If you would have told me 30 years ago that the Legos I was playing with would be able to predict solar and lunar eclipses with pinpoint accuracy, I would have done my best Gary Coleman impression and said, "What you talkin' 'bout?"
Fast forward several eclipses and I've just been given a link to a Guardian News story (read the original story) that not only highlights a true Lego accomplishment, but also the very first computer built in Greece around 100 BCE. I suppose I would have had the same reaction if you would have told me I could "click" on a "link" to instantly read a story that appeared in a newspaper in the UK.
Called the Antikythera Mechanism, because it was recovered in 1901 from a shipwreck near the island of Antikythera, the device is an astronomical clock that determines the positions of celestial bodies. It wasn't until 2006 that scientists – using high-resolution X-ray tomography – revealed why Greek engineers more than 2,000 years ago created this mechanism that uses precision gears.
In 2010, a fully functional replica of the Antikythera Mechanism was built out of Legos – 1,500 Technic parts and 100 gears to be exact.
You can watch a short video that shows the Lego masterpiece. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLPVCJjTNgk
And here are videos from 2008 that delve deeper into the mysteries of the Antikythera Mechanism >>
So what are you going to create out of Legos? I would love to see photos of your designs. Comment on this blog and detail how many Legos were used and the purpose of the creation. You can send the photos to me: firstname.lastname@example.org – I will add the photos to your comments.
Senior Digital Editor