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Saturday, August 4, 2007

HP's first pocket calculator

On the topic of mini-series, I also just finished "Prehistoric Park", a 6 part show out of Australia (I think) by the creators of "Walking with Dinosaurs" that uses the fictional pretense of a time travel mission to retrieve extinct animals to create a contemporary animal preserve as a way of presenting engaging computer animation and paleontology and scientific theory about the lifestyles of numerous animals from 10,000 to 200 million years ago. It's got some funny moments although I can't quite recommend it to an adult audience. It was really fun to watch with kids as they get very engaged in it, William can't stop talking about it, even while it's on. I found the science rang true although it could have been denser. William seems to have absorbed almost all of the facts after a single viewing and he's not quite 6, so they certainly could have pushed the envelope more. My favorite moment is in the extra features when the producer, asked about time travel, says that Einstein often talked about how difficult time travel would be but he knew, as do the film producers, that all you need are a couple of sticks with lights on top of them. William never questioned the practicality of time travel which is good because none of the regular issues seem to be addressed. It's just a device, and its more fun that way.

POST SCRIPT REGARDING HP POCKET CALCULATOR: When I wrote this blog post six years ago, I began by numbering the posts based upon what day into my sabbatical the post was written on. After a while, I began replacing the number with references to that number. In this case, on day 35 of my sabbatical, I refer to this early calculator, the HP-35. In hindsight, I'd have been better served by naming the posts by something that I'm actually talking about. My apologizes to those people who  have hit about this post (and this has recently become a daily occurrence) under false pretenses. 

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