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   -> Volume 11, Issue 4


Others: Wavelet Games
 
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Matthias (matthias@wavelet.org)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 1:00 am    
Subject: Others: Wavelet Games
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Summary: A dialogue between father and son about wavelets, Legos, and other existential questions

This is a dialogue between Matthias (M), 6 years old, and his father (F).

M: Dad, you entertain yourself with wavelets at the office all day long (Editor's note: Matthias has picked up from dinner conversations that splines and wavelets are intimately linked). Could I play with them too?

F: Sure. The best way is to get my old "dyadic" Legos from the attic. They come in different sizes: four (basic), two, and one. I had lots of fun playing with them when I was a kid. They were a great invention—less flashy than the latest Bionicles, Lego Technics, Alpha teams, Dinosaurs, Harry Potter, ..., but so much simpler to use and much more universal. The secret is that they are wavelets in disguise. Here is what makes them really special (something that the marketing people at Lego seem to have forgotten in recent years; one can hardly find old-style Legos anymore):

1. They are compatible with your little sister Monica's Duplos. In fact, you have the following two scale relation:
1 duplo = 1 basic lego + 1 basic lego, shifted by one
This means that you can combine your constructions and play together.

2. They are very simple to use. Unlike Bionicles and other high tech Legos, there is no need to read a 20 page instruction manual. You can get started right away without any help from your parents.
(Editor's note: high tech Lego gifts are often dreaded by parents because they know that it will keep them much busier than their kids; the positive side, though, is that it will prepare their youngsters to be adept at assembling Ikea furniture later in their career.)

3. The building blocks are interchangeable. If you lose one piece, there is no need to go and buy a new set. (not so, with the latest versions...)

4. They are universal. You can use your imagination and build anything you like: a spaceship, a pyramid, a castle, etc.

M: Great Dad. That's hyper cool (in French in the text). Will you come and play with me ?

[...]

M: Dad, I'm upset: I just constructed my new Web site all in Lego, and Monica stepped on it and broke it all up.

F: No problem, we'll use a fast wavelet reconstruction algorithm.

M: Dad: For my next birthday, I want some higher order Legos. Will you buy me some ?

(Editor's note: this could be a good challenge for the wavelet community.)
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