You're buying the drinks and this wacky, yet debonair, bird with a top hat and plastic base (7" tall OA) can't get his fill of water. Get him started, and he dips his beak into your glass repeatedly. How? Fluid inside his glass body condenses from the evaporative cooling of the water off the bird's beak, making it top heavy and dunking it back into the water. The condensate rejoins the liquid pool in the bird's bulb, and he tips up again. Process continues indefinitely. It works, but it's not any more than moderately well made, and not any more than moderately priced. WARNING! The fluid and dye inside the bird can permanently stain, and the bird's glass body can easily be broken. Children are fascinated by the bobbing bird, and the educational possibilities are great. But they should watch him, not fondle him!! Manufacturer warning states this item is not intended for children 8 and under.
Spin this spindle and watch it turn in perpetuity!! Well, for a long time anyway. Inside the 5-1/2" long colored plastic spindle are magnets which are repelled by magnets in the 5" x 3" black plastic base. The variously colored spindle floats in the air above the base thus virtually free of normal friction. Nifty desk toy named "Revolution".
Newtonian demonstrator for science teachers. Mindless play for the rest of us. These are shiny, nicely balanced, high-performance examples of the classic Newton's Cradle - a ball on one end of a row of (5) suspended, barely touching balls swings into the others, and the ball at the opposite end reacts to the collision. The 11/16" dia balls in the small version (all-metal frame 6-1/2" high x 4" x 4-1/4") will collide about 30 times. The 7/8" dia balls in the large version (metal frame 5-1/4" high x 4" x 6", with a wooden base) will collide about 100 times. Awesome. Even more awesome that we paid someone to count the bounces just for you! (Unpacking note: Less awesome if you just yank it out by the suspension lines and pull a couple of balls loose. Be gentle.)
So many plasma balls are just too big for the office--and are tethered to an electrical cord to boot. We suggest this rare battery-powered, desktop-appropriate version, measuring 3-1/8” dia on a stylish base of graduated discs. Stands 5-1/8” tall and meets all current AS&S International Electrical Phenomenon Desktop Demonstration Guidelines. (IEPDDG) You pop for (4) “AA” batteries and you’re in business.
A real desktop mesmerizer. This 7"x 5" moving sand sculpture creates endless sand-dune vistas, and can be so easily flipped to start over that you need never go back to actually working. The sand is so fine it's nearly liquid, and comes in varying shades, plus a little glitter. Black base and frame. We'll pick sand in shades of orange, purple, green or red for you.
Yes, your desktop is made of atoms (you, too) but this is a 7" dia chrome and black model of an atomic structure (Boronish, Paul says) that keeps on turning via the magic of electromagnetics, at least until the 9V battery you put in it wears out. Stands approx 9" tall on its base. Ignore that "perpetual motion" on the box, unless you have a perpetual battery. Minimal assembly required, but a maximum person like you won't have a problem with it.
Interesting wire contraption that we played with as a child. A series of (4) tiers of overlapping and intertwined brass wire semicircular hoops are anchored at the open end to a pair of full circles. The whole can be shaped into a tube, double balls, a flower petal, etc, depending upon what areas are opened, which closed. A variety of colored beads on the hoops add a decorative touch. Fun, intriguing and decorative all at the same time.
Another oldie but goodie. 5" high evacuated clear glass bulb mounted in a black stand, 3" in diameter at the top. A four bladed vane is balanced on a needle inside the sphere. Because opposite surfaces of the vanes are black and white, incident radiant energy is absorbed or reflected to a different degree. The result is a spinning vane. The brighter the light, the faster it spins. Simple, but compelling. Brief explanatory instruction sheet included.
Bigger than a baseball across the top, this is one ginormous jewel. You pick a clear or deep-translucent-blue, 24% lead crystal, cut-glass gem. It’s 3-1/8” dia at the top, tapering to point 2-1/8” deep. Could be mounted in a stunning, but really, really, really big engagement ring.
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In addition to this fabulous on-line catalog of incredible stuff, American Science & Surplus has three great retail locations. If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by! Store hours may vary. Feel free to call for store hours and directions.