Don’t worry, this video is perfectly safe for work, except for the little fact that if you watch to the very end you’ll get sucked into your computer screen and transported to the 19th century. This morning, I had to fight my way through a mob of Norwegian farmers who hardly spoke any English to find a zoetrope and phenakistascope (which were very scarce on the empty Minnesota prairie, I tell you) and play them backwards to get home again. Bracing.

(via The Verge)


  1. says

    Why, back in my day, we didn’t have no fancy internet. We didn’t have game consoles. We didn’t even have television! All we had was a phenakistoscope and three reels. And they was in black and white, too! We were no nonsense Minnesota Lutherans, so no frivolous colors for us!

    Hey! You kids get off my lawn!

  2. Menyambal says

    Do not watch that full-screen, in the dark, with a slight fever.

    When I was a kid, there was no television. There was only a few feet of Keystone Kops film that would get stuck in the projector and melt, and giant burning holes would consume everything.

  3. Trebuchet says

    My stomach is slightly sorry I made that full screen.

    On a serious note, that’s the sort of thing that has been known to induce seizures in some people. Perhaps a warning is in order.

  4. woozy says

    @1 and @2

    You had it lucky. All I had was a wicker chair and I had to cross my eyes to impose the pattern upon itself to make the seat appear encased in glass six inches below where it actually was and then reach my hand and touch an invisible barrier. It was the only fun we were afforded other than to drop crayons down the furnace and try to guess if we could tell the colors from the odors.

  5. Callinectes says

    He’s not lying about being sucked in. Safe for work? It’s not even safe for people. Also I won’t be paid for the missed hours.

  6. Moggie says

    Is symmetrophobia a thing? Because I think I have it now.

    “Directed by the Brothers Lynch”: fuck, how many of them are there?

  7. aziraphale says

    “how many of them are there?”

    About 12, to judge by the symmetry on display.

  8. Kelseigh says

    Just be grateful it wasn’t the Brothers Quay (seriously, look them up on YouTube).

    What is it with brothers and weirdness anyway?

  9. Rich Woods says

    @woozy #4:

    You had a furnace?

    Kids these days, they don’t know they’re born.

  10. Tempus Vernum says

    It’s a 19th century powers of ten! Eventually you reach the plank scale and see only a screaming mouth.

  11. Stardrake says

    Good thing Zathras left behind that time stabilizer last time they were here….

  12. says

    Cool. I has a set of those when I was a kid, with most of the sequences used in this clip.

    I hadn’t realised they were all classic designs, as they’d obviously been redrawn and printed with a cheap 4-colour process, so didn’t have that antique look. I just though they were ugly drawings :)

    I’d used stickers to make my own sequences on the back of several of them, but I wasn’t very good at it at the time. (And looking through a black spinning disc works better than looking through a white one, so viewing them wasn’t too clear when flipped.)

    I know I still had them up until a few months ago… I don’t recall if I gave up and recycled them or not. I’ll have to check when I get home.