the online shopping app I purchased it from. I used to buy Sangi’s Kitchen mayo which is the best but I can’t find it in online stores or the supermarket that I now visit on a monthly basis.

Halloween Trick O’Treat

One of the best festivals in the world is Halloween. It’s fun for everyone and well you get free candy. Well, technically it’s not free as someone does buy it but they then give it out to kids in the neighbourhood who come knocking at their door and say “trick or treat”. SO if you are a kid it’s fun and you get candy for free. Your parents, uncles and aunts will ofcourse be buying all that candy so they can give to you as well as the other kids who come a knocking.

Ofcourse I only know Halloween from the movies and tv shows from the US & Canada. I have never celebrated Halloween except for the really lame attempts at the office (since we are an American owned BPO working for US, Canada & UK companies) and the HR tries to inject some activities during major holidays and festivals from North America, UK & India. Last year Halloween was terrible as all I saw was Harley Quinn & Joker (Heath Ledger Joker) makeups and variations of it.

I love the fact that they give out chocolates to kids. That is just a great joy for kids and adults of all ages as well. Some of the Halloween special candy is also pretty awesome looking and they have some cool wrapper designs as well. I just go crazy for that.

Plum Liking It

A fruit which I rarely used to get is the plum. I dunno why but we as a family rarely ever get plums. My family usually likes to eat some sort of fruit after lunch or dinner. Living in Kerala, bananas are very common and eat at all times of the day but apples, grapes, oranges, mangoes and a few others are also big choices. But not so much the plum.

A few days ago I bought a huge set of plums. 2 kgs I think from one of the chain stores of fresh fruits & veggies. I found out that I like plums a lot. I like to keep them in the fridge and have one after lunch and one after dinner. They are not too sweet, a tad bit too juicy but I find them refreshing and tasty.

Plums may have been one of the first fruits domesticated by humans. I think the ones I bought are called the Damsum variation of the plum with purple skin. I find the shape of the plum very provocative to say the least but it’s fun to eat.

RIP James Randi

James Randi a Canadian-American stage magician and a scientific skeptic & atheist who extensively challenged paranormal and pseudoscientific claims, has died at the age of 92 on 20th Oct. He was the co-founder of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), originally known as the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). He also founded the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). He began his career as a magician under the stage name The Amazing Randi and later chose to devote most of his time to investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively called “woo-woo”. Randi retired from practicing magic at age 60, and from the JREF at 87.

The James Randi Educational Foundation confirmed the death, saying simply that its founder succumbed to “age-related causes” on Tuesday. Entertainer, genius, debunker, atheist ? Randi was them all. He began gaining attention not long after dropping out of high school to join the carnival. As the Amazing Randi, he escaped from a locked coffin submerged in water and from a straitjacket as he dangled over Niagara Falls. Magical as his feats seemed, Randi concluded his shows around the globe with a simple statement, insisting no otherworldly powers were at play. Through that organization, Randi was guardian of a $1 million prize he promised to give anyone who could prove either their own supernatural powers or the presence of a supernatural being.  No one ever came close to collecting.

On a 1972 episode of “The Tonight Show,” he helped Johnny Carson set up Uri Geller, the Israeli performer who claimed to bend spoons with his mind. Randi ensured the spoons and other props were kept from Geller’s hands until showtime to prevent any tampering. The result was an agonizing 22 minutes in which Geller was unable to perform any tricks. He once showed the messages television faith healer Peter Popoff claimed to be getting from God about his audience were actually coming from his wife through an earpiece.

Born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge in Toronto on Aug. 7, 1928, he came out as gay late in his life and met Venezuelan artist José Alvarez, met Venezuelan artist José Alvarez (born Deyvi Orangel Peña Arteaga). Arteaga had left his native country for fear of his life as he was a homosexual. The pseudonym Arteaga had taken, Jose Alvarez, was an actual person in the US. The identity confusion caused the real Alvarez some legal and financial difficulties. Arteaga was arrested for identity theft and faced deportation but Randi was able to marry Arteaga, where they resided in Plantation, Florida. They were married in Washington on July 2, 2013, with Randi turning 85 the next month.

Coffee Tumbler Collection

I like coffee. I like coffee cups and coffee mugs and coffee tumblers. And I cannot lie. I want to have a nice collection of different mugs with designs and logos on it. I currently have 2 coffee mugs, the regular stuff, which are predominantly white but have some colourful logos on it.

I also have a camera coffee mug and 2 more that I have still in the box. I just haven’t opened them up but I know that they are there. Back when I was teen, I bought my first unique looking coffee mug, different from the usual set that my family used, and I always wanted to drink my coffee from that mug.

I think I also have another one that is huge and it was a gift given to me by someone who for no reason that I can think of went away from my life quite shortly after I was given that gift. And now I have these two coffee mugs – very similar to the one that is shown here in the pic. These were sent as a gift to me and I love them. I will also look out for similar ones as well as I love these.

Ozil Left Out In The Dumps

German playmaker and universal waste Mesut Ozil has not been included in Arsenal’s 25-man Premier League squad and as a result, the player would not be able to feature for the Gunners until next February at the earliest. Ozil has been a then most expensive signing and key member of Arsenal’s attacking play for the most part of the past seven seasons after making the switch from Real Madrid in 2013. Premier League rules clearly state that Arsenal must submit their 25-man squad Tuesday afternoon and the squad must include maximum of 17 non-homegrown players over the age of 21.

Arsenal failed to move on some fringe players during the transfer window and as a result, two senior stars cannot be registered to play during the first half of Premier League season. As a result, Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have been informed that they won’t be making the final 25-member squad. Ozil’s played his last match for Arsenal against West Ham and this was the final match before football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March. Arsenal is currently at the fifth place in Premier League 2020-21 standings with nine points from five matches. The Gunners will next take on Leicester City in the Premier League on Sunday, October 25.

Ozil remains a target for MLS side DC United, according to the Daily Star and a January exit now looks likely. Ozil, 32, who is under contract with Arsenal until June 2021 and earns a reported 350,000 pounds ($452,830) per week, has not played for Mikel Arteta’s side this season. Arteta had said last month that his team is “evolving” and that Ozil would find it difficult to find a place in the squad, casting doubts over his future at the club.

4 Day Weeks? Yes Please

Should the Week Be Four Days Instead of Five?

Yes please. I think in Finland or somewhere they have started implementing it and making the 4 day work week and 3 day weekends possible for a few companies and they found that productivity has improved. Don’t you too want that India?

India is a sucking work nation because a) a lot of companies make you work 6 days (so only Sunday holiday) b) they expect you to extend your work beyond the 9 hours without extra pay and c) you can be expected to drop everything else and work if needed even if you aren’t scheduled to work at that hour or day.

It would be best to have 3 day weekends. All the time. Saturday to party and drink, Sunday to recover – we need one more day. So give us Friday as well. Friday to party, Saturday to recover and Sunday to relax.

Prompt From 130 New Prompts for Argumentative Writing at The New York Times

Back To The Grind

Another Monday, another week and another 5 day work week beckons. The whole rigmarole starts off again and here we go. I dunno, but today I woke up and after breakfast and coffee it felt like I needed more sleep. Oddly enough I think I actually sleep more hours when I am going to bed at regular hours but I felt really tired this morning. My work shift is 12:30 am to 9:30 pm just like last week but this Thursday and Friday I will be moving back to a 6:30 pm to 3:30 am shift as the trainings will have concluded and all new hire employees will be on the job.

So that is an ok shift, I do not mind it as much. Although I should like this shift as I get a lot of free time but the sleep is my surprise. I think it’s mostly because my body is taking time to adjust to the changes in shift timings that keep happening every other week if not ever week. I think because of that I am unable to sleep when I am supposed to and thus lie awake longer and hence do not get the rest I need. Oh well, atleast the change in shifts will stop from this week so I should be ok.

Three more days of training and I should be done.

Pumkin Spice Latte

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is a coffee drink made with a mix of traditional autumn spice flavors (cinnamon, nutmeg and clove), steamed milk, espresso, and often sugar, topped with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice. Since 2015, it has also often contained a small amount of pumpkin puree. The drink is offered by Starbucks, Tim Hortons and many other cafés on a seasonal basis, usually available from late August through January.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.

Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Manchester City 1 Arsenal 0

Stand-in skipper Raheem Sterling scored the only goal as Manchester City returned to winning ways in their Premier League clash with Arsenal. Sterling, given the armband by manager Pep Guardiola with Fernandinho on the bench and Kevin de Bruyne injured, finished off the rebound after Phil Foden’s 23rd-minute shot had been saved. Arsenal had chances to level but City keeper Ederson denied them with three excellent first-half saves and both David Luiz and Pepe were off target with free-kicks in good positions after the break. The result extended a miserable run of away results against their fellow ‘top six’ members for Arsenal. They have now failed to win in their last 29 such meetings, since a success at City in 2015.

Guardiola is yet to drop a point against the Gunners in five encounters at Etihad Stadium since he succeeded Manuel Pellegrini as City manager in 2016. More importantly for his side, after picking up a single point from their last two games, they were able to claim maximum points in this one. The three points came even without De Bruyne and with the returning Sergio Aguero restricted to an hour’s action on his first appearance since June after recovering from a knee injury. Aguero escaped a caution after placing his arm on assistant referee Sian Massey-Ellis’ neck as he argued against a decision.

As might have been expected from a meeting between Guardiola and the man he spent three-and-a-half years alongside in the City dug-out, Mikel Arteta, this was a tactical blitz. At one point, Willian was operating as centre-forward and Sterling was sitting deep in midfield. After Aguero’s exit, Bernado Silva briefly went into the false nine role as both men tried to keep the other guessing. Arteta was able to bring on £45m new-boy Thomas Partey for his debut near the end but the truth is, he doesn’t have the strength in depth afforded to Guardiola. Both sides suffered disruption in the build-up, although the loss of Aymeric Laporte and Mendy to injury had less of an impact on City as the delay in finding out the Premier League were prepared to allow Kieran Tierney to play had on the Gunners.

Trip To Kakkanad

So after another gap of 2 weeks I went out today. I had to go to Kakkanad area for dropping off something. So I arranged for a cab to come and get me at 12 pm and off I went to that area. Due to Covid-19 I must say that the trip to that area was very quick. Hardly any traffic jam or blocks unlike usual. The only stop we faced was at the red light at Kaloor, which is very common, but that lasted for less than 2 minutes.

After that I had to come and get buy some groceries and that meant a big ride all the way to Panampilly Nagar and my second favourite grocery store, Farm Gold. Bought all the stuff I need, which was not much. Then it was off to have lunch, which was a burger, shake & fried at The Burger Junction. The place was almost full and I had to wait for a few minutes before I got a table. Food was enjoyable and awesome.

Then I went to an ATM and got some money out and after that I stopped to buy some medicine. These are all par for the course and I briefly considered going to get some booze but I still have a few left so I skipped that. I paid the driver after he dropped me home and then I went in to get a nap.