Engineering with magnetic spheres

We would imagine these experiments were spawned by a devastatingly boring day at the office. [Sparr] found himself the proud owner of one thousand rare-earth magnets and decided to see what geometric shapes he could build with the spheres. These are gold-plated N35 Neodymium magnets that measure just 6mm across. He discovered that every structure is built from rings of magnets with shapes dependent upon what sequence of increasing or decreasing members are used. What he’s done is visually pleasing but we’d like to try it ourselves to see how resilient each structure ends up being.

[Sparr’s] post is from the Freeside Atlanta blog, a hacker space collective. [Curbob], a regular with the group, tipped us off that a few hacker conventions are coming up in their area and they’re looking for speakers for one-hour talks about projects. If you’re near Raleigh or Atlanta this is your chance to show off that ridiculously complicated project you’ve been risking your marriage to complete.

Making art with Javascript

Mozilla coder [Aza] is connected to the past and the present: he wanted to celebrate the release of Firefox 3, but pines for the days when one could use small amounts of code to make compelling art. As a way of addressing both things, he has released ContextFree.js, a javascript port of [Chris Coyne]’s Context Free Art. Users can visit Algorithm Ink, where they can draw various compelling designs with just a few lines of script. ContextFree.js compiles the scripts and turns them into visually arresting geometric designs. Users can also browse through designs made by others, easily save them as JPGs, or even modify them by adding their own bits of code. What’s more, it’s not out of the question to use this to generate random images on a website, creating a unique visual experience for every single visitor. You all know what we want to see, though: JavaScript gurus working some real magic with this. Better yet, said gurus can play around with the core open-source code and make something truly their own on the most fundamental level. Definitely check out the video above to get an idea of how easy this is.

[via Waxy]