Oh, to be in Scotland. This week, Previously…, which calls itself Scotland’s History Festival, takes place. There’s plenty we’d love to check out: tours of Dean and Warriston Cemeteries, both fine examples of Victorian “garden” burial grounds with numerous ornate monuments; a look at the story of Agnes Normand, a 15-year-old servant girl who left a trail of death in her wake; a tour of the darker side Edinburgh’s history, and walk with undead in Scottish literature.
If they’re having problems keeping the dead in the ground in Scotland, in Hartford, Vermont, they don’t know if they’ll have enough space to bury them. According to the Hartford Valley News, all five of the town-owned cemeteries are filled to the brim; those in private hands expect to reach capacity in the next 15 years. The younger generation just isn’t as interested in keeping up the historic cemeteries, some of which contain the graves of Revolutionary War veterans, as those in the past. Exacerbating the problem: the closure of the Southeast State Correctional Facility in nearby Windsor. Work crews from the prison had been providing low-cost maintenance and other work, and are no longer available.
Finally, someone had the bright idea of outfitting drones with Artificial Intelligence. In the none-too-distant future, these autonomous drones will have the power to decide who they kill. And what happens when the Singularity comes, and they decide we’re all the enemy? If that scares you, you are not alone. CNet reports that group calling itself the Future of Life Institute—whose backers include Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk—has produced a video showing what can happen if these “slaughterbots” fall into the wrong hands.