Minor Relationship Issues

Googling relationship issues and finding hippo puppets near the top of the list did not surprise me.
Googling relationship issues and finding hippo puppets near the top of the list did not surprise me.
It’s tough out there if you’re looking for a meaningful relationship. Trust me, I’m twice divorced, I speak from experience. People look for love in all sorts of places. They go to church, they hit bars, they hang out at grocery stores, they get confused and fondle the produce at church and end up in court ordered therapy. It happens. Others try the interweb, hoping to find that special someone who’s just like them. You know, fat, naked, eating Cheetohs and TiVo’ing hours and hours of Maude so they don’t have to wait for the reruns on ME-TV. Or maybe you’re like a friend of mine who claims she’s only occasionally a lesbian. She can’t figure out why she can’t find that special guy. I can help with that. Guys hate the idea of their wife banging hotter chicks than they could ever dream of even shaking hands with, that’s why. Suffice it to say it’s hard to find that special someone, and let’s move on.

Yet, some folks do find that perfect match. They wake up with the ideal mate for the rest of their lives. Today’s article takes a look at those lucky few.

For example, Leslie Rubin tells the romantic story of a boy, his cross dressing wardrobe and a goat.

A shocking case of animal cruelty out of South Charleston, where a family says their goat was stolen and killed, but what happens next is truly bizarre.

The Powers family says they only had the baby goat for two days. Now, Mark Thompson, a neighbor, is charged with brutally killing the animal.

Still wearing women’s clothing, Thompson, 19, was booked for a felony charge of animal cruelty.

“Knowing him, it’s not a surprise,” says the goat’s owner, Lisa Powers.

She says she called police around 3:00 a.m. on Monday to tell them Thompson had stolen and killed her goat, Bailey.

Witnesses say they found Thompson standing over the dead goat, with blood coming from it’s neck.

“It makes me very sick. Yes, it does,” says Powers.

Witnesses also told police Thompson was wearing a woman’s bra and panties and had his pants down. When confronted, he said he was masturbating, but then ran into the woods behind his Greenview Road home.

“There were several other animals in the home and the humane officer did respond and took custody of those animals,” says Detective Sean Snuffer with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

Thompson eventually surrendered, and told police he’d been high on bath salts for three days.

But deputies found more disturbing things in his home. On his bed were female underwear, and tampons. Next to the dead goat was a pornographic magazine.

“It’s like a stereotype of a West Virginian. I’m sorry to say, but things like this do happen,” says Powers.

Powers said she’d just bought the goat for her 4-year-old grandson as a pet. She says she’s been afraid of Thompson for quite a while, and claims he has a history of animal abuse.

“Out of his actions, I mean he’s dangerous. He’s been dangerous, and I was just afraid the next step would be a child,” she says.

Adult Protective Services was also called in. Detectives say Thompson may be mentally ill.

The goat will undergo a necropsy to determine if it was sexually assaulted.

Dear Mr. Powers, no, things like this don’t just happen. In my 49 years on the planet I’ve done some pretty bizarre things. A couple would make Charlie Sheen offer the number of one of his shrinks. But I’ve never been out shopping for some housewares and then been overcome with the desire to dress as a woman and have sex with a dead goat.

Not even during the divorce proceedings.

And, just FYI, if my last name was Snuffer, I’d change it in a nanosecond.

Okay, so let’s pretend for a moment that you don’t need to be locked up. How else can you get that perfect date who’s willing to do the naughty stuff and still be a perfect doll in mixed company? Easy. Like Geoff Nixon says, just build your own.

A 33-year-old Ontario man has found the time to build a fake female robot. The man, known as Trung Le, created an almost fully functioning life like woman, who provides conversation and companionship, but skeptics say his creation is more about sex than science.

For as long as he can remember, Le Trung has been obsessed with robots.

“When I was a kid, we watched a lot of anime robots,” the 33-year-old told CTV.ca in a phone interview from his parents’ home in Brampton, Ont.

“Gundam, when I was a kid…or Volton, Macross, whatever,” Trung said, rhyming off the popular Japanese anime shows that fuelled his dream to build a robot of his own.

“Your head starts thinking: ‘Robot, robot.’ And I had to build one.”

When he was in Grade 4, he built his first robot — an effort that got him disqualified from the science fair in which it appeared.

His first robot could move around, shoot “bullets” and had a two-sentence vocabulary, Trung said.

Unfortunately, his robot had a run-in with a curious child who was hit with one of the robot’s projectiles at the science fair.

“You get disqualified if you make a little kid cry, even if the sign says ‘Do not touch!'” Trung said.

That was it for robots for a while, especially when his parents disapproved of his hobby.

“They don’t like me building robots for some reason,” he said.

“They said: ‘When you grow up, you have got to be studying medicine or something. No robots.’ So every time I built robots, they threw them in the garbage.”

But Trung remained undeterred in his long-term goal.

As he made his way through high school and later earned three university degrees, in analytical chemistry, biochemistry and general science, he kept working on software on the side — developing programming skills that would ultimately help him with his robot dreams.

While Trung, who has worked as a software programmer in recent years, has been unemployed for the past three months, he has worked steadily on Project Aiko — an effort that has brought him closer than ever to reaching his dream.

From robot dream to robot reality

Aiko is a 32-kilogram female android that Trung began building in August of last year.

She is just under five feet tall, has brown eyes that can distinguish 300 faces per second and speaks 13,000 English and Japanese phrases.

Her skin is made of silicone and her insides are made of an expensive collection of wires, motors and various sensors.

In total, Trung has spent more than $20,000 developing Aiko, maxing out three credit cards in the process.

The silicone alone cost $6,000 — but Trung insists it was a necessary expense.

He could have made Aiko out of rubber, “but it looks creepy when you touch it and it doesn’t look as real,” he said.

“There’s nothing I can do about that, apparently silicone is more expensive than other materials.”

According to the official Project Aiko website, the android can read newspapers, provide weather reports and tell different types of medicine apart.

Aiko can also distinguish between types of touch to her body and can even make toast.

But she cannot walk — yet. Trung said he needs 14 motors worth $500 a piece to get Aiko walking, and until he gets a financial sponsor, that goal has to stay on hold.

Trung hopes to make Aiko capable of completing tasks that he hates to do.

On his wish list? Teaching Aiko to dust, to clean toilets and to clean his ears with a Q-tip.

“I hate doing those chores,” Trung said.

“Like for God’s sake, cleaning the toilet, I hate doing that. You might as well let someone else do it, right?”

But he admits there are limits to what he can teach Aiko to do.

“Anything I don’t know, she doesn’t know,” Trung said.

Trung said he sees many applications for Aiko-type technology.

He believes such androids could one day be used as in-home nurses, or in service roles at major airports.

Project Aiko gains attention

Since Aiko hit the news in recent weeks, Trung has been the talk of the town on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

He’s been written about in Canadian newspapers, as well as the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph and Sun papers, and has been featured on CNN.

His videos of Aiko have logged over a million hits on You Tube.

“Most people think those videos are fake,” Trung said, referring to Aiko’s YouTube appearances.

Randy robot questions

But for all the attention that Aiko has garnered, one topic area has elicited the most questions: Anything and everything to do with sex.

And Trung has answered every question that he has been asked.

“Does she have breasts? I will say yes. Does she have nipples? I will say yes. Does she have a vagina? I will say yes. Are there sensors there? I will say yes,” he said.

“Do I sleep with her? No.”

Trung said he chose to make Aiko a female because he reasoned that a female android would be less threatening than a male android.

As for the questions about Aiko’s anatomical details, Trung said he attempted to build an android that is as realistic as possible, plain and simple.

“For some reason, tabloids twisted the story around and there’s nothing much you can do,” Trung said.

But he admits there are some adult topics that Aiko is familiar with.

“If you talk dirty to her, she will talk dirty back,” Trung said, admitting that an R-rated vocabulary was an unforeseen part of Aiko’s development.

When he began building up Aiko’s capabilities, Trung said he used a software program that scanned a series of random websites so she could download new words for her vocabulary.

But within a few short hours, the searching algorithm inadvertently brought her to some adult websites that allowed Aiko to pick up some “new words” that Trung had not intended for her to learn.

Project Aiko’s future

For now, Trung hopes to land a sponsor for Project Aiko, in order to continue his dream.

He has applied for funding from many sources, but he hopes to find some interest for his technology in Canada — but he admits he hasn’t had much luck.

“I tried to get funding from Canadian companies, even Canadian grants, but they just say: ‘Sorry, we don’t fund basement work.’ So, that’s what they say.”

As for Aiko’s own future, the sky is the limit, Trung said.

“There is always room for improvement,” he said. “It’s never-ending.”

He built a sex-bot so he wouldn’t have sex with it? Sure, I believe him. I’m also a big fan of the Easter Bunny, Jack Skellington and many other beings who run my life when my personal psychic isn’t available.

Anyway, not to say that Mr. Trung has control issues, but making a 5 foot tall robot so she’d be shorter than him and submissive tells me that he might want to consider quietly talking to the nice people who can help him get into one of those nice places that have the lovely padded walls.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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