Ricky Jay had a TV special in 1989 - Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women
- based on the book
of the same name, which featured magic, juggling, amazing feats, stunts, and performances, including a musical performance on wine glasses, a human calculator who could determine cube-routes of numbers in her head, and an antique acrobatic clockwork doll. (Part 1
, Part 2
, Part 3
). (Previously and previously and previouslier)
posted by twoleftfeet
on Jul 29, 2010 -
60+ One-Of-A-Kind Robots From Science Fiction.
"You'd think a major advantage of robots is you can mass-produce them. They're just metal-and-circuit bodies. But science fiction is full of one-of-a-kind bots. Here are all the bots for whom they broke the mold."
posted by taz
on Feb 21, 2009 -
\Au*tom"a*ton\, n.; pl. L. Automata
, E. Automatons
. [L. fr. Gr. ?, neut. of ? self-moving; ? self + a root ma, man, to strive, think, cf. ? to strive.] 1. Any thing or being regarded as having the power of spontaneous motion or action.
posted by crunchland
on Apr 14, 2003 -
You may have heard of Conway's Game of Life
, where pixels "live" or "die" based on a few simple rules about how many neighbors they have. But did you know that in the 30 years since the game was created, Life enthusiasts have (created? discovered?) an extensive catalog
of (objects? creatures?
) which interact to form some amazing
, sometimes beautiful
, occasionally even a little scary
patterns often starting from the simplest
of building blocks
? (Including a Turing machine
!) Or that a lone pixel
can exert remarkable control
over its environment? Now you can see in a few seconds in a java applet
, on your desktop
, or even on a PalmOS handheld
the outcome of simple patterns that, when first discovered, no computer could handle. A mind blowing example of the power of emergent properties
posted by straight
on May 29, 2002 -
"One of the most esteemed documents of modern paleontology is Stephen Jay Gould's doctoral thesis on shells. According to Gould, the fact that there are thousands of potential shell shapes in the world, but only a half dozen actual shell forms, is evidence of natural selection. Not so, says Wolfram. He's discovered a mathematical error in Gould's argument, and that, in fact, there are only six possible shell shapes, and all of them exist in the world. "
A must-read article.
posted by costas
on Nov 29, 2000 -