One would argue that miracles do not exist.

Long time ago, a prominent member of a now mostly abandoned web forum offered to lend a technical book (JavaScript: The Good Parts) to me, an absolute unknown nobody. For free. No strings attached. Obviously, it isn’t a miracle, just a selfless act of kindness. I was still flattered.

15 years later, I was wondering what happened to him. His blog had a very memorable domain name. Lacking a device, I couldn’t check it out immediately, and the memory faded. The very next day, a post from that very blog popped up in my RSS reader, coming through the HackerNews “best” feed. A feed that selects the top few posts of thousands of submissions all over the world. A lucky coincidence, we can conclude, no miracle.

The article is about a scientific experiment (if you squint a bit). Given the connection above, I felt compelled to verify the results by reproduction, especially because I had all the required resources:

  • Some colored pieces of DUPLO
  • A xylophone of matching (somewhat) colors
  • An interested toddler

Please find the anonymized results of the reproduced experiment in the diagram below (Figure 1):

Colored duplo pieces arranged in a matrix, with two figures at opposite corners, and a similarly colored xylophone

I can confirm that, in accordance with the original research:

  • Toddler beating the xylophone can instruct papa correctly to find the daughter
  • Toddler listening to the xylophone can move the daughter correctly to find papa
  • and have fun in the meantime

In addition, we found that:

  • Collectible flowers can be added to the map, and a mini inventory (separate flat piece), so the daughter can find and properly greet mama
  • Introducing windows that can be opened and climbed through works
  • Only listening to the xylophone without looking at the colors doesn’t work

Apparently, you can have this simple, no-computer equipment, and still have fun with your kid, science concur. So we experiment, explore, build and laugh together, freely.

And one might argue, that miracles do not exist.