Welcome to this week's Max's Cool Beans column in which we pause for a moment to take a deep breath (hold it… hold it… now exhale), slow down, relax, and start winding down in preparation for the weekend. As part of this exercise, I've gathered a few choice diversions for your delectation, delight, pondering, and rumination. This week's humble offerings are as follows:
Max's Cool Beans (Max is the "has-bean" on the right).
No. 1: Let's start with a rather cool video that's billed as The Future of Design. This really does smack of all the incredible computer-generated effects you've been seeing in science fiction films over the last few years -- with gesture-controlled computer interfaces -- but it's starting to look like the future is now! (Click here to see more.)
No. 2: For those techno-weenies amongst us -- of which I am a proud, card-carrying member -- I just saw a really cool website showing the reverse-engineering of Clive Sinclair's amazing 1974 calculator hack. (Click here to see more.)
No. 3: Are you familiar with the work of American cartoonist and illustrator Reuben Lucius Goldberg (1883-1970) and his British counterpart William Heath Robinson (1872-1944)? They are both famous for creating illustrations of machines that were intended to perform relatively simple tasks, but whose implementations were incredibly complex, in that they performed their tasks in exceedingly convoluted and indirect ways. This led to the concept of a Rube Goldberg machine, of which there are many examples, such as the really cute video of one I just saw involving little puppies. (Click here to see more.)
No. 4: Of course, as soon as you start talking about videos of Rube Goldberg machines, one that immediately springs to mind is the classic -- now legendary – Honda Commercial. (Click here to see more.)
No. 5: As usual, the problem with this sort of thing is that you just cannot stop. One of my very favorite Rube Goldberg-inspired videos is the one accompanying the song This Too Shall Pass from the OK Go album. (Click here to see more.)
No. 6: Now, generally speaking there is nothing amusing about someone who has consumed too much alcohol operating any form of machinery. On the other hand, I just saw a video showing the faces of people about to take a flight in a small helicopter when they see their pilot approaching while appearing to be under the influence. (Click here to see more.)
No. 7: Last but certainly not least (for this week), we have a very moving video that almost brought me to tears. This shows employees of Delta Airlines forming an honor guard for one of America's fallen warriors. This isn’t cool beans in the usual sense, but it's definitely cool beans in that it makes one pause for a moment's thought and reflection. I had no idea that the folks at Delta did anything like this. All I can say is, "Thank you Delta Airlines employees!" (Click here to see more.)
As usual, if you know of any interesting sites you'd care to share, please email them to me at email@example.com for possible inclusion in a future Cool Beans column.