Science for the People: Lovelace & Babbage

This week we’re learning about a pair of 19th-century geniuses, and the friendship that gave rise to the era of modern computers. We’ll speak to artist and animator Sydney Padua about her graphic novel The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer. We’ll also talk to Suw Charman-Anderson, founder … Continue reading “Science for the People: Lovelace & Babbage”

The Proto-Trolling of Charles Babbage

No one, not even his closest friends, would deny that Charles Babbage was a first rate pedant. In 1842, Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a poem entitled “The Vision of Sin”, which included the following verse: Fill the cup, and fill the can: Have a rouse before the morn: Every moment dies a man, Every moment … Continue reading “The Proto-Trolling of Charles Babbage”

Stupid Questions

From the introduction to Randall Munroe’s What If?: They say there are no stupid questions. That’s obviously wrong; I think my question about hard and soft things, for example, is pretty stupid. But it turns out that trying to thoroughly answer a stupid question can take you to some pretty interesting places. What If? is the book … Continue reading “Stupid Questions”

The Analytical Engine, Plan 25

My copy of Sydney Padua’s The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace & Babbage is supposed to arrive next week (21 April 2015). I’m a little excited. As regular patrons of The Finch & Pea know, I’m just a little bit of a fan of her work*. Until then (or until the copy you just ordered arrives), you contemplate the complexity … Continue reading “The Analytical Engine, Plan 25”

The Lovelace & Babbage Countdown Begins

If you were the NSA and “asked” for my order history, you would discover that I almost never pre-order anything. I am not an early adopter. I like to let other people sort out the bugs and kinks before wading in. I said “almost never” for a reason. The exception is Sydney Padua’s new book, The … Continue reading “The Lovelace & Babbage Countdown Begins”