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Anand Jain

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Jacques de Vaucanson

Born 24 Feb 1709; died 21 Nov 1782 at age 73. French inventor of automata - robot devices of later significance for modern industry. In 1737-38, he produced a transverse flute player, a pipe and tabor player, and a mechanical duck, which was especially noteworthy, not only imitating the motions of a live duck, but also the motions of drinking, eating, and "digesting." He made improvements in the mechanization of silk weaving, but his most important invention was ignored for several decades - that of automating the loom by means of perforated cards that guided hooks connected to the warp yarns. (Later reconstructed and improved by J.-M. Jacquard, it became one of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution.) He also invented many machine tools of permanent importance.

Home yet?

A middle aged woman sought help from her doctor.

"All my husband does is complain that I never want to have sex with him," she said. "And he's right too. I have no desire at all."

The doctor gave her a prescription and told her to return for a visit in two weeks. After the two weeks were up, she bounced smiling into his office.

"Those pills were great Doc, I'm doin' it twice a night now."

"That's wonderful," said the doctor, "What does your husband say now?"

"How should I know?" she replied. "I ain't been home yet."

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