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Crass Christmas Commercialism November 18, 2012

Posted by Mitchell in Home, Politics, Science & Technology, Yorling, Zen Magnets.
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Well, it’s that time coming round again. I love to find & give those those neato gifts that are a bit different that the usual stuff. Check out this find at the Renaissance Fair last month:

This is a door harp. You put it on a door and the little balls plonk up and down against the strings and play a little tune when you open and close the door. Very cool! Renaissance fairs are very commercialized anymore and most of the stuff you find at them are junk. This guy actually makes his own stuff and it’s good quality. He makes actual harps and other stringed musical items too. You can order one here Dreamsinger Harps. One nice feature of these things is that they’re attached to the door with super sticky pads on the back. You don’t have to drill a hole in your door!

Magnet spheres update: Buckyballs has given up and will discontinue making them. As of now you can only get them from Zen Magnets. How long I don’t know. I just bought some more and I noticed they come with a new, prominent warning:

Warning: DO NOT SWALLOW MAGNETS

How old do you have to be to play with these? Dunno. 14 years old in the US for a strong magnetic toy, unless it’s not a toy, then no age limit, but they’re fun magnet spheres, aren’t they a toy? Unless it’s a “science kit” then the government age recommendation is 8+. But really, it’s whatever age at which a person stops swallowing non-foods. Strong magnets can cause fatal intestinal pinching. Place swallowing magnets on your don’t do list along with breathing water, drinking poison, and running into traffic. Call poison control if more than one is swallowed. And keep these away from kids(and pets) who don’t understand these dangers. Btw, this product is a “science kit” for sure.

Isn’t it so very sad isn’t it that it’s come to this? This is your U.S. Federal Government hard at work, destroying successful businesses for no other reason than it can. Oh sure, they say it’s “for the children” of course but since there’s only been 12 incidents in all the years these things have been around I can’t help but wonder what the real motivation is.

Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend giving these out for Christmas to people who know not to eat magnets. Frankly, they are better than buckyballs anyway. I also recommend getting the gift packaged set for those that are new to these things, you get some nifty extras with it. Shipping is always prompt and I’ve never had any problems with them. Oh, and if you want to go all out, there’s the Mandala Set with 1,728 magnets. These things are insanely fun and hard to put down when you start playing with them. Does 1,728 magnets sound like a lot? Well, go see what someone with a SERIOUS magnet ball collection can do: COCOAUB.

More crass Christmas commercialism gift ideas as I come across them.

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#SaveOurBalls August 2, 2012

Posted by Mitchell in Bad Times Ahead, Destined for the Gulags, Home, Politics, Science & Technology, Zen Magnets.
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Hopefully that title will convert to a twitter hashtag.  If not it will be changed.

Recently the Consumer Product Safety Commission decided to shut down companies that make and distribute spherical magnets. This isn’t directed only the Big Guys like Buckyballs but also smaller outfits that I buy from like Zen Magnets. This is yet another trumped up  “product safety” non-issue that out of control governmental agencies LOVE to meddle in. Why? For no other reason than that they can I guess. Or more likely a personal vendetta from someone with clout in the agency. Whatever the reason it is a real threat. Amazon, ThinkGeek and other retailers have already yanked these products. These companies aren’t really all that big. They will die before they ever manage any “appeal” process.

It’s tempting to attach this to the general anti-business practices of the Obama administration, but this specific instance isn’t really that. This is just the Standard General Leviathan Roll. These huge & largely arbitrary governmental standard bodies aren’t really accountable to anybody and they rule at whim regardless of who is supposedly “in charge”.  Somebody goosed this particular mindless piece of million pound of federal flesh to move and it crushed. That’s what it does.

That’s not to say that “We” can’t “Do Something” (see recent developments re: Chik-Fil-A). Government agencies will pull back given enough public pressure, but only IF the public knows about it. So far few people know or care about this. It’s getting some notice here and there though, somebody from Buckyballs was on Rush’s show the other day as well as a link from Drudge. Hopefully we’ll get some steam going behind another push back.

More Magnet Fun February 17, 2012

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Zen Magnets.
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The Latest & Greatest

This was a fun one to put together. It’s a copy of another build by a much more experienced dude who goes by the monicker of Yoyobandelor. I have a link to his original construction on youtube. If you like this kind of stuff you should definitely check his videos out.

Technical details: 3,300 balls, about five inches in diameter, and weighs in at about 3.5 pounds. Now it’s time to rip it up and make something new.

Dodecahedron February 4, 2012

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Zen Magnets.
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I made a YouTube video!

It takes 2,400 magnet spheres to make this one (a little more than 11 full sets) and a few hours. The smallest base unit is a folded 30 ball triangle that I thought of in a dream a few weeks ago. Pictures really don’t do justice so I made a short video. Enjoy!