There’s no connection between two pieces of e-mail that hit my desk today except for the shared location of two events — the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas.

* GODLESS: This Saturday, LogiCon2016 will be held at the Arkansas Union. It brings together “atheists, freethinkers, humanists, agnostics and anyone else interested in non-theistic communities.” The conference is 9-7 Saturday and 10-5 Sunday Speakers include Brian Dalton (aka Mr. Deity), Greta Christina, Debbie Goddard, Darrel Ray, Jerry DeWitt, Machaelyn Eberhard, Doug Krueger, JT Eberhard and Lisa Corrigan. Said a release:


LogiCon was formed because of the need for secular outreach in Arkansas. A joint effort by many local secular groups, LogiCon has proven to be just what the area needs. The goal of LogiCon is to express the importance of reason, logic, and scientific education, support equality for all, and assist in advancing the secular movement forward.

Do Bart Hester, Bob Ballinger, the Duggars, John La Tour and them know about this?

* HUMANLESS: Interesting, too, is this article from Retailing Today about a test to begin on the Fayetteville campus of an “autonomous terrestrial drone,” or a wheeled robot that developers hope will have the potential carry out “last-mile” delivery of goods sold at retail. It can use sidewalks to deliver small sacks of groceries or other goods and supposedly has done 1,200 miles of testing in England. It’s to be tested at Fayetteville as part of Walmart-financed efforts on campus to develop new technology for their business sector. The testing of the  device — by  Starship Enterprises, developer of Skype — begins Friday.


“The key focus at the moment is testing human interaction with the robots and then we will gradually start to do deliveries,” said Starship COO Allan Martinson.

Testing began earlier this year in the United Kingdom where the vehicle, which Starship refers to as a robot, has traveled 1,200 miles on public sidewalks without incident. The vehicle weights about 25 pounds and is capable of transporting about 25 pounds.

“The first reaction of most people was quite a surprise to us. We were expecting some type of reaction but about 80% to 85% of people do not react at all,” Martinson said.

Lots of questions: Cities without sidewalks? Pickpockets (or whatever you call somebody who’d nab a bag from a robot)? Any built-in weaponry like a James Bond Aston Martin? Starship said a lot of the reaction in England was smiles.