The Amazing Nathan Myhrvold

by Lee Gesmer on May 8, 2008

Caption: “The history of science is full of ideas that several people had at the same time.”

Link to the full article in The New Yorker, May 12, 2008 here.


Myhrvold started Microsoft’s research division, leaving, in 1999, with hundreds of millions. He is obsessed with aperiodic tile patterns. (Imagine a floor tiled in a pattern that never repeats.) When Myhrvold built his own house, on the shores of Lake Washington, outside Seattle-a vast, silvery hypermodernist structure described by his wife as the place in the sci-fi movie where the aliens live-he embedded some sixty aperiodic patterns in the walls, floors, and ceilings. His front garden is planted entirely with vegetation from the Mesozoic era. (“If the

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