Good Boy

The esoteric programming language DOGO “heralds a new era of computer-literate pets.” Commands include:

SIT — If the value of the current memory cell is 0, jump to STAY.
STAY — If the value of the current memory cell is not 0, jump to SIT.
ROLL-OVER — Select the next operation in the operation list.
HEEL — Execute the currently selected operation.

This program prints the words HELLO WORLD:

roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel heel 
heel heel heel heel heel heel sit roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over 
roll-over roll-over heel heel heel heel heel heel heel heel roll-over roll-over 
heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over 
roll-over roll-over roll-over stay roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over 
roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over 
roll-over heel heel heel heel heel heel heel sit roll-over roll-over roll-over 
heel roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel heel heel roll-over roll-over heel 
roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over 
roll-over roll-over roll-over stay roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over  
roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel 
roll-over heel heel heel heel heel heel heel roll-over roll-over roll-over 
roll-over roll-over heel heel roll-over heel heel heel roll-over roll-over 
roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel heel 
roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel heel heel heel heel heel heel 
sit roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel 
heel heel roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over 
roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over stay roll-over 
roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over 
heel heel heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel heel heel heel 
heel heel heel heel heel sit roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over 
roll-over roll-over heel heel heel heel heel heel heel heel heel roll-over 
roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over 
roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over stay roll-over roll-over roll-over heel 
roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel heel roll-over roll-over 
roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel heel 
heel roll-over roll-over heel roll-over heel heel heel roll-over roll-over 
roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over heel heel heel heel heel 
heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel roll-over roll-over heel heel 
heel heel heel heel heel heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel 
roll-over roll-over roll-over heel heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over 
heel roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over roll-over heel

Here’s a similar program in Blub, which is designed to be readable by fish:

blub. blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub! blub?
blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub? blub! blub!
blub? blub! blub? blub. blub! blub. blub. blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub.
blub! blub? blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub? blub! blub! blub? blub! blub? blub. blub. blub.
blub! blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub! blub. blub! blub. blub. blub.
blub. blub. blub. blub. blub! blub. blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub.
blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub! blub? blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub? blub! blub!
blub? blub! blub? blub. blub! blub. blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub.
blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub! blub? blub? blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub.
blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub? blub! blub! blub? blub! blub? blub. blub! blub! blub! blub!
blub! blub! blub! blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub! blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub. blub! blub.
blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub. blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub!
blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub! blub. blub. blub? blub. blub? blub. blub. blub! blub.

See User Friendly.

Tech Talk

http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/9343
Image: Ozan Kilic

In 2017 research scientist Janelle Shane tried to train a neural network to name kittens:

Jeckle
Elbent
Jenderina
Roober
Snorp
Snox Boops
Cylon
Sookabear
Jexley Pickle
Toby Booch
Snowpie
Big Wiggy Bool
Mr Whinkles
Licky Cat
Mr Bincheh
Maxy Fay
Mr Gruffles
Liony Oli
Lingo
Conkie
Lasley Goo
Marvish
Mag Jeggles
Corko
Maggin
Mcguntton
Mara Tatters
Mush Jam
Tilly-Mapper
Mr. Jubble
Mumcake
Muppin

Bonus: At one point she accidentally trained the network on a dataset of character names from Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, and other fantasy authors and got Jarlag, Mankith, Andend of Karlans, and Mr. Yetheract. See the full list.

Podcast Episode 192: The Winchester Diver

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pikerslanefarm/3742773314

Image: Flickr

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 Walker and his curious contribution to saving a British landmark.

We’ll also contemplate a misplaced fire captain and puzzle over a shackled woman.

See full show notes …

Podcast Episode 191: The Longest Flight

timm and cook 1

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 today.

We’ll also consider a derelict kitty and puzzle over a movie set’s fashion dictates.

See full show notes …

Odd Clocks

With the help of Australian engineer David Cox, the Swedish design firm Humans Since 1982 created this “clock clock,” a clock made of clocks whose hands stop every 60 seconds to display the military time in square numerals.

The clock fountain at Osaka’s South Gate Building, below, “prints” the time (and some surprisingly complex graphics) in sheets of water, somewhat like a dot matrix printer.

Think Pieces

Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi creates digital art in Microsoft Excel. As he neared retirement he decided to take up painting, but he wanted to save the cost of brushes and pencils, so he used a tool he already owned, Microsoft’s popular spreadsheet program.

“I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, ‘I could probably draw with that,'” he told My Modern Met. “Graphics software is expensive, but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers … And it has more functions and is easier to use than Paint.”

He began painting in Excel in the year 2000. “I set a goal,” he says, “in 10 years, I wanted to paint something decent that I could show to people.” After only six years he took first prize at the Excel Autoshape Art Contest, and he’s been at it now for more than 15 years.

He sells the digital paintings as limited-edition prints that you can see and purchase here.

Podcast Episode 188: The Bat Bomb

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bat_Bomb_Canister.jpg

During World War II, the U.S. Army experimented with a bizarre plan: using live bats to firebomb Japanese cities. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll describe the crazy history of the bat bomb, the extraordinary brainchild of a Pennsylvania dentist.

We’ll also consider the malleable nature of mental illness and puzzle over an expensive quiz question.

See full show notes …

Outreach

http://todaysdocument.tumblr.com/post/161056400860/this-vacuum-cleaner-operated-in-front-of-the-new

During World War I the Red Cross solicited contributions by literally sucking them out of a crowd with a vacuum cleaner.

The stunt took place on May 25, 1917, before the New York Public Library. From Scientific American: “While a soldier and a sailor urged the public to hand in their contributions the suction tube of the machine was reached out over the crowd. The suction was sufficient to draw up pieces of money of any denomination and deposit them in the bag of the vacuum cleaner. By this means it was possible to reach the crowd readily and it was unnecessary for a contributor to elbow his way through the jam in order to reach the Red Cross workers.”

The National Archives notes, “So great was the eagerness of the people to have their coins taken in by the cleaner that the bag inside the vacuum cleaner had to be emptied several times.”

Prior Art

karl krøyer patent

On Sept. 14, 1964, a Kuwaiti freighter capsized, drowning its cargo of sheep and threatening to contaminate the drinking water of Kuwait City. To raise the ship quickly, Danish inventor Karl Krøyer proposed using a tube to fill it with buoyant bodies. Accordingly, 27 million plastic balls were airlifted from Berlin and pumped into the freighter’s hold, and on Dec. 31 the ship rose, saving the insurance company nearly $2 million.

Krøyer patented his technique in the United Kingdom and Germany, but (the story is told) the Dutch application was rejected because a Dutch examiner found the 1949 Donald Duck comic The Sunken Yacht, by Carl Barks, in which Donald and his nephews raise a yacht by filling it with ping-pong balls.

Ping-pong balls are buoyant, and the ducks used a tube to feed them into the yacht, so the Dutch office ruled that this destroys the novelty of Krøyer’s invention — it may be just a comic book, but it had made the essential idea public 15 years before Krøyer tried to claim it.

No one quite seems to know whether this story is true — Krøyer, his patent attorney, and the examiner have now passed away; the documentation was destroyed years ago; and the grounds for the Dutch rejection aren’t clear. But it still makes a vivid example for intellectual property lawyers.

carl banks donald duck comic