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Americans adopted the New Year's baby from German immigrants. In Germany, the history of the baby as a New Year's symbol can be traced back to a fourteenth-century folk song. At least one scholar has identified an even earlier use of the baby as a holiday symbol. Theodor Gaster claims that the ancient Greeks used the baby as a symbol of the wine and vegetation god Dionysus during Lenaia, a January festival honoring his rebirth that was widely celebrated in Athens. (For a similar symbol, see also Russia, Christmas in.)
Gaster, Theodor. New Year, Its History, Customs and Superstitions. New York: Abelard-Schuman, 1955. James, E. O. Seasonal Feasts and Festivals. 1961. Reprint. Detroit, Mich.: Omnigraphics, 1993.
What does it mean when you dream about a baby?
Babies are very complex dream symbols that represent everything from the rebirth of the self, the emergence of new possibilities in your life, or being rendered helpless and vulnerable. Even a new baby in the dreamer’s life may be indicated by this dream, but not always. This symbol often shows up when the dreamer is entering a new phase of life, which is like giving birth to oneself. Bad dreams in which a baby is deformed, has injuries, or is stillborn are not uncommon for parents who are anxious about the pregnancy, especially for expectant couples who have never had children before. Even though it feels like a dreadfully horrible nightmare, it’s usually nothing to be taken seriously, unless it becomes a nightly event. (Also see Embryo, Miscarriage, Pregnant).
BabyThe first computer to run a program in its own electronic storage. Developed at the University of Manchester in England by Professor F.C. (Freddie) Williams and graduate student Tom Kilburn, Baby's memory was CRT based, which Williams conceived as a storage device for binary information. In 1948, its "Williams Tube" produced a grid of 1,024 bits.
A Big Baby
Like the ENIAC, its American counterpart, Baby, officially known as the Small Scale Experimental Machine (SSME), was huge. Driven by 6,000 vacuum tubes and weighing one ton, it was 16 feet long and 7 feet high. Unlike the ENIAC, it did not require extensive rewiring to change the program.
An Early Prototype
Starting in 1949, Baby served as a prototype for two more powerful Manchester Mark I models, which were the forerunners of the Ferranti Mark I, commercialized by Ferranti-Packard of Toronto in 1951. ICL's Series 1900 was based on the Ferranti machine. In 1959, the MUSE was introduced, the final Manchester machine. It was a faster computer with transistors and magnetic core storage. The commercial version of the MUSE was renamed Atlas.