This Kinetic Sculpture Plays Rock Music Using Actual Rocks

Artist Neil Mendoza’s latest project gives new meaning to the term “rock and roll." Called "Rock Band," the kinetic sound sculpture consists of a four-piece ensemble of electromechanical instruments, which make music using actual rocks.

In the video above, you can watch Rock Band perform The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” by firing tiny rocks at aluminum keys; slapping rocks with fake leather; and buzzing an electromagnetic coil against pieces of marble, among other activities. (For more technical details on how Mendoza created the project, check out his Instructables tutorial, which explains his design process.)

As for the rest of Mendoza's oeuvre, it's equally quirky: Last year, the artist made a "Hamster Powered Hamster Drawing Machine," which uses a pet rodent's exercise wheel to power a larger sketching contraption (one that draws pictures of hamsters, naturally). And two years ago, Mendoza fashioned an "Electric Knife Orchestra," comprised of 16 knives and a meat cleaver, that plays the Bee Gees' hit "Stayin' Alive."

[h/t The Kids Should See This]

Banner image: Vimeo

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The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:


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