The Canard Digérateur, or Digesting Duck, was an automaton in the form of a duck, created by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1739. The mechanical duck appeared to have the ability to eat kernels of grain, and to metabolize and defecate them. While the duck did not actually have the ability to do this—the food was collected in one inner container, and the pre-stored feces was "produced" from a second, so that no actual digestion took place—Vaucanson hoped that a truly digesting automaton could one day
Turkish version of the Wonders of creation, A duck, Walters Manuscript W.659, fol. 116a detailThis is an Ottoman illuminated and illustrated Turkish version of ʿAjāʾib al-makhlūqāt (Wonders of creation) by Zakarīyā al-Qazwīnī (d. 692 AH / 1293 CE), made at the request of the Vizier Murtaza Paşa (Murtaḍá Pāshā) (fl. eleventh century AH / seventeenth CE). The codex was completed in 1121 AH / 1717 CE by Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad Shākir Rūzmah-ʾi Nāthānī. There are 444 paintings illustrating the text. T
Reductionism can mean either (a) an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things or (b) a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of individual constituents.
"This is the Colour of My Dreams" ~Joan Miró (partial view) Between 1924 and 1927, Miró created a group of paintings that are radically different from his earlier work. Known as peinture-poésie, these canvases, with broad and loosely brushed fields of color, are animated by just a few enigmatic signs.