Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Futurama on Type Inference

I enjoyed Futurama when it first appeared in 1999, but through the reruns on Cartoon Network and the magic of TiVo, my admiration has continued to grow. Wired magazine has an excellent article pairing a history of the show (past, present and future,) with the announcement of two new seasons released on DVD. I own about three DVDs and never watch any of them, but I won't wait for these episodes to appear on TV.

Futurama delights in science humor, (math, physics, computer science,) which seems like a disaster for mainstream media, even to me. But the Wired article reveals how the creators, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, managed to (eventually) walk the tightrope of financial success by keeping the main story line humorous for all, but adorning it with humor for the minority.

A personal favorite, and one I think all functional programmers will enjoy, is this little gem about narrowing types:
Moon farmer: Yep, goes down to -173 degrees.
Fry: Celsius or Fahrenheit?
Moon farmer: First one, then the other.
Hats off to Futurama for making math funny.


Adam Jones said...

Another gem comes from the pilot episode where the professor is giving a tour of Planet Express.

Professor: Here's my work bench, and my lab stool. There's my intergalactic spaceship, and here is where I keep assorted lengths of wire.
Fry: Wow, a spaceship
Professor: (Offhandedly) Yes, yes. Here, let me show you some of the lengths of wire I used to build it.

For some reason this reminds me of quite a few programming discussions I've had.

sigfpe said...

I was all excited that maybe this was an article on the Futamura projection. Oh well. :-)