We Are Not Alone

We Are Not Alone

August 25-August 26, 2017

These two classic A&J strips revisit a subject Rod Serling explored more than a generation ago, back when the subject was classified as “science fiction.” I wonder if Janis’ reaction would be the same if she knew that many televisions today also capture video if active steps aren’t taken to override the built-in camera. Probably. The creepy aspects of my own smart TV are offset, I hope, by the dumb owner. I’m doing good to get back to that movie I wanted to watch on Netflix.

18 responses to “We Are Not Alone”

  1. On some Samsungs (and probably others), the camera can be rotated up and down. Hackers are getting a great view of my ceiling fan. I hope it turns them on.

  2. I don’t have a camera on my smart TV, but I do have Alexa. Sometimes an ad or even a TV show will come on asking Alexa to do or say something and she answers.

    I annoy with my wife when I ask it to “Make a sound like a cat” It meows and gets the attention of the cats. She says “If you want it to make more cat sounds, just say “Meow”. So the cats gather around Alexa having a conversation….until they get bored.

    • That’s actually quite impressive, Steve. Cats and dogs usually animal sounds on the TV because they don’t sound right. Most of the time the frequencies outside of the normal hearing range for humans is simply cut off to save bandwidth because nobody’s going to hear them. Nobody, that is, except the family pets whose hearing range is larger than ours. If they’re actually reacting to Alexa the same way they’d react to a real animal, Alexa must be including some, if not all of those overtones.

  3. [Probably not lunchtime reading.]
    How about 100 live cockerels [day-old male chicks, which are not potential egg layers] from a hatchery? It’s decades ago now, and the postal rules may have changed. These were for constrictor food, and the snakes can get accustomed to dead food. But hatcheries mustn’t mail dead chicks. Therefore, they couldn’t ship in winter because the poor things might freeze to death. Simple, one might think: stuff all 100 into a plastic bag & let them suffocate/die of hypothermia on an unheated back porch.
    Problem: newborn chicks are not efficient endotherms; their internal temps go down, along with their O2 needs, so most survive. So you’ve got to kill them, then freeze them, for later thawing and feeding to your boa. Alternative: raise rabbits for human food. Doe often bears 3-4 more young than she can efficiently nurse; kill the excess [about the size of chipmunks, freeze them, & use them for snake food. Boas & pythons need food only every few weeks, & we generally had 3-4 does. [Only 1 buck needed.] Problem: our boa got a panic attack if we put a dead bunny in its cage. So only the older [& larger] python got bunnies, as well as cockerels. Boa got only cockerels.
    Before starting to swallow a critter, both first measured it. Snake would nose around the animal, back to front and around, then grab at the head end, and alternately move its 6 rows of backward-facing teeth ’til the prey was a lump about 1/4 the way back of the head. In essence there is a laptop in a snakes head, taking into account all the snake’s movements during the measuring exercise, and solving appropriate equations.
    Good idea not to handle the snake for a week or more, and of course, not to handle it when it’s preparing to shed. You can tell. Peace,

  4. Dad was doing carpenter work in Central Post Office in NYC when day old chicks came through.

    Crates and crates in every nook & cranny. New borns will survive several days without food or water.

    But they need attention every 4 hrs when trying to get them old enough to lay.

  5. The MBH’s family raised some animals including chickens purchased by mail. Her special chore, as a youngster, was gathering the eggs from the coop, a task she always did barefoot. Yeccch! She explained that it was a lot easier to hose off her feet than to clean her shoes afterwards. In retrospect, I suppose that’s reasonable….

  6. c x-p: Thoroughly washed my hands after cleaning out the combo water supply/toilet fixture in the civet enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, summers ’49 & ’50. Seems to me we waste an awful lot of non-recyclable glove plastic in food prep & para-medical work these days. Is this the best solution? Who owns stock in the glove mfg. business? Don’t remember whether we had paper towels or a common hand towel in the keepers’ room. Having reheated pizza and a Finnegan’s for supper.

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