U.S. president Barack Obama unveiled a hugely ambitious, perhaps game-changing attempt to tackle greenhouse gasses this week, pushing ahead with tough curbs on coal-fired power stations. He is moving ahead because, he said with some emotion, “I believe there is such a thing as being too late … I am here to say that if we want to protect our economy, our security and our children’s health, we’re going to have to do more. The science tells us we have to do more.”

Say what you like about Obama, but the guy knows how to deliver a speech. Imagine, for a moment, our robotic, unemotional leader giving a speech like that, or making any kind of serious commitment to reversing climate change. In 10 years, our glorious leader has not one memorable quote to his name, except perhaps for calling the Northern Gateway pipeline a “no brainer”, when it should have been labelled “not gonna happen”.

HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot, waiting for a ride.
HitchBOT, the hitchhiking robot, in happier times.

Did you hear the one about the hitchhiking Canadian robot?

No, it’s not a joke, but it does have a punchline — he got his face kicked in in Philadelphia.

HitchBOT is (or was) a robot created by two Canadian professors that worked its way across Canada and parts of Europe, relying on the kindness of strangers. (Here’s a report from CNN, which contains a remarkably prescient prediction.) HitchBOT was travelling in the U.S. when a random asshole in Philadelphia, all by himself and under no peer pressure, kicked the crap out of HitchBOT, destroying it. Philadelphia may call itself the City of Brotherly Love, but it not nice to robots. Thanks, Americans, for confirming every stereotype we have about you.

Speaking of American stereotypes, Donald Trump continues to amuse the masses with his inane, unfiltered comments. Trump was the main attraction at the first Republican presidential debate Thursday, watched by an estimated 24 million people. During Thursday’s presidential debate, Fox News fox Megyn Kelly pressed Trump about misogynistic, sexist comments he made in the past, such as calling some women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.” Trump slammed Kelly, saying her questions were “ridiculous” and “off-base.”

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes,” Trump told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday night. “Blood coming out of her wherever.”

Well, this set off the predictable firestorm of criticism, and The Donald was even disinvited from a Republican event. Trump, of course, did not apologize, and said he has nothing to apologize for. Ya gotta love this guy; he has no filter, says whatever pops into his impossibly coifed head, never worries about the consequences, and the public loves him. I’ve said before that there is no possible way that Trump will win the nomination — the vote for which is a YEAR away — but for now, he’s great copy during a slow news summer.

RIP: Chris Hyndman, 49, host of the CBC lifestyle show Stephen and Chris.


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