Optimus Prime that transforms on its own

Someone has created an Optimus Prime action figure / toy / collectible that transforms on its own. It even responds to voice commands and you can drive it around via an app. If this interests you in the least, here’s a video showing it off:

I have to admit, that is really cool. It’s great that they used the original transforming sound effect and that they got Peter Cullen to voice the dialogue. So props to the maker of this for doing it right.

It contains over 5000 components, 60 microchips, and 27 servo motors, with more details at the official site. As you might expect, technology this awesome is not cheap. $700 is out of my budget for such things, so I won’t be able to provide a hands-on review. Hopefully in the future it’ll get a lot cheaper, because it would be a great addition to my desk.

The reviewer in the video declares this the coolest toy ever. Of course that’s debatable, but I’m not going to argue with that. It is indeed awesome. Do you know of a toy or toy-like collectible that is more awesome?

modern art with Trump’s legal team and four seasons total landscaping

A few years ago I went to a “modern art” museum, and so much of it is really abstract where I don’t know what to make of it or some of it seems to be controversial to get attention. (I don’t mean just morally bad, but sometimes artistically bad to get attention, like flinging paint randomly at a mural or covering a bed in ham.) And in everyday life, it may seem like the arts don’t get as much attention as they used to. But there is art all around us, especially on the Internet, where countless people create art and share it solely for enjoyment (meaning not for money).

I recently came across a mock Lego set of the political debacle at Four Seasons Total Landscaping where President Donald Trump’s legal team including Rudy Giuliani made a “speech” (read: rant with baseless accusations) about voter fraud. (If you don’t know about this “big” press conference at the back of a landscaping business in a not-so-glamorous part of town, read about it here so the rest of this post will make sense. It’s one of those news events that was surreal, like “did that actually just happen?” At first I thought it was a parody, but it really happened.)

That was way too much intro for this, but let’s keep going anyway. Here’s the art that is parodying the event.

Here’s more info about it.

Something you might not have noticed is that all but one of the Trump 2020 stickers/posters behind the podium are the same. One of them says Trump / Pence. So the Vice President on the ticket gets one mention. That’s actually surprising, given that Donald Trump is the most narcissistic person ever.

There’s now a sub-reddit dedicated to this event. If you want to see some more humor about it but are scared to explore, here’s a few more:
here, here, and here.

Someone suggested Trump go back to Celebrity Apprentice, then when he fires someone, they sue and refuse to leave. 🙂 Do you think Trump would appreciate the irony?

Have you heard or made up any jokes about the situation? Here’s a couple:

Why did the Trump campaign book Four Seasons Total Landscaping? Because he ran his presidency into the ground. 🙂 You could also say he was intent on restoring lawn and order. 🙂 Okay, I’ll see myself out now…

funny pictures, political edition, 2020

Today there is a need for some humor, with it being election day in the U.S. This is a scary election, with millions of people voting for which presidential candidate seems least likely to destroy democracy. (I still can’t get over the fact that out of all the great people here, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the ones we get to choose from. But I digress…) Anyway, here’s some politics-related pictures that hopefully you might find funny or humorous.

I have to agree… how in the world can we end up with two candidates that most people don’t want to vote for?
This would get out of control quickly, because neither Madea nor Trump would back down, but it would be more entertaining than the recent dumpster fire debates.
Don’t get mad — it’s a joke. Neither presidential candidate is “right”, IMO.
How often do people change their mind? And what methods might be successful? Healthy debates are great, but a lot of online arguing where people just repeat their standard talking points could be time spent doing something more productive. And people might be happier too.
Actually, I don’t want to know what people are having for dinner, either… is there a good reason to get on Facebook these days? 🙂 And don’t get me started on the professional trolls who are creating division on purpose…
Please don’t judge people by who they vote for. They might have one primary reason to vote for a party and thus vote for a turrible-in-most-other-ways candidate.

(To see more funny pictures, click on the “Funny Pictures” category in the sidebar.)

crazy contraptions for social distancing

Have you ever heard of a Rube Goldberg machine? It’s a contraption (usually homemade) where the whole point is to make a machine that’s way more complex than necessary to do a simple task. These types of machines were seen often in Looney Tunes cartoons, and they often used the music of Raymond Scott, specifically a song called “Powerhouse“.*

I happened across some YouTube videos of people making their own, which is interesting. They make it look easy, but it takes a lot of practice to make these work reliably. Building one uses spatialization and geometry and physics, which can be a learning experience. It also requires patience and carefulness, plus trial and error, which are good to learn, too. But enough talk — here are a couple of videos that show an impressive one built to help with eating while we’re supposed to be social distancing.

How to pass the salt while social distancing:

And even better, how to pass the pepper while social distancing:

*This is bonus, if you want to know more about that song. It’s often used with either an assembly line or a Rube Goldberg machine (which is also known as a “Heath Robinson contraption” in some parts of the world). This song was used in over 40 Warner Bros. cartoons, also in The Ren and Stimpy Show, The Simpsons, Animaniacs, The Drew Carey Show, The Bernie Mac Show, Spongebob SquarePants, and even a Visa commercial. So you’ve probably heard it.

If you’re still reading and want to hear the song in context with some clips from Looney Tunes, check this out:

One last bit of randomness — Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons and Futurama) once ranked “Powerhouse” #14 on a list of his “100 Favorite Things”. I’ve never made such a list. Have you? It sounds like a fun thinking exercise.