No, no, this isn’t the birthday of Dennis DeYoung, who penned the lyrics to the 1983 Styx hit that’s quoted in our headline. That’s an attempt at hip irony. Today is the 84th birthday of Joseph F. Engelberger, who with fellow engineer George Devol developed the Unimate, the world’s first industrial robot, in the 1950s and early 1960s. The Unimate’s mighty 4,000-pound arm, following instructions inscribed on a magnetic drum, took die castings from machines and performed welding on auto bodies. Not only was it efficient and precise, but it freed humans from monotonous repetitive tasks, which gave them time to pursue more highly evolved creative endeavors such as developing the “Lite Metal” genre of rock. And while you’re pondering how that has advanced civilization, here are the stories of the day:
Every black hole may hide a hidden universe. That’s what a new paridigm-shattering physics paper proposes. Which is good, because that means that our particular universe isn’t a speck of dirt under the fingernail of some immense being, after all.
Can chaos theory help predict heart attacks? If so, higher mathematics may save your life someday.
Google Earth helps scientists discover giant meteor crater in Egypt. The free satellite mapping service also has helped anthropologists locate a tribe of “uncontacted people” in the wilderness as well.
Study shows only 0.3 percent of files available on BitTorrent are not copyright infringers. 89 percent are clearly being shared illegally, researchers conclude, while the remainder are probably illicit.
Were ancient Mexicans closely related to Malaysians? Remains of a woman who lived 10,000 to 12,000 years ago in Mexico suggest that she resembled people from southeast Asia, rather than northeast Asia, the long-presumed place of origin for proto-Americans.
Study reports possible link between pool disinfectants and health problems. And we had to tell you this just before Adult Swim, too.