What the Heck is It? SOLVED!

One of the puzzles we’ve run in Games Magazine for about 30 years is called “Eyeball Benders.” You need to guess a specific object from an extreme closeup. I was going to just post a picture of this beautiful and important … thing … but I decided to see if anyone can guess what it is first. No hints, except this: it is not irrelevant to the subject of this blog.

Reader Paul identified it in one: it’s a pascaline. Here’s the whole thing:

Designed by Catholic philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and inventor Blaise Pascal, the pascaline was the first mechanical calculator, and thus the first computer. Created by Pascal in the 1640s to aid his father in his calculations, the pascaline is a mechanical wonder. I know I often make fun of Wikipedia, but their entry on the pascaline is utterly superb.  Read it and explore this sublime piece of machinery.

About Thomas L. McDonald

Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.

  • Paul Rodden

    A Pascaline

  • http://www.robinhardy.com robin

    Well, Paul, that made short work of my image search.

  • Ron19

    A roulette wheel for your chickens.

  • http://www.godandthemachine.com Thomas L. McDonald

    Indeed. That was fast!

  • http://www.robinhardy.com robin

    What’s that you say? A rotisserie? Nooooo!