This week's featured article
| Toad is a period 2 oscillator that was found by Simon Norton in May 1970. It is the second most common naturally-occurring oscillator, although blinkers occur more than a hundred times as frequently. It is also one of very few known oscillators that is a polyomino in one of its phases. Toads often appear in large, complex patterns because of their ability to eat things when paired together (as in killer toads). Additionally, toads are useful as building blocks for constructing large oscillators with periods that are a multiple of two because of the various ways in which they can be hassled.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... that all still lifes up to 18 bits have a known glider synthesis, but it's still not known whether all still lifes are synthesizable.
- ... that the French kiss remained without a glider synthesis until 2013?
- ... that Adam P. Goucher's distributed Catagolue soup-search project, started in February 2015, has already tested more random soups than any previous such project, and has contributed to the reduction of many glider construction recipes?
- ... that any glider-constructible Life pattern can be constructed with a fixed maximum number of gliders N, probably less than 1000? It's only necessary to construct a sliding-block decoder, which self-destructs after converting the position of a far-distant block into a slow-salvo recipe that constructs the required pattern.
- ... that Copperhead is not only the first c/10 orthogonal spaceship ever found, but also remarkably compact for a pattern not discovered until 2016?
- ... that loafer is the fifth smallest non-flotilla spaceship, but was discovered 43 years after the four spaceships smaller than it?
- ... that despite being the fourth smallest non-flotilla orthogonal spaceship, loafer has never appeared from a single randomly generated soup?
- ... that all known glider eaters take at least four ticks to recover to their original state after eating a glider?
- ... that the smallest 31c/240 spaceship does not make use of the 31c/240 reaction?
- ... that there is roughly one chance in 10^(N/3) that a still life appearing out of random soup will have a population of exactly N cells?