At Home in Deaf Culture: Storytelling in an Un-Writable Language

These days I’ve got three lan­guages rat­tling around in my head: Eng­lish, Croa­t­ian, and Amer­i­can Sign Lan­guage (ASL). (There was a point at the start of col­lege when I could read nov­els in Span­ish, but that mus­cle has since atro­phied.) Where I am and who I’m with dic­tates which lan­guage is in the driver’s seat, of course, but they’re always in there, vying for con­trol.

Why wind turbines have three blades

The con­ven­tion­al answer to this ques­tion is that three blades min­i­mizes the shad­ow effect that each lead­ing blade has on the blade that fol­lows. You want more blades to reduce the start­ing torque required to get your tur­bine spin­ning (this is anal­o­gous to hav­ing more cylin­ders in an engine mak­ing it run smoother) but if you have too many blades the shad­ow effect hurts effi­cien­cy and drops the total yield. Three blades peak at about 48 per­cent effi­cient, which isn’t 59.3 per­cent but is near enough and hap­pens to be the prac­ti­cal out­put I men­tioned two para­graphs ago. So it must be right, right?

Can a Computer Learn to Dance?

Com­put­ers live in vir­tu­al space; dance is vis­cer­al. But the truth is that the biggest prob­lem with chore­og­ra­phy and AI is some­thing that chore­o­g­ra­phers them­selves have been strug­gling with for as long as the art has been around: nota­tion.