In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 17, 2013/ 6 Shevat, 5773

Spielberg stops 'Robopocalypse,' perhaps on orders of evil master robot

By John Kass

John Kass

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Robot-domination fans around the world are grieving now that Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has suspended production on the long-anticipated science fiction extravaganza "Robopocalypse."

The proposed film is based on the novel of the same name by robot scientist Daniel H. Wilson about what happens to humans when robots take over the world.

"I'm disappointed," Wilson told me in a telephone interview Thursday. "Hopefully, it will come together on down the line. Hollywood is fickle, man."

Spielberg released a statement saying the movie was too expensive to produce and the script "is not ready."

Many robot stories are variants of the "Frankenstein" tale: Man creates life, becomes his own god and pays for it. In modern tellings, humans are virtual slaves to technology. Once robots walk among us, some foolish scientist decides to give them "feelings," and everything goes to hell. They become self-aware, they turn evil and then they use our dependence on technology to hunt us down and crush our skulls.

So isn't it possible that Spielberg is already under evil robot control, since robots about to go evil wouldn't want this movie out before they're ready?

"That's possible," Wilson said. "But it's pretty unlikely. If there is a superintelligent machine out there pulling the strings, I don't think the movie industry would be the first place they'd start."

The first thing we need are some new rules for robots. The first is that all evil robots, like evil apes, criminal masterminds, Darth Vaders (and Madonna), end up using English accents.

"Perhaps it's because the English design the speech synthesis capabilities?" Wilson asked. "I don't know if it stands for all of the British. Then you've got your Austrian accents, as in the Terminator.

"It seems that the good robots are always shouting about 'Danger, Will Robinson,'" Wilson said.

In American accents.

Another thing about evil robots: They have superstrength and flash red eyes before they kill.

"If you look at robots in robot uprising movies, from the perspective of a consumer products person, you've got to wonder: Who decided to give them red eyes?" Wilson said.

"Who decided to make them strong enough to jump off of a building and leave cracks in the pavement and then get up and walk away? I have a feeling that the best way to make a robot is to make it incapable of harming a person, by making it too weak or slow to even accidentally hurt someone. In real life, when we start seeing these robots in our lives, they're going to be a lot slower and more gentle than what's been portrayed."

Like those carpet-cleaning robots you've seen, gentle little disks that wouldn't harm a cat as they suck up crumbs and stray bobby pins and such. Once they start speaking proper English — Hollywood's shortcut to symbolize supreme intelligence — we're dead.

Yet if evil robots were really smart, you'd think they'd engineer some reproductive organs to have little robots of their own.

"I would be much more afraid of robots if they had genitalia," he said. "One robot's got genitalia, the other one doesn't, I'm running faster from the robot with genitalia."


Another rule of robots is that just when red-eyed asexual robots are wreaking havoc far away, a grizzled, middle-aged human is sitting next to the campfire in the relatively safe wilderness.

He starts reminiscing about the good old days, those days before all that frightening technology took over the world and was subverted by evil. He smiles, talking in low tones of V-8 engines and Detroit steel and chocolate sodas. And, as he sighs, wistfully, the robots leap out from the bushes and crushes his skull with clomping feet.

"Except for the 'crushed by a robot' thing, I think you're describing Thanksgiving for every family in the United States," Wilson said. "That's pretty much the way it is, right? Every new generation has new technology that the older generation struggles to understand. They remember a better time when things were simpler."

Ah, those days when you could order a chocolate soda, and robots wouldn't crush your head.

Fools among you will dismiss sci-fi as the peculiar domain of nerds, but the thing is, good sci-fi is highly political. And "Robopocalypse" is no exception.

The survivors flee to an Indian reservation. Whenever they use technology, the robots detect it, and track them. So humans are forced to live off the grid. No more texting during dinner.

"In Robopocalypse, some humans don't make it. They go out there in the country, and they starve. It's about what happens when we experience a drastic change in our environment," Wilson said.

Wilson's latest book, "Amped," is about scientific discoveries designed to help those born with mental and physical disabilities.

But then the technology explodes. The disabled who have been given new powers eclipse the unimpaired. Does a parent compel a child to have brain surgery because others in her class are surpassing her? Can a nation force its people to artificially augment themselves because a rival country is doing it wholesale?

"The whole field of neuroprosthetics and biomedical engineering is blowing up right now," Wilson said. "It'll be really interesting to watch how this technology comes into our bodies and changes us.

"Every new piece of technology is like a lily pad," he said. "And it's tough to know just when to jump off."

You'll know, when the robots start sounding like Jude Law. Then it's time to run.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.


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10/01/12 : Chia Obama vs. Chia Romney: May the best greenfro win
09/25/12 : With bitter campaign in full swing, you need to watch some movies
08/02/12 : Toasting culture's absurdities
04/24/12: Why do you have to sell your privacy to win?
10/13/11: Stupid things men say to pregnant women
09/26/11: Desk zero: ‘Contagion’ lurks just outside office bathroom
09/08/11: Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium
08/31/11: It was only a paper moon , but a legendary hoax
05/27/11: For 2012, it's Obama vs. the smoothies
05/05/11: Is it time to de-friend Pakistan?
04/12/11: China stretches the bounds of decency with cow-human-breast milk
03/23/11: No you're not in control; get over it
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12/13/10: WikiLeaks and Assange pretend there are no consequences
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10/11/10: Obama and his pals need some scarce Hopium for the next election
09/14/10: Obama gets a little bossy with tacit endorsement of Emanuel
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07/28/10: No verdict, but Blagojevich trial still has its winners, losers
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06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

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