Restaurateur bans three city officials
EDMOND, Okla., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma restaurateur has designated several city officials personae non gratae because they object to his awnings in the colors of the Italian flag.
Above the counter at Danny Falcone's restaurant in Edmond, Okla., there is a sign telling Edmond Neighborhood Alliance attorney Lydia Lee, and Edmond Planning Commissioners Suzy Thrash and Ingrid Young to eat someplace else, The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City reported.
Falcone took issue with their objections to his putting up tri-colored awnings at his business. The Edmond Planning Commission in October voted against Falcone's awning plan, and the city council followed suit a month later.
"On our other stores, we have a big awning in the colors of the Italian flag," Falcone said. "Well, these women say they don't want all these colors up here. They say they don't want different businesses to have different colored awnings."
It's marketing, the transplanted New Yorker says, and the colors represent his heritage.
"Unlike some restaurants, I have an authentic Italian restaurant being run by an Italian," he said. "So I don't know if they're prejudiced or ignorant or what, but they aren't welcome here."
Robot, not robot-like, sex may be possible
HOUSTON, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Sexbots -- not sexpots, but robots -- so lifelike humans will know them in every sense will be available sooner, not later, a British writer predicts.
David Levy, a British chess master-cum-artificial intelligence expert, says in his book, "Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships," robots by mid-century will be so endowed with human-esque intelligence and emotions they'll be practically indistinguishable, the Houston Chronicle reported. Think of the sci-fi movie, "Blade Runner" -- as opposed to Woody Allen's "Sleeper" which imagined a gizmo called an "orgasmatron."
"Great sex on tap for everyone, 24/7,'' Levy wrote on the final page of the book, perhaps brightening the lives of lonely or otherwise unhappy people.
"If one looks at the advances in technology in the last, say, 40 or 50 years, they've been immense," Levy told the Chronicle in a phone interview. "And the more we learn about the science and the technology, the quicker it will be to discover even more within that science."
In fact, he said, Japan already is developing "partner robots," machines that might perform household chores and other tasks for the elderly.
Croatia lacks ships to control sea zone
ZAGREB, Croatia, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Croatia is unable to control its fishing protection zone in the Adriatic Sea because it has no vessels to patrol maritime borders with Italy and Slovenia.
The Croatian Defense Ministry plans to buy four patrol boats but it is not certain the vessels will be in its possession by the end of this year, the Croatian-language newspaper Vecernji List said Wednesday.
The Croatian Navy has old ships that are short of "some important parts" and weapons, making them unfit for preventing foreign ships from violating the protection zone, Vecernji said.
Despite European Union opposition, Croatia Tuesday said its fishing protection zone is being applied to EU member states with which the Zagreb government has unresolved fishing and maritime border issues. The states in question were identified as Italy and Slovenia.
Dummy mistaken for dead body
SOUTH BEND, Ind., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Police and fire crews investigating a report of a dead body at a South Bend, Ind., cemetery instead discovered a dummy made from Halloween decorations.
Rescue authorities said a woman on cross-country skis reported seeing a dead body on a park bench at the Riverview Cemetery, but responders found the object on the bench had a pumpkin in place of its head and its legs were stuffed with straw, The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reported Wednesday.
South Bend fire Capt. Tom Pennino said the woman had not taken a close look at the "body" before she called it in to authorities. He said the dummy was likely made of discarded Halloween decorations.