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#325 :: “Buzzing” magnets

December 30, 2004

In your mind, banish all tension. Sign a binding, planetwide truce to end war. Master genetics and cure all disease. Solve poverty and end hunger and illiteracy. Eliminate pollution and extinction. You’re omnipotent. Go ahead. The planet is safe and happy in your care. Now that you’ve given everyone on earth everything they need, you’re left with 9 billion people who still want, who desire, who manufacture needs to give their lives purpose. What happens? War and crime return to restore equilibrium. Now, return to reality’s yin/yang balance, to the natural tension that keeps us circling each other, giving and taking, punishing and rewarding, destroying and creating, warring and reconciling. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a lovely, unrealistic pipe dream. We live in conflict.

A pair of powerful ellipsoidal hematite magnets, their poles aligned through their narrow circumfrences, allow you to demonstrate the constant tension and readjustment of power in the universe. Throw them into the air about six inches apart, and they fly together, wrestling for equilibrium in a clattering, buzzing collision until they land at rest, centered and quiet in your cupped hand. They sound like this, and they can be bought online.

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