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.