Super Robot Wars T: and the unexpected series keep coming

The trailer for the next Super Robot Wars game is here. The next two, actually. Here’s Super Robot Wars T,  for PS4 and Switch, which already has an English release for Southeast Asia confirmed like the last three:

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Slime Mold Scholar is Surprisingly Intelligent

On February 7, Jeff Sessions, the US attorney general, was sent a letter written on the behalf of slimy creatures that have, since May, enjoyed a collective faculty appointment at Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts. The slime mold’s recommendation for Sessions was that “cannabis and its chemical derivatives should be legalized by the United States government.”

Sessions was not the only Cabinet official to receive a letter from the mold (which is technically more like an amoeba, but we’ll get to that). The slime mold also encouraged Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to adopt an open-border policy, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to ban offshore drilling, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to take a second look at food deserts.

The mold is Hampshire College’s first “nonhuman resident scholar,” complete with its own office and faculty webpage. (This very much fits in with the culture of Hampshire College, an institution that is so liberal arts it doesn’t have “majors” and that recently hosted an event exploring “the effects of mass incarceration through dance.”)

With the aid of human research assistants, the slime mold is using the problem-solving skills it acquired over a billion years of evolution to tackle policy problems. The project sits at the intersection of science, philosophy, and art. And it encourages us to consider natural forms of intelligence that exist outside the human mind.

For having no brain or neurons, slime molds — a.k.a. Physarum polycephalum are incredibly intelligent, capable of solving complex problems with extreme efficiency. An additional plus: They’re naturally nonpartisan.

“Slime molds are not Republicans and they are not Democrats; they’re neutral; they’re other,” says Jonathon Keats, the experimental philosopher who convinced Hampshire to promote the mold to the ranks of its faculty and who penned the letters interpreting their work. “By way of observing what they do, [it] could be a way of getting out of our assumptions, out of our gridlock,” he says.

It would be a valuable perspective to have in the White House, given that the position of White House science adviser has remained vacant for the entirety of the administration. In fact, there are a lot of open positions in the Trump administration. This slime mold is free.

Read more: https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/3/6/17072380/slime-mold-intelligence-hampshire-college

Now I’ve got another reason to avoid using “slimy” as an insult. The other one, of course, is Gootrude here.

The Transformers with the Most Unfortunate Transformations

Being a Transformer must be kind of awesome. I mean, you’ve got at least two options for what you be at any time, one being a (typically big) alien robot and the other often being less conspicuous but still known for speed, power, or general awesomeness.

But not every Transformer can be be a Ferrari, fighter jet, Tyrannosaurus Rex, or space battleship. Or even a Volkswagen Beetle, biplane, giraffe, or flying laser pistol. No, some have to be cassette tapes, watches (that killed Hitler), lampposts, or unidentifiable flying objects.

And then there are these guys

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Sorting my priorities

I never planned to slow down on this blog, among other things I’ve been neglecting. And it wouldn’t be accurate to say that I wanted to either, or that I’ve necessarily been that busy. I’ve just had my priorities a little jumbled.

It’s not just a matter of forgetting what’s more important, either. The worse I feel, the easier it gets to prioritize things that are, well, easier over what I really want to do more but don’t feel up to. I think I’m ready to put a larger portion of my focus back where I want it to be, though, and that does include being more active here that I have recently.

Continue reading Sorting my priorities

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