## 04 April 2008

### caught filching ... errrr, caught remembering imperfectly

Yes, clicking makes it bigger.

Received e-mail this week from the artist and animator
Gerry Mooney, who lays claim to being the creator of the famous poster

Gravity.
It isn't just a good idea.
It's the law.

(Mooney's original phraseology) and says he first had his poster published in "Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine" in July 1982.

That's good enough for Vleeptron.

You can see Gerry Mooney's original poster (and he'll be happy to sell you a copy) HERE. Click around his website and you'll also find his award-winning short animated cartoon about a vampire nun elementary schoolteacher.

At top, the version stored in and re-created from my Wet Carbon-Based Memory for decades. After Gerry Mooney's e-mail, I have stolen his apple and added it to my version.

Late into a long life, Isaac Newton remarked on the famous story about the apple dropping on his head, and said it was true, not just a popular fable (like George Washington chopping down his father's cherry tree, a concoction of the pop biographer Parson Mason Weems).

Plague shut down Cambridge for a year in 1665, and the 22-year-old Newton returned to the family farm in Woolsthorpe. Sitting in the orchard, he wondered whether the force that dropped the apple on his head was the same force that kept the Moon in orbit around the Earth. In fairly short order he computed that the Earth pulled at the Moon at roughly the same strength and rate as it pulled the apple to the ground, given the farther distance from Earth to Moon, and assuming the force diminished in strength as distance increased according to

The Law of Inverse Squares.

Oh, okay, this isn't hard. Suppose you measure the strength of a force between 2 points which are separated by a distance of 1 kilometer, and your Radio Shack Force-o-Meter registers strength 1.

At 2 kilometers, the Force-o-Meter will register strengh 1/4. At 3 kilometers, 1/9. At 4 kilometers, 1/16. This works for gravity and for light, radio, all sorts of fundamental forces in the physical universe.

Below, Uwe Bressem's correction of my poster. Uwe Bressem is a remarkable professional chef as well as a remarkable artist. But if you want to eat his cooking, you probably have to go to Berlin. Art you can send by e-mail; alas this is not yet possible with fine food.

patfromch said...

Ahh Newton. Just went through some science books, including some on Evolution and Longitude, which I had not read in a while. Newton was a remarkaable man. Legend has it that he once stuck an needle behind his eyeball just to see what would happen, he was said to wake up and sit on his bed for hours becaus he had so many ideas he was unable to move. Later he bootlegged the famous star charts of first Astronomer Royle John Flamstead and much later he sent men to the gallows for bootlegging his own work !!

I do remember that poster from the Olde Vleeptron blog, that one would look good on a t-shirt

hey you heard anything from UB about the exibithion ? You got the catalogue yet ? Just wonder if my messy lousy drawing made it....

Abbas said...

yes he was a genius. for a man who ended up having to sort of invent calculus just because he wanted to solve a problem is kinda remarkable.

patfromch said...

not just that, he invented things and forgot them, or where his papers were. One day Halley came to visit him requesting something about the infamous Longitude problem but Newton had forgotten where he put his papers. Newton started re-thinking, the result is the Principia Mathematica and, as they say, history.

On another occasion he had an argument with geman Philosopher Leibnitz (the one with the cookies and monades,it was discovered after Newtons death that he was right, other ideas and inventions were discovered in his legacy decades after his death. he must have been quite nasty to people at times but as Abbas pointed out quite remarkable

Jim Olson said...

Wet-ware. I love the idea.

Oh, and if you've never been to Greenwich to see the clocks that solved the longitude problem, you must go. They make the most sublime ticking noise, and, on the day that I went, all three of them were within 40 seconds of each other. Remarkable for 17th. c. clocks that were once nearly lost to history.

Vleeptron Dude said...

More about all these things later. But about the Wet-Ware ...

The Chudnovsky Brothers built a homebrew supercomputer in their Harlem slum apartment (down the street from the sidewalk corpse) and broke the world's record for the decimal expansion of pi several times.

Computers generate lots of heat, and theirs was so huge and generated so much heat that they had to buy dozens of hardware-store fans (in the winter, when they're cheapest) to cool the supercomputer.

They explained to the New Yorker reporter that our brains are exactly the same, and pointed up their nostrils to show where our cooling fans are.

There are all kinds ways to compute. Did you see my posts about Adelman's invention of computing a famous math problem using a Petrie dish of DNA strands?

A very famous kind of digital computer that often shows up at high school science fairs is made entirely of standard Tinker Toy pieces. I'll try to find an image of the Tinker Toy computer.

But the best is still the first: Babbage's amazing steel-and-brass crank-and-clockwork slow-speed general-purpose programmable digital computer from circa 1850. London's Museum of Science finally got the damned thing to work, and once a year they hold a little ceremony and crank out some math tables. The output are printing plates printed backwards, so they're all ready to print the tables without anybody having to re-type all the numbers (the source of errors in all mathematical tables).

patfromch said...

yo, talk about chilling via supercomputers...