Friday, 14 June 2013

The Daily Teaser — 14-6-2013: Babbage And Co.

You know, I’ve just had the last episode of Up The Women playing away in the background.

And have to admit, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ok, granted, it’s not necessarily a stunningly original comedy: it probably owes quite a bit to Dad’s Army.

But two things spring to mind, here, I think.   If you’re going to take a cue from ANYTHING, one of British TV’s best comedies is possibly a good place to start.

And secondly … ?   I think it’s managed — much as Dad’s Army did for the Home Guard — highlight a patch of history some of us would overlook.   Or ignore, in the case of the Women’s Suffrage movement.

Hmmm …    Let’s get moving on, shall we?   Before I tell you about Sandy Togsvig’s performance as Emmeline* Pankhurst, last night …


Yesterday’s Teaser saw Debbi† putting in her answers: along with telling us she thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s quote — from mystery writer, Dorothy L. Sayers — she ALSO managed to bag six out of six.

Let’s see how she — and you — do with today’s Charles Babbage themed questions, shall we?

Here they are, along with the ‘How To’, License and video … 

Q1) 14th June, 1822, saw Charles Babbage propose an early calculating machine: what was it called … ?
Q2) To which Royal Society did he propose it… ?
Q3) Babbage gave what name to the follow-up machine … ?
Q4) Ada, Countess Lovelace, is considered one of the first computer programmers, as she developed an algorithm for this second machine.   Which poet’s daughter was she … ?
Q5) Where would you find the Babbage Crater: the Moon, Mars or Venus … ?
Q6) And finally … William Gibson co-wrote a science fiction novel named for Babbage’s machine.   With whom did he write it … ?
And here’s yesterday’s questions and answers …
Q1) 13th June, 1373, saw the start of the Anglo-Portuguese Alliance.   Is it still in force … ?
A1) Yes.
Q2) 13th June, 1955, saw the discovery of a diamond mine in what was the USSR: what was it called … … ?
A2) The Mir Mine.
Q3) 13th June, 1381, saw the destruction of the Savoy Palace: during the Peasants Revolt.   The palace was the London residence of John of where … … ?
A3) Gaunt.
Q4) Name either of the buildings that now stand in its place.
A4) The Savoy Theatre and the Savoy Hotel.
Q5) Which Canadian city was devastated by a fire on 13th June, 1886 … ?
A5) Vancouver.
Q6) And finally … 13th June, 313 AD, saw the formal posting of the Edict of Milan: in Nicomedia.   Nicomedia is now in which country … ?
A6) Turkey.
Enjoy those.   I’ll leave you with this quote from Charles Babbage: who sounds like he was as baffled by MPs stupid questions as anyone could be …
“On two occasions I have been asked, — ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question”
Charles Babbage.
And — as we’re dealing with early computers and calculators — with this piece of early computer music … 

Have a good day … 

*        With possibly the maddest hairdo in British political history … 

†        I’ve got to admit, I don’t know THAT much about her, Debbi: although I did catch the BBC’s televised versions of some of her Wimsey novels.

1 comment:

Debbi said...

Interesting tune. You know, I remember when I was in college, Pete Townsend was getting into synthesizer music. I used to play piano, and I thought it would be cool to combine my knowledge of electronics technology, computers and music and become a musician. Good thing I chose writing, huh? :)

1. A difference engine
2. the Royal Astronomical Society
3. The Analytical Engine
4. Lord Byron
5. the moon
6. Bruce Sterling