Fridaygram: Colossus revealed, risk-taking bees, super attire

MAR 09, 2012
By Scott Knaster, Google Developers Blog Editor

The world’s first programmable computer was Colossus, built in England in 1943. During World War II, Colossus was used to break codes at the UK’s famed decryption center at Bletchley Park. With a little help from its friends, Bletchley Park was recently saved from destruction, and many of its historic sites are now being restored. This week, a gallery dedicated to Colossus opened at the National Museum of Computing, housed at Bletchley Park.

rebuilt Colossus
Colossus rebuilt. You can see it at The National Museum of Computing in the UK.
Reproduced with kind permission of The National Museum of Computing.

Even many years after the war, Colossus was kept secret. Another big secret, just discovered, is about honeybees: they’re not all alike. Researchers have found that some worker bees seem to be more interested than others in novel behaviors such as finding a new home for the hive. (Let’s call these the startup bees.) Scientists studied the genetic foundation for varying behaviors, and using chemical treatments, they were able to change whether bees were likely to display this “novelty-seeking” behavior.

Speaking of novelty, if you happen to be in Knoxville, Tennessee any time in March, you can check out some knitted superhero costumes on display at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville's Ewing Gallery. They’re perfect for wearing to your favorite upcoming superhero movie.

Ludicrous transitions are just part of the fun here at Fridaygram, where we take a break from the real news once a week. Each Fridaygram item must pass only one test: it has to be interesting to us nerds. By the way, the main topic of today’s post has no connection to this amazing movie, which features a great performance by Paul Frees (uncredited, of course).