I seem to have been thinking a lot of serious thoughts lately, and I’m ready for a chance to think about something completely different. Are you in?
Dutch inventor Theo Jansen has been experimenting for decades with wind-powered structures. He talks of them as an evolving life form that he calls strandbeesten. Several are featured in this short video from 2017:
As fascinating as they are as examples of art and engineering, strandbeesten are also a clear indicator of a mind who’s been thinking outside the box for long enough that he probably can’t remember where he left it. And that mind is sought after. In 2016 Jansen took part in NASA brainstorming sessions regarding potential missions to Venus. (I don’t suppose that strandbeesten are meant to be part of the missions themselves, but I guess we’ll wait and see!)
The last thing I’ll say on the topic is that I would love the chance to interact with even small-scale versions of these. It would be a great way to spend an afternoon on the beach.
[Image: Axel Hindemith for Wikimedia Commons]I