Inside IBM’s World’s Fair ‘Egg’
FROM a distance, it looks like the storage tank for the Festival of Gas. But as New York World’s Fair visitors draw nearer, they find themselves in a people trapâ€”IBM’s wonderfully zany exhibit pavilion, featuring the Information Machine.
It’s really a theater that sits atop a forest of 45 stylized, 32-foot-high sheet-metal trees. Their cleverly dovetailed branches support 14,000 gray and green Plexiglas leaves, forming a continuous, one-acre canopy.
You join a couple of thousand others who are queueing up on a complex of catwalks suspended above a shallow pool. The ramps lead to a 45-degree tilted grandstand, holding 500 spectators. Eventually, you take your place on what IBM calls the “people wall.” Its 12 tiers of seats are no sooner filled than an M.C. in white tie and tails comes gliding down above you in a “bucket.” He promises that in the next 12 minutes you’ll learn that computers make use of everyday methods we all use in our daily lives to solve complicated problems.
It’s self-service at a Paris track. Put a 10-franc note in a machine, push a win, place, or show button, and another numbered to match your horse. Out pops your ticket. Or, as with any vending machine, it could keep your money and give you nothingâ€”but that’s gambling.
Origins of the matte Scotch Tape we all know and love.
NON REFLECTIVE TAPE for permanent mending of torn blueprints, maps, books, and other papers is colorless and almost invisible. The Scotch brand tape is made of acetate film with a matte finish that you can write on with a pen or pencil. Unlike other tapes, it doesn’t discolor with age. A 180-inch roll sells for 39 cents. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., St. Paul, Minn.
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Breaking the Language Barrier
Each year, millions of reports on scientific research are publishedâ€”a big fraction of them in foreign languages. In this mass of Russian, Dutch, Chinese, Hindustani data are clues to H-power, interplanetary flight, more powerful batteries, longer-wearing tires. The trouble is: Too few scientists and engineers read foreign languages. What we need is a machine to read one language and type in another: an automatic translator. We’re trying to buildâ€”not one, but several. Engineering problems? Fantastic. Here’s where we stand now.
“Orange-Peel House” for Campers Fits on Small Trailer
Developed in Germany, a portable shelter for camping or trailer travel looks like a gigantic orange â€”and peels apart almost like one. The parts of the shelter are shaped much like the segments of an orange peel. One person can fasten the segments together to complete the shelter in 15 minutes. The parts of the shelter including the floor are made of plywood. When the shelter is disassembled, the parts can be stacked on a small trailer for the trip to the next camping site. The collapsible house has two windows and a door. In Germany the “orange house” sells for about $150.
I love how they speak in absolutes “never makes a mistake”, “perfect chess techniques”. I’m worndering how it could possibly play chess at all. My guess is that what they mean is it always makes a legal move, i.e. pawns don’t go sideways.
Also, does that board look a little small to you?
Mechanical Chess Opponent
Chess fans can play solitaire against a machine that never makes a mistake. Invented by a Spaniard, the machine teaches perfect chess techniques. Whenever an error is made in play, a light flashes on automatically.
TV Show Features “Wires and Pliers”
THEY’RE trying a new experiment on TV in Los Angeles. Every Saturday, those who want to see popular electronics at work can watch Dr. Martin L. Klein on the “Wires and Pliers” show, Station KCOP. Dr. Klein, a well-known electronics designer, and Harry C. Morgan, another electronics engineer, have found a novel way to interest viewers in the subject. Morgan designed a complete series of simple useful circuits, each one costing less than five dollars to build. With the help of a super-fast electronics technician, Aram Solomo-nian, they have put together on the program a crystal radio (this took Solomonian five minutes), a transistor amplifier (seven minutes), and an electronic puzzle (eight minutes). What’s more, they then prove to the audience that the circuits really work. And the Electronic Engineering Company of California, sponsor of the show, is packaging the circuits in kit form at nominal cost.
This is pretty cool. Someone realized that when you fax something you can print the output at any scale you want. They connect the output to a giant inkjet printer (using an airbrush as a print head) to create huge images.
Giant Photos Made Electrically
WITH a new apparatus recently developed in in England, small sized photographs, drawings, aerial photo maps, blueprints, sketches, painted portraits or scenes, printed or typed matter, and prints of almost any kind including reproductions of photographs or paintings, are directly reproduced and simultaneously enlarged to any size on almost any kind of paper, linen, canvas or other fabrics, or any other material such as even thin metal if it will wrap around a drum, by means of an airbrush jet controlled by a photo-electric scanner. One of these sharply detailed enlarged pictures, showing the head and shoulders of a child, measuring 30×34 feet and said to be the world’s largest photograph, is at present being displayed in London.
Apparently bowling used to be a lot more popular.
25,000 Bowlers Participate In National Contest
CLOSE to 25,000 bowlers, members of 5,000 five-man teams, recently gathered in Chicago, 111., to attend the mammoth competition sponsored by the American Bowling Congress. The competition lasted for one and a half months and the prizes totaled $290,000. Because of the large number of contestants, the competition was declared to be the nation’s most extravagant sports event. More than forty alleys were constructed at the contest site to accommodate the bowlers.