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Posts Tagged ‘yo-yo

“A classical computation is like a solo voice—one line of pure tones succeeding each other. A quantum computation is like a symphony—many lines of tones interfering with one another.”*…

 

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Quantum computers will never fully replace “classical” ones like the device you’re reading this article on. They won’t run web browsers, help with your taxes, or stream the latest video from Netflix.

What they will do—what’s long been hoped for, at least—will be to offer a fundamentally different way of performing certain calculations. They’ll be able to solve problems that would take a fast classical computer billions of years to perform. They’ll enable the simulation of complex quantum systems such as biological molecules, or offer a way to factor incredibly large numbers, thereby breaking long-standing forms of encryption.

The threshold where quantum computers cross from being interesting research projects to doing things that no classical computer can do is called “quantum supremacy.” Many people believe that Google’s quantum computing project will achieve it later this year…

Researchers are getting close to building a quantum computer that can perform tasks a classical computer can’t. Here’s what the milestone will mean: “Quantum Supremacy Is Coming: Here’s What You Should Know.”

* Seth Lloyd, Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos

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As we get weird, we might recall that it was on this date in 2012 that Ohioan Beth Johnson attempted to break a record that has been set in on this same date 1999 by a group of English college students– for the largest working yoyo in the world.  The British yoyo was 10 feet in diameter; hers, 11 feet, 9 inches.  (It weighed 4,620 lbs.)  Her attempt on this date failed, as did another.  But finally, in September, 2012, she was able successfully to deploy it from a crane in Cincinnati… and earn her way into the Guinness Book of World Records

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Beth Johnson and her record-setting creation

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Deliciate in the ludibrious…

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From MatadorAbroad, a heart-felt plea: “20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback.”

Read it and kench!

As we scribble in the margins of our dictionaries, we might recall that it was on this date in 1866 that the first U.S. patent for a yoyo was issued to James L. Haven and Charles Hittrick.  Though the device is called a “Whirligig” or a “Bandalore” in the patent form, it had the unmistakable “two disks coupled together at their centers by means of a clutch” design.  (It was also the first time rim-weighting to maintain momentum was mentioned in a patent: “it will be observed that the marginal swell … exercises the function of a flywheel.”)

Messrs. Haven and Hettrick mass-produced yoyos over a half century… during which time, in a 1916 Scientific American Supplement article, the name “yoyo” was first used in the U.S. in print.  the name “yoyo” was popularized in America starting in 1928 by Pedro Flores, who borrowed it from the Philippines (where it had been borrows from China, where the toy has ancient roots) for the products of his Yo-yo Manufacturing Company.

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Where’s Waldo (Salt)?…

Empire is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary with a nifty puzzle, The Cryptic Canvas:  a painting– a scaled-up, interactive version of the one above– in which are hidden clues to the titles of 50 great films from the last 20 (or so) years…  simply mouse over a clue, fill in the box with a title, watch the box turn green when correctly filled… and continue!

As we commune with our inner Pauline Kael, we might recall that today is National Yo-Yo Day (celebrated on June 6th to commemorate the birthday of Donald F. Duncan, Sr., the entrepreneur who populrized the yo-yo in the U.S. in the early-mid Twentieth Century).

Yo-yo champ Brad Byers

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