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article archives at abelard's news and comment zonetopic archives: fun: for previously archived fun news articles, visit the news archive page (click on the button to the left)
XII-2004: 06 11 19 28 | IL-2005: 29

New translation, the Magna Carta

K 'Y

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fun

politically incorrect, but funny all the same

Muslim bombers may object, but the car makers have no good reason – their vehicle shows itself to be a “powerful weapon in the fight against terrorism”.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun0412.php#tv_ad_290105



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a quick history of go
Recommended as interesting light reading.

“Tang-dynasty fashion ranked proficiency at go as one of the "four accomplishments" necessary for a cultivated gentleman, along with lute-playing, calligraphy and painting [....].”

“During the Cultural Revolution, go was demoted from its place among the "four accomplishments" to become one of the four, discarded, "rotten pasts".”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun0412.php#go_history_301204

Asimov: the feeling of power, 1957

I just came across this article on the news page of ChessBase that includes some early poor forecasts of the future of computing. It reminded me of the following from a short story, The feeling of power, by Isaac Asimov (1957) in The complete stories vol.1, Asimov, 1990, pp.297-308 (ISBN 0006476473).

The story is about the rediscovery that humans can do calculations in a world, a thousand years hence, that has become computer dependent.

p.301
“ [...] he pushed the multiplication contact on his computer and let the numbers whirl to a halt.”
p.304
“[...] Communication devices become less massive and more efficient constantly. For that matter, compare your pocket computer with the massive jobs of a thousand years ago. why not, then, the last step and do away with computers altogether?”
p.306
“[...] A ship that can navigate space without a computer on board can be constructed in one-fifth of the time and at one-tenth the expense of a computer-laden ship. We could build fleets five times, ten times, as great as Deneb could if we could but eliminate the computer.”

“[...] At the present time, our chief bottleneck is the fact that missiles are limited in intelligence. the computer controlling them can only be so large.”
p.307
“A man is much more dispensible than a computer.”

You can guess the rest ....

related material
Profession, a short story by Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov, in The complete stories vol.1
The complete stories, vol1 - Isaac Asimov

1990, Doubleday, 038541627X,
$14.96 [amazon.com]

1994, Collins, 0006476473, 5.59 [amazon.co.uk]

The complete stories, vol1 - Isaac Asimov

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun0412.php#predictions281204

a collection of art over 700 years with chess as a theme

Very well presented.

Paul Klee: Super chess, 1937. Image credit: Chess curiosities Paul Klee : Super chess, 1937   Eric Meissonier, Les Jouers d'échecs, 1863. Image credit: Chess curiosities Eric Meissonier : Les joueurs d'échecs, 1863
Click on thumbnail for full image
Image credit: Chess curiosities

marker at abelard.org

bobby fischer offered refuge by iceland

“[...] Bobby Fischer, who is currently being held in a Japanese detention facilities pending extradition to the US, is that the Icelandic government has offered to grant him a residence permit.”

[Leads from Jon Levitt, chesschamps]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun0412.php#chess_pics_181204

half mile high building - well, almost

The height of the building is, from various reports, “secret”, “unknown” or various wild guesses! However, the building contract has been awarded, what are the builders going to do, build until they run out of sand for the concrete?

Artist's impression of the intended Burj Dubai building at Dubai City. Image credit: Emaar.com
Artist’s impression of the intended Burj Dubai building at Dubai City.
Image credit: Emaar.com

Designed like a rocket, and also planned to be the world's largest mall.
There are various picture impressions:

A nice impression at skyscrapercity.info. [This link is to a full-size image of the artist’s impression above.]

For more impression pics from the architects.

“The construction of what will be the world's tallest building is set to begin in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building contract was awarded to a consortium led by the South Korean Samsung Corporation on Thursday.” [Quoted from newscientist.com]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/fun0412.php#burj_dubai

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