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Zen rock gardens. Permanently impermanent, fluidly static. [link]
Ya gotta love'm.
Okay maybe you don't, but I do, and I would like to make a Zen rock garden entirely from pieces of magnetite, [link], above a tightly packed grid of programmable electromagnetic coils.
the current, polarity and power of each coil the swirling ridges and troughs could be manipulated at will allowing for a different look to the garden each time you glance at it.
What I would really like to see though is moving and shifting patterns in the stones. Like ripples from the center of the garden spreading outwards to converge back on themselves or undulating serpents perpetually devouring their own tails or...well there really is no end to the designs which could be created.
Or is there?
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 13 2006]
[swimswim, Nov 14 2011]
Not exactly the same but cool nonetheless.
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 02 2016]
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||2 Words that go well- Programmable and Zen....
||Hmm, they might just all clump at that.
Playing around with it in my head it seemed that by changing the strength of the magnetic fields, the clumps would follow the paths of greatest attraction, or begin climbing themselves in a cone shape wherever an individual coils' field protruded the farthest.
Iron ball bearings maybe?
||Ball bearings would be incredibly loud.
||"Hey, wanna see something cool? Watch the rock garden."
GDDDDD SHHHHSDDDH HHHHHSDH HHHHHHH
"ISN'T IT GREAT?"
||I wonder what a mercury rock garden would look like...
||and not a mention of custard in all its glory.
||You could certainly do this with ferrofluid. My
guess is that iron filings would work too, but you'd
have a much harder time moving them around.
You can only apply an attractive force, as far as I
can see, and that force will drop as the inverse-
something of distance, and friction between the
particles will be huge, so you might have problems
moving a six-inch ripple around.
||But ferrofluid would be cool. You could create
"slow motion" effects, where by a set of ripples
(generated only by the magnetic forces) could be
made to radiate from a central point with any
degree of slowness you liked.
||You could even create inverse ripples, starting
from the edges and slowly converging on the
||This is a great idea [+]. An alternative with lower zen content would be to use two agri-droids (link); one to move the rocks around and the other to re-rake the sand and eliminate any droid or rock tracks. (This is assuming the rock garden is a big, backyard-sized rock garden, not one of those desktop thingies.)
||For practicality (a purely hypothetical concept in my life)
I'd spread the pebbles on a rubbery, trampoline-type
have rollers underneath provide the undulations. Might
even create a soothing sound like gentle waves lapping on a
||I like the mercury idea because the magnetite would float in it.
||Wonder if it's possible to do a pocket beach? The sand would be easy but getting the tiny waves right could be a bugger...and a small fan blowing ozoney, seaweedy smells.