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  #1  
Old 04-13-2008, 03:21 PM
IdFindAnAAnswerForThat IdFindAnAAnswerForThat is offline
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A "Clacker" type toy with 5 metal balls

I put this here because it involves a TV show and a toy

I was watching a rerun of One Day At A Time and the boss had this toy in his office.

It had 5 metal balls and each one was suspended from a wire. And what he did was first he pulled the first metal ball back and let go. This ball then hit the other balls but only the fifth ball on the other side moved. The metal balls inbetween didn't move at all. Then of course, the 5th metal ball returned and hit the 4th ball, which didn't move but the original or first ball moved again. And it continued.

I'm not really describing this well but it looked kind of like this


I can't really draw it because this bulletin board removes spaces. But does anyone have an idea of what I mean and if so, what kind of toy this was. The show was from the late 70s so it was probably a thing from around that time
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2008, 03:23 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Kinetic energy toys were quite popular with the executive toys set in the 70s. One type was known as a Newton's Cradle.

Last edited by silenus; 04-13-2008 at 03:24 PM..
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:28 PM
gwendee gwendee is offline
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Newton's Cradle . My dad had one with a wood frame. I used to enjoy the heck out of it when I was five. Now that I have a desk of my own I can't imagine why I'd want one.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:00 PM
whitetho whitetho is offline
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What's really weird is if you start with two moving balls, then two balls fly off the other end, instead of one moving real fast. So it "keeps track" of the number of moving balls. How does it know???
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:44 PM
dangermom dangermom is offline
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My grandmother used to have one of those and we loved it. You can do all kids of cool things--if you take two balls and drop them one at a time you'll get a nice rhythm going.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:54 PM
Peter Morris Peter Morris is offline
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how newton's cradle was discovered : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LMjQJRL6eM
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2008, 05:02 PM
USCDiver USCDiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangermom
My grandmother used to have one of those and we loved it. You can do all kids of cool things--if you take two balls and drop them one at a time you'll get a nice rhythm going.

If you take three balls and drop them at the same time, the middle ball will continue going back and forth so that three balls are always moving.

If you take both of the end balls and drop them at the same time, they will just sort of bounce off the other three.

If you take two balls from each end and drop them at the same time, you will usually get the whole thing in a tangled mass.
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:13 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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If you take 3 balls on one side, and two on the other, the middle ball will cross over i.e .
2 > < 3
<3 2>
and back again
3 > < 2
<2 3>
and so on...
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2008, 06:47 PM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is online now
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One of these was also featured in Superman II, when the three evil Kryptonians had taken over the White House.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:57 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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Nine Inch Nails' Only video from their With Teeth album features one.
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2008, 08:34 PM
cochrane cochrane is online now
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Well, I came in to mention Newton's Cradle and can see I was beaten to the punch, so for your enjoyment, allow me to present the world's largest Newton's Cradle. I only wish there was some video.
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Old 04-13-2008, 10:59 PM
Ignatz Ignatz is offline
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Newton, was Isaac and he wrote at least three laws of motion. Folklore says he developed them after sitting near an apple tree and seeing an apple fall to earth (not onto his head, as some folks have exaggerated). The thrid one is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Ergo, when any number of his cradle's balls hits the others, the force is transmitted through the others and the equal number of them reacts by being bounced forward. The third law is much further explained here:

http://www.astronomynotes.com/gravappl/s2.htm#A1.3
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:03 PM
Apollyon Apollyon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponch8
One of these was also featured in Superman II, when the three evil Kryptonians had taken over the White House.
There's also one on Magento's desk in the first X-Men movie... though that one didn't have anything attaching the metal balls to the frame.
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  #14  
Old 04-14-2008, 01:20 PM
Johnny Angel Johnny Angel is offline
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So, wait, does everybody but me call these things Newton's Cradles? I've always called them Newton's Balls, and I suspect everyone else I know does.
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  #15  
Old 04-14-2008, 01:38 PM
friedo friedo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollyon
There's also one on Magento's desk in the first X-Men movie... though that one didn't have anything attaching the metal balls to the frame.
There's also one in The Hudsucker Proxy and one of the Police Academy movies.

"Never touch my balls without my permission!"
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  #16  
Old 04-14-2008, 06:34 PM
IdFindAnAAnswerForThat IdFindAnAAnswerForThat is offline
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Thanks that was it.

Thanks for the Amazon link. Interesting it was, $29.95 it wasn't
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