For centuries, the Catholic Church was the main patron of automata—elaborate mechanisms, often driven by springs, that were the precursors to present-day robots. “Not only did automata appear first and most commonly in churches and cathedrals, the idea as well as the technology of human-machinery was indigenously Catholic,” writes Stanford’s Jessica Riskin in her marvelous essay, “Machines in the Garden.” Automata, according to Riskin, “peopled the landscape of late medieval and early modern Europe,” which was “positively humming with mechanical vitality.” Church-commissioned clockmakers built mechanical angels and demons to decorate altars; “automaton Christs—muttering, grimacing, blinking on the cross—were especially popular.” Some churches even had automatic heretics. A mechanical moor’s head once hung in the cathedral in Barcelona, the expression on its face changing with the intensity of the organ music.

MIT Is Hosting a Breast Pump Hackathon


OMG, yes. Can’t wait to see what comes out of this.

The most common misunderstanding about science is that scientists seek and find truth. They don’t—they make and test models.

Kepler, packing Platonic solids to explain the observed motion of planets, made pretty good predictions, which were improved by his laws of planetary motion, which were improved by Newton’s laws of motion, which were improved by Einstein’s general relativity. Kepler didn’t become wrong because of Newton’s being right, just as Newton didn’t then become wrong because of Einstein’s being right; these successive models differed in their assumptions, accuracy, and applicability, not in their truth.

Project delay is a matter of life. Obstacles are to be overcome. Once you get over, that’s it.

There’s no need to feel sorry. We are happy to see you keep going after for the Ruby dream,
no matter how long the delay going to be

Cheers. Be happy, only then you’ll be productive

– Often times I love my supporters. A note I got from Singapore after sending the delay e-mail and feeling super low.