Magnetic poetry-writer automaton

Today in London's Spitalfields Market, I was blown away by this wonderful little automaton, a tiny mechanical poet who writes graceful magnetic poetry when you spin a magnet beneath him. The proud maker -- who goes by Alefs in Wonderland -- let me shoot a little video of it (apologies for the crummy focus later in the shoot).

Miniature paper scribe


  1. There appears to be a little man sitting at a desk with a quill pen on top of the contraption…

  2. i wanted that machine to be randomly pulling pieces of magnetic poetry and putting them together. I guess i had the wrong idea.

  3. He was probably having a hard time getting it in focus because he wasn’t using a lens with a shallow depth of focus, evindenced by the crisp focus of the gentleman holding up the purple papers, bearded face.

  4. I only see ten seconds of video, and cannot see what is going on, is this a problem on my end?

  5. Whoops. Just posted as anonymous, but I was trying to quote Anon @ #9. I’m really not sure what it is I’m looking at here.

  6. Often people move in too close with video cams. Most cams can’t focus close enough to resolve a tiny object like this one – yer better off staying farther away and keeping it sharp. Or learn how to use macro. I shoot video for a living, I’m sorry, I see this all the time and it just bugs the living daylights out of me. Can’t people see that the darn thing is blurry?

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