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01 May 2006 at 13:17

cultural parallelism

Isn't it interesting how, over the centuries, different cultures sometimes come up with the same inventions, but usually with a different angle? For instance, it was common for Western kids to play with a yoyo, where you hold the string and the reel travels up an down. In China, you can buy a Chinese yoyo, which moves too, but in a completely different way, and it's just a roll of paper wound around a stick.

Anyway, a while back I blogged about Spud's brother, Usuff, who has a dark room where he photographs geometric patterns, using a camera and a torch on 2 swinging pendulums.

This was one of the pictures he made.

Well, now he's branching out. He's bought a traditional Middle Eastern low-tech device, that does the same sort of pattern but using relief instead of colour. The pattern is made by a heavy pendulum scratching through a swinging plate full of sand.

When I showed this to Cap'n Kev, a connoisseur of all things Middle Eastern, he said "ah reckon them Islamics coulda taught us a thing 'r two."

Meanwhile, after the last post, hotboy quite rightly warned me of the folly of wasting your fluids over age 50. I must remember that when I turn 50. And on further reading of the research, I see that the cancer-protecting effect only applies to activity before age 30. And only solo activity qualifies. Did I put in enough effort at that age? I can't remember. The retention deficit disorder's kicking in again.

Blogger Lelly said...

That photo and the device are both really unusual and beautiful...what interesting friends you have, Rob!  


Blogger hotboy said...

Adolf! Heil! That pendulum thing is a lot of old ... why don't these people get proper jobs? That would help! Hotboy  


Blogger Neotropism said...

Man that weird thing is quality. I enjoyed the photo the first time round and seeing a new angle to it is brilliant.  


Blogger Lee Ann said...

I used to play with a yoyo when I was a child. It was fun.
That picture of the pendulum thing drawing in the sand is soooooo cool. I want one!  


Blogger Carslemane Foraix said...

G'day. Spud still plays with his yoyo. We told him it would make him go blind, but he said he'd just do it until he needed specs.  


Blogger robmcj said...

Lell - I have a total of 2 friends in the entire southern hemisphere, and I see them a couple of times a year. If I needed friends I could jump on a plane to Glasgow.

HB - what about all the carpetmakers?

Neo, glad you liked it as much as I did.

LA - I'm going to try making one, I'll let you know how I go.

Carse - Hotboy says that's fine but he should retain the fluid.  


Blogger keda said...

well as long as spud is under 30 he's doing a good thing!

and rob darling, i have NO doubt that you put in enough effort. everyone does until they reasch their 30's don't they?

amazing pictures. it must be so beautiful to watch.  


Blogger robmcj said...

Damn! The beautiful gizmo picture I linked to has been taken down. Sorry.  


Blogger robmcj said...

Found some new pics and linked them in.  


Blogger HNB said...

Looks like the old Spiralgraph or Spirograph pics we used to make as kids. Does anyone else remember those toys are am I telling my age here?  


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