Anyone who read Alfred Slote's book My Robot Buddy as a kid
has probably dreamt ever since of having his or her very own
man-machine pal. Who ever had a better friend than the robot Jack gets
for his 10th birthday, Danny One?
As you might remember,
Danny One looks and sounds just like a human kid. Except for his
stiff-legged robot walk, people can't tell the 'bot from the boy--and
Jack exploits this confusion when he walks without bending his knees.
never bothered us at the time, but thinking about it now, it's
ridiculous that we accepted this proposition: The robot manufacturers
of the future had supposedly mastered such subtleties as the
replication of human skin, with its fine textures. They duplicated the
unmistakable look of the natural human eye, with its delicate, precise
movements. But somehow they just weren't quite able to figure out how
to make their automations' knees bend?
animatronic Presidents at Disney World have bending knees, and no one's
going to confuse them with living specimens of homo sapiens.
How complicated can a knee be? Isn't it just a hinge? Danny One
interacts with people, solves problems, has a winning personality... he's
a thousand times more advanced than the Honda Human, a thousand times
more realistic-looking than the RealDoll, and a thousand times better
company than Teddy Ruxpin. But even all those lesser inventions have
Actually, it seems like a stiff-legged walk would be harder to engineer. How does Danny One not fall over? How does he get up steps?
Ah, it's a waste of time to wonder. It's easy to forget, in these days of The O'Reilly Factor for Kids
and the gay wizards' rights movement that 1975 was a simpler time for
children's literature. We didn't enjoy the book any less for its
implausibility. And it's easy to poke fun at someone for mis-predicting
the future of technology.
After all, who, back then, would have imagined a robo-companion as strange-looking as Roboquad?
creepy little bug suffers no deficiency of articulation points in his
legs. Even so, no one's going to mistake him for human--or even for a
member of any other native Earth species. But who cares? With its
advanced artificial intelligence and state-of-the-art sensors, Roboquad
can explore and interact with his environment and the people in it. And
personality? You can adjust Roboquad's behavior with his 68-function
remote control, even setting him on "High Aggression mode" to make him
act angrier, which sounds like kind of a nightmare to us, but whatever
Roboquad is your real robot buddy--play with him
for just a few minutes and you'll realize what we should have
understood instantly about My Robot Buddy when we read it way
back when: When it comes to robots, the more humanlike they are, the
better suited they are to science fiction for young readers. In the
real world, we want our robot buddies as robot-y as they can get.
Warranty: 90 days
Fully functional artificial intelligent robot interacts with everything in his environment
Realistic Actions and Interactive Personality
Autonomous Behavior Mode and Remote Control
Light sensor prompts Roboquad to act differently in the dark than in the light
Sound sensor keeps Roboquad aware of intruders
Personality settings can be controlled to affect Roboquad's behaviors
Autonomous mode allows Roboquad to swarm around his environment
4X Leg Motors
4X Leg Motor Position Sensors
2X Head Motors
2X VR Head Position Sensors
Lens-Focused, Face-Mounted Deep IR Radar Vision
1X Light Sensor
Includes a battery-saving sleep function
Ages: 8 years and up
Batteries: 4 C, 3 AAA (not included)
In the box:
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(1) Calistoga Cellars 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
(1) Calistoga Cellars 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Description: (click show to see it)
As much as we dig throwing the occasional curveball around here,
with cheeses and Sous�os and Poizins, sometimes we just feel drawn back
to the roots of our love for wine. When we crave the grapestuff at its
purest and best, when we want to remind ourselves why we got into this
in the first place, we turn to Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.
Wait - you've never had a Napa Valley Cab?
Or you don't have any on hand right now, which is almost as bad?
Loving wine without experiencing a Napa Valley Cab is like loving
Indian food without ever tasting curry. It's like loving the Green Bay
Packers and never visiting Lambeau Field. It's like going to Memphis
without visiting Graceland. Like the movie lover who fell asleep an
hour into Casablanca, you're missing half the picture.
don't worry. We won't tell anybody, as long as you take steps to remedy
this deplorable situation immediately. And it just so happens we can
point you to the ideal first step. Calistoga Cellars hails a pair of
Cabs that remind us why we got into- oh, wait, we already said that.
now, the Calistoga Cellars 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - Louer
Family Vineyard has only been available through Calistoga's wine club
and at their tasting room. We persuaded them to open up their stash to
the Wine.Woot audience. You're welcome. Rich and complex, deep and
pure, full-bodied and smooth, this '04 delivers classic cab flavors of
plum fruit with sparks of chocolate, tobacco, and oak. Calistoga's
masterful winemaker Barry Gnekow took the utmost care in crafting this
elegant Cab, and you can taste the meticulousness or meticulosity or
whatever in every sip.
As the younger sister of the pair,
the Calistoga Cellars 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon tries harder.
Well, half-sister, anyway: some of its fruit was sourced from the Louer
Family Vineyard just like the '04, but the rest came from Calistoga's
estate ranch, Blossom Creek. That must account for the '05's more
prominent cherry notes and its more concentrated flavors. But like the
Bradys, this family cares more about love than biology. They're both Napa Cabs from Calistoga Cellars, and that's enough.
And the similarities
don't end there. They're both ideal companions to hearty cuisine, from
steak to lamb to grilled meats. They'll both retain their youthful
appeal for the next 5-10 years. And they're both museum-quality
examples of the timeless Napa Valley Cab. It's fun to play around with
different styles, different varietals, maybe even sneak a sip of sake
or mead here and there. But like us, you'll keep coming back to the
classics. You'll keep coming back to Calistoga Cellars Napa Valley
Calistoga Cellars 2004 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon - Louer Family Vineyard
Composition: 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, 1% Petite Sirah
Appellation: Napa Valley, Louer Family Vineyard, St Helena
Aging: 24 months in French oak barrels
Calistoga Cellars 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon