Deconstructing Technology

Secrets Revealed


The Magic Eight Ball is a wonder of wonders, a see-er of seers! But have you ever been the least bit curious how it works? Or what the frequency of positive versus negative answers are? If you harbor no such curiosity, and prefer your spoilers unspoiled, then I would suggest you not hit the jump…


Invented by Albert Carter, the first versions of his future telling device were simple tubes, decorated with mystical promises! Later versions had the look of a crystal ball, for enhanced mysticism. He partnered with Abe Bookman to mass produce this device, but Carter passed away before seeing his product sold to the world. The company they formed, Alabe Crafts, did begin to market the device, and was approached by Brunswick Billiards in 1950 and asked to convert some of the crystal ball style seers into billiards balls for advertising. The powers of the Eight Ball were such that it remains with us today. There is even a digital eight ball, for those who don’t care to venture out into meat space!

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Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Bricklayer

Do you ever wonder if Tesla really figured out how to do some of that stuff that he is rumored to have figured out?  Like, for example, figuring out how to transmit electricity without wires, by tapping into the Earth’s electro-magnetic field or some such?  Sure, it sounds hokey and farfetched, but how […]

Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Rub-a-dub-dub

After a brief hiatus for absolutely no good reason whatsoever, your favorite Saturday afternoon puzzler is back to challenge the obscene level of esoteric knowledge that abounds here at Atomic Toasters. That’s right, I am talking about the Quixotic Quantum Quandary! For those of you that may have forgotten, what we’ll do is […]

Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: What’s Up, Doc?



Here it is, time again for Quixotic Quantum Quandary! I came across this little bit of slightly old tech the other day, and while it is a bit of a simple small device, it has been long enough since I have seen anyone have a need for this, or the ability to use it for that matter, that I think it is well suited for our little mystery game.

You all proved once again last week that when it comes to knowledge of anything related to wood and trees that the commenters here are top notch. Solid knowledge of various properties of hardwood lumber isn’t going to help you much today, so I have found a musical hint, you just have to listen carefully to the words of the song. Plus one more blurry picture after the jump!

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Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Materials Technology



Yesterday I was able to spend a little time exploring a little family history and reminiscing some, which is a good way to spend a day. In the course of that exploration, I came across this little something you all may or may not be able to ID. I have seen such things before, once or twice, but it is certainly quite uncommon in this day and age. Hit the jump for another look, and to see the good word about last week’s Quandary!

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Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Busy, Busy, Busy

Q3 No60 Pic1

Q3 No60 Pic1

Does it ever seem like as a major deadline for a big change approaches, the level of activity in the rest of your life seems to increase exponentially, so that the time you thought you had to get stuff taken care of before the change just vanishes? Perhaps I am just prone to excessive procrastination, but I have a bit of a personal deadline coming up very soon, and this last month has been quite the hectic time at work. This has limited free time for taken care of those around the house things that sometimes get pushed aside, like as for an example, the grass out back is nigh on about a foot high around the fence, and is in need of some serious weedeating action. Last week, maybe some of you were in the same boat, and limited on Quandary deliberation time. That, or maybe it was just way too serious of a challenge! The answers that you seek from the previous Q³ can be found after our little jump, but before we get to that, let’s take a look at this week’s rustic item.

Today we have a bit of old tech courtesy of commenter Renchick (Thanks!) who found this while out and about exploring the mysteries of the world. She was kind enough to include a couple of image, to help you analyze possibilities and eliminate the dregs to get to the heart of the problem. See what you think, and let us know your solution to the Quandary Question in the comments!

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Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Can I Get a Dollar?



Sometimes much of success or failure in life endeavors is really all about timing. Perhaps you could call it luck, or karma, but being in the right place at the right time can certainly make a difference. Take a homeless fellow, a bum is you will, trying to get a dollar closer to, well, the next meal or the next bottle, depending on your outlook on such things. If the person you ask is feeling good, or emotional, some such as that, well, you just might be in luck. But if you have the misfortune to ask someone who is feeling a little under the weather from the night before, and just got asked not twenty seconds before by another homeless fellow for a dollar, well, you just might get a really emphatic NO! And I mean, really emphatic. Hypothetically speaking anyhow.

You won’t need an extra dollar to solve today’s Quixotic Quantum Quandary, but you might find it uplifting to get the right answer! Last week, we had a bit of a tag team for the quick solution by Felis_Concolor and OA5599. Nice job guys! It seems that perhaps the town of origination, Olathe, Kansas, might have been a little bit of a better hint than I thought, at least for the Atomic Toasters crowd. The King brand course indicator was suggested by none other than our very own engineerd™, as inspired by his Flight Computers post.

Now it is time to go after this week’s challenge! I have been kind enough to delay posting for an extra day, to give you something to test your mental strength on this day of less sleep (in the old US of A anyhow). Hit the jump for another image or two, and let us in on the mystery on the comments!

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Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Eagle Eyed Reader



Call this a Shutdown style Quixotic Quantum Quandary, better late than never! We have shown that in our readership we clearly have some lumberjacks, and they’re okay! Last week’s old tech bit from down under was solved in the time it takes to chop down a little sapling. This week may present more of a challenge, but if you have been paying attention to the posts last week, you well have a definite advantage. I won’t say just which one of our contributers suggested this, since that would make it a bit too easy. But credit will be given where credit is due, when you ask come through with an answer! Behind the jump you’ll find one more image, which might help in your quest.

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Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Heavy Industry

Q3 No58 Pic1

Q3 No58 Pic1

Our readers here at Atomic Toasters are well traveled, and Target29 is no exception! Thanks to his recent travels to far off lands down under, you get what we have here today. Which is a Quixotic Quantum Quandary of course! You can see a little more of this heavy-weight Q³ player after the jump, plus what has to be the best clue you ever saw.  Let us all in on the secret in the comments!

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Quixotic Quantum Quandary

Q³: Razzle-Frazzle


Q3 No57 Pic1

As we join together once again to gaze upon an image of mystery, let’s take a moment to think upon the purity of the Quixotic Quantum Quandary game. Last week saw a quick answer, which is exciting! But it may have had to do with the wonders of the internet age and reverse image searching, which gives us all a little bit of the sad panda. So this week, I tested our friendly lead image on Google, and was quite pleased with the results. I invite you all to try it out! As well as hit the jump to see more of last week’s gem and read some subtle hinting on this week.

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