Flying Spaghetti Monster Display

[Anthony Liekens], one of our favorite hackers from Belgium, recently completed this large (and awesome!) Flying Spaghetti Monster LED display!

With so many different holidays in December, [Anthony] decided he wanted his family to celebrate a slightly less traditional deity. The body is a massive 4′ by 8′ wooden board that we think [Anthony] cut out by hand, with a total of 300 RGB LEDs driven by an Arduino. Chicken wire mesh provides support for the LEDs in the FSM’s mouth and eyes. [Anthony] built everything in his very own backyard hackerspace called the Open Garage, which is a fantastic neighborhood hackerspace (and we should know—we stayed at his place during our European Hackerspace Tour!)

[Anthony] has a bunch of videos showing off the display on his personal YouTube channel, but stick around after the break for a quick sample that features the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the front window of his home.

91 thoughts on “Flying Spaghetti Monster Display

        1. So, what, you’re saying he’s an Arab, is that right? Only you realise it’s a bit of a stupid thing to say, so you’re cloaking it with enough ambiguity to get away with any back-pedalling you may need to do later?

          “Atwas” isn’t even a human name! It’s funny but I’m still depressed over the stupidity.

    1. Guess there must always be the usual “My atheism is better than yours” atheist that thinks is a cornerstone in what people should or shoulndt do…

      Kudos to the FSM. (Oh, and… there is this little useless thing called… Freedom of expression… you know… the little thing that allowed you to do your little pedantic comment)

          1. And religion really seems to be deliberately designed to keep humanity in the dark ages and from evolving (and from having personal freedom).
            Although religion is of course thought up and used by many types, with various degrees of unwholesome motivation, from personal gain to simple expressions of mental disorders that require their minds to reject reality.

            I think the religious don’t realize how offensive religion often is to the non-religious. And how controlling and influential where it should not be.

      1. I am confused. You mean it is okay to post an FSM which is a symbol not of what someone believes but a symbol that what what others believe is wrong and stupid but it is wrong for someone to post the opinion that it is a jerk move?
        I do not think you really understand what freedom of expression means.
        Freedom of expression means you do not go to jail. It does not mean that everyone can not hate you and express their disagreement.

        1. I am double confused. It’s ok for people to say it’s immature. You are not very good at reading, it seems… The message you replied to states explicitly: “the little thing that allowed you to do your little pedantic comment”. So your entire point is rather nonsensical.

        1. Part of my new role as community editor is to promote healthy discussion. Iwatcdr’s comment below is a better example for how an objection to content / disagreement should be made.

          I’m the one behind the scenes actually hitting the “approve” button to clear comments through our spam bot, and as far as I know not once has someone been denied their right to post, even if we fundamentally disagree with their tone and attitude. My goal isn’t to censor, but to moderate. Readers should seek provocational drama elsewhere.

          1. I hope this passes the spam filter
            @Adobe/Flash hater

            Well, if the “ELSEWHERE ON POPSCI.COM” box below the article is any indication of their content in general, it is obvious why they have a problem with comments…:
            Penis Size Matters, Study Says
            What Science Says About Arousal During Rape
            Eating Yogurt Does Weird Things To Your Brain
            Don’t Buy A DSLR
            10-Year-Old Accidentally Creates New Molecule in Science Class
            Why Dudes Who Can’t Smell Never Get Laid

          2. Maybe you should have edited this whole article out before it ever got published online then? All it is is incendiary clickbait. Or can’t you figure that out for yourself?

          3. @pcf11
            I did, in fact, edit this article. Those issuing scathing comments need to learn this is no longer the place for such discussions. Level-headed debate is, however, always welcome.

            I see no reason to deny this hack or its creator a write-up, not only for reasons of free speech and because there’s no stated (or as far as I can discern, implied) maliciousness behind his motives. We should welcome diversity as a community.

          4. I like a bit of provocative drama. If you don’t, you don’t have to read it. It’s just words on a screen, dude. You’ve heard of the engineer / herding cats thing right? You’re not worried about the potential share price are you?

          5. You realise that complaining about all the drama is itself a form of drama, right? People who moan about it, generally, are just getting their own passive-aggressive one-ups into the freakish heap of malformed egos that makes up the comments section here.

            Some people might have a genuine complaint, but those with any wisdom or even just experience will have long realised it’s best ignored.

            People who like to point out how offended they are, and how immature everyone else is, are usually pretty much just as bad. It’s a different side of the same coin. Or even the same side.

            The readership here is almost completely males of fairly high intelligence, and with minds that function best in mechanistic, overly-logical modes. Where being correct of course trumps everything.

            It’s never going to be Facebook. Making friends is not as important as making points. That’s who you’re dealing with! You can’t have spent long in a field like this without at least meeting a few dozen pedantic assholes. With thick skin I’d be surprised if anyone got their feelings really hurt. And we’ve never had a flamewar or anything like it. Almost no personal comments, though people have of course defended their philosophies and points of view.

            That’s normal, when very smart if not the most socially well-adjusted people meet.

            Obviously I haven’t seen things from behind whatever screen you view the site from. I don’t deal with complaints. Are there many? And are many of those justifiable in your opinion?

            I’d much rather have the site lively and interesting, than nice. Nice bores the shit out of me. It’s only the Internet, it’s only words, I’m sure we all sleep at night just fine.

          6. @Greenaum

            Don’t worry; I agree that disagreements and complaints have a place here and everyone is welcome to bring those concerns into the conversation. I’m particularly pleased at how involved many individuals are in the comments–yourself included–as it makes the site seem more volatile and more alive to me. The statement that spurred this particular debate: “be original for once in your useless life,” however, offers no value to the discussion; it is petty and unnecessary. As a contrast, I think a number of comments in this thread are insightful, productive, and even contentious–but not disrespectful.

            I’d rather not assume that our readership is incapable of expressing themselves without lobbing insults, and to excuse that behavior by saying its inevitable given their personalities only serves to condone the behavior. In fact, I’m not sure I understand how “minds that function best in mechanistic, overly-logical modes” wouldn’t share in the concern over reducing/eliminating insulting language: such statements do nothing to advance the argument(s) being made, so why make them?

            Further, I will be clear: I am not “complaining about drama.” I have no interest in censoring nor inhibiting anyone’s ability to contribute to the comments, and I do not presume to be more “important” than anyone else. I will, however, continue to encourage fairness and try to guide conversations toward being constructive rather than insulting.

            I’m not sure whether you explicitly disagree with this goal, but I hope you would agree that “constructive” and “lively/interesting” are not mutually exclusive. If anything is boring, it’s seeing arguments descend into intentionally disrespectful insults, name-calling, whining, and, inevitably, comparisons to Nazi Germany.

            Changes to the comments on this site are forthcoming, which will hopefully reward constructive discussion via self-moderation.

            Unfortunately, I’ve spent more time in this thread than I intended, and I need to get back to writing and editing. I can always be reached at my Hackaday email if there are unresolved issues that need to be discussed.

      1. I think it is more then perceived disrespect. The funny thing is that if someone put this up for Yom Kippur than they would be pegged as a bigot.
        The FSM is not a symbol of what someone believes, it is a symbol that what what some else believes is wrong and stupid.

        1. From the article I see no indication that [Anthony’s] build is anything but lighthearted.

          Further, my understanding of the FSM is that it is a parody religion, created not with malicious intent, but to challenge the political right to power that other religions had on public education in the United States. I’d argue that “perceived disrespect” retains its accuracy in this case.

          1. “Further, my understanding of the FSM is that it is a parody religion, created not with malicious intent, but to challenge the political right to power that other religions had on public education in the United States. ”
            A parody religion? Think about that one for just a bit. So I guess you are okay with say the Washington Redskins? And just exactly how does one do a respectful parody? Just look at the replies to the people that dare to say the offended?

          2. @Iwatcdr
            I caution against the use of analogies with other parties in instances such as these to try and illustrate a point. I say this not as ridicule or even criticism, but because these casual comparisons only conflate unrelated issues. In this instance, you’re likening a 76-year-old American Football team’s name to an 8-year-old movement (if not a performance) of satire.

            I don’t say this to entirely dismiss your argument, but the team name issue is more complicated than you present it.

            Parody itself does not imply hate, or rejection, or refusal. Pastafarianism’s history and motivations seem perfectly clear and succinct: to oppose religious influence on public school science education. Take a look at the official website. Bobby Henderson explicitly states that he has no problem with religion.

            That said, I’m not blind to those stating that the FSM representation is offensive. Hacks that indicate they (or their creator) specifically intend to serve as a form of oppression or a display of hate do not and will not make it to this site. That is not the case with [Anthony’s] hack.

            As the Community Editor, I am not an arbiter for ethical disputes in the comments; it is not my job to tell anyone they are right or wrong for their opinions. It is, however, my job to maintain civility and promote discussion. To that end, I appreciate that your replies have fit that description.

            I will not take a side in this or any argument other than that of a moderator who tries his best to see both sides of the argument. I still stand behind my earlier comment that it is a “perceived disrespect,” as contrasted with an “intentional disrespect.” That doesn’t mean individuals cannot be offended by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It does, however, mean that this response is not the intention nor the goal.

          3. @Josh Marsh
            I am not saying that this should not be posted. What I am saying is that is is offensive to people to many people with religious beliefs, it mocks them. To pretend it is not offensive or that people should not take offense is just not logical. The person that posted that it was offensive was an atheist. It is as offensive because it is designed to mock a faith on one of it’s holidays. If you can tell that just from the posts that here supporting that then you are just not paying attention. Why would you put one on on Christmas if the sole function was to oppose too much religious influence in schools?
            This is not a hack that is just a cool hack and to expect people to not take offense is dump.
            Simple rule is that FSM at Christmas is meant as an insult to christians. It can really have no other interpretation. Now did the person building it mean for it have that interpretation? I can not say since, people often do really insulting things without thinking. As I said notice the nasty posts supporting the hack and being strongly anti religious.
            Simple rule is you can not post something that makes a political/philosophical statement without someone being offended.

        2. It seems a lot of people don’t understand the FSM. It is not a provocation, it is not intended as an insult, it does not symbolise stupidity. It is a argumentative construct! It is a touchstone for any claim that can not be disproven. It shows that that which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof and does so without passion nor prejudice.

          The point is that anything that can be said of any deity can be said for the FSM. Consistent with this concept I would like to remind those that find it ludicrous and stupid that they should consider that “if the shoe fits” is probably the most apt retort.

          The FSM is undisprovable. Whether you find that an important fact or not is up to you, but just remember that the argument is equal no matter what it is applied to.

        3. What you fail to realize is that the FSM is just an example of an unfalsifiable claim. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not designed to offend or insult, it is designed to question arguments that invoke logical fallacies, by invoking them in a different context. So it is in fact a way to criticize WITHOUT INSULTING by respecting deities enough to not criticize them directly.

          No to address some of your other mistakes:
          “What I am saying is that is is offensive to people to many people with religious beliefs, it mocks them.”

          I does not. Christians have the same right to feel offended by the FSM than Jews have to be offended by baby Jesus.

          “To pretend it is not offensive or that people should not take offense is just not logical”

          Whether you take offense or not is totally up to you. But as long as the offense is bilateral or multilateral I fail to see how it is relevant.

          “The person that posted that it was offensive was an atheist.”

          His personal opinion does not speak for all Atheists, nor do I.

          “Simple rule is that FSM at Christmas is meant as an insult to christians.”

          Now you are just making up rules… There is no such rule…

          “As I said notice the nasty posts supporting the hack and being strongly anti religious.”

          I’m pretty sure none is to be judged because of his or her supporters. IANAL, but I’m still pretty sure.

          “Simple rule is you can not post something that makes a political/philosophical statement without someone being offended.”

          Indeed, which is why freedom of speech has to include freedom to offend. If it doesn’t speech will fall silent. Though this is a totally unrelated point,

      1. Probably the same 13 countries that will put to death an Atheist.
        Now if only people would read their Bibles they would realize all the other people we’re supposed to kill. -_-

        FSM FTW!

        1. Before I start, I have no affiliation with any group and would like to keep it that way.

          There is a ton of terrible, terrible things in the bible that is easily banned in other media. It is violent and cruel and calls for the slow torture of your family members, rape of your daughter etc… but if you dare to actually read directly what the fundamental teachings of christianity are, it is quite pleasant. Our judicial system today would be considered immoral by christian standards. Our governments and economic system would also be criticized for exactly the failings we don’t like but have no real power to change.

          It really is pretty good. Too bad I have never met a Christian (big ‘C’) that followed those teachings. I suppose it turned into a situation like what happened to communism. Marx said, ‘I am not a Marxist’ meaning what we remember of him and what his followers do in his name is not at all related to his philosophy. Both having ideas with merit, but being completely destroyed by the people that attempted to implement them.

          1. One of the mistakes people make is that the Bible does not ‘teach’ many of those bad things. They are mostly writings that were left in the text as historical context for the other stories, so as to better understand the world in which these biblical figures lived.

          2. Yeah… right. You have to take the “fundamental teachings”. And you claim they are good. But how do you decide if a teaching is fundamental? Clearly, if it’s not good, it’s not fundamental. And now you have created the perfect feedback loop, all the things you consider to be good are suddenly approved by the Holy Bible itself!


            The problem is, other Christians seem to do things that are against the fundamental teachings of the Bible. And they probably think the same thing about you. That’s because there’s a little bit of everything in it. By cherry-picking in a different way, you can make it an apocalyptic book, or an antisemitic book, or a hippie book.

            I’m the last one to claim religion is pure evil. It’s not. It’s purely random, based on nothing, making random claims it cannot verify. It has no foothold in reality, and can randomly turn out to do good or evil. Any respect, or tax breaks, it gets, the FSM also deserves.

          3. I imagine I’d quite like Jesus if I met him. That’s probably why so many of the obnoxious Christians who enjoy judging people tend to quote the Old Testament, a mixture of dubious history and Jehovan horribly murdering people over technicalities.

            If only Jesus had grown up among Buddhists or something. Probably wouldn’t have even been noticed in those circumstances, being patient, decent, and selfless is about 80% of Buddhism anyway.

            It’s a shame a Bronze Age book ended up prepended to such a popular religion. It’s just the thing to attract wrathful assholes of the sort Jesus spent time preaching against. But without the wrathful assholes, would it have done so well? Assholes tend to end up in charge of things, and supernatural threats are cheaper than shackles. Where would Christianity be without the Romans?

        2. “Now if only people would read their Bibles they would realize all the other people we’re supposed to kill. -_-

          FSM FTW!”

          From the article… Your ignorance and or bigotry is showing.
          Atheists living in 13 countries risk being condemned to death, just for the beliefs (or non-belief) according to a new, comprehensive report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union out on Tuesday. All 13 countries identified by the study are Muslim majority.

          Read more:

          1. @Whatnot
            “Jail isn’t nice either though. Or being beaten up.”
            Whoosh….. Here is a clue. @CorrosiveOne said that “if only people read the bible they would know who to kill” Ummm they are all muslim countries.

      2. “Flying spaghetti monsters are still punishable by death in 13 countries:”
        Note that most of those countries also officially, by law, count anything other than the state religion a form of apostasy, similar to atheism and punishable by and large the same way.
        Also note that most of these countries derive some form of other-worldly claim to authority and power through the only sanctioned religion.

    2. I guess I’m gonna be that other asshole.
      I’m a Christian and I think it’s adorable. I’m less “hacker” and more “crafter”, So I can appreciate making something that’s not going to be sold… well, pretty much anywhere.
      Were it in my neighborhood, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it, but I’ll stand by his right to put up any display that doesn’t break public decency laws.

    3. Everyone just get the fuck over yourselves ok? I’m an atheist too and I don’t give a damned if he likes Christ or the FSM. Who gives a rats?

      Can’t people just celebrate and do whatever it is they want?

      Used to be Christmas brought out the best in people. Now they just bicker and argue about how to celebrate the damned day. What a mess.

      1. “Used to be Christmas brought out the best in people. ”
        When was that? I think you are revering to fictional television shows and children movies.
        In reality Christmas is about fights with your family, arguing around the festive diner table and an increase in suicides. These are not caused by “the best” being brought out by people.
        I think a nice fair opinionated debate on how to actually enjoy the holiday season might be the best thing to have come out of the whole farce entirely.

        1. Christmas brought out the best in people in the past! The idyllic past, when everyone was nicer, the grass was greener, and things were just plain decent.

          Nobody’s quite sure when this past actually took place, but everybody’s confident things were better then. Also there was less crime and children were respectful. I think one of the Ancient Greeks mentioned it. He couldn’t put a date on it but he’s sure they were great times.

  1. In my part of rural Kansas

    The clueless; what’s that?

    Me; the FSM

    The clueless; What’s the FSM?

    Me; dejectedly putting my decoration away, because it’s no fun if you have to go through the effort to explain it to get a rise out of someone.

    1. I enjoy Festivus. About five years back someone was threatened with arrest (inciting unrest) for leaving his aluminum flag pole bare with a little cardboard sign at the bottom that said ‘A Festivus for the rest of us.’

      The sign was taken down and no one has dared to put out anything non judeo-christian since.

      1. Constitutions aren’t much use when the police are a bunch of lazy idiots. An idle threat of arrest keeps everybody’s rights nice and theoretical, so the cops don’t have to bother defending them.

    1. Then are you not glad that Christians in our society have this fundamental right to feel insulted? Of course not to be confused with the right NOT to be insulted, which does not exist.
      Though the underlying philosophy of Pastafarianism isn’t exclusively insulting to the Christian faith in all it’s incarnations, claiming this is special pleading of a sort. It just as well shows Islam and Judaism to be complete random bunk and also the non-Abrahamic traditions of superstition, bigotry and nonsense.
      So do share with the other kids in the playground

    2. @Gravis – No, what’s distasteful are grown adults believing in a mythology. Why can’t people rub a few brain cells together and figure out it’s all one big scam? Oh that’s right – faith – the same thing my girls had when then were little that Santa Claus exists (and the same reason that humans a few millennium ago thought that Zeus ruled the heavens). Any religion in an insult to everyone with just a smattering of logic.

      1. Because of course all you really need to understand every mystery of the Universe is just, “a smattering of knowledge”. The more you know the more you know that you don’t know. So I automatically assume people like you who think they know everything really know nothing. In fact I’m incredulous of people who think we’re even capable of knowing everything. We are only human after all so that automatically puts limits on us. Assuming we are capable of knowing everything is not giving everything the credit that it deserves.

        There are plenty of questions we’re not even intelligent enough to ponder, let alone come up with answers for.

        1. “There are plenty of questions we’re not even intelligent enough to ponder, let alone come up with answers for.”
          Tosh. In fact, how can you even know this if it were true?

          This age old assumption, together with the random assumption that “we are by default limited(whatever you wish to mean by that)” and “we only know so little”, abusing Socrates in the process, is the biggest laziest pseudo-argument to question any type of rational approximation based on proper evidence and analysis that perhaps show a certain earlier opinions is much likely to be utter nonsense.

          In fact, the opposite is true. We are very adept in knowing/measuring that what there is to be known, thereby knowing how much we know and don’t know. The human mind is perfectly able to ask and answer questions that I could not ask or answer before, but knew how to make it so that it could.

          You whole premiss is a false assumption based on an incorrect and limited set of knowledge and wishful thinking. For that laziness, I consider you a bad person.

  2. While the build is cool, it pales in comparison to my 10m tall invisible pink unicorn replica. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to film it, but I assure you it’s awesome, and it’s pink!

    Also, I have some unopened cans of invisible pink paint left over I’m willing to sell, as it’s hard to come by and pretty expensive.

    1. While I admire you prowess, It is dwarfed by comparison to my little project where I build a massive rocket capable of breaking the Earth’s gravity, whereby I successfully launched a nice porcelain teapot into a solar orbit between Jupiter and Mars without anybody noticing at all.

  3. SF make a good point with the Pop Sci content displayed to them.
    I looked again and I still just see this:
    = =
    Curiosity Finds A Former Lake On Mars
    A 3-D Printed, Hand-Cranked Computer
    Make An LED Holiday Light Out Of Pennies
    A Pen That 3-D Prints Bone Right Onto Patients
    Maryland High School Now Offers Drones 101
    Climatologist: Nuclear Power Only Way To Curb Climate Disruption
    7 Cool Gifts For Music Nerds
    Our Favorite Science And Technology Reads From 2013
    Simulated Gophers Explain Mysterious Mima Mounds
    Chinese Supercomputer To Forecast Smog
    = =
    I guess browsing with cookies denied
    and script blocking, etc
    that I miss a lot of the more hyperbolic
    content of web sites.
    but to face my own truth, I guess that’s why I run all the blocking add-ons.

    …maybe it’s a generational thing,
    or maybe I’m the odd man out
    for looking at the web as a place where I can choose to interact or not
    solely at my own discretion.
    That I still see the screen in front of me
    as being (somewhat) divided from the
    (relatively speaking) more tangible
    world around me.
    I am really remain a bit baffled at people
    getting hung up over and
    harming themselves over “social media” sites commenting.

    feels like I’m getting lengthy and tedious,
    so I’ll shuddup for now.

  4. Thanks for another featured hack. I find it very unfortunate that it ignited a good old but unnecessary flamewar, I’m drawing my freedom of speech and religion cards here. I hope most of you appreciated the lightheartedness and geekiness of the hack.

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