Today’s episode is for fans of the video game known as Minecraft, and the engineering students who are making its universe more inclusive.

Students in the engineering program at Johns Hopkins University took a class in January called Prosthesis Instrumentation.

These days, there are lots of efforts to make prosthetic devices that can help people with tasks at home or at work.

But what about people who want to play video games but can’t operate standard controllers?

Over three weeks, the engineering students focused on making adaptive controllers for Minecraft that could be used by people without a hand, either from birth or through an amputation below the elbow.

Some of the devices worked when a user flexed or twisted their upper arms; others had users step on sensors on the floor and then move their bodies in one direction or another.

In each case, the students got the Minecraft characters to move through the game.

And that’s a big deal at a time when hundreds of millions of Americans play video games at least once in a while.

These kinds of devices are getting us closer to a time when everybody can play if they want.

Though even high-tech devices like these aren’t going to help me get any better at any of these games.

Today in 1564, the birthday of astronomer Galileo Galilei, whose innovations with the telescope helped us see a lot more of the universe around us.

But he didn’t always get along with the powers that be, and I don’t just mean his run-ins with religious authorities.

According to Mental Floss, Galileo’s bosses at the University of Pisa wanted him to wear his formal robes on the job.

The scientist didn’t care about looking fancy and thought the robes were a pain to wear, so he didn’t follow those instructions, at which point the school docked his salary.


15 Fascinating Facts About Galileo (Mental Floss)

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