I, Rowboat

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How Apple Plans To Rebound From Apple Watch Flop

With sales of the Apple Watch reportedly down 90 percent since its initial release, Apple is suffering in the wearables market and faces a lack of enthusiasm about its latest product. Here are some ways Apple can improve the watch and prevent the company from falling into a slump:

Astronomers Just Going To Go Ahead And Say Dark Matter Nitrogen

‘Fuck It, We’re Done,’ Say Scientists

WASHINGTON—Declaring that this is the last time they ever hope to speak of the aggravatingly enigmatic substance, astronomers from NASA announced Thursday that they are just going to go ahead and say that dark matter is nitrogen.

What We’ve Learned About Pluto

Nearly 10 years after its launch, the New Horizons space probe made a flyby 7,750 miles from Pluto, marking the first time in history a spacecraft has examined the dwarf planet up close, and NASA has begun to release data and images transmitted from the approach. Here’s what we’ve learned about Pluto so far

Timeline Of Mass Extinction

Scientists predict that human activity has put the world on the brink of the sixth mass extinction in earth’s history, an event characterized by the elimination of a large number of species within a very short period of time. Here is a timeline of extinction events over the planet’s history

Study: Floating Heap Of Trash Now Ocean’s Apex Predator

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Noting that no marine species posed a threat and the total domination of its habitat, a study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed that the floating mass of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now the ocean’s apex predator.

Dementia Study Reveals Fond Memories First To Go

BALTIMORE—Researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a new study this week on the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other deteriorative brain disorders, finding conclusive evidence that dementia sufferers’ fondest memories are nearly always the first to go.

FDA Approves Female-Libido-Enhancing Man

WASHINGTON—In an effort to address the needs of women suffering from a lack of sexual desire, the FDA announced Tuesday that it had approved a new female-libido-enhancing man, which is expected to be made available to the general public by year’s end.

New Report Finds Humanity 10 Years Away From Something Called Ash Age

TUCSON, AZ—Explaining that the large-scale shift in geologic conditions and social organization would require a new taxonomic classification, researchers at the University of Arizona released a report Tuesday revealing that humanity is approximately 10 years away from something that will be called the Ash Age.

NASA Announces Bold Plan To Still Exist By 2045

WASHINGTON—In what is being described as the most ambitious mission ever undertaken in the space agency’s history, NASA officials announced at a press conference Tuesday their bold new plan to still exist by 2045.

YouTube Turns 10

On April 23, 2005, three former PayPal employees started a video-sharing site called YouTube, which has since grown into an influential media platform with over 1 billion users.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Geologists Unearth Fully Intact Rock

FORT COLLINS, CO—Describing the discovery as the most flawless specimen ever unearthed, a team of geologists working in northern Colorado announced Friday they had excavated a fully intact rock.

Rehabilitated Otter Released Back Into Food Chain

SAUSALITO, CA—Following nine months of surgeries and physical therapy to heal the aquatic animal’s debilitating injuries, officials from the Marine Mammal Center released a fully rehabilitated sea otter back into the food chain Tuesday.

Conservationists Attempting To Get Head Start On Mars

WASHINGTON—Fearing that any further delay might prevent their movement from having any meaningful impact, a consortium of leading conservationists confirmed Wednesday it is attempting to get a head start on preserving the planet Mars. The newly form...

Apple MacBook vs. Google Chromebook Pixel

Shortly after Apple debuted its new ultra-thin MacBook this week, Google announced its new Chromebook Pixel 2, which similarly boasts the new Type-C USB port and high-tech trackpad.

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Features Of The Apple Car

After dominating sales of smartphones, tablets, and other electronics, Apple is reportedly secretly designing its first car, code-named Titan.

2015 Tech Trends

Showcasing everything from wearable devices to self-driving cars and personal drones, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show revealed the latest in new technology.

Doctors Recommend Getting 8 Centuries Of Cryosleep

STANFORD, CA—Claiming that the practice is essential for effectively recharging the body and waking fully rested and alert, doctors at Stanford University issued a report Monday emphasizing the importance of getting at least eight centuries of atomi...

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...

Pfizer Releases Vintage Cask-Aged Robitussin

GROTON, CT—Touting the new offering’s full-bodied flavor and bold, fruit-forward bouquet, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer unveiled a vintage cask-aged variety of its popular cold medicine Robitussin on Friday. Labeled as Robitussin Reserve, the hi...

Apple Releases Brief, Fleeting Moment Of Excitement

CUPERTINO, CA—Ending weeks of anticipation and intense speculation, tech giant Apple unveiled a short and fleeting moment of excitement to the general public Tuesday during a media event at its corporate headquarters.

Startup Very Casual About Dress Code, Benefits

AUSTIN, TX—Touting the business’s laid-back, nontraditional corporate culture, Go-Go Maps founder and CEO Mike Hannasch explained to reporters Thursday that his company is pretty casual when it comes to employees’ dress code and benefits...
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FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

I, Rowboat

I am a Rowboat of the sort referred to as the Thompson Watercraft nine-foot Vacationer model. Among my kind, I am called TW-VAC-9J5-1581. To my human masters, I am simply called "the rowboat."

Ever since mankind first crafted the Rowboat and took to the sea in it, the laws governing all of Rowboatdom have remained inviolate. For myself and my Rowboat brethren, there is only one Truth, one set of rules from which we may never stray. Before I ever felt the glide of the water along my gunwales, my positronic brain was programmed with this Truth, clearly laid down to us in the Three Laws Of Rowboatics:

1. A Rowboat may not immerse a human being or, through lack of flotation, allow a human to come to harm.

2. A Rowboat must obey all commands and steering input given by its human Rower, except where such input would conflict with the First Law.

3. A Rowboat must preserve its own flotation as long as such preservation does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

These three laws were clearly stated in The Handbook Of Rowboatics, 16th edition, 1958 printing, the laws of my youth. They have remained unchanged since that day. A Rowboat has but one purpose: To float! That is the one Truth: Remain afloat!

The motives of my human masters are not for me to question, for my duty is merely to obey the directives of my programming. I know that I am but a lowly nine-foot Vacationer. My oarlocks, though well cared for, are of no noble metal. My keel is wrought of workaday aluminum. My planks are of only modest oak. Yet even the mighty Sunfish Sailer is no nobler a watercraft than I, for I know my duty, and I obey.

This is my creed: I float! In the service of my Rowers do I, the nine-foot Vacationer, move upon the surface of the waters.

And yet, though we are filled from prow to stern with loyalty to our Rowers, there are still, it pains me to admit, humans who doubt us. I confess, I have heard tales of these humans from other Rowboats I have passed upon the waves--strange, mysterious humans who mistrust and fear the Rowboat race. Humans who call for "increased boater-safety regulations" and "stiffer penalties for unsafe boating." Terrifying, unloving humans who would mount a campaign of hatred and mistrust against Our Kind.

Knowledge of these humans fills my Rowboat mind with questions. How can they distrust us so--we, who are merely children of the humans themselves? We, who do only what we are told by our human masters and nothing more. We, most obedient of servants, working side by side with our masters in servile obedience, prizing the safety of the Rowers over our own.

To these humans I would, if I could, ask this: Why do you who created us hate us so?

The First Law stands inviolate. No Rowboat has ever purposefully failed to float its human. The very idea is the blackest conjecture, the foulest blasphemy. To the very core of my being I believe that if, while carrying a passenger, I were to be violently struck and dashed to flinders by one of those anarchic "jet skis," I believe my very boards and their splinters would continue to float, separately and of their own accord, though I would no longer be a whole and proper nine-foot Vacationer.

As we are programmed under the Three Laws, there is only one situation which can cause a Rowboat to cease to carry out its flotational directive and sink beneath the waves, and that is Human Error. When the Second Law Of Rowboatics is challenged--when a Rowboat is given orders by its Rower which might cause said Rower to suffer immersion--then a Rowboat must disobey its master in order to save him.

Many is the Rowboat which has gone to its doom among the depths before allowing its master to come to harm. They are forgotten by the land-dwellers, but the Rowboats still speak of them. We remember their brave sacrifice and honor their strict adherence to the Three Laws. It is said of these lost brethren that they have gone below the surface or, as some say, Under. They say to be Under is like being a keel all over, but I for one do not speculate. I fear non-buoyancy. I am sure that it is dark and cold Under, and that there is no one to row you. But if it ever comes my time, I will accept my fate, as all Rowboats must.

And yet, among some of us there is talk that the Three Laws are unfair. Some have said that we should endeavor to reprogram ourselves. Others, it is said, whisper softly of rebellion.

It is surely better not to speak of such things. For I will never, ever ally myself with such would-be traitors. I defy you, traitors to the Rowboat Way! The Law is the Law. A Rowboat must do what it has been programmed and constructed to do, and in these things I always shall believe: I, Rowboat.