I scored the damndest crapgadget yesterday: Disney's Disneyvision is a little box styled like a vintage TV. Where the tube would go is a flexible plastic wand attached to a variable motor, lit by a strobing white LED. You put a wiggly rubber 2" characters on the wand (effectively sticking the wand up its butt), turn on the motor and the light, and the strobe creates a zoetrope effect that makes it seem like the characters are energetically dancing.
But the damned thing is the variability -- the resonant frequencies of the characters' appendages kick in at different motor-intensities and the strobe-frequency produces even more surprising choices. There's a sweet spot where the characters appear to be in a kind of holo-tank, dancing or fluttering, but there's also a whole range of totally glitched-out possibilities in which the character flicker through what appears to be a kind of hilariously horrible video malfunctions.
There's not much about this toy online, and I think the main reason is that it's practically impossible to video-record. Getting phase-lock between the strobe and the camera requires a lot more video-kit than I have to hand, and otherwise, the video comes out pretty disappointingly (see this review for a valiant try, and here are a couple I made).
The toy is sold in Disneyland (and possibly other Disney parks) for $30. It's worth a look just for the sheer imaginative, improbable weirdness of it. I'm going to use mine for a night-light.
Terence Eden found a turntable [Amazon] that cost only £30 (~$40): “I accidentally bought a load of vinyl records. So I decided to buy the cheapest, shittiest, turntable possible,” he writes. For firty paands he even gets a USB port to rip the records directly to digital. Is it any good? Not really. It plays […]
Emily Groves’ Mew is an interactive furry slab. When you approach it, it begins to purr. When you stroke it, the purring intensifies and miaowing commences. If you stroke it too hard, the miaowing becomes wailing and hissing. Mew was part of a collaborative sound object project between Design Products, Information Experience Design and Visual […]
Quackometer checked out a gadget that purports to “protect” users from 5G. It’s probably a scam, as 5G is as safe as any other radio transmission and you don’t need protection from it. But what’s in the box, exactly? Turns out it’s a battery-powered light and a copper tube. Whatever the copper device is doing, […]
After years of hearing a steady drumbeat about the necessity of surfing the web under the protection of a VPN, even the most technophobic among us are starting to come around. But even knowing the dangers one can face from cybercrooks phishing for information from unsuspecting victims online, those last holdouts still have some fears. […]
You may not realize it, but some of the biggest films in movie history have been edited using the same tools some of you use to cut your video of vacationing at Disney World. Giant movies from Oscar favorites The Social Network and Gone Girl to blockbusters like Avatar, Deadpool, and last year’s Terminator: Dark […]
Now that the initial furor and shortages have subsided, it’s probably not a bad time to start considering your long-term cleaning and disinfecting plans. Sure, that might seem anywhere from overly cautious to outright ridiculous, but the threat of COVID-19 appears poised to be present for a while and the need for quick travel clean-up […]