The relentless march of progress continues. Now monks have been automated, thanks to The Bible Scribe.
The installation 'bios [bible]' consists of an industrial robot, which writes down the bible on rolls of paper. The machine draws the calligraphic lines with high precision. Like a monk in the scriptorium it creates step by step the text. Starting with the old testament and the books of Moses bios [bible]’ produces within seven month continuously the whole book. All 66 books of the bible are written on rolls and then retained and presented in the library of the installation.
I suspect cows are going to become a theme here at WU. They're ubiquitous and silly and important. Those are three good criteria for inclusion here. Hey, if cows were good enough for Gary Larson humor, they're good enough for us!
The latest news is that they're demanding headphones as they graze! Not sure if iPods are included. Read the article here.
Hitachi recently announced that in 2010 they plan to unveil a 5TB hard drive. This led them to note that, "By 2010, just two disks will suffice to provide the same storage capacity as the human brain."
So, according to Hitachi, the brain has a 10TB storage capacity. But how did they arrive at this number?
There's been a lot of speculation about the brain's storage capacity. The most popular method of arriving at an answer is to estimate the number of synapses in the brain and extrapolate from there. This has led researchers to come up with numbers ranging anywhere from 3TB to 1000TB. Hitachi evidently was using this method.
But there's a second method (noted on the Of Two Minds blog). Psychologists have conducted experiments to measure how much information people are actually able to memorize. This produces much smaller numbers. They've concluded that it's only about two bits per second, or a few hundred megabytes averaged over an entire lifetime.
Of course, until scientists figure out a way to allow us to download our brains to computers, all these numbers are just useless trivia. And when that happens, we can all plug into the Matrix and live happily ever after.
Once upon a time, mechanical elephants roamed up and down the boardwalks of beaches. Check out the clip below from a 1950s newsreel. The elephant, built by Frank Stuart was "Gasoline Powered with a 4 cylinder English Side Valve Ford engine. Top speed 27 MPH!"
I found the clip on the blog of Eastcliff Richard who reports that, "Astonishingly Britain used to lead the world in the production of mechanical elephants. This one was later sold to the late, great, dearly-departed Peter Sellers as part of his eccentric collection of automobilia."
Some more videos of mechanical elephants can be found here and here.
The Grass Scanner is a product (hypothetical, I believe) dreamed up by designer Alice Wang. She offers this description:
In wealthier neighbourhoods, the size of the house and how well maintained the garden is, often represents status. The Grass Scanner is a device designed to measure how green the grass is. It takes reading from 3 random patches of the grass and outputs a Pantone* colour code for one to reference and compare. With the codes, one can then refer to the PARKTONE** cards which contains true grass colours of Royal Parks and other green areas in the UK for people to match up with their own garden.
Where it might fail is on fake lawns, which are becoming increasingly popular here in Southern California. Though fake lawns aren't cheap, so having one might indicate a moderate level of status. (via We Make Money Not Art)
If only you had been reading Popular Mechanics magazine for February 1929! Then you could have purchased the same Purple Ray healing device that Wonder Woman uses! Okay, so it was a "Violet Ray." Same difference, right?
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.