Humor: The Limits of Minimalism

Check out Dilbert Classics on GoComics!

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Humor: …Maybe Impossible….

Check out Cornered on GoComics!

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Humor: The Conversion Can Be A Challenge….

Check out Dilbert on GoComics!

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Life: Well? Did they?!?


Jethro Tull – Wond’ring Aloud

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Science: Chocolate component reverses memory loss in older people, claims study | Science |


[via Guido]

Begin forwarded message:

Maybe – help is on the way.

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Tech: 400 BC and the Creation of the First Known Robot

The First Robot

Today I found out the first known robot was created around 400-350 BC by the mathematician Archytas and was an artificial bird.

Archytas, who is known as the “father of mechanical engineering,” constructed his bird out of wood and used steam to power the movements of the robot. This bird was then suspended from a pivot bar. In its best recorded run, it “flew” about 200 meters before running out of steam. This is not only the first known robot, but was also one of the first recorded instances of a scientist doing research on how birds fly.

If you’re not familiar with the man, Archytas was a very famous philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, commander, statesman, and strategist in his day. Among his many accomplishments include being considered the “founder” of mathematical mechanics (what we now call mechanical engineering). He was also an elected General for seven consecutive years, which violated the law at the time. However, because he never lost a single battle in his time as “strategos,” the people decided to continue to elect him as the ruler of their city-state anyway.

His mathematical works also heavily influenced Plato and Euclid, among others. Among his mathematical accomplishments were: in geometry, he solved the problem of “doubling the cube,” as proposed by Hippocrates of Chios. He also made great advancements in musical theory, using mathematics to define intervals of pitch in the enharmonic scale in addition to those already known in the chromatic and diatonic scales. In addition to this, he showed that pitch on a stringed instrument is related to vibrating air.

Archytas’s virtue was also such that it is thought that Plato, a close friend, used Archytas as his model for the “Philosopher King.” He also seems to have strongly influenced Plato’s political philosophy as shown in “The Republic” and other works. For example, “How does a society obtain good rulers like Archytas, instead of bad ones like Dionysus II?”

Bonus Facts:

Artisans in China developed an elaborate functional mechanical orchestra around 200 BC.
Leonardo Divinci designed and built the first known humanoid robot around 1495. This robot was an armored knight that could sit up, wave its arms, and move its head while opening and closing its jaw.
The first known human killed by a robot was in 1981 when a robotic arm, no doubt in a diabolical plot to try to take over the world, tragically crushed a Japanese Kawasaki factory worker.

Author: Daven Hiskey Like 400 BC and the Creation of the First Known Robot on Facebook share on Twitter

If you haven’t already, check out our new book: The Wise Book of Whys, where our authors meticulously answer such questions as “Why is New York Called ‘The Big Apple’?” and “Why Do We Sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ on New Year’s Eve?” The book is available in Print | Kindle | Nook | and in audiobook form, the latter of which provides over 5 hours of audio for just $5, read by the extremely talented British voice artist Simon Whistler.

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Life: Reaper Keeper

I have recommended Stan Hayward before. He is an old man with a youthful attitude.

I did not know he has limitations in vision and hearing. Otherwise, much of what he says resonates with me – even though he is 17 years older.

I have put the rest of the Quora responses on my ToRead list. You might enjoy them, too.


What does it feel like to be really old knowing that death is imminent? – Quora

== PT, iPaddict

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