The Phillips Hydraulic Computer (known as Monetary National Income Analogue Computer or MONIAC in the U.S.) was an hydro-mechanical computer created in 1949 by Professor Bill Phillips to model the economic processes of the United Kingdom. The 2 metres tall analogue computer used the movement of coloured water around a system of tanks, pipes, sluices and valves to represent the stocks and flows of a national economy. The flow of water (which symbolized money) between the tanks (which stood for specific national expenses, such as health or education) was determined by economic principles and the settings for various parameters. Different economic parameters, such as tax rates and investment rates, could be entered by setting the valves which controlled the flow of water about the computer. Users could experiment with different settings and note the effect on the model.
You can find out more from We Make Money Not Art here, plus scans from an old copy of Fortune about the computer here
Artistic microscope slides produced in the Victorian era (1840~1900) by arranging hundreds of tiny diatoms into intricate patterns. This was often accomplished by using a single hair to move the diatoms in a special chamber that prevented disturbance to the slide. The fabrication of these amazing objects must have required incredible patience, attention to detail, and a steady hand.
“The list in our time (‘28 Places To See Before You Die,’ or else what?) makes its fantastical claim that order exists, that order can be known … but this is not true.” TPR contributor J. D. Daniels rallies against listicles in a piece we’re pleased to include in this listicle.