April, 2020: 22 posts.
As you can tell, I do enjoy robots a-plenty. And I love recycling and cleaning up the world. I think it’s only a matter of time until we have robotic trash cans wandering the roads doing cleanup. We already have roombas to vacuum our homes, it’s not such a stretch to see them out on the streets.
(Aside: I drafted this post with just the link to the National Geographic post in 2018, and am following up now as a part of an effort to use this website more. Covid-19 is currently a global focus, and that’s the perfect moment for me to catch up on lots of other things).
New Bot Day! It’s Robo Gari (ロボガリ)! Weird hard times require weird robots. Robo Gari is weird and comedic and from the Japanese comedy tv show Ganbare!! Robocon which ran from 1974 to 1977. It’s about goofball Robocon (the red guy with heart on his chest, not to scale) and friends at Gantz’ Robot Academy. I’m pretty sure it’s meant to be heartwarming and goofy and everybody learns lessons and it’s all weird. Stay weird and safe everybody!
Dear Group Moderators and Members,
Thank you for your commitment to Yahoo and for helping us define the power of digital communities. Eighteen years ago, we combined the functionality of a site called eGroups.com with a precursor community platform called Yahoo Clubs to launch Yahoo Groups. Since then, you and millions of others have helped prove our hypothesis, by creating and joining more than 10 Million groups.
A lot has changed about the Internet since 2001, including the ways most people now use Yahoo Groups. Today, most Yahoo Groups activity happens in your email inbox, not on the bulletin boards where Yahoo Groups started in the pre-smartphone age. Increasingly, people want content and connections coming directly to them, and this is why we continue to invest in Yahoo Mail — including the recent launch of a new Yahoo Mail app that is currently the highest-rated email app in the App Store and Google Play.
So, as our users’ habits have evolved, we have begun the process of evolving our approach to help active Yahoo Groups thrive and migrate to our email platform. To help you plan for these changes, below is the schedule of how this transition will happen.
Beginning October 28, 2019:
- Users will be able to join a Yahoo Group only through an invite from the Group Moderator or by submitting a request to join a Group, which requires approval by the Group Moderator.
- Since we are moving Group communication from posting on message boards to email distribution, uploading and hosting of new content will also be disabled on the Yahoo Groups website.
Beginning December 14, 2019:
- All Groups will be made private and any content that was previously uploaded via the website will be removed. We believe privacy is critical and made this decision to better align with our overall principles.
- If you would like to keep any of the content you’ve posted or stored in the past within your Yahoo Group, please download it by December 14 by accessing this link.
As these dates get closer, we will send follow-up reminders. More information about the upcoming changes can be found here.
While this evolution of Yahoo Groups is inspired by how we see the platform being used today, we know change can be difficult. Here are a few important facts as we make this transition:
- Yahoo Groups is not going away – We know that our users are deeply passionate about connecting around shared interests, and we are evolving Groups to better align with how you use it today.
- New groups can still be formed – Users can continue to connect with others around their common bonds and interests. From animal rescues to sporting and activity groups, civic organizations to local PTAs, members of our Yahoo Groups will remain connected and able to share their activities and interests. All of the content that you have shared previously on the website, can continue to be shared via email.
We know that Yahoo Groups is an important online extension of your real-life group of friends, interests and communities, and we are committed to supporting communities that rely on Yahoo Groups. Thanks for coming along with us this far. We look forward to seeing where the technology — and you — take us in the decades to come.
The Groups Team
And look, a new email today:
Dear Group Moderators and Members,
Last month we notified you of the changes coming to Yahoo Groups that better align with user habits, and today we are providing an update to guide you through the next steps of the transition. Yahoo Groups is not going away – but we are making adjustments to ultimately serve you better. We are amazed at the vibrant community you’ve created through Yahoo Groups and we want to make sure you feel supported as we introduce these changes.
The following changes were made since our last communication:
- Users can now only join a Yahoo Group through an invite or group request approval by the Group Moderator.
- New Groups can’t be public. They can only be private (not listed in Groups directory, membership by invitation only) or restricted (listed in Groups directory, membership requests must be approved by a Group Moderator).
- Members must share all content via email, and can no longer upload or host new content on the Yahoo Groups website itself.
The following changes will be made on December 14, 2019:
- Public groups will no longer exist. All existing public Groups will become restricted Groups that require Group Moderator approval to join.
- Any content that was previously uploaded via the website will be removed.
If you would like to keep any of the content you’ve posted or stored within your Yahoo Group, please download it by December 14 by accessing the Groups Download Manager at: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/getmydata. Once you provide your preferred email address, we will send you a confirmation of your download request and notify you once the download is complete.
You will receive a link to a downloadable zip file via email for each of your Groups organized into a separate folder. Download time varies depending on the amount of information and file size.
If your download request is made by 11:59pm PST on Saturday, December 14, 2019, your content will not be deleted until your download is complete. We are unable to accommodate any download requests made after this deadline.
This is the final reminder to download your content. You can find additional information about the upcoming changes at: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/groups/SLN31010.html.
We have worked extensively with our customer support team to develop recommendations for tools that can help you with any download issues. See help article here: https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN35066.html.
We have watched the evolution of Yahoo Groups with awe, as we grew to a community of millions with over 10 million Groups. Every day, we witness the power of community and shared passions, and our mission is to provide a platform for the strong connections people make with each other around their interests.
We thank you for being part of the Yahoo Groups community and look forward to continuing to provide ways for you to connect with one another about your shared interests and passions.
The Groups Team
But the most vivid memory was of a Star Trek Con, a rather large one, in Los Angeles.
I remember that one because I remember Patrick Stewart doing the monologue from Henry IV, Part II:
How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep!
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee
And hush’d with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lull’d with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds, and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common ‘larum-bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the ship-boy’s eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafening clamour in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king?
Then happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
What year was it? No damn idea. I could drive, and it was before I lived on my own. So a 6 year span.
My pal Chris narrowed it down with his recollection:
Woulda been summerish or not much later in 1988; in L.A. somewhere. (Convention Center?)
I pin down this timeframe primarily due to my memory of Denise Crosby explaining why she left the show after 22 episodes; but it’d not been very long at all since her character was killed off, in an episode which aired in late April ’88.
Recalling also that I had the black Grand Prix already, which I bought 6/2/88; but I hadn’t met Sharon yet, which was 10/7/88. (So, somewhere in that 126-day inbetween span.)
Also Season 2 had not yet premiered, but Marina Sirtis confirmed that they had been renewed; and Sir Patrick vowed that the second season would be ‘better.’
After three decades, that’s how I remember it at least.
Why do you ask?
Was watching William Shatner’s documentary “Get a Life!” – pretty good documentary – on Amazon free with ads on prime. And it struck me that I’d lost track of when that was. Was wondering if it was teens or I was in my 20s that I went. You remember more context than I do—for which I thank you!
Returning to this partial memory, I looked at my blog archives, and it turns out a reference to this convention is embedded in a blog post from 2005: Notebook, 1988—the fragment is this entry!
Los Angeles June 11-12
Aitport Hilton hotel (sic)
CREATION Salutes Star Trek; an incredible all star celebration that you won’t want to miss
CREATION still does conventions, 2 years later. Or at least they have been until this plague year. But I’m hopeful they’ll be back in business sometime.
I’m still a bit of a Trek nerd. I try to see the stuff that comes out. I enjoyed Picard and Discovery. I cosplay as Q.
And I love a good Con. I had been looking forward to WonderCon and retain a slice of hope that San Diego Comic Con might still happen. But the odds diminish every day, it seems. Essentially, the best Trek is hopeful and positive, something we need lots of these days.
For even more Trek posts I’ve made from over the years check out my posts tagged with Star Trek.
New Bot Day! Alicia is a robot from a 1959 Twilight Zone episode entitled “The Lonely” written by Rod Serling. Alicia is given in pity to convicted murderer Corry, marooned on a remote asteroid. It’s an incredibly sad meditation on loneliness and isolation with a side of musing on whether a robot can serve the emotional needs of a person. Watch it and feel sad!
New Bot Day! Number Six is a model of human-appearing Cylon from the Battlestar Galactica universe reboot. Subtly and brilliantly played by Tricia Helfer from 2004 to 2009. Lionized by the Cylon people for infiltrating Earth’s defenses, the “main” Six was a hero. There were several copies of Six throughout the series which if you’ve not seen are a worthy watch. Caprica Six is featured here with my chrome toaster as well as an original 1978 “toaster” model. #bsg #numbersix
New Bot Day! Voltes V! A new, taller vinyl edition! Voltes Five inspired my collection. The tv series ran 1977-1979. My family lived in the Philippines at that same time. Even under Marcos’ repressive regime, Japanese pop culture, especially robots, filtered to Metro Manila. The robots inspired me! I went to school at a massive Catholic school called La Salle Green Hills. Mostly Filipino but a few expat kids too. Many could draw so well. My classmates were my age: 7, 8, 9– but they could do shading and perspective! I learned a lot. 40 years later I’m still inspired by Voltes 5. Stay inspired. Stay safe! #voltesv
New Bot Day! Teddy is a Super-Toy first seen in 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. He originated in 1969 science fiction short story by Brian Aldiss, “Supertoys Last All Summer Long.” Teddy is doleful and wise and a companion to the films’ protagonist: artificial boy David. The movie is visually ambitious but ultimately more failed fairy tale than classic SF. Teddy is Jiminy Cricket to David’s Pinocchio.
New Bot Day! Bring in the FEMBOT! The ultimate weapon: the latest word in android replicant technology: brutal, lethal, efficient: no man can resist their charms. They are armed with machine guns and knockout gas and feminine wiles. They seduce the spy Austin Powers but are disabled by Powers’ seductive striptease mojo. Silly greatness from 1997’s Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
You can see Kelly and I in this. It’s kind of cool. For the San Diego Comic-Con Museum newsletter this past week.