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Heng Balance Lamp / Kickstarter
Heng Balance Lamp / Kickstarter

Mesmerizing Wooden Lamp Uses Magnets to Switch On

Heng Balance Lamp / Kickstarter
Heng Balance Lamp / Kickstarter

When it’s turned off, the Heng Balance Lamp resembles a work of modern art. But join the two wooden spheres in the center and the piece lights up to become one of the most creative lamps ever crafted.

Spotted over at WIRED, the Heng Balance Lamp is available for $44 through Kickstarter. Its switchless design is made possible through the magnetic balls attached to the top and bottom of its frame. Raise the lower sphere to meet the one in the center and watch the frame’s interior illuminate. Magnetic forces hold the two orbs suspended in place until you’re ready to turn the lamp off.

The deceptively simple concept was impressive enough to earn the lamp a coveted Red Dot Design Award in 2016. The crowdfunding project has already surpassed its initial goal many times over, and there’s still more than two weeks left in the campaign. Backers have until January 30 to reserve their Heng Balance Lamp with shipping projected for June of this year.

[h/t WIRED]

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© NEXT architects
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Design
This Footbridge in the Netherlands Transforms With Rising Waters
© NEXT architects
© NEXT architects

Twenty-six percent of the Netherlands lies below sea level, making the country vulnerable to floods. This is especially true of the 2000-year-old city of Nijmegen, which straddles the Waal river. The town is home to many examples of flood-resistant infrastructure, but one footbridge there works a bit differently. Instead of building it around the threat of rising waters, the designers of the Zalige bridge made a crossing that changes along with its environment, according to Co.Design.

Commissioned as part of the Netherland’s Room for the River infrastructure program, it connects the Waal’s northern bank to a small island that’s part of a public park. NEXT architects, in collaboration with H+N+S Landscape Architects, made a bold choice when designing it: The path curves up and down, and at one point is level with the park’s floodplains. When the river resides at normal levels, pedestrians can walk the bridge in its entirety. Only when water levels rise is the reasoning behind the unusual shape revealed. The flooded path leaves behind a series of raised concrete blocks sticking out of the water, and to keep moving, people must hop from one block to the next.

The bridge opened in 2016, but it made news again this January when Nijmegen saw its highest water levels in 15 years. As the river rose, the Zalige bridge could be reached only by using the stepping stones. Residents flocked to the site for a closer look at the water, ignoring instructions from authorities to avoid the park as flooding continued. Eventually the water became so high that even the blocks were completely submerged, but not before demonstrating the bridge’s innovative approach to an old problem.

NEXT writes on the project webpage, "As a crest above the river, the bridge emphasizes the dynamic character of water by letting people see and experience the changing river landscape."

People biking on path.

People walking on bridge.

People walking on path.

People walking on path.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images: © NEXT architects

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Universal Pictures
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entertainment
The Entire Plot of Back to the Future in One Handy Chart
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Never seen Back to the Future? Now you don't have to (though you really should). Laughing Squid spotted this graphic by statistician and data viz expert Nathan Yau that tells you everything you need to know about the plot of the 1985 movie in 16 chart-heavy panels.

There's the basic science of the DeLorean (a flux capacitor, a cool car with a nuclear reactor, 1.21 gigawatts of electricity, a speed of 88 mph), the introduction of dangerous terrorists, and some time travel. Awkward Oedipal subplot? Check. A visual representation of Christopher Lloyd's memorable "Where we're going, we don't need roads" line? You bet.

Now, we just have to wait around for Yau to digest Back to the Future Part II for us. If you like his visualization style, there's plenty more to tide you over while you wait; he has previously visualized how many years you probably have left to live, how jobs types correlate with divorce rates, and more. You can see his work on his site, Flowing Data.

A 16-panel comic shows the plot of 'Back to the Future' using line graphs.
Nathan Yau

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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