December 26, 2008

DT Freakout Friday: Robots Edition

It's an abbreviated Freakout Friday, which focuses only on the most pressing ways we're ruining our kids, as extrapolated from preliminary research:

  • Should we let robots take care of our children? Because, uh, hello, they already are. That's the ethical dilemma posed by Dr. Noel Sharkey in an editorial in Science magazine. [, reg. req. but wired has a recap. thanks dt reader dana]

  • Lied to your kid Santa lately? While new [?] analysis of studies conducted in 1896 [?] and 1979 finds that some kids felt like a grown up when they figured out the Santa myth, the number of kids who felt betrayed and lied to has skyrocketed. Tripled, actually, from 2 to 6 percent. And in just 85 years. At this rate, in less than 2,000 years, 100% of kids will feel betrayed by their parents. And who do you think they'll turn to? That's right: the robots. [esciencenews]

  • Yes, California, there is a Santa Claus. And he went on a murderous rampage at his ex-inlaw's Christmas Party and then set the whole place on fire with racing fuel. Which caught his Santa suit on fire, and it melted to his skin before he committed suicide. This story is all of the top five reasons not to pay attention to the news on Christmas Day. YEEOW.

  • Even when the real finding is, "needs more research," no one boils down a study into an oversimplified headline like Bloomberg News: "Skinny Babies, Not Fat Ones, Are Most at Risk for Diabetes, Study Says" [bloomberg]

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