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oobject: 'daily user-ranked gadget lists'
If you have a hi-fi a TV, cellphone, computer and digital camera you already own several sets of speakers, amplifiers, microphones, screens and cameras. The idea of modular gadgets appeals on multiple levels, from Zen minimalism to the joy of playing with Legos.Here are some of our favorites.

lego like modular gadgets

Babel is interesting because it represents the ultimate in imaginary architecture, a skyscraper of the mind. The Tower of Babel is the archetypal image of a giant tower, a man made hill, yet nothing like our idea of it has ever been built. The closest are possibly Mont Saint-Michel or perhaps the downtown Manhattan cluster, yet one is a natural mound and the other an apparent hill created from many buildings.The idea of Babel traces back to ancient Sumerian stories from the time of 5000 year old Mesopotamian Ziggurats, to the reinterpretation of these myths in the book of Genesis. In the 16th century the ironic obsession with Babel among 16th century painters in hill-less Lowland Europe, created the most well known imagery, but it evolved further with the unbuilt Palace of the Soviets or the imaginary babel in the retro futuristic skyscraper cities of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

towers of babel

When gold prospectors first ventured to California, the equivalent of a hot tub meant farting in a zinc trough full of tepid water. Today it means an object reminiscent of CERN’s LHC particle detectors, with several hundred jets, built in 40 inch plasma TVs and seating for ten.We put this list together largely because there is something fascinating and supremely gadgety about the variety of arrangements of body shaped molds and strategic placement of jets, that when laid out side by side, in a gallery, seems particularly impressive. This type of space ship like hot tub design seems like something unusual enough to define a time and place, like fins on 50s cars or undulating water beds from the 70s.

spaceship like hot tubs

Escape pods are a ubiquitous element of science fiction but surprisingly rare in real life. The ones I found are largely for high speed jet fighters or ships, submarines and oil platforms, but my absolute favorite is the patent drawing for a gigantic detachable commercial pod in a regular commercial airliner which floats passengers gently to the ground via an array of parachutes. In the massively unlikely event that this ever is realized, I will fly forever with any airline that adopts it.

12 real escape pods

Something as utilitarian as a tractor is not usually designed any differently from any another tractor, unless there is a reason. But because tractors have a such wide a varied use, often very specific, such as towing aircraft or harvesting grapes, there are a huge variety of designs that are neither willful nor spurious. Here is a non-comprehensive selection of some of our favorite designs, from a Porsche designed coffee plantation tractor to the futuristic looking KLM tow tractor.

20 unusual tractor designs

The design of ski jumps is interesting because it is the most extreme form of a playground slide. It has recently produced excellent pieces of modern architecture from Zaha Hadid and MR2 but equally impressive are the bizarre temporary ski jumps at baseball grounds and football stadia.

10 ski jumps

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WTF is That? No. 2

March 30th, 2009 #link

wtfisthat

The man in the picture is not being hurt. In fact people are trying to help him. What in the world is the name of this device and what does it do? Answers in the comments.



8 Responses to “WTF is That? No. 2”

  1. JJoe Says:

    Does he work for Microsoft?

  2. Andy Simons Says:

    Its a pair of electric boxing gloves?

  3. Flixter Says:

    Its an early electric chair.

  4. admin Says:

    Nope, nobody gets hurt.

  5. Indiefab Says:

    Haha. Great pic. That’s one of the first electrocardiograms. His hands are in jars of salt water with electrodes attached. And yes, I cheated. I’m a doctor. Heeheee.

  6. admin Says:

    @Indiefab. Congrats – spot on, its an Einthoven cardiograph.

    More details here: http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/history/einthoven.html

  7. Yosemite Sam Says:

    It’s the Electrostash Generator 3000. You can see how plump his mustache is just after 5 minutes of treatment. Yes you too can have a luxurious mustache of your very own in just minutes! No more hassle and headaches attempting to look like a real man…just plug in and grow!

    With the ES 3000, you can even use the innovative ‘Select-O-Stash’ dial to choose the perfect mustache for any occasion. A Cary Grant mustache for a professional look, a Salvador Dali for those spunky days, or a Tom Selleck for when you want to impress the ladies.

    Act now, supplies are limited!

  8. admin Says:

    @Yosemite. Oh how we wish it was the Electrostash Generator 3000.