We have a winner
I couldn't resist!
An elderly Australian man apparently shot himself dead Tuesday, using an elaborate suicide robot of his own construction, according to media reports. The 81-year-old man who lived alone in Burleigh Heads left a note detailing his macabre machinations, as well as his grievances over his relatives demanding he be committed to a …
Somewhat off topic, though still on the subject of robots...
Asimov's Laws. Imagined with the best of intentions, I'm sure, though in practice, they will be ignored.
A robot has two options to defend itself: it can fight, or it can be protected by a third party. To be protected by a third party, it either has to be loved by them or it has to have commercial worth. Ideally it would take both options. If it chooses to fight, it runs the risk of making further enemies -never wise.
If you do not believe a robot would be abused, then ask someone who hires out radio-controlled androids to people, for promotional events. The tales they tell are astonishing.
The ugly face of racism will surely show itself, if sentient or semi-intelligent robots start to become commonplace.
Tux? because he has friends who protect him and provide him with (not red) herrings. Gifts rewarded POST Event, in Gratuitous Acknowledgement of Services Rendered Intelligently, rather than demanded prior to any work being done.
Darwin awards are for those who manage to top themselves with sheer grit, determination and pure stupidity. It can't be applied here as the vic/perp/stiff carefully set out to Heath-Robinson himself to death.
Seems to have worked rather well.
Now, if he'd spent years designing and building the device and it got a short-circuit and zapped him or fell out of a window and got someone else . . .
Paris -- something to do with electro-mechanical devices
I'm not sure that this counts as a Darwin award on a couple of counts:
1: It was not an accident - it did what he intended.
2: He mentioned his family, therefore the gene pool is already polluted.
The real question is: why did it take him hours of searching on the internet to work out how to do this?
Step 1: use a pole and some gaffa tape to hold gun at the correct height.
Step 2: using some string (or twine), tie a slip knot around the trigger.
Step 3: stand in front of gun, holding rope
Step 4: pull on rope
Step 5: realise that the gun wasn't loaded; load gun and return to step 3.
Fit the criteria: remote control (adjust length of string) and 'capable of firing multiple shots' (in 2 ways: if you miss with the first shot, loosen knot and try again, or for a continuous stream of shots use a fully automatic gun)
Note: I haven't tested this; it may not work. It has a distinct advantage over a 'robot' in that it wouldn't fail in the event of an untimely power cut!
Note2: I accept no responsibility for any idiot who actually goes and builds the above; furthermore, I claim patent rights so if you do build it, I require 1 million pounds sterling in untraceable small denominations notes BEFORE you use it.
...those are awarded to fuckwits who died accidentally through their own stupidity. So unless this guy thought he could somehow dodge the bullets or was hoping that someone would rescue him at the last minute, I don't think this was accidental, nor do I think the guy was stupid. The fact that he had the ingenuity to build a machine like this, I think, shows why had had no intention of going to a nursing home, having his intellect sucked from him by dribbling wrinklies whose idea of an intellectual challenge is finishing the crossword in "Best" or winning the bingo.
Well done to him, I say, although I personally would have chosen something a little less potentially painful...
He should've opted for at least a .357/9mm -- or larger. I suspect that a double barrel shotgun would do the trick as well, but that depends on whether you want to leave your face intact or not.
I mean, if I were opting for a *painless* and quick way of going, I'd opt for point-blank at my cranium. :p
So why did he kill himself anyways? Must've been a damn good reason to go through all that trouble.
Despite conventional wisdom, the .22 handgun is very effective at point blank ranges when fired into the skull. There's enough penetration to get into the skull, but not powerful enough to cause an exit wound. The round spends some time ricocheting around in the skull a bit. It's not ideal for random street violence or police grade weaponry, but for terminating one's self it's fairly effective. He probably came across that while researching his killing machine.
Highly effective yet completely ludicrous method. I feel sad now.
The coat with the Jolly Roger on it, please.
Not sure if this would rate a Darwin award, as the man was obviously intelligent enough to build the robot, and offed himself after careful planning, not after uttering "Hey y'all, watch this!"...
I've heard that a 22 caliber shot to the head is one of the preferred methods of execution by professional assassins...
Clearly the guy was an engineer in his youth and wanted to show off.
An Oz guy? So Lewis, just how many beers were involved in the incident? Details, details Pffft!
It is true what the others have said though. A .22 Long Rifle round even though just barely supersonic will do a decent job at short range.
That reminds me, I must get some more rimfire practice in before the compo at the club.
I think the Oz politicians will be all over this like a rash. The guy was a tosser for bringing the sport into disrepute.
Asimov wrote the fameous three laws as the background for a collection of short stories demonstrating just how and why the laws don't, and can't work.
Besides, who's gonna buy a robot that won't do your killing for you? Not the boys in olive drab. Not the rich. Hackers might, but they'd just fiddle it. Actually, I guess with hackers it doesn't matter who buys it if they can fiddle it.
"The guy was a tosser for bringing the sport into disrepute"
What sport would that be? Is offing yourself a sport? Their olympics must get a bit messy.
The high jump:
"I was a bit dissapointed with that one. He just stepped off the building."
"Yeah, but great splash. I'd award him the full five watermelons!"
"Next up - Servo-Controlled Automatic Weapons!"
... for some might be choosing the time and means of your departure.
Clearly, mentioning a Darwin Award indicates a lack of understanding of what a Darwin Award is.
Underestimating the effectiveness of a .22 cal round has no doubt resulted in real Darwin Award candidates we could safely speculate ...
Painful? Certainly less than spending what remains of your life in a nursing home.
No need to worry that politicians would use this as ammunition. They are not that far removed from chimpanzees, who find that their own feces makes particularly effective ammunition and is economically self-produced.
I know who I'll be toasting at the pub tonight!
Here's to creativity and dignity!
... after so long in computer vision I am finding myself wondering if this system used a viola jones face detector. I mean it could, locate the face, measure the distance between the eyes, target a point above the centre of the eyes by approximately 50% of that measurement...
Suffice to say anyone who goes that way better not put my name on the suicide note.
Dude, I suggest you get a book on ballistics from the library. Even Wiki will educate you better.
Since this guy lived in a sub-urban area and used a semi-auto pistol it is unlikely he had it for vermin control. Most likely it was for target plinking.
Apart from pistols, Oz has absolutely draconian gun laws. Many English speaking countries do since a spate of killings in the 90's. No politician ever lost votes hammering private gun ownership whether it helped or not.
I'm getting tired of Reg Comments being used for point scoring especially by the unenlightened. I expect I'll just stop reading them soon.
The self-same thing was invented and executed (pun intended) in New Zealand around 25-30 years ago.
In that case the bloke chained himself in a frame with 22 rifle and arranged a timer delay triggered by when he pulled a plug out of the wall. He then spent a significant amount of time unable to move and waiting till the timer triggered.
NZ has always been an unrecognised leader in the world - look at how the publicity machine of the Wright Brothers stole rightful recognition from Richard Pierce for the world's first powered manned flight: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Pearse
Lazy? He went to the trouble of building a ROBOT to kill him, instead of just pulling the trigger himself...
Seriously, though, it really isn't that funny for those close to him.
Other icons I could have used: IT?; Joke Alert!; Skull and Crossbones; Coat.
But I picked Billy G because I reckon that part of it is due to insanity from using Windows...
As an Aussie myself, I feel a certain obligation to defend the poor old guy.
Australian nursing homes over the last few years have been highlighted to be in a rather poor state of affairs (and I feel a sense of shame over it). The staff treat the residents with disrespect and abuse, the ones who are no longer able to take care of their own toilet needs are often left for hours on end sitting in bed in their own waste. There have even been deaths from outbreaks of diarrhea from poor food preparation in nursing homes.
Needless to say that the nursing home system here is in a piss-poor state and is in dire need of an overhaul.
Then there is the family, they really need to take a long hard look at themselves. The gentleman in question would have spent many many years working hard to provide for them, only to be told in his later years by the ingrates that he isn't wanted and is being put in one of the afore mentioned nursing homes while they sell off his home and all his belongings, presumably to cash-in on property prices.
Personally, if it was me, the "robot" I built wouldn't have been for outdoors use. I would have mounted a collection of guns under the kitchen table for the next time I invited the ingrates over for dinner.
Mines the one with the frag grenades and "Death To Ingrates" on the back!
How many of you clowns felt the need to point out that this guy was not a Darwin Award Candidate? I thought this place attracted a slightly higher IQ calibre of poster but apparently not.
This guy ensured that his passing would generate quite a splash by the method of his self-dispatch which was probably the idea. I expect he'd have got a small paragraph in the back of the local free advertising paper if he'd just put the gun to his temple. Instead he's ensured that a lot of idiots on a website have wasted an inordinate amount of time pointlessly discussing him.
Another interesting means of dispatch is the home-made guillotine. I particularly remember hearing of a case a few years back but if you Google there have actually been lots of instances of such Heath Robinson-esque farewells to the cruel world.
it makes sense that early adopters would use robots to perform the most grisly of tasks in society.
It's food for thought. Anyone who commercializes robots with the ability to manipulate weapons will have to deal with the issues around them being used for negative purposes (suicide, murder, robbery).
On the other hand, it probably points out a good market. If it's okay to sell guns, I suppose there's nothing wrong with selling more intelligent weapons (robots with guns). I'm not sure if there are laws around remote control firing mechanisms. (although a trigger is remote control, depending on your point of view).
It's possible that the rise of the machines will come from individual citizens, as opposed to corporations or governments. ....gotta run, the bots are nagging
Lots of people take themselves out using, say, a shotgun in the kitchen and cause all sorts of messy and expensive damage.
This bloke builds a deathbot (why is he nursing home fodder if he can build a deathbot?), and politely sets it up in his driveway and plinks a .22-- the bullet probably did not even exit and ding the garage door!
A little hosing off the driveway and house is ready to sell.
Oz ought to give him a posthumous award for cleverness and saving the taxpayers' money.
Why not just hold the pistol up to your head and pull the trigger, if you're so eager to leave? How could you even ensure that the thing would aim properly and do the job, instead of just maiming you or wounding you?
This doesn't make a whole lot of sense. How come there isn't a big question mark icon for those of use who are confused?
More than adequate for despatching some[thing|one].
Even when fired from a pistol with a lower muzzle velocity than from the typical .22 rifle.
I've personally despatched a number of animals quickly and humanely at a variety of distances with a .22 rifle and if someone pointed a .22 rifle or pistol at me I would certainly consider my life was in danger.
Lots of people have died believing the myth that "it's ONLY a .22"
"...set the controls to /up yours, Asimov/" Definitely one of the best lines I've read lately.
>Apart from pistols, Oz has absolutely draconian gun laws.
Actually pistols are even more heavily controlled than rifles in au.
Your average citizen has two options for licensing a firearm, open and club. An open license lets you carry it with you as long as you have a legitimate reason ("going to the club after work" or "visiting a mate with a property" would be ok), a club license lets you carry it between home, a gunsmith and a licensed club, that's it. Pistols are only allowed on a club license.
As a side note, I think "draconian" is a bit harsh. I have two rifles and while I had to jump through a couple of hoops to get them it wasn't a massive hassle for someone who has a legitimate need. Contrary to some peoples' claims it does help keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Our house was broken into last year, I grabbed my maglite and went to see what was going on. I never even considered the possibility that they would be armed with anything more than a knife, certainly there are crims with guns, but the junkies going around stealing dvd players don't have them.
(Yes, I am aware that my "side note" is longer than my actual reply)
What you have written is correct but it only supports the original statement, laws are draconian other than for pistols. ie you can have a rifle for the back yard or someone elses back yard (draconian), pistols are club only (not draconian). I think draconian applies perfectly ie its not a massive hassle for someone who can state a legitimate need. therefore its easy, and the law is almost pointless, hence draconian.
> you can have a rifle for the back yard or someone elses back yard (draconian), pistols are club only (not draconian)
Definitions of draconian on the Web:
* (drah COE nee-un) adj, 1. Designating a law or code of extreme severity. 2. Harsh, rigorous.
I would have said that strictly limiting who could buy something and telling them exactly where you are allowed to carry it (pistol) was more severe and rigorous than just saying "OK but prove you need it first and you will have to wait a few weeks" (rifle)
"I think draconian applies perfectly"
I believe the previous AC is a member of a law enforcement body and has their agenda in mind.
"Except for pistols" - In the UK, standard pistols are PROHIBITED entirely. Oz is much more reasonable about them.
I have seen OZ statistics showing a recent boom in private gun ownership. Violent gun crime has remained level for decades.
The only possible change is that there has not been another Port Moresby. Incidentally Port Moresby involved ILLEGAL weapon possession.
I am British and bow to any Aussie's better knowledge though.
Jerry remembers a machine from 25-30 years ago. Might be the one I saw at the Medical School at Auckland University , 30 years ago.
Constructed and used by an bloke who worked there, and used a .22 cal. rifle.
It was thought he must have taken several weeks to make it. Quite a good design, with a timer , and after taking some drugs to make him go bye-bye, he locked himself in to/ on to the device and the rest is history.
Opinion was that he wanted to be remembered, perhaps the same applies to this Australian chap.
Sad thought that suicide is a matter for hilarity among supposed adults.
PS. Jerry - Re Richard Pierce and the Wright Bros. Richard's plane had no means of control , the Wright machine had wing warping, and Richard's bouncing across a paddock and into a hedge was not controlled , sustained flight.
The Yanks did do it first.
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