The Popcorn Stand: Rocked by huge spider robot, not hurricane |

The Popcorn Stand: Rocked by huge spider robot, not hurricane

In today’s Popcorn Stand, I’m rocked by a giant walking robotic spider — but not by a hurricane.

This giant walking robotic spider is really cool, although when I first saw it, the first thing I thought of is that contraption Kenneth Branaugh came up with as the villain in that movie “Wild Wild West.”

You probably don’t know what I’m talking about since you probably didn’t see “Wild Wild West” and you didn’t miss much because it was an awful movie. A huge disappointment for a fan of the old TV series “The Wild Wild West.”

But I digress. British engineer Matt Denton looks a lot cooler than Branaugh riding in his walking hexapod robot which has been certified as the world’s largest hexapod robot with six legs by Guiness World Records.

Denton was actually inspired by Star Wars. I’m a cultural moron and have never seen one minute of any Star Wars movie, though I’ve been told Denton’s robot spider is eerily similar to those in Star Wars.

Denton’s robot spider which measures 9 feet, 2 inches by 16 feet, 6 inches, is appropriately named Mantis.

Mantis can be operated by remote control, but it’s cleary more fun to drive.

It’s not exactly nimble, though, It weighs 4,188 pounds and its top speed is less than one mile an hour.

Although if I ever become a TV reporter asked to be sent into a hurricane, maybe I’d be willing to do it if I was driving Mantis.

While we all send our best to those battered by Hurricane Florence, it never ceases to amaze me the reporters who want to experience this kind of thing first hand.

This is the kind of Gonzo journalism I can do without. And of course there have been plenty of parodies of those who choose to be rocked by a hurricane, so to speak.

I’ve written before about the “Family Guy” episode in which weatherman Ollie is at the scene of a hurricane and yells out “It’s raining sideways!”

Trevor Noah and The Daily Show did an hilarious parody last week in which Noah while sipping his hot chocolate talks to his intrepid reporter Ronny Chiang, who was furious at Noah for sending him into the hurricane really for no reason. Of course Chiang actually wasn’t in the hurricane, but the point was well taken.

I mean what can reporters in a hurricane really tell us we don’t already know? I know the news networks believe they’ve got to send these poor reporters out to these natural disasters for no reason, but really what’s the point?

And then there’s Weather Channel reporter Mike Seidel who’s being ridiculed right now because during a live segment in Wilmington, N.C., he was bracing against the against the strong winds while two teenagers walked by behind as if nothing was going on.

Seidel has been accused of fabricating his report just a bit.

I give Seidel the benefit of the doubt as anybody who lives in Carson City knows, it can literally be snowing/raining and windy across the street while where you are it could actually be sunny.

Even at Sonoma Park where I take my dogs Tuf Tuf (you know Sir Tuffington something or other) the Jack Russell and Pete the Shih Tzu (had to get my dogs in). One side of the park can literally be windy while the other side of the park can be calm. My dogs love the wind, by the way.

And when it comes to windy conditions, I’ll stick with Sonoma Park. Don’t rock me with a hurricane.

— Charles Whisnand