Three things you can talk about this week:

1. Cyclone Sidr

Talking points

2. “Evolutionary Controversy and a Side of Pasta”

3. Lloyd Carr’s potential successor

And three things you can’t:

1. Lindsey Lohan’s jail stint

2. White meat vs. dark meat

3. OSU

By the Numbers

2 – Number of Hispanic names – Garcia and Rodriguez – that are now among the top 10 most common surnames in the United States

6 – Number of Hispanic last names are among the top 25 most common surnames in the nation

58 – Percentage increase during the 1990s of the number of Hispanic people living in the U.S.

Source: The New York Times

Quotes of the week

“Climate change has ushered in a whole new era of judicial review.”

– Patrick Parenteau, Vermont Law School environmental law professor, on an appeal’s court rejection of Bush’s fuel-economy standards

“Japan’s research program is a sham. We demand that the Japanese government cancel it.”

– Karli Thomas, Greenpeace expedition leader, on how Japan justifies its whale-hunting industry by calling it research

“We knew we could have gotten evidence to link him to the murder. But it was pretty obvious that if we did, our witness would end up dead. So we took what we could get.”

– Daniel Pagnotta, New Jersey detective, on why police often now build cases without witnesses in gang-related criminal cases

YouTube Video of the Week

Fembot fatale

Le Trung has been building robots as a “hobby” since he was 4. But it’s doubtful that anything he’s created to date is as creepy as his android, or “fembot,” Aiko.

The video features Trung introducing the fembot he had built in his basement at the Ontario Science Center on Nov. 10.

In the video, Trung interacts with his self-created she-servant, which looks professional, but also deeply disturbing. He grabs and twists her forearm, proving Aiko’s ability to feel pain. He then proceeds to touch her in inappropriate places and receives a literal slap to the face from his fake woman.

Not only does Aiko have sensory skills but apparently she was programmed with an attitude as well.

Although the video is a testament to developing technology, viewers can’t help feeling uneasy when Aiko says “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Trung says in the video that he had to prove to companies that Aiko was real by presenting her in person, but something tells us that after they see the fembot, people might not want her to be a reality.

– Molly Twigg

See this and other YouTube videos of the week at

Theme Party Suggestion

House hunting block party – If your two weekend prerogatives are house parties and house hunting, do yourself a favor and combine the two. Strangers are more likely to be receptive to you intrusively touring their homes if it’s past 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. You might be able to convince them to sign the waiver that would allow you to snag their house before the Dec. 1 leasing ordinance signing date.

Throwing this party? Let us know.

Study of the week

U.S. researchers clone monkey embryos

American researchers extracted stem cells from cloned monkey embryos in an early stage of development last week, marking the first time cloning has been successfully used to collect stem cells from primate embryos, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported last Thursday.

The breakthrough experiment, conducted by Oregon Health and Science University researchers, encourages expectations that the technique could be applied to humans, producing human embryonic stem cells that could replace unhealthy tissue in patients.

The research team’s leader, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, said at a press conference that he is confident the technique could be applied to humans after some adjustment.

But the successful procedure was not efficient for widespread utilization. Of 304 eggs collected from 14 female monkeys, only two embryonic stem cell lines were successfully generated.

— Jessica Vosgerchian

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