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Category Archives: Unusual

Ice Tray Freezes Tiny Fish Skeletons

By Ryan Nill

Something Fishy is a silicon ice cube tray that freezes little fish skeletons. Both adorable and vaguely creepy!

Available now for about 10$ US, the broken English merely a bonus.

[ I’vegot2haveone ] VIA [ Popgadget ]

Cuckoo Clock Is A Little Too Crazy

Cuckoo Clock

By Evan Ackerman

From the Artist Taking Things Too Literally department comes this cuckoo clock, which consists of a real (dead) cuckoo crucified to a wall with a digital clock hung around its neck on a chain, by Michael Sans. Okay, statement made. This piece of art (or whatever) isn’t for sale, and if you’re thinking that this would make some sort of darkly interesting DIY project, I would like to draw your attention to the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which protects birds like the cuckoo. Under the act, killing (or even possessing a piece of) a migratory bird can get you six months in jail and a $15,000 fine (this particular cuckoo died from natural causes in 1958).

[ Designer’s Website ] VIA [ productdose ]

Zygote, The Glowing Amusment Ball

By Ryan Nill

Zygote is the name of a giant rubber ball filled with helium and some sort of vague LED contraption. Hit it and it shifts through various color spectrums. Add drugs and party-people and you have yourself a heavily sedated crowd, all intently staring at a glowing beachball. Only hilarity can ensue. Created by Alex Beim (and numerous other people) of the Interactive Collective Tangible, the Zygote is being touted as a way to “transform the divorcement into a multi-sensorial, interactive playground, actively engaging the crowd.” Right. The touch sensitive LEDs on the inside of the helium-filled beachball can also be programed to synchronize with music, set to flicker through colors or a variety of other complex interactions.

The creator is looking for publicity and intends to join forces with musicians to bring these fabulous glowing beachballs to a concert near you.

[ Interactive Collective Tangible ] VIA [ Engadget ]

Hyper-Intelligent Coconuts Demand Quiet


By Evan Ackerman

MIT Media Lab researcher Tad Hirsh has designed electronic coconuts to be deployed as noise sensors in San Jose, California, an area which is subject to aircraft from San Jose International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport. The coconuts are hung from trees, and when they hear excessive noise from low-flying aircraft, they use integrated cellphones to leave messages at the San Jose airport complaint hotline on behalf of the people, animals and trees of San Jose.

Here’s a sample complaint:

“Uh… Hey. Um, yeah. So… Um, this is…. Yeah, no, like, I’m… Shut up, no, I’m talking. Okay, so, yeah. So, all these planes, man… It’s crazy. It’s like a roooaarrrrr. Dude, I need a pizza… Could you send me a pepperoni pizza? Dude, that would be great. Wait wait wait wait wait, put some mushrooms on that. Yeah, mushrooms. Sweet.”

Check out the original audio files on Tad’s website; they’re exactly how you’d think a hyper-intelligent (and maybe stoned) coconut would sound.

[ Tripwire ] VIA [ Guerrilla Innovation ]

Pneumatic Insect Vacuum (Also) Sucks

w_01.jpg By Ryan Nill

Insects are one of the foundations of our biosystem yet the poor suckers don’t get any respect. Of course being important doesn’t mean they’re not gross and we’d rather have them on the outside of our dwellings. Enter the Insect Vacuum. It’s a gun-like device that works with compressed air. Stick it next to the insect in need of eviction and pull the trigger. A sudden suction of air will propel the chitinous fella into a receptacle for later (humane?) disposal.

This is just the kind of thing you find on the streets of Akihabara, and will set you back a cool 2,389 Yen (or about $25). Not sure if the company delivers overseas, though you can try to figure it out through the comically translated product page below. Oh, and be sure to check out the video.

[ Netprice ] VIA [ Plastic Bamboo ]

This Is Cool

escape button

By David Ponce

Yeah, we’re just geeks being geeks. But this picture kicks some ass.

VIA [ Digg ]

Man Trades Sex Life For Dragon Bag

dragon bag

By David Ponce

If anything screams “I’m not getting laid tonight” louder than this bag, we’d love to hear it. Until then, we do happen to admire the amount of effort and craftsmanship required to create something like this. It’s a one of a kind leather dragon bag, created by a dude in Ukraine called Bob Basset. Strangely, the name doesn’t sound overly Ukrainian, but what do we know?

Aside from the fact that the bag is handmade from molded leather, we don’t know a whole lot more. So we’re going to leave you with two more pictures after the jump, as well as a couple links.

Continue Reading

HypoSurface: It’s Hyponotic


By Evan Ackerman

Walls. They’re so boring. And they’re everywhere. HypoSurface smashes through the, uh, fourth wall with a shape changing, interactive surface. Using interlocking flexible panels activated by compressed air from behind the wall, HypoSurface can create three dimensional waves, patterns, images, and even words by moving the flexible panels in sync. Software allows the wall to react to sound or movement, and… Well, just watch the video:

You can lease one of these; it comes with everything you need to get it up and running (including a technician). They don’t say how much it costs, but it would probably cheaper to just stare at a normal wall while you’re really, really drunk [Yes… drunk… -Ed.] (and listening to Pink Floyd).

[ HypoSurface ] VIA [ Designverb ]

Paper Engine Runs On Heat (Or Cold)

228stm_ani.gif By Ryan Nill

Astromedia, a German-based company that specializes in papercut crafts and toys, has created a papercut engine that runs on the heat from a cup of coffee. Or from the chill of packed ice; the Stirling engine isn’t picky.

It’s pretty cool, and works by having heated air push a piston back and forth, creating a wonderful little whirling engine. The Stirling engine is made from than punched cardboard and various other parts. It doesn’t actually run anything, per se (just sort of turns), but it’s a fun toy for children of any age.

It can run for hours (one person even managed over 12 hours!) and is available online for €21.90 (about 29$ US). No word about shipping or anything, but one must take into account that they are in Germany. Perhaps someone could homebrew one…?

[ Astromedia ] VIA [ Boingboing ]