Japan Makes Robot Girlfriend for Lonely Men Japan is making robot girlfriends for lonely men, and other news worth an honorable mention.
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Japan Makes Robot Girlfriend for Lonely Men

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Japan Makes Robot Girlfriend for Lonely Men

Japan Makes Robot Girlfriend for Lonely Men

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Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We are always online at npr.org. I'm Mike Pesca. So you know, all that information and what you've heard so far, pretty straightforward. Now, let's veer off the path, but in a good way. Let's do The Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

PESCA: Joining me now, guest Rambler, a Rambling man, and possibly - we just found out yesterday - not that much of a gambling man. Dan Pashman. Hello, Dan.

DAN PASHMAN: Hey, how are you, Mike?

PESCA: Would you like to start us off with the first Rambling?

PASHMAN: I'll give it a shot. So, service member Aaron K got his leave from the Air Force extended by a week, good news for him. Why? So he could attend the opening of the first White Castle in his home county in Michigan.

PESCA: Really?

PASHMAN: Yes. Clearly, he's got his priorities in order. He was scheduled to return to Okinawa on Monday, but he asked for seven more days so he could vet his favorite burger joint, and his superior officer agreed.

PESCA: Does he have part ownership of the White Castle? Is he a descendent of the guy who invented the White Castle?

PASHMAN: He's just a really big fan. In fact, such a big fan that he said he was kind of heartbroken about possibly missing the opening. And then, the local newspaper, the Daily Press & Argus, named K the number one White Castle fan around.

PESCA: I would think, yeah.

PASHMAN: But apparently, he wasn't the only one in Livingston County, Michigan, who's excited to see those bright white turrets go up. One woman told the paper the White Castle burgers helped her induce labor.

PESCA: Really?

PASHMAN: Hey, lady, I've got news for you. I've eaten White Castle burgers, too. That wasn't labor.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Other requests for an extra week of leave include, it's the semi-finals of So You Think You Can Dance, and K-Mart's getting in the new really white socks.


PESCA: Internationally recognized wax figurine Joan Rivers was on a British TV show called "Loose Women." All right, good booking.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: It's basically the UK version of "The View," and she got herself into a little hot water. Here's Ms. Rivers talking about what it's like to work the red carpet at an award show.

(Soundbite of TV show "Loose Women")

Ms. JOAN RIVERS (Comedienne): You get someone like Russell Crowe, and you want to say to the camera, he is a piece of - get ready to bleep this - (bleep). He is just - I said get ready to bleep!

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: We haven't got a bleeper. Now, we have to explain what went on with that bleep. That bleep you heard, that was the BPP-provided bleeper.

PASHMAN: We have a bleeper.

PESCA: We have a bleeper. In real life, she said a very bad thing about Russell Crowe.

PASHMAN: Yeah, actually, two very bad things.

PESCA: Yeah. Right in a row, one modifying the other.

PASHMAN: Exactly.

PESCA: Either alone would have been pretty terrible.

PASHMAN: When one compounded the other, it was bad news.

PESCA: Yeah. Either would have gotten her - you know, if Russell Crowe was there, he would have thrown a cell phone at her. Well, anyway, Rivers was asked to leave the show. She later said in a statement she was sorry. She assumed they would bleep out curses. She added that the incident reminded her of her wedding night because she was asked to leave in the middle of that, too!

(Soundbite of drum roll)


(Soundbite of laughter)

PASHMAN: Well, look out, ladies, there's some new competition out there. Japanese scientists are marketing a robot girlfriend. Listen to this, Mike. Tell me if this gets you excited. She's 15 inches tall.


PASHMAN: Kisses on command.

PESCA: I'm still listening.

PASHMAN: Goes on sale this fall for 175 bucks.

PESCA: Aw, you lost me. Too pricey.

PASHMAN: All right. Target market? Lonely adult men.

PESCA: Short, lonely adult men.

PASHMAN: Is this doing it for you? Using her infrared sensors and battery power, the diminutive damsel named Ema puckers up for nearby human heads, entering what designers call its Love Mode.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PASHMAN: Anything? Anything?

PESCA: I'm going into the love mode.

PASHMAN: Now, the name Ema stands for Eternal Maiden Actualization, which is comical in itself. But it's actually pretty problematic for those of us who speak even pidgin Hebrew because Ema means mother. So, that's strike one if I'm going to consider buying this robot. I don't think this item is going to be a big seller in Tel Aviv or on New York's Upper West Side.

PESCA: Also, I think it's specifically banned in the Torah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: If ever the Japanese, whoever they are, the 13th lost tribe, invent a love robot, don't do it.

PASHMAN: Yeah. But I'll say this, the futurist David Levy actually predicted this in his 2007 book, "Love and Sex with Robots." He said that with robot prostitutes, quote, "the control of disease is implicit. You simply remove the active parts and put them in the disinfecting machine." Does that get you excited, Mike? The disinfecting machine?

PESCA: Yeah.

PASHMAN: Pretty romantic.

PESCA: It doesn't even get me excited to read that book. Speaking of lonely men, Victor Rodriguez of Bridgeport, Connecticut, is a man on an island this morning. He had a big fight with his girlfriend that culminated when he allegedly ordered his nine-foot-long albino python to attack her. The snake was entirely uninterested in this command. He's not an attack snake. He's just a snake-snake. When reached for comment, the snake said, ssss.

Police were called to settle a romantic dispute. They showed up. Rodriguez told the snake to attack the police! He uttered the classic snake attack phrase, get them! Get them! The snake did not attack anyone, but police have removed the snake, although the owner will be able to reclaim it. As for his girlfriend, we're guessing that the Japanese robot sounds pretty good to this guy right now. And as you know, robots are snake proof.

PASHMAN: It's true.

PESCA: That is The Ramble. Thank you for joining us.

PASHMAN: Thank you, Mike.

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