Love at first sight

April 25, 2011

How else can I describe my discovery of Google Patents? This has got to be like nirvana to a dedicated cyberslacker. Access to over 7 million patents. Why, I may never leave my desk once I get into reading all of them.

OK so here are a few fun ones to be getting on with.

Hat simulating a fried egg.


Toy gun convertible into robotic-humanoid form.


Space Vehicle propelled by the pressure of inflationary vacuum state


Combined scarecrow and advertising device


Method for concealing partial baldness



Device for cooling infant’s brain



Hmm. I wonder if it also protects against alien abductions


Mixed media

April 19, 2011


Sometime back in the last century (1972 actually), a friend and I made a computer generated film where the image was created by the soundtrack.

For the technical minded, that is a EMS Synthi A synthesiser running via an analog-to-digital converter to a PDP8. A 16mm film camera with servo controlled coloured filters recorded the output on the large circular cathode ray tube.

Unfortunately, I don’t know where the film is now but my memory is that it somewhat resembled the coloured patterns that media players show when playing music files. Unremarkable now, but at the time it was novel. I think the doing of it was worthier than the result.

I was prompted to recall this by seeing this music machine shown at the design academy Eindhoven’s exhibition at Milan design week 2011.


It consists of a scale model of the city of Eindhoven wrapped around a cylinder which when rotated plays a piano keyboard.

How successful this mixed-media work is is open to question as the accompanying video is so poor that you can’t really hear the sound.

Still, like my 1972 film, I applaud the effort.

Slow posting

April 18, 2011

Yes it is true. I have not posted anything for a very long time.

It is possible that I have taken the ‘slack’ part of Cyberslacker too literally, but I think not. What is more likely is that the online world of sharing ideas has changed. There once was a time when I used newsgroups to share thoughts, and before that I posted things on bulletin boards. Blogging is so much easier and so much more accessible, especially for someone who wants to share images publicly, so I have been doing that for a few years. Though sometime it does feel a bit like throwing ideas and images out there and hoping someone is listening. Writing a blog doesn’t automatically make one feel like part of a community. I wrote in my first blog “yes I do like the sound of my own voice”.  A bit indulgent you might think. And with good reason.  Maybe blogging has to give way to the next technology, whatever that might turn out to be, that connects more. Although I do post videos on Facebook, I don’t think that it a long-term replacement for a blog. Perhaps I’ll stick to this for the moment. 

In the meantime … more of the same from a collection of wonderfully whimsical oddities at

Wow. How?

and via meme-meme there is Like Cool who describe themselves as a gadget magazine.

The music player bed



The digital measuring tool (though its range is limited!)


or the folding keyboard