and tinkerers of all ages have enjoy a long, synergistic relationship that has led to incredible creations of
mechanical contraptions and artistic sculptures. I have reported previously on LEGO re-creations of the
Babbage Difference Engine, a
and even full-size human
replicas(do a search on
LEGO images). Now, an Apple engineer has re-created the long-lost and recently-found Greek
Antikythera Mechanism. 1,500 LEGO blocks and
110 gears were combined over a 30-day period of designing, building, and testing to produce this mechanical
wonder. Maybe Apple should assign this guy to design the iPod 5 antenna - or at least the long-awaited iPod 4
Some Antikythera Mechanism History:
The Antikythera Mechanism is a geared, mechanical calculator that
was built by the Greeks around the end of the second century BC. It is named after its place of discovery in 1901
in a Roman shipwreck off
Antikythera islands. The mechanism is technically more complex than any known device for at least a millennium
afterwards. Its functionality remained a mystery for nearly a century because of the encrusting by barnacles.
Finally, in 2005, high-resolution X-ray tomography of the surviving fragments enabled researchers to reconstruct
the gear function and decipher many of the surface inscriptions, which assisted in determining the device's
functions. The mechanism predicted lunar and solar eclipses as well as orbital motions of all the known planets of
the day (through Jupiter) and the Earth's moon. The front dial is marked with the divisions of the Egyptian
calendar. Inside this there is a second dial marked with the Greek signs of the Zodiac. This second dial is
moveable dial so that it can be adjusted to compensate for leap years.
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