This week's featured article
| A methuselah is, roughly speaking, a pattern that takes a large number of generations in order to stabilize (known as its lifespan) and becomes much larger than its initial configuration at some point during its evolution. In particular, patterns that grow forever are not methuselahs. Their exact definition is not completely agreed upon, and most definitions place restrictions on the number of cells in the initial pattern.
Martin Gardner defined methuselahs as patterns of fewer than ten cells that take longer than 50 generations to stabilize, though some sources allow for more cells or require a longer lifespan.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... that a pattern has been constructed that calculates and prints out the digits of pi in decimal, and a similar one prints out the decimal digits of the Golden Ratio?
- ... that several different patterns have been constructed to calculate and display the sequence of prime numbers, and some have been adapted to display only prime pairs or Fermat primes?
- ... that two completely different types of knightships, the waterbear and the half-baked knightship, were constructed in 2014?
- ... that no Caterpillar-type spaceships were completed for almost ten years after the original Caterpillar was constructed in 2004, but that two different designs, the waterbear and the centipede, were finished in 2014?
- ... that the first spiral-growth pattern in Conway's Life was constructed in 2014?
- ... that among known glider recipes for irreducible objects, the Gemini spaceship has the largest known minimal recipe, currently 173,449 gliders — the runner-up being the Parallel HBK with a 38,380-glider synthesis?
- ... that it was shown in 2014 that any salvo of gliders, no matter how tightly packed, can be constructed by crashing together gliders whose initial positions are farther apart than any chosen finite distance?
- ... that no spaceships with velocities other than c/4 diagonal (glider), c/2 orthogonal (*WSS variants), and c/12 diagonal (Corderships) had known glider syntheses until 2003, when a 2c/5 spaceship gun was constructed?
- ... that after ten years with no new small spaceship syntheses, a glider construction was found for the c/7 loafer in 2013?
- ... that glider constructions for three previously inconstructible spaceships (the dart, the crab, and the Parallel HBK) were discovered in 2014?