James Saiz : Blog James Saiz - 2005/07/07

James Saiz

journeyman of some

Blog James Saiz - 2005/07/07

Simulating Mechanical Clock Movement

When we were in Switzerland we spent a bit of time in stores and I spent most of that time studying pendulum clocks whose movement was exposed.

I was delighted to discover an almost identical approach in every single case: a gear train with weights causing torque on the slowest moving gear and a pendulum connected to a piece (a type of what I later found is called an escapement) that regulates the motion of the fastest moving gear. (Wikipedia has a nice diagram showing an escapement in action).

Of course, the devil is in the detail, but the pattern was enough to get me excited about getting deeper into horology.

I've been thinking since about simulating the movement in software. I wonder how easy it would be to build something in ODE, the Open Dynamics Engine, which I know has a Python binding.

by James Saiz : 2005/07/07 : Categories horology Python : 0 trackbacks : 1 comment (permalink)

Interesting Observations Come With Ambiguity

In an email to the Leonardo mailing list, I almost said:

If I use Kid, I'll ship Leonardo with it.

but then was worried that would be interpreted the wrong way around. So I considered saying:

If I use Kid, I'll ship it with Leonardo.

but was still worried that it would be interpreted the wrong way around.

A similar incident happened a few weeks ago when I was talking to my colleague James Marcus about whether he had the right A to use with B. I said:

I'm sure A comes with B.

and he looked confused. I realised he thought I was suggesting that A includes B (rather than the other way around)

Sentences of the form:

are strange in that the relationship between A and B is clearly not symmetrical and yet, for me at least, A and B are often syntactically interchangeable.

Even if I clearly intend to express that A includes B, either of the following in most cases conveys that to me:

I wonder if there are other phrasal verbs in English that have clearly distinct grammatical roles but ambiguous syntactic position.

2005/07/07 : Categories linguistic_observations : 0 trackbacks : 0 comments (permalink)

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