Peter Rhodes: The robots are taking over – starting in the loo

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PETER RHODES on technology, talent and Trump

MILLIONS of pounds' worth of crutches and other medical hardware are scrapped by the NHS every year. Hospitals are said to be reluctant to collect and recycle such items. A Daily Mail reader believes she has the simple solution. When she had recovered and no longer needed her crutches she walked into her local hospital - and left them in a lift.

THE Astronomer Royal Lord Rees predicts that within a few centuries robots will have wiped out humans and taken over the planet. I suspect it may already be happening. Have a look at your latest letters from the bank, council or any junk-mail leaflet. Do they show signs of human intelligence?

LORD Rees also warns us not to expect any meaningful encounter between human beings and alien life "because such civilisations would develop at different rates." The aliens would probably be far in advance of us or far more primitive. Come to think of it, you don't have to go into outer space to find such a cultural gulf. Twenty miles into the countryside can be a revelation. Ooh, arr.

THE theft of toilet tissue has become such a problem in China that tourist authorities are installing face-recognition machines in public WCs. Once the device has scanned your face, the machine dispenses a two-foot length of loo paper. In a perfect world, a second scanner would ensure you used it properly. Maybe they're working on it.

I SELDOM sneer at anyone on TV talent contests, and this is why. Once or twice a year a couple of friends and I take our ukuleles and entertain the residents at a home for the elderly. Until you have actually gone through the process of choosing a dozen songs, agreeing (more or less) upon the tune, settling on a running order and rehearsing until these much-loved melodies are vaguely recognisable to an audience, then you have barely dipped a toe in showbiz. Here and now I take my hat off to anyone who can do all that, then add a dance routine and do the show night after night at 50 different venues. Our singalong with the Oldies this week went well and we ended amid much applause, spoiled only by the home manager pressing an envelope on me. I explained that we never accept payment. "Take it," she insisted. "You can always buy yourselves some music."

YET more memories of Gibraltar. On the first day of our tour of duty as part of the Gib garrison, our medic gave the TA squaddies a thorough lecture on the dangers of sunbathing in the heat of the day. Even so, a few reported sick the next day. An officer asked how badly the lads were burned. The sergeant-major's reply, which has stuck with me ever since, came straight out of the Rudyard Kipling book of British Army slang: "Sah, they've got blisters like their guts was 'anging aht."

THE tangled saga of a woman caught relieving herself on the US president's golf course in Scotland is finally resolved. A Sky News sub-editor caught the drama with one of those headlines you just know you'll never write again in your entire career: "Woman loses Trump course urination case"

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