Take a look at this video:BuckyBalls
are just plain cool. Just the idea of BuckyBall darts on my refrigerator has me ready to whip out my credit card and order some.
Yeah. I said it. I'm gonna whip out my credit card for BuckyBalls. Not Bucky's Balls. I just wanted to make that clear.
I don't even know anyone named Bucky.
Anyways, BuckyBalls are billed as a cross between an Erector Set, Silly Putty, a Rubik's Cube, and a Hula Hoop. While I sort of see the comparison, I definitely see the appeal of these sets of 216 magnetic balls. A set of these could save me tons of bucks on therapy - unless I put them near my hard drive...
These little magnets are strong. As seen in the video, they are powerful enough to hold patterns - and the designs are virtually unlimited.
Now, I'm no scientist, so I'm gonna be a bit vague on specifics here. It seems that a BuckyBall is something other than a toy. Bear with me here...
The Buckminsterfullerene C60 (or "fullerene") was produced in 1985 by Robert Curl, Harold Kroto and Richard Smalley. The name of this molecule was an homage to Richard Buckminster Fuller, an architect who made geodesic domes a popular design motive.
A Buckminsterfullerene C60 molocule. Pretty, ain't it?
According to Wikipedia, a fullerene is "any molecule composed entirely of carbon, in the form of a hollow sphere, ellipsoid, or tube. Spherical fullerenes are also called buckyballs..."
Apparently fullerenes have a structure similar to graphite - a bunch of graphene sheets all stacked and linked together. From what I can gather, these molecules are being studied for all sorts of applications, including electronics and nanotechnology.
But whether these are the same BuckyBalls as the pack of 216 magnetic balls... I don't know. My knowledge of magnetic theory ends at my John Constantine: Hellblazer magnet on my refrigerator.
What I do know is that they can be combined to form the shape of a Buckminsterfullerene C60. And that these little suckers look fun... and therapeutic.
There has to be a beer drinking game based around these things...
Get your own BuckyBalls at... BuckyBalls or for cheaper at Amazon.
UPDATE: Bucky Balls are no longer available. Buzz Magnets and Magformers are other magnetic toys that you may want to look at.