The MonkeyLectric LED light system, invented by Instructables.com co-founder Dan Goldwater, turns spinning bike wheels into a psychedelic experience. Over at Boing Boing Gadgets, Brownlee has written a magnificent essay on the inherent weirdness of bicycles and the magic of MonkeyLectric lights. From BB Gadgets:
I've always wanted a bike like that. Perhaps not one that turns onlookers minds into a gelatin-like slurry, but a surrealist bicycle. Because, if you think about it, there is something inherently weird about the bicycle. With its chittering gears, bristling spokes and spinning chains, there is something insect-like about its workings... a mental connection evoked by its best synonym, velocipede... a synonym which seems to share both etymologic and entomologic phylum with the centipede.
I'm not the only one to be fascinated by the bike's innate oddity. Bicycles are often used in art as symbols of the inherently absurd: children's books are filled with magic or living bikes, and the penny-farthing is such a marvelously implausible method of transportation that it is constantly used as the butt of jokes in television shows. The penny-farthing was also the logo of Patrick McGoohan's hallucinatory sci-fi spy series, The Prisoner: the bike, by itself, was a symbol of the surrealness to come.
There are few pleasures in life purer than bicycling around on a bright, brisk day. This is because bikes are already just wonderfully odd inventions... making a bike even stranger is less an act of mechanical eccentricity than an attempt to pass the pleasure of riding one to the people you cycle past, emphasizing to them what they forgot: the bicycle's marvelous strangeness.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]