The Federal Aviation Administration may still be figuring out how to politely negotiate with commercial drones in the airspace, but goateed metalhead Johnny Dronehunter doesn’t wait for rules, man. Nah. He’d prefer to shoot down drones with a giant silencer he’s selling for gun accessory company SilencerCo.
When you make a B movie, it’s best not to question the plot—no matter how ridiculous it is, advises Anthony C. Ferrante, the director of Sharknado, which debuted on Syfy last summer. “It bogs you down if you worry about that stuff,” Ferrante says, musing, “A sharknado can do whatever we tell it to do. It can tear through cars. It can go into the subway. And it doesn’t have to have a reason for anything. That’s the beauty of it. And once you accept it for what it is creatively as a director, you’re liberated because you’re not going, ‘Sharks in a tornado can’t really come into the city and do this!’”
It’s been nearly a month since Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder in a stadium in Brazil (or, in Suarez’s words “suffered the physical result of a bite in the collusion he suffered with me”). But this week, just a little more than a hundred miles south of where that game took place, one Iranian soccer-playing robot in the RoboCup—the World Cup for robots—malfunctioned, falling on top of one of its Indonesian opponents and ripping off its arm.
Fouls work a little differently at the RoboCup, which for the past 17 years has invited teams of roboticists from all over the globe to pit their soccer-playing machines against one another. This year, the competition is taking place in a Brazilian conference center with a manmade pond and a building shaped like a space-age beard trimmer, where 2,200 human participants (and thousands more spectators) will finish competing for RoboCup titles today.