This slimline spinner toy is designed so its middle seems to vanish once it’s up to speed. Despite having an asymmetrical design, it’s been engineered to balance perfectly on its tungsten carbide pivot point. Available in stainless steel, brass, and copper wrapped around an aluminum core, or a special titanium edition.
THE BEST Illusions
Zach King is known for his fun illusion videos. Most of what he does involves in-camera tricks and editing and often incorporates props to help drive the tricks home. In this clip from Vanity Fair, King takes us on a tour of his office, where he stores a variety of his props along with numerous cool toys and other collectibles.
Russian art collective TUNDRA teamed up with display company HOLO ONE to create this hypnotic artwork. It features a series of modular, scalable persistence of vision screens which display moving patterns that highlight and reflect the space in which they are installed. The piece made its debut in Shanghai, China in July 2020.
Designed by Wales-based sculptor Ivan Black, this hypnotic, kinetic plaything is made from 21 interconnected metal rods, which can be spun and twisted to produce visually-stimulating patterns inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. It’s available in silver, gold, bronze, or a limited edition scarlet color. Be sure to watch the video.
When an airplane encounters just the right weather conditions, its wingtips and propellers can generate visible patterns in the air. Redditor cburnett shared this wild footage of the patterns made by the four props on a Hercules C-130. A google search for “propeller vortexes” turns up more incredible images of the phenomenon.
John Muntean shows off his amazing LEGO shadow sculptures, each of which looks like an amorphous blob, but casts shadows of three distinct images as it’s rotated through a beam of light. After DragonButterflyJet, be sure to check out KnightMermaidPirateShip and ABC.
Game developer Matt Stark posted this mindbender of a video which uses computer graphics trickery to make it look like virtual Polaroid photos are portals to other environments. It’s a wild effect, and could be a very cool gameplay mechanic if incorporated into a video game.
Recently seen in a much larger version, this intriguing piece of plastic distorts light in order to make objects placed behind it look like they’re invisible. NightHawkInLight goes beyond the wow factor to explain how the prisms in this fresnel lens work their magic. If you want to play with a Lubor’s lens, you can find a bunch on Amazon.
Scientists from the University of Sussex are developing a method of displaying 3D tactile images using ultrasonic waves. The system works by levitating a small plastic bead and rapidly maneuvering it to create a persistence of vision effect. If they can move more dots or move them faster, they could create more complex images.
Canadian camouflage experts Hyperstealth Biotechnology has recently applied for patents on their technology which can bend light around an object to make it vanish from sight when placed in its sweet spot. The paper-thin screen could be used to hide military targets from ground-level threats. More on Vimeo.
Intrigued by slow motion visuals? Wonder Machines‘ unusual picture frame makes real world objects appear to move in slow motion. Designed by artist and inventor Jeff Lieberman (Time Warp), the device appears to use some sort of nearly imperceptible vibrations to pull off its trickery.
Latheman’s crazy machines made what he calls the “impossible screw.” If you hold it sideways, it will turn only clockwise. It doesn’t matter if you flip it. The only way to get it to turn both ways is to hold it upright. It’s a fun trinket that you can replicate with a hacksaw and a file.
Take a look at the video, and you’ll swear that these balls are spinning in a circular orbit. But look more closely, and you’ll see that each ball is moving along a perfectly straight path. The mechanical model is based on a design by 16th century Italian poymath Girolamo Cardano.
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