Darwiinian evolution

My colleague Tony Hirst gave a terrific workshop on Web 2.0 today. I noticed he had a strange-looking controller on the podium as he talked and afterwards asked about it. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “What is it?”
Tony: “A WiiRemote.”
Me: “Eh?”
Tony: “It’s a bluetooth device.”
Me: (striking head in manner of man who realises he is as thick as two short planks laid end-to-end) “Ye Gods! So it is.”

At this point, Tony opens up his MacBook.

He’s got a neat app called DarwiinRemote running.

He makes sweeping circular gestures with the Wii controller. This is what appears on the screen:

And all of a sudden I remember from my schooldays how difficult it was for beginners to see the connection between rotation and periodicity. Which leads to the thought that this might make an excellent teaching tool for physics and maths.

Obvious, really. Wish I been smart enough to think of it myself. Sigh.