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1779 John Adams appointed to negotiate peace terms with British, 1779 John Jay is appointed minister to Spain, 1967 My Mother The Car exported to France, 1864 Confederate guerillas sack Centralia Missouri, 1959 Khrushchev ends trip to the United States, 1989 Zsa Zsa Gabor storms out of the courtroom, 1854 Ships collide off Newfoundland, 1540 Jesuit order established, 1960 Sylvia Pankhurst dies, 1991 Reeves and Phoenix star in My Own Private Idaho, 1996 F Scott Fitzgerald stamp is issued, 1999 Placido Domingo breaks Carusos openingnight record at the Metropolitan Opera, 1869 Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok proves too wild for Kansas, 1938 Franklin Roosevelt appeals to Hitler for peace, 1930 Bobby Jones wins US Amateur title, 1967 Antiwar sentiment increases, 1969 Thieu comments on Nixons Vietnamization policy, 1915 John Kipling killed at the Battle of Loos, 1939 Poland surrenders, 1940 The Tripartite Pact is signed by Germany Italy and Japan,


Of Stopping Robots

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I kind of smiled when I heard about it. A competition called, “Man with tools v/s Robots.” I immediately said yes, for I was sure I could do something. I had to choose between making a remote controlled robot and being given a simple tool to stop it. A competition on a Saturday meant that mom would allow me no matter what. I wanted to be the Man with the tools so that I don’t have to work hard making a robot. Call it wisdom or laziness.

            The next Saturday I was sent to a place. Obviously a venue is needed. The place had different grounds to suit the robot’s needs - Metal, marble, mud, sand and water. I went to the “Man with the tools” registering counter. The instruction said I must stop robots from doing what they do. Simple, I thought it was.

            First opponent – the robot could move in any direction. I was given a block. I placed it in front of the robot. I thought it was done. But the robot turned ninety degrees and went around the block. The guy at the controls smiled. He raced it at high speed. Immediately I placed the block in such a way that it impacted half the robot’s body and flipped it on its side. Man won.

            Second foe – the ground was beach sand, and the robot could dig a tunnel and come out. I had a plastic bowl. I observed that the robot worked on the clap of a hand. I covered it with the bowl, thinking it won’t hear. It did. Then I had an idea. I picked up the robot and dropped it into the bowl. Since there was no sand below it could not dig. The owner’s hands went red with all the clapping. I won.

            I kept on winning till I reached the finals. I was given a toy robot! The opponent’s robot was a robot killer. Hesitatingly, I made my robot fight. My robot ran towards the other but it was crushed under the other’s weight. I have never seen a robot so strong for its size. My robot’s moving parts were all gone, and the enemy was going to finish him and win. But its battery ran out and it stopped. My robot was broken but not destroyed. I won the tournament. Hooray!

            The first prize was an expensive robot. Thank God I had not made one for the tournament. It would have been a waste of energy. Next year I will again take part. But this time I will be on the Robot’s side.

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