LEGO Advent Calendar

Years ago, we bought an advent calendar for our kids. It is a wooden structure comprising 24 hinged boxes. Some time in November, my wife would fill the boxes with little trinkets. Then, each day in December leading up to Christmas the kids could open a box and get a little surprise. Years have passed, and the kids have outgrown the little stamps and stickers that typically populated the calendar. [Read More]

Lego Mechanical Computer

Not long ago I was part of a discussion about using mechanical things to demonstrate computing concepts (such as building a learning Tic-Tac-Toe game out of matchboxes). This got my head spinning on different ways to use mechanical devices to compute things, whether or not such computation is useful. I figured I had enough Legos lying around the house to make something interesting. I started by thinking of some of the more famous early computers, such as Pascal’s calculator and Babbage’s difference engine. [Read More]