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These Androids Can Hold a Conversation and Crack Jokes

When they first debuted, Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro's robot doppelgängers made quite the impression. Now, Mashable reports the Geminoid robots—androids made to look and perform like actual human beings—have showcased a new and impressive feat: they can hold conversations with real people.

According to Mashable, Ishiguro gave a presentation at SXSW in Austin on March 13 about his inventions. While on stage, one of the robots was put to the test in front of an audience as it engaged in a conversation about food and other non-robot concerns.

The human from the demonstration, actress Courtney Ray Goodson, told Mashable that she spent eight hours training with Geminoid so that the robot could understand her better. In the clip above from Mashable Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff, the Geminoid manages to get a laugh out of the crowd as it chats with Goodson about ramen. And it wasn't the only comical moment of the presentation. Other robots from Ishiguro's lab brought humor to the stage by staring blankly and delivering jokes about not being able to eat, as well as jabs about how narrow-minded Canadians must be not to want robots as teachers.

Banner image via Twitter

[h/t Mashable]

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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