Polar is a pen made of 12 rare-earth magnets, which has blown way, way past its modest Kickstarter goal. It's the ultimate in fidget-gadgets, wildly reconfigurable, with the power to levitate magnetized rings along its axis. Wired's Kyle VanHemert calls it the Sistine Chapel of time wasting.
Gardner, who works as Indiedesign in Waterloo, Ontario, has been fascinated with magnets since a young age. He’s been an avid disassembler of pens for just as long. When those two passions converged earlier this year, he knew he was onto something right away. “You’d think it was more of a progression, but it wasn’t actually,” he says. He found it to be an elegant solution even before he figured out all of its, erm, extracurricular potential; the magnets hold everything together, so it requires no screws and no glue. “When I first came up with the design,” Gardner explains, “I actually did a lot of looking around, like, ‘how has nobody ever done something like this. This has to be done by somebody, so I better go do it.’”
Polar’s fantastic crowd-funded success has come with its drawbacks. There are already a slew of magnet-pen copycats rushing to market, and some have tried to peg Polar as a health hazard, throwing it in with other controversial small magnet products like BuckyBalls, whose fun was matched only by their swallowability. And then, of course, there’s the lingering concern that always comes with carrying a stack of magnets in your pocket: that you run the risk of messing up some other thing, either wiping the magnetic data off your credit card or somehow turning your smartphone into an expensive paper weight. Gardner says been carrying one around himself, though, and has no ill effects to report with his electronics or his credit cards. He has, however, found that Polar is strong enough to wipe flimsier transportation cards clean, a fact that’s left him trapped behind the turnstile on more than one occasion. Still, that’s a small price to pay, especially considering that he had the perfect thing to keep him busy until he managed to flag down some help.
This Amazing Magnetic Pen Will Take Hours From Your Life [Kyle VanHemert/Wired]
Mark Marino writes, “Boingers might be interested in this new free 3-week course I’m co-teaching with UnderAcademy College founder Talan Memmott: How to Write and Read Fake News: Journalism in the Age of Trump. It starts Jan. 20, of course.”
dj BC writes, “My best Christmas mashups from the past decade are collected for this year’s Santastic (previously) holiday music sampler. You can also dig on the site for the full albums from past years, our ‘Menorah Mashups’ Chanukah collection, and my chill instrumental album of holiday classical remixes. It’s all free.”
I first started writing about the remarkable Joi Ito in 2002, and over the decade and a half since, I’ve marvelled at his polymath abilities — running international Creative Commons, starting and investing in remarkable tech businesses, getting Timothy Leary’s ashes shot into space, backing Mondo 2000, using a sprawling Warcraft raiding guild to experiment with leadership and team structures, and now, running MIT’s storied Media Lab — and I’ve watched with excitement as he’s distilled his seemingly impossible-to-characterize approach to life in a set of 9 compact principles, which he and Jeff Howe have turned into Whiplash, a voraciously readable, extremely exciting, and eminently sensible book.
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]