You’re serious about this, right? I mean, who in their right mind needs one of these things?
Frankly speaking, I’m with you on this one…no one *needs* a desktop catapult. No one *needs* a soapstone carving of a Hooded Ptarmigan either, but lotsa important and talented people end up with one sitting on their desk. A more appropriate question would be ‘who in their right mind *wants* a desktop catapult.
OK…be that way… who in their right mind wants one of these things?
They’re pretty popular as office accessories, executive rewards and corporate gifts…there’s plenty of room for engraved brass plates proclaiming superior sales abilities or lamentable retirements, and unlike the rightfully scorned soapstone Hooded Ptarmigan carvings, my pieces actually do cool things., such as hurling cheese at bothersome sales reps.
Looking at a typical corporate armament hierarchy structure, you’ll find cube farm guys in the lower echelons, prefering nerf guns and the occasional rubberband sixshooter. Middle management requires that your weapons be more subtley styled to fit in with office decor, which is where Eccentric Genius desktop pieces come in. Once you reach the upper management ranks, and start seriously vying for that corner office, the scalability of my stuff makes it easy to achieve a more…er…ostentatious statement while still maintaining acceptable office decorum.
..And that’s just at the office. At home, the utility of having an unrecognizable mechanism or two lying around the rec room is obvious: You’ll quickly become fast friends with local law enforement officials after your concerned neighbors file their report of suspected terrrorist activity , which at the very least translates into faster response times in the event of any real emergencies in your neighborhood, and could even lead to free air travel and vacations. I understand Cuba is lovely at this time of year.
There’s a thriving sub-culture of ‘exotic weapons collectors’ who have also taken a liking to Eccentric Genius pieces…I like building things for them because they place equal value on both form and function, and always treat their collections with the utmost respect for life and limb. You have to be on your toes though…these fellas really know their stuff and can tell the difference between innovation and bullshit without breaking stride.
At the end of the day, though, the over-all appeal of my pieces to the general public can be summed up in 2 words, and 2 words only:
I don’t need you… I can make this stuff at myself at home. By the way, I want a full set of your plans.
Plans? Ya think I have plans for this stuff? 9 time out of 10, once I’ve worked out the basic geometry each mechanism requires to function properly, I improvise everything else on the workbench, with the overall aesthetic usually coming together around one or two particularly evocative bits of scrapyard flotsam and jetsom.
“Plans”…heh heh… man, you guys knock me out sometimes…. Ya want plans? Buy the damned book…
You know you’re a menace to society, don’t you?
I hear that a lot, and the logic has always escaped me until USAToday.com featured the Eccentric Genius website as one of it’s ‘Hot Sites’, and my hitload went through the roof: Examining the logs from my server showed significant traffic from all branches of the US military *including* DARPA.
I can easily imagine much alarm transpiring in the Pentagon, with the military intelligence (insert oxymoron reference here) guys saying .”Sir…we’ve uncovered a Canadian WMD research project…they’re developing Ballista Missiles…”, and the DARPA ‘wanna-be-Q-from-the-Bond-flicks’ guys lobbying for grant money to examine the potential role of the Trebuchet in Todays Army. Cripes…they’re gonna think I’m Gerard Bull…now I’ve gotta watch out for black helicopters…
Are these things legal?
If by ‘things’ you mean the siege engines, the answer is “Sho’ ‘Nuff, Homie”…
…but that doesn’t mean they can’t be hazardous if used carelessly.
A fully torqued up ballista can achieve upwards of 100 pounds of draw weight at full extension, which exceeds the specifications of similarly scaled modern crossbow pistol technology. Used in concert with a “Spinnin’ Metal Tube ‘O Death”™ projectile, right proper carnage and mayhem is a clear and present danger.
In the case of Mangonels and Trebuchets, it’s the throwing arm itself that has the potential to really hurt you. I won’t bore you with the mathematical details of mechanical advantage and potential energy…suffice it to say that there’s a lot of similarities between a police baton and a catapult throwing arm when in motion.
As with automobiles, scissors and your parent’s credit card, improper usage can result in many bad things happening. As long as you exercise adult-like caution you’ll be OK, but you *have* been warned.
Some of the other stuff, well, maybe not so much. Several of my more fanciful flights of imagination have been interpreted by people as somehow relating to recreational blood chemistry modification; In context of the tag cloud ‘Tommy Chong, Paraphenalia, Greybar Motel’, my legal advisors have categorically refused to allow me to offer any such pieces for sale.
Oddly, the question of ‘bartering’ has never come up…
You’re not a genius. I’m better than you.
Heh? It’s the name of the business, pinhead.
Take a pill.