In 1770, Hungarian engineer Wolfgang von Kempelen unveiled a miracle: a mechanical man who could play chess against human challengers. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll meet Kempelen's Mechanical Turk, which mystified audiences in Europe and the United States for more than 60 years.
We'll also sit down with Paul Erdős and puzzle over a useful amateur.
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In the 1930s, brothers Homer and Langley Collyer withdrew from society and began to fill their Manhattan brownstone with newspapers, furniture, musical instruments, and assorted junk. By 1947, when Homer died, the house was crammed with 140 tons of rubbish, and Langley had gone missing. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll […]
In 1905 Winchester Cathedral was in danger of collapsing as its eastern end sank into marshy ground. The surprising solution was to hire a diver, who worked underwater for five years to build a firmer foundation for the medieval structure. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story of William […]
The world’s longest airplane flight took place in 1958, when two aircraft mechanics spent 64 days above the southwestern U.S. in a tiny Cessna with no amenities. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll follow the aerial adventures of Bob Timm and John Cook as they set a record that still stands […]
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a scientist or programming prodigy to create robots and DIY electronics. Thanks to the Arduino platform, anyone can get their feet wet building wearables, R/C robots, and the like, provided they have some basic training. The Pay What You Want: 2018 Arduino Enthusiast E-Book Bundle nets […]
Companies are always looking for creative ways to reach their audiences, and oftentimes, this involves designers whipping up stunning images and photos to make the connection happen. As such, having an understanding of the industry’s leading design tools can take you far if you’re on the job hunt. The Graphic Design Certification School will familiarize you with […]
The Nintendo Switch is king when it comes to gaming on the go, but it’s tough to lose yourself in Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Skyrim if your battery dies out. That’s where this Nintendo Switch Battery Charger Case comes into play. Built exclusively for Nintendo Switch, this pack allows for uninterrupted charging while you play, […]