Tuesday, April 8, 2008


This may come as a surprise to some, but working with (and I use that word hesitantly) 3 separate insurance companies and 1 police department regarding 2 accidents that happened on the same day is not a terribly easy task. No joke: I was on the phone for 5 hours consecutive on Tuesday, conversing away with various representatives and adjusters, and as far as I can tell I accomplished exactly nothing. God bless America!

Anyway, all of this insurance talkin' has cut off a 65% chunk of my normally inexhaustible cache of free time, and the other 35% is tied up in a massive landscaping project that's going on in my backyard, so I haven't had much time (and by "much time" I mean "any time whatsoever") to piddle around with dumb crap, which is my pastime of choice.

An unbiased observer would note that this is the perfect time for me to lean heavily on the beautiful mess that is the world of user generated content. In this case, that unbiased observer would be right. Check it:

So I've been doing all of these speaker mod projects, which has left me with a vast array of oversized, uber-powerful magnets...

Speaker Magnets

In much the same way as the Native Americans harvested the noble buffalo, I feel the need to use every part of a speaker after I slaughter it. Unfortunately, I'm just at a complete loss as to what to do with these things. I've honestly given it a lot of thought, but what you see above (a big pile of magnets that weighs about 60lbs) is all I've been able to create with them. That's where you folks come in.

Got an idea for what could be done with these things? Of course you do - why, I bet you could think of a million bajillion things to do with them. So why don't you leave just one of those ideas down in the comments area, to share your glorious idea with the whole of the Good Rubbish universe (an admittedly small universe, but one that's growing by the day)?

Here's an idea to get you started: Pick up one of the magnets and use it as a weapon by throwing it at Ann Coulter (I'd do this one myself, but my arms are so spindly... they can only produce this laughably weak, very Bradlee Van Pelt-esque level of velocity). Alright, now it's your turn. Do it up!

Note: Naturally, if anyone comes up with anything really great to do with these magnets I'll promptly steal their idea and use it as inspiration for a project on this fine blog... then again, if they'd prefer I could bestow upon them these magnets so that they might do the project themselves. There's a world of possibilities out there, I call it "Possibilitiopia". Delicious!


Anonymous said...

How about using the magnets to induce a current in wire connected to a working speaker? Set them up to swing along the wire. Will multiple magnets create more complex sounds?

Artimus Mangilord said...

If I understand what he previous poster is describing, I hypothesize that the resulting "complex" sounds will not so much be analogous to a pleasing aural kaleidoscope as they will be to the sound resulting from the escape of noxious gasses from betwixt to two tightly pressed butt cheeks. Music as we know it consists of complex waveforms; in other words, what we hear is harmonically rich. Even something as seemingly simple as a single plucked guitar string is sonically complex, consisting of a fundamental frequency and numerous ordered harmonics above said fundamental. Through the use of a fast Fourier transform (an algorithm commonly used in digital signal processing), we can isolate the individual waveforms within chosen bandwidths that comprise a complex sound.

Of course it is pure supposition on my part to assume that the anonymous poster thought to conduct this experiment on musical
compositions. If you were, on the other hand, to use the speaker to transduce a signal consisting of a simple sine wave and then attempt to induce a current with other magnets, then I believe you might have something more interesting to hear. This would be akin to music
synthesis: using a single oscillator to generate a pure tone, the additional magnets could be used to affect the current travelling to the speaker, thus producing something different than the initial sine wave. If you were able to consistently control this result and add to the system, I believe you could create a synthesizer in definition, albeit it one with exteremely limited and uninteresting parameters that resembled an unholy marriage of the works of Dr. Frankenstein and
Rube Goldberg. Then again, I've never tried it and seeing... ahem... hearing is believing.

Father Rhyme said...

Thank you for providing that stirring oration, Artimus, as I was truly at a loss for how to respond to young Anonymous' query.

Remember that time I sawed off your foot to save the rest of your being from the ravages of infection after you fell in that punji pit? Well, no further thank yous are necessary for my act of heroism: we're now officially even.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that rubbing them on the back cover of a book in say, Barnes & Nobles, could probably break the capacitor on the little printed circuit that they put in the books to set off the alarm system. I have no idea why someone would want to do something like that, though...

Shawn said...

A few things to do with the magnets:
You could make a wind turbine:
It won't be a thousand watts, but in a decent wind, it will be enough to make a light blink off and on... Hope you don't have epilepsy. (Lets be honest, we all know that you're not going to go to all the trouble of making what is pretty much a proof of concept model.)
You could ruin a computer belonging to someone that you don't like: "hey, what's up", you say conversationally, as you walk up and put a huge magnet on the top of their laptop, frying the thing in an instant of magnetic fieldy goodness. Ah, it makes your heart go all warm just thinking about it.
Make a huge model of a refrigerator, complete with the replica of your failing report card. (You didn't do homework. Don't deny it. And your teachers always told you "I don't understand, it's not that you can't do the work...", and they always told you that they were disappointed in your lack of ambition, and they always told you that you "have great potential".)
Make a floating magnet sculpture: stick 3-4 dowels in a block of wood, in a triangle or square fashion, and put two similar sized magnets in them, with same poles facing so that they repel, but they can't go anywhere, and the top one levitates.
That's all I got for now. Get better. I enjoy your ramblings. But if you think you're gonna die, let me know so I can take over your blog.

Father Rhyme said...

Dr. Shawn, you rock my existence. Nicely done.