Hackerspace Develops Ways To Get Peeps To Spill Their Secrets


Whether you call it enhanced interrogation or torture, the subject is a lot less serious when the victim is a sugary confection. The LVL1 Hackerspace in Louisville, Kentucky recently held an event focused on getting Peeps — the bunny-shaped sugar-covered marshmallow treats — to spill their guts. Participants developed a range of tongue-in-cheek torture devices then demonstrated their functionality on the bunnies.

You shouldn’t be surprised that the event posting starts with Peep waterboarding. But from there the rigs do get a lot more creative. For instance, the electric chair above connects the bunny to a stun gun (there’s no mention of what that big set of capacitors has to do with this. There’s also an Iron Maiden which is really more of a Plastic Maiden. It subjects the marshmallow to multiple stab woulds using a plastic egg as an enclosure and a hair brush head as the spikes. You can’t mutilate Peeps without at least one being sent through a microwave. But perhaps our favorite is The Rack. A pair of them were built, one was laser cut and the other was constructed free-hand. Both are a whimsical take on a historically brutal implement.

37 thoughts on “Hackerspace Develops Ways To Get Peeps To Spill Their Secrets

  1. I can’t decide which is more pathetic, that a group of people could organize an event based on the premise that torture can be funny or that Hack A Day thought the idea should be broadcast to a wider audience.

    I can’t wait to read about the gang rape competition.

      1. How many times have you killed a virtual character in a game and laughed because the circumstance was funny? Actual torture is of course not funny. Non-actual torture can be perfectly funny.

        >My wife and I were happy for twenty years, then we met.
        Bad marriages aren’t funny.

        >I asked my old man if I could go ice-skating on the lake. He told me, “Wait til it gets warmer.”
        Parents trying to murder their children isn’t funny.

        >Last night my wife met me at the front door. She was wearing a sexy negligee. The only trouble was, she was coming home.
        Infidelity isn’t funny.

        It isn’t real therefore lighten up.

    1. Too bad there isn’t some way to choose which posts to read.

      I mean, really! To be forced to see these hilarious attempts at humor is nothing short of torture on the reader.

      I’m with you – certain topics are so serious that they cannot be the subject of parody or humor in any way, shape, form, or distance in time. Respectful solemnity must be the norm, as everyone well knows.

      People who don’t realize or don’t respect the social mores should be penalized in some way.

      I’m not sure what that might be though. Got any suggestions?

      1. Why is it that NO ONE ever realizes that


        Everything that is funny is at the expense of someone (even if that person is YOU). Why is ‘To get to the other side.’ funny (at least the first time you here it). It is because, as you are expecting a joke response, but you get a “normal” response, the conflict is internal. The joke is on you

        Get over it

    2. Since I kicked this comment thread in this direction, I feel a responsibility to close out my part of the topic. All communities are built around a set of norms defined by and acceptable to its members. My original post is a statement that HAD stepped outside of my understanding the HAD community values. So, I’ll say my piece here and, in the future, refrain from commenting on anything more controversial than the use of carbon resisters in high gain amplifiers.

      First, for those that criticized me for attacking the Hackerspace and HAD, I plead guilty as charged. Given the chance to post again, I would lead with “I don’t know which I find more distressing and disappointing…” Obviously I feel strongly about this but could have found a better voice for those feelings.

      Second, since we’re hackers here, please consider the huge amount of effort by western governments and media to hack our brains in shaping our perception of torture. In just a few short years we’ve been moved from “torture is a war crime” to “it’s not torture when we do it.” Joking about torture numbs us to the reality that people, guilty and innocent alike, are being tortured in several countries today.

      For those who say it’s all in good fun, ask yourself where is the line where funny ends. Should we have a Kitten Crushing Machine competition or perhaps feature a 3D Child Porn project using a Kinect? Of course we wouldn’t use real kittens or toddlers. That wouldn’t be funny at all.

      1. I think John Cleese has the right view on solemnity. It’s this lecture, which is interesting in its own right:


        Solemnity has no social value. It’s used as a means of control, to “shame” someone into obeying the social norms. It’s emotional manipulation – which is why many people rebel when others try to enforce the social standards on them.

        Your post was well intentioned, but emotional. Since trolling is the art of eliciting an emotional response in the reader, you have to expect troll responses when you state up front that you are emotionally invested.

        The take-away here is not to fore-go future comments, but to understand the context and inform future behaviour.

        If everyone stopped trying once they get “burned”, no one would accomplish anything.

  2. I was actually a little disturbed by the “most disturbing” information for the peep-iron maiden:
    “… was not aware of the event … he just happened to have this device in his car.”

  3. Discussion and research on historical methods of torture are all well and good. Some of my own research in the SCA has been on the effects of torture (and the repurcussions on organs after done).

    Even the torture with pressure vessels are historically accurate: this is what Hitler ordered for human experimentation. Out of that horrible time, the scientific papers were submitted. The data they gathered is what we use for assumptions on stresses of the human body.

    Of course, this is done tounge in cheek with peeps in place of animals or humans. It is a bit of macabe fun, but fun no less.

  4. Wow. I wrote the “Bunny Survival Tests” in 1997… Nice to see someone put a new one out there… Nice visuals and very cool props!!
    I got the same sort of emails blah blah torture blah blah not funny… All I can say is lighten up.

  5. Gotta side with Alan’s critique, here. I’ve been visiting HAD for years and feel deep gratitude for the plethora of amazing projects and concepts the site has turned me on to, but this repost is one of the most tasteless, least ethical I’ve seen.

    To those who insist “it’s only a joke, lighten up”: I feel compelled to reiterate the oft and well-made point that people who defend making light of pain and violence are usually those least likely to experience it. Just as white people who don’t experience racism are often quick to defend racist humor, I’d wager that most if not all of those excusing the torture-porn depicted (even if it’s being committed against candy) have no personal experience whatsoever of being violently incarcerated, forcibly held, mistreated, etc.

    I don’t mean to assume anything about anybody else’s experiences, but the “dude, chill out” responses that pepper this thread sound a lot like typical web-forum knee-jerk “don’t tread on me” contrarianism that so often stands in the way of legit critique about how site content might be triggering or unsafe for viewers who have experienced or witnessed the violence being parodied.

    my two cents. no disrespect to anyone’s precious freedom of speech, here, just a +1 to Alan for speaking truth.

    1. At first I was thinking you and Alan were severely overreacting, but then I thought about it and realized what you are talking about.

      If it was more about just destroying the peeps than reproducing human torture techniques, it would have been far less obscene, but as it stands it’s akin to drawing pictures of torture methods and laughing.

      It would have been better executed (no pun intended) as a medley of villainous schemes like shark pits, vats of acid, and lasers. Oh, wait, they had lasers.

      Still, I can’t fault HaD, since there are at least a few clever contraptions posted there.

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