Contest: Win a Set of BuckyBalls

BuckBallys are tiny rare earth magnets, a set of 216 to be exact, which can be arranged and rearranged into a variety of fun, trippy shapes.

In honor of this year’s Father’s Day, the folks at Zoomdoggle are offering BBG readers a chance to win a free set of BuckyBalls (I actually gave my Dad something similar last year).

To win, just write into the comments or email me steven AT boingboing DOT net.

One catch: It is not first-come first serve. You must either send in your favorite Buckminster Fuller quote (if you don’t have one, then find one). OR, tell us your most awesome and/or horrifying story that somehow involves magnets (someone erased your bootlegged copy of Jedi, etc.)

We have FIVE sets to give away. Good luck! Update: Contest is CLOSED. I’ll be sorting through the submissions and getting back to the winners early next week. Have a great Father’s Day, everyone! If you post a comment after 1:45pm PST June 19, 2009, it will read, but will not count towards the contest, FYI.

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92 Responses to Contest: Win a Set of BuckyBalls

  1. hpfan41 says:

    “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons”
    -R. Buckminster Fuller
    so true nowadays

  2. tilden says:

    Magnet related geek joke: Back in the eighties, my tech support team used to have a 5.25″ floppy labeled “emergency recovery” attached to a cabinet with a huge horseshoe magnet.

  3. killdeer says:

    When I was about 7 years old. I was playing with some old parts of computers and electronics that my dad had brought home from work. Most of it was complete junk so I just sat there and was happy to remove every screw and try and break each item down to its simplest parts.

    One of my more interesting things was a giant magnet, which was a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Which at one point I proceeded to accidentally dropped onto my foot, and it pinched my small toe between the magnet and some other piece of metal that I had laying nearby. I remember that being one of my most painful things of my younger years.

    Thats how I learned to respect magnets.

  4. Jhwk says:

    “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”

    Nothing better then advancing the ‘state of the art’ even after you die

  5. Sam Touchet says:

    Please keep these away from little kids. They aren’t a choking hazard, which is what we parents are all familiar with, but if swallowed, they can perforate the intestines. One magnate is in one fold and another manget, swallowed at a different time, will be in a different fold. They will eventually stick to each other and there you go. Painful way to go.

    I like the statement by rak0ribz in #31 about the refrigerator magnets needing to be able to move the whole refrigerator.

  6. CvilleTallman says:

    The one that came to mind for me is this:

    “Let architects sing of aesthetics that bring Rich clients in hordes to their knees; Just give me a home, in a great circle dome where stresses and strains are at ease.”

    My dad’s an architect, and he has always wanted to build a geodesic dome, but he has yet to have a client jump on the idea.

  7. exhilaration says:

    DARE TO BE NAIVE!!!

  8. Jason Thompson says:

    My dad and I have used rare earth magnets for the past couple of years to make the whole “free energy” bicycle wheel type machine that we have mounted on a workbench in my house. My mom was cleaning out some of his workbench and unknowingly opened a small card catalog that we had been keeping our unused magnets in. I got a call from my dad and as i rushed into their house, there was my mom, with two sets of magnets snapped together on her right arm. After some tender words between her and us, we managed to get the one inch square magnets apart, and back into their seperate drawers. Lesson learned mom, dont’ mess with the boys’ stuff:D

  9. rAMPANTiDIOCY says:

    I shall run outstairs and bring these magnets to my father.

  10. villard says:

    I was not familiar with his quotes, but, I found this one that I like AND that seems apropos of father’s day. “Parents are usually more careful to bestow knowledge on their children rather than virtue, the art of speaking well rather than doing well; but their manners should be of the greatest concern.”

  11. ttybear says:

    I used to work as a presenter at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn,MI where a vast majority of Fuller’s inventions/monstrosities are currently being housed, so I can go at this quoting business all day…

    “War is the ultimate tool of politics.”

  12. joe says:

    God is a verb, not a noun.

  13. lms says:

    I’d love a set of these! :)

  14. Michael says:

    Oh, that’s easy! My dad works around MRI’s a lot, and I’ve heard some really scary stories about them. The best, a janitor was cleaning near one, and crossed the “Do Not Cross with Metal” line on the floor with his floor buffer. It got sucked up in the MRI (fortunately, no one was in it), and it got wedged in there.

    Because they take so long to shut down, and are so expensive to shut down, the hospital decided it was easier and cheaper to break a hole in the wall, and backup a tow truck to the building, and tow it out of the MRI!

    Yeah, those beasts are scary!

  15. lms says:

    Okay, I spaced out on the first comment so I’m going to try to be less of a space cadet this time.

    I don’t have an awesome or upsetting story, but since I live in Brooklyn, this quote makes me happy:

    “There is room enough indoors in New York City for the whole 1963 world’s population to enter, with room enough inside for all hands to dance the twist in average nightclub proximity.”

    I have to wonder if this is at all still true.

  16. Will says:

    I spent about two years working for a company that made decorative gift products that involved transferring photos onto things like coasters and glass ornaments and things. Some of the kits included neodymium magnets so the tiles could be used as fridge magnets. We produced hundreds of kits per day, and since the magnets came in stacks of about 64 or something, it used to be someone’s job to pull magnets off the stack with their thumb, which usually ended up all red and sore within about half an hour.

    To solve this, one of the supervisors built a device called the “thumbsaver” that was made out of a milk crate, some plexiglass and some PVC pipe, and it had a lever that would chop off the correct number of magnets and push them down the pipe. This worked great until a) the thumbsaver fell apart, and b) we switched to a new magnet supplier, which meant the magnets were the wrong size for the old thumbsaver, and to make matters worse, they had plastic O-ring dividers between every four magnets, even though some of our kits used four magnets and others used three. As a result, I was given the task of inventing a new thumbsaver that could accomodate these developments.

    After what seemed like hours and hours of work carving out holes with our only wrong-sized drill press bit and going back and forth to Canadian Tire and cutting up pieces of spongy floor tile, I developed a pair of thumbsavers made out of wood tiles, washers, metal angle brackets and plexiglass, that were both sized to cut off a specific number of magnets from the stack. They took about two or three hours of practice to master.

    I left the company shortly thereafter, and needless to say I think having a bunch of little round magnets that are easy to pull apart would help to allay my magnet woes.

  17. InvGamma says:

    The last magnet I had formatted my laptop’s hard drive and bluescreened the computer just as I was reading this article. By the time I was able to get it back up and running, the contest was closed :(

  18. Rodney G says:

    The video is even more amazing once you own a set, which I do. They are *not* that easy to manipulate. But they are definitely cool.

  19. jbechely says:

    God is a verb, not a noun.

  20. James B says:

    “War is the ultimate tool of politics.”

    Or, a last resort. When politics fail, send in the Marines. :D

  21. Tom says:

    Considerably appropriate, since recycling facilities use magnets to filter out metal bits from the other trash:

    “Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value.”

  22. toolguyd says:

    “Man knows so much and does so little.”

    Ain’t that the truth!

    I’d love one of these sets, but if I don’t happen to win, that’s okay – I’ll buy one or two anyways.

  23. Dreamshadow says:

    While spending a Saturday at my Dad’s workplace, I discovered this nifty device that looked like a rectangular weight with a handle on it. On top of the handle was a little button that made the whole unit buzz. I walked around the floor carrying this thing, waiting for my Dad to get done with work and I happened to hit the button just as I walked near the breakroom fridge. *WHACK* It hung on to the fridge. In panic, I failed to let go of the button and pulled the fridge door open, causing the contents of the door to fall to the floor. Thankfully, I only spilled someone’s leftovers and two containers of juice from a luncheon.

    That was the day I discovered two things: Electro magnets and bulk tape erasers.

  24. Tao_art says:

    How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.
    – R. Buckminster Fuller

    So true! I think the web is based on this concept. It even works for me when browsing for books in the library.

  25. Griff says:

    Back in 1996 I was responsible for deploying a new system into FAA towers. The system utilized these huge and expensive X-Window terminals with 20″ CRT screens. Nevertheless, my experience is that ATC tower personnel are often more bored than stressed. Twice, CRTs at the DCA tower had to be replaced because someone used the handset (which had a powerful magnet) to draw smiley faces on the screen (showed up as color differences and distortion on the screen). Not a horrific story, but one of the stories that made me a little less comfortable with flying.
    -Griff

  26. Takashi Omoto says:

    My late-aunt used to run a screw shop, as in, a shop that in fact only sold screws. The previous owner, her godfather, was also a self-taught hobbyist of the early XXth century.

    Around the mid 90’s, she sold the store, and lots of the stuff we were unable to sell off was left around my grandmother’s house.

    And it was there that I found it. The biggest, meanest, magnet i had even met. Provably scrapped from some great old engine, it would move screws from 10 cm away. Apparently he used it to fetch screws from the floor, because it had a tiny rope tried around a hole.

    So one day I was playing around with it. And I was called off to do something. Half way tru I realized something terrible. I just had left the most powerful magnet I knew _on top of my grandmother’s TV_.

    As you can guess, albeit it’s still running, it delivers nowadays a pretty funny colored image, with a nice gradient effect on the top 20% of the picture.

  27. zikman says:

    In eleventh grade physics class, we were to make a trebuchet/catapult of some type and I decided I would harness the power of rare earth neodymium magnets to power my catapult. I ordered two fairly large rectangular ones from a website. I played with them for a good while, getting all sorts of bruises and nicks on my hands. It even cut my moms thumb open! they were really strong. Anyway, I rigged up a device using PVC pipes and I had it so I pulled a little mechanism and the two magnets would repel away from each other, causing the arm to shoot forward.
    Unfortunately I spent so long on the design and building it, that I didn’t actually have a chance to test it out. I took it in to class that morning and we all tried them out. Everybody ooh’d and ahh’d at it but it only shot a walnut a few inches. Basically, it was a really fancy, magnetic dud.

  28. DrStrangelove says:

    I know somebody already submitted it, but it’s definitely my favorite quote of his, hands down:

    “How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else.”

    I think this quote does a great job of summing up the one thing I’ve come to know for sure about near any aspect of life: they are ever-evolving journeys. Then again, this quote could also adequately fit my vagrant wikipedia journeys, beginning on a single article only to have 20 tabs open two hours later, ranging from the Battle of Hastings to Frank Lloyd Wright

  29. erzatsen says:

    “I think I am a verb.”

    or perhaps chewier:
    “Each individual life is a special-case articulation of the infinite variety of ‘scenarios’ to be realized within the multidegrees of freedom and vast range of frequencies of actions that are accommodated by the generalized laws governing Universe.”

    i love that he never adds “the” to Universe, and it is always capitalized.

    or simpler:
    “Unity is plural and at minimum two.”

    zomg.
    try to read Synergetics.

  30. Grayson says:

    “If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.”

    – R. Buckminster Fuller

  31. SumoAllstar says:

    Long Story Short:

    Joke Magnetic Nose Stud + Alcohol = Neodymium Populated Sinus Cavity.

  32. Kent says:

    “Don’t fight forces, use them.”

  33. Nate Osterman says:

    We have these machines where I work with these giant magnets in them. They’re a bit like the magnets in speakers but bigger and stronger. They were throwing the components with the magnets into the trash so I did some prying and got them out. Without thinking I put them in my wallet and erased all of my cards.

  34. ndannison says:

    “Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”
    My all-time favorite Buckminster quote. Kind of sums up much of his life – I’ve had it engraved on many wedding gifts. ;D

  35. James Partridge says:

    In my grad student days I was tasked with milling what looked to be a waffle pattern in stainless steel that would house a grid of really powerful 2″ x 2″ x 0.5″ Nd magnets. This grid would ultimately comprise the track for a maglev-type device that some undergrads were going to be testing. The magnets were to be separated by only 0.25″. Milling it was the easy part. Getting the magnets separated and installed was a complete fiasco.

    Luckily I watched some super magnet man videos via BB and took the necessary precautions. Anyways, I finally finished and bolted on the cover plate and warned the undergrad team not to tamper with it.

    Well sure enough, the next morning (in my absence) the girl on the team had decided it would be a good idea to ‘check the alignment’ of the magnets before testing. Despite my warnings she unscrewed the plate. Thank goodness she was wearing gloves and eye protection. The old DAQ computer nearby did not have the same luck, as all 20 magnets were piled up in a row on the side wall of the case next to the hard drive, sticking out like a limb!

    -Jim Partridge

    “You can’t learn less.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

  36. Paul says:

    Many years ago, when I was an electronics technician in the navy, another shipmate came up to me with a cassette tape that he said was squealing, and asked me if I could fix it. It was country music, which isn’t really my favorite type of music.

    I got out our industrial strength degausser (basically a very strong electromagnet), set the cassette underneath, and turned it on. The cassette tape jumped around like a mexican jumping bean.

    I gave it back to him, and said “Here. I guarantee the squealing has stopped.” And it did. The only thing on the tape now was silence.

    This was during the first month of a six month deployment. I was a bastard in my youth.

  37. BCJ says:

    This one seems pretty funny

    By 2000, politics will simply fade away. We will not see any political parties.
    R. Buckminster Fuller

    I think this one is wonderful
    You can never learn less, you can only learn more.
    R. Buckminster Fuller

  38. xander says:

    “I’m not a genius. I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience.”

    Though, you can just call me genius for short.

  39. diannesuli says:

    “Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.” This is MY fave! It confirms that we really are somewhat of a mystery! Of course I would love to have some Bucky Balls! I love gizmos and I love to share! Happy Day and thanks for listenin’ Dianne

  40. Daemon says:

    Contest would have been cooler if the prize was spherical fullerenes. Which is to say, the real buckyballs.

  41. nexusheli says:

    “I suggest to audiences that they say, “I’m going ‘outstairs’ and ‘instairs.'” At first that sounds strange to them; They all laugh about it. But if they try saying in and out for a few days in fun, they find themselves beginning to realize that they are indeed going inward and outward in respect to the center of Earth, which is our Spaceship Earth. And for the first time they begin to feel real “reality.”

  42. Jeremiah says:

    Kinda like this one: When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem.

  43. xzzy says:

    I have a habit of extracting magnets from dead hard drives here at work, usually they stay stuck to a large metal cabinet but I also have a habit of leaving them on my desk for people to fool around with.

    At any rate, one day a co-worker comes in and drops his laptop down on my desk without paying attention to what he’s pushing out of the way to make room, and a couple of them snap onto the side of the machine with a loud click.

    He goes kind of wide-eyed for a minute and yanks his laptop back, which attracts a couple more magnets. Non-sensible protests start coming from him as he pulls them off and inspects for damage.

    Either hard drives are shielded better these days or he just got lucky, because no data was lost. But he doesn’t put his crap on my desk anymore, which is a victory in itself.

  44. Jim says:

    When my little brother was 8 years old he developed the really annoying habit of swallowing small items of mine he decided he wanted.

    I had a really cool set of rare earth magnets that I would play with at least a couple times a week. Well, one day I realized a few were missing. Yep, the little bro had ingested my magnets.

    One would have been OK.

    Even two might have “passed” without incident.

    But having swallowed SIX…not a chance in heaven.

    Off to the Pediatricians office…from there to the hospital so a surgeon could remove them before they could adhere to each other with a nice loop of bowel between.

    Good news…I got my magnets back!!

    (after a good scrubbing!!!!!!!!!!!!)

    I still give him grief about this 26 years later!!

  45. Captcha says:

    Man knows so much and does so little.

  46. KurtMac says:

    “Don’t fight forces, use them.”

    Perhaps magnetic forces? I can use them. I just need some BuckBallys.

  47. FoetusNail says:

    I Seem To Be A Verb is one of my favorite little books.

    It starts with:

    I live on Earth at present,
    and I don’t know what I am.
    I know that I am not a category.
    I am not a thing – a noun.
    I seem to be a verb,
    an evolutionary process –
    an integral function of the universe.

    P.S. Hopefully, this goes without saying, do not accept this prize or buy this wonderful thing if small children are in or come to your home. Small magnets are extremely dangerous when ingested, so treat them accordingly around children.

  48. Kristina says:

    I have 2 sets and LOVE THEM. You can get your own at http://www.getbuckyballs.com

  49. JohnP says:

    Many years ago (circa 1988) I was working as an assistant audio engineer in a studio here in Canada. We were working on a demo for a local musician who was absolutely notorious for being temperamental and difficult to work with. Turns out he had a ridiculous amount of investment cash so the studio owner and head engineer took the job of recording this demo over a two night span.

    The first evening started off on a bad note featuring a very drunk and belligerent artist and a very no nonsense engineer butting heads right off the hop. 12 hours later it was either shut the session down or call 911.

    Second night started a little better but by about the 3rd hour of this guy trying to get vocal tracks recorded the way he wanted them the tension started to build. The final straw was when the engineer shut the 24 track recorder down and announced that we weren’t making any headway and perhaps it was time to call it.

    The dude loses it in the vocal both, picks up an acoustic guitar and swings like the Babe at the very expensive vocal mike in the booth sending it flying into the hardwood walls like a rotten grapefruit and storms out into the night.

    Now it gets interesting (magnetic even): the engineer winds off this guy’s tape, unloads it and takes it out to the main recording room (several hundred square feet of high ceiling room) and asks for a screw driver (??).

    In the main room we had 4 base cabinets each with a pair of 18″ Black Widow speakers inside. He takes the cabinets apart, removes the speakers, removes the magnets and places them all on the floor in the middle of the room. He gets the artist’s 2″ tape reel and lays it on top of 4 of the magnets then arranges the others on top. Brushes his hands and announces that we’re ‘all done here’ and we should go for a beer.

    Needless to say a master reel and 8 Black Widow’s DO NOT play nice together after stewing together for 14 hours. Our friend the artist returned for his tape the following afternoon; the engineer was more than happy to turn it over to him and waive the studio charges.

  50. peter_van says:

    I love this one:

    “I’m not a genius. I’m just a tremendous bundle of experience.”

  51. jenbenn says:

    Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.

    many wrong reasons i need buckyballs plz

  52. LightningRose says:

    When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
    R. Buckminster Fuller

  53. Joe_V says:

    I know you’re only supposed to post one quote, but I really like these two.

    “Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment.”

    “One of humanity’s prime drives is to understand and be understood. All other living creatures are designed for highly specialized tasks. Man seems unique as the comprehensive comprehender and co-ordinator of local universe affairs”

  54. Benictionary says:

    “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”

    As evidenced by YouTube comments.

  55. Anonymous says:

    has anyone else noticed their favorite forum or blog etc overrun by overly favorable “reviews” or “recommendations” for these “buckyballs”?

    I can’t see what the hype is about, they’re simply magnets. I’ve handled vast amounts of spherical neodymium magnets before, and I can tell you first hand that the things demonstrated in the video are accomplished using black magic. There is no way a mere mortal can manipulate rare earth magnets like that unless they’re rigged ahead of time… Magnets are polarized, and if you don’t rotate them into the exact right position you’ll never be able to create the structures shown in that video.

  56. schwal says:

    I put an iPod video down on a pair of those whizzy magnets thinkgeek sells.
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/cubegoodies/8c94/

  57. Chase Hurst says:

    “Now there is one outstanding important fact regarding spaceship earth, and that is that no instruction book came with it.”

    -R. Buckminster Fuller

  58. Invictus says:

    Closed or not, I remembered a neat magnet-related story, and wanted to share (before I impulse-buy a set of Buckyballs).

    Back in university, I was a member of the Computer Science Club. Some peoples’ interests were quite esoteric, so they were vaguely concerned with “The Man” raiding them, in some highly unlikely and distant future. Thus, it was perfectly normal for us to consider emergency elimination of data. Bonus points for remote access, integration with bizarre devices (a Tickle Me Elmo that triggers a multi-pass hard drive wipe, anyone?), and other increasingly Weird Sh*t(tm).

    So no one was surprised when one of the member walked in and said, “guys, you won’t believe what the biology building is throwing out” in highly excited tones.

    The object in question was a massive electromagnet. I’m not sure anymore what purpose it served in its original life, but it was huge — easily 1.5m across, and with at least 0.5m between the ends.

    0.5m, huh? Isn’t that wider than our main server is?

    And so was born the idea of the ultimate kill switch. Should the feds ever come to take our hard drives away we’d have the ability, at the push of a button, to not simply scramble the data but possibly fuse some drive plates along the way. (not to mention black out a significant part of the building by plugging the magnet into a standard circuit)

    Sadly, the end of the story is rather anticlimactic: The damned thing was too heavy for us to lug across campus, so we left it where it was. But the idea, damn it! The idea lives on!

  59. invictus says:

    Closed or not, I remembered a neat magnet-related story, and wanted to share (before I impulse-buy a set of Buckyballs).

    Back in university, I was a member of the Computer Science Club. Some peoples’ interests were quite esoteric, so they were vaguely concerned with “The Man” raiding them, in some highly unlikely and distant future. Thus, it was perfectly normal for us to consider emergency elimination of data. Bonus points for remote access, integration with bizarre devices (a Tickle Me Elmo that triggers a multi-pass hard drive wipe, anyone?), and other increasingly Weird Sh*t(tm).

    So no one was surprised when one of the member walked in and said, “guys, you won’t believe what the biology building is throwing out” in highly excited tones.

    The object in question was a massive electromagnet. I’m not sure anymore what purpose it served in its original life, but it was huge — easily 1.5m across, and with at least 0.5m between the ends.

    0.5m, huh? Isn’t that wider than our main server is?

    And so was born the idea of the ultimate kill switch. Should the feds ever come to take our hard drives away we’d have the ability, at the push of a button, to not simply scramble the data but possibly fuse some drive plates along the way. (not to mention black out a significant part of the building by plugging the magnet into a standard circuit)

    Sadly, the end of the story is rather anticlimactic: The damned thing was too heavy for us to lug across campus, so we left it where it was. But the idea, damn it! The idea lives on!

  60. boy says:

    my favorite newly discovered use for magnets? Finding studs when a stud finder won’t work. Move a small strong magnet along the wall until it sticks, then a few more above or below it to get a good line!

  61. HorsePunchKid says:

    Odd… I first heard of these as “Neocube“. I got some as a gift last year, but they mysteriously disappeared from my desk. Maybe they got stuck to something and hitched a ride. One thing I discovered is that it’s cheaper to get these from Neocube (or whoever this other provider is) than to get them in bulk from a place like K&J.

  62. consumatron says:

    “You either make money or you make sense.”

  63. Steven says:

    “Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering.”

    Too true.

  64. Gladys says:

    My friends let their kid have a couple of magnets while they were tending to his younger baby sister.

    When they turned on their TV that night, there were magnet-shaped halos all over their TV screen.

    I learned from that one — no magnets for my kids!

  65. nutbastard says:

    “Let architects sing of aesthetics that bring Rich clients in hordes to their knees; Just give me a home, in a great circle dome where stresses and strains are at ease.”

    Which is, of course, Fuller expressing his desire to live in half a bucky ball.

  66. 2chaws says:

    “Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.”

    I think along these lines when I see video of those headless robotic pack-dogs.

  67. I’ve always quite enjoyed this one from Fuller:

    “Integrity is the essence of everything successful.”

  68. dougr650 says:

    Love is metaphysical gravity.

    This one seems particularly poetic to me, for some reason!

  69. Eli Martin says:

    When you look at angles from different angles they look like different angles. – Bucky

  70. gary Demos says:

    “Making money and making sense are mutually exclusive” Bucky Fuller

  71. Evanest says:

    “We should be voting by telephone on all prominent questions before Congress” in Bucky’s 1940 book No More Secondhand God. IF we the people had been learning self-government since then, many of Bucky’s ideas would have been tried instead of ignored by “government against the people.”

    This inspired me to start what became http://Vote.org

  72. 18Rabbit says:

    Back in the late 80’s my friends and I were pretty heavy into D&D. We gamed most nights and weekends and generally enjoyed ourselves. One of our friends half-brothers was one of those guys that we didn’t really like hanging out with but we didn’t have much choice since we usually gamed at their house. He eventually got around to running his own campaign and around that time Dragon magazine came out with an issue that had a die rolling program in BASIC that you would have to hand enter. He spent hours and hours copying this program in on his Vic20 and then saving it to his tape drive. Now, we didn’t really enjoy it when he used this program, it often seemed like he was just making up die rolls. He also kept a couple of large car speakers in his room and those speakers had very large magnets on the back of them. Speaker magnet + magnetic storage media = corrupted program. If I remember correctly he ended up fully copying that program about 4 times before he finally gave up because “this stupid tape drive sucks!”.

  73. Havanacus says:

    My favorite Buckminster quote is for sure:

    “The youth of humanity all around our planet are intuitively revolting from all sovereignties and political ideologies.”

    I agree strongly with what he is saying here… It seems the root of many problems is unquestioned loyalty to a nation or ideal… I myself have not pledged my allegiances to America sense I was a young boy, when I was forced to every morning in school…

  74. Alli says:

    I’m an occupational therapist and work with kids. Many of my kids have fine motor and visual motor issues, and one of my fav activities to do with them is magnets. Well, maybe I should say it’s one of THEIR favs, although I think there is nothing cooler than watching a kid who couldn’t poke himself in the eye if he tried, make a herculean effort to stack small pieces of metal to put together a person shape on a magnet board – and succeed :)

  75. Brian says:

    Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons.

  76. Don Hersey says:

    Johannes Kepler (1571–1630) laid out the math for the ‘buckyball,’ ‘though the Chinese were hip to it in antiquity.

  77. James says:

    “Either war is obsolete or men are.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

  78. lstewart2 says:

    Fun things to do with magnets and kids:

    To test if you have a strong magnet, see if it will attract paper money. (The ink is slightly magnetic!).

    If you have a piece of scrap 1/2″ copper water pipe, drop a strong magnet in the top. It can take a time to fall out the bottom. The moving magnet induces an eddy current in the pipe which generates an opposing field, which supports the magnet… This is very impressive and works with many rare earth magnets, particularly buttons that are maybe 3/8 in diameter.

  79. Christian says:

    I accidentally ripped the end of one of my nipples off using two earth magnets. I thought it would be funny to try and convince my mom I had pierced my nipple. The moment I let the magnets come together I knew I had done something terribly wrong.

  80. Isaac says:

    This Fullerism is thought-provoking.

    “Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we’ve been ignorant of their value. “

  81. gpalm says:

    One of my friends was working on a physics experiment at the France. He was walking by a superconducting magnet with a bucket of bolts and got it stuck. He had to remove each bolt one by one and moved them away from the area.

  82. rak0ribz says:

    It’s not an awesome story, but it’s amusing:

    Before our wedding, my wife and I ordered rings which had meteorite metal inlays. The rings came in about 3 days before our wedding, and my (then soon-to-be) wife was talking to her friend on the phone near the refrigerator while wearing her ring. In the middle of a particularly flamboyant hand gesture, she realized that she’d become stuck to one of the refrigerator magnets – a pole magnet I’d pulled out of an old Seagate Barracuda hard drive. She didn’t get pinched or hurt, but she was a little freaked out all the same.

    I always say that it’s not a refrigerator magnet unless you can move the whole refrigerator with it.

  83. Jackie says:

    I’ve always been afraid of getting my hard disk drive wiped out by getting degaussed. One day my worst fears came true.

    I was stupid enough to leave out a heavy and very large magnet from an electric motor on my desk at work. I normally kept them a safe distance – in general, your monitor freaks out before your hard drive.

    I always have little googahs around my office to help me work through problems. My co-worker’s children always come into my “zone of wonderment” and I encourage it.

    This particular day, I left one out and one of the children of my co-workers came to my desk and played – (they resemble wooden toy cars) with the magnet – on top of my closed laptop.

    He was nice enough to leave it on top of the laptop when he left my office. I knew right away.

    Evidently, my co-worker’s child went into his father’s office to ask why the toy car in my office was “so heavy” but my co-worker didn’t put two and two together.

  84. ben says:

    hi… love to get a set of these for father’s day

  85. StevenC says:

    I had no idea of the variety of subjects he commented on.

    “We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”

  86. Devon Shaw says:

    My favorite Buckminster quote is

    “Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. In either case, the thought is staggering.”

    Endless pondering.

  87. Adam Backstrom says:

    I never did anything too crazy with magnets, but as a kid it sure was fun to put the telephone up to the TV and make colored spots with the magnet in the handset.

    We have hundreds of tiny magnets floating around the cubes here at work. Lots of fun to fiddle with during meeting and idle chatter. Grats to the winners!

  88. Bryan Price says:

    Gee some more balls to play with.

    Wait, that didn’t come out right!

  89. dawn-marie says:

    This is a story my dad should be on here telling … dad had a run-in with an axe and a metal wedge while trying to chop some wood some 25 years ago.

    Metal on metal does not go well. A chip of metal broke off of either the axe or the wedge while he was splitting a log. Thru two layers of cotton it went, shorts and underwear, where it sought out its intended victim: his left testicle.

    It didn’t take long for the initial shock to wear off at the hospital as he had little to no pain and soon he was showing every female nurse that came near him his injury. *eyeroll* Sadly most of the hospital staff that dealt with my dad’s wound were joking as much as he was and they were unable to retrieve the fragment. They said it wouldn’t hurt him to have it in there so they would just leave it.

    Recently he needed to have an MRI for some reason or another and he completely forgot about the chip. Luckily it was at the same hospital that botched its retrieval and even tho he had forgotten about it, someone read his file and realized that it may not be a good idea (or very comfortable for my dad) if they were to go thru with the MRI.

    OK, not much of a magnet story. More of a near miss magnet story. Now, had he gone thru with the MRI I’m sure you would have read about it on Fark.

  90. adcbicycle says:

    my fav:
    “Truth is a tendency. ”

    please please please please please please please please please please please please !!!!

  91. SamSam says:

    I always liked the inscription on Buckminster’s headstone:

    “Call me Trimtab”

    That’s an amazing video, by the way.

  92. certron says:

    I would certainly like to win a bunch of magnets, but I don’t have anything interesting to contribute. Instead, please enjoy the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewx9tEJJlWk

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