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bLink 31

The 'beests' are out there.

By Thom Wong 25 May 2006 | TheTyee.ca

Thom Wong writes regularly about music for The Tyee. He has also been a teacher and contract specialist. With eight years of education and three bachelor degree, Thom focuses mostly on marketing writing.

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31st of 40 bLinks.

If you're a particularly lucky person, you don't remember The Island of Dr. Moreau, an almost impossibly bad movie with acting as bloated as Marlon Brando, who plays the titular doctor. The plot, which I might have a little confused, involves Brando defying the laws of god and nature by creating really hot cat people and really ugly bison people. Their other mistake was hiring Val Kilmer as an actor.

If you want to mess with the laws of nature, and have fun with physics to boot, you're better off following Theo Jansen, a Dutch designer obsessed with making "new nature." In Jansen's case this involves creating giant structures, called Strandbeests, which are made out of yellow tubes and are powered by the wind. He ultimately wants to put herds of them on beaches where they can "live their own lives."

While all of the beests have their charm (you can peruse them by clicking on the site's photography link), in my mind the most successful is the Crab. I don't know if it's called the Crab -- Jansen uses names like Animaris Geneticus -- but that's what I see when it rolls along the sand. And it has the added benefit of being more animated than Val Kilmer.

Thom Wong is a law student who spends an unreasonable amount of time online. His 40 bLinks column runs every Tuesday and Thursday on The Tyee.  [Tyee]

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