kid’s toys

Most of us have seen marble run kits. There’s lots of mix and match ramps and things that hook together to channel a rolling marble from the top to the bottom. Often they look far more interesting than they really are, the bits don’t quite fit together quite right, they’re rickety and really not quite as much fun as they should be.

Here’s a new twist on that idea that might just alleviate most of those complaints. I’m 30-mumble, and I can say with complete honesty, “Do want!”

I’m still percolating this Washington Post article about telekinetic toys (free reg) and the possible future applications.

You slip the wireless headset on. It looks like something a telemarketer would wear, except the earpieces are actually sensors, and what looks like a microphone is a brain wave detector. You place its tip against your forehead, above your left eyebrow.

A few feet away is a ping-pong ball in a clear tube called the Force Trainer. The idea is to use your thoughts alone, as recognized by the wand on your forehead, to lift the ball. Your brain’s electrical activity is translated into a signal understood by a little computer that controls a fan that blows the ball up the tube. Levitates it. As if by magic. It’s mind over matter.

All you have to do is concentrate. On anything, it doesn’t matter. The harder you concentrate, the higher the ball goes.

First instinct is “I want one of these for Christmas!!!”
More thoughts to follow after I have some time to ponder the imponderables.

Baseball cards just got a whole lot cooler.

Just hold the special 3D Live card in front of a webcam and watch a three-dimensional avatar spring to life — rotate the card and the figure rotates in full perspective. The technology provided by Total Immersion also allows collectors to drop the player into simple pitching, batting and catching games using the computer keyboard. Series 1 cards will cost $2 for a 12-pack while a buck snags a fistful of five.

Be sure you click through to the website for video of this marvel. File this one in “how do they DO that?”