Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Raffle me this... and other unrelated things

I told my family e-mail group earlier today that I'd put an interesting raffle on my blog today... well, here it is: the National Corvette Museum raffles. You can enter one of four raffles, for as little as $10 or with a one-in-500 chance of winning (those cost a little more per ticket, of course). Good luck; unfortunately, the wikiHow article on "How to Win Sweepstakes" may or may not provide any assistance here, as this is an online raffle, but it did recently help a cousin of mine win a sapphire and diamond necklace for his significant other during a cruise-ship raffle drawing. Then again, this article on wikiHow will show you how to make money without playing the lottery.

On the other side of the world, a robot is becoming more and more lifelike. It can walk, talk, help you out of bed, pick up bread and make you some toast, and who knows what else. Probably wipe out your bank account if it's not along the lines of a small national GDP (see this site to find out the GDP, or other financial data, of various countries around the world), since the cost of the robot is in the several-million range. The leader of the project does hope to have a commercially viable version ready by 2015, but at a cost of $200,000 you should take a look at that "how to make money without playing the lottery" link above (unless your bank account already looks like that of a small nation; mine doesn't). But maybe your insurance will cover the cost of the robot for you or your parents or something, since it supposedly will be able to help the elderly and/or the disabled.

Speaking of the disabled, they may soon have new ways to interact with people. Before I'd read this article, I knew absolutely nothing about Second Life; in fact, I'd never even heard of it. Now, I still know very little about it, but I have at least heard of it. Strangely, it appears to be a community where you can actually, potentially, trade the online dollars for real US currency. Then again, I could be way off, but supposedly (among other things) there are auctions (powered by eBay) for purchasing land, some in US$, some in the online "Linden$" currency. A little odd, I think. Actually, it reminds me a bit of the book Kilobyte (which I enjoyed) by Piers Anthony, one of my favorite Sci-Fi authors (although the Xanth series got quite a bit weak for a while; the "new trilogy" seems to have improved closer to the level of the first books in the series, though).

In sad news, Sean Taylor did not recover from his gunshot injury, dying this (Tuesday) morning in the hospital (he'd never regained consciousness). Miami police are treating the case as a homicide. Just a reminder that we never know how long we have, so make sure you're ready when you go.

And with that, I'll bid you adieu...

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