Hens not Chickens, Perhaps Robots?

by Ignacio Vinuela-Fernandez and Chris Speed

There are between 750,000 and 1,000,000 family hens, kept in mainly suburban gardens in the United Kingdom. This growing social trend has been spurred on by TV programmes that promote wholesomeness and self-reliance in an increasingly uncertain world. Hens are, at least in principle, a cheap and easy way of making a difference, of taking some control over what we eat, a step further from the grow-bags and herbs on the windowsill. But the reason for their arrival into middle-class communities along with iPads and vegetable boxes may be found in the expectations of a generation who expected to be surrounded by robots by now.

This review reflects upon the contemporary middle class adoption of chickens, and suggests that their interest may be linked to their owners recollections of the childhood robots that never arrived.

Skylanders:  Near Field in your living room now 

by Paul Coulton

Skylanders from Activision takes the form of a traditional role-play game (RPG) where a player assumes the persona of the central character in a classic ‘hero journey’ adventure by exploring a world to gain experience and complete a quest. In this case the army of the Skylands, the Skylanders, have defended their home world for centuries until an evil named Kaos invaded the Skylands and banished the Skylanders to our world as toys. The player must send the Skylanders back into their world in order to defeat Kaos.

This review describes the popular console game “Skylanders” that uses RFID tags to allows kids to play