Rube Goldberg rat-run sends a neutral balloon through dozens of Dyson bladeless fans

Here's a lovely little sport: Dyson engineers rendered a helium balloon neutrally buoyant and then fed it into a Mousetrap-style rat-run composed of Dyson bladeless fans, through which it bumbled and slurped and bounced, drawn through on invisible air currents. All it wants for total nerdvana is colored smoke-streamers.

We bought one of these fans last month during the Big Heat in London. We needed a new fan for the baby's room, one that was easy to adjust, one that she couldn't feed her fingers into (she's still small enough to get her fingers well into the grill on our bedroom fan) and to be honest, I just wanted to see how it worked for myself. It certainly cost a lot more than a "normal" fan, but it's not as though I buy a fan every month; spending extra on a one-time purchase bothers me a lot less than setting up recurring premium expenses.

The verdict? We like it. It's spooky, of course, to have a bladeless fan that seems to conjure a breeze out of nothing. I'd heard reports that it was noisy, but relative to our other fan, it's actually quite quiet. I'd also read that it was a little underpowered, but again, not so I've noticed. I'm actually considering buying one for the office now.

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