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India and martial arts


India and the twins
W Daniel Hillis Scientist
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And we lived on a lake there, it was on Toluca Lake, and we actually had a house on the lake and the kids would go out. And they were fantastic fishermen, so Asa and Noah would go out and catch all kinds of fish in the lake and they were great swimmers, very, very strong swimmers. And India was very fragile by comparison, so she was much smaller than they were, and frighteningly enough, she looked a lot like me when she was very young. So we were afraid that she would stay like that. Fortunately, she grew out of it. But so she was a little tiny kid, but from the very beginning, she was always the spokesperson for the group, because she started language very early, and the boys actually had their own twin-talk. So they spoke English later because they had their twin-talk, so it was very funny that they would always show up with India standing in front and the two boys behind her, like her bodyguards, and India would say, 'We have decided that...' and do all the speaking.

But the other thing is, they were very rough and played rough, and India was very small. And she was also about the height of table-tops. So India insisted on wearing a bicycle helmet all the time. Or at least hats. But often, like, a crash helmet. And that was just her thing: she just didn't want to deal with her head being bashed into tables. And that was very typical of India, is she would make a decision of what she thought was the right thing and stick to it. So she always had her crash helmet on for a period.

W Daniel Hillis (b. 1956) is an American inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While doing his doctoral work at MIT under artificial intelligence pioneer, Marvin Minsky, he invented the concept of parallel computers, that is now the basis for most supercomputers. He also co-founded the famous parallel computing company, Thinking Machines, in 1983 which marked a new era in computing. In 1996, Hillis left MIT for California, where he spent time leading Disney’s Imagineers. He developed new technologies and business strategies for Disney's theme parks, television, motion pictures, Internet and consumer product businesses. More recently, Hillis co-founded an engineering and design company, Applied Minds, and several start-ups, among them Applied Proteomics in San Diego, MetaWeb Technologies (acquired by Google) in San Francisco, and his current passion, Applied Invention in Cambridge, MA, which 'partners with clients to create innovative products and services'. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices (including a 10,000-year mechanical clock), and has recently moved into working on problems in medicine. In recognition of his work Hillis has won many awards, including the Dan David Prize.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes George Dyson

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: children, play, personalities, helmet, twin-talk, family life, twins

Duration: 1 minute, 55 seconds

Date story recorded: October 2016

Date story went live: 05 July 2017