My favourite invention from The Inventions of Daedalus.

How to create magnetic fur:

  • Take a wide tray of paint - acrylic-based is probably best for flexibility
  • Sprinkle iron filings on it
  • Run a bar magnet quickly over the tray
The filings fly up to the magnet, drawing a sliver of paint behind them.
The paint sliver gets so thin it dries instantly.

You have just created an acrylic fur rug, with a small piece of ferrous material at the tip of each hair .
By the subtle use of magnetic fields, you can cause this fur to ripple and move.

Uses for magnetic fur:

Insulation on buildings
Paint wet magnetic fur onto tower blocks, and run a window cleaner's cage fitted with a magnet up the walls to create your fur. In the summer, it's a hairy building; in winter, field generators in the walls repel the iron filings. Fur stands up, building stays warm. (Hey, it works for cats)
Self-cleaning carpets
Make a carpet from this stuff, and fit field generators in the floor. The carpet gently ripples towards a dustpan in the corner, and small pieces of crud find their own way there. If you lose an earring you know where it'll be.
Powered swimsuits
Hmm, not sure where the field generator is here (subcutaneous?), but you get to show off a totally new swimming style: forget 'doggy paddle' and 'butterfly', how about 'paramecium stroke'?
Active wigs
Killer hairdos at the flick of a switch ('set phasers to Jesus'), with the slight inconvenience of having a field generator somewhere in your cranial cavity.

This is a fscking excellent idea. And as far as I know, all Daedalus notions are free of all patents and other such nasties.

OK, so there are one or two obvious drawbacks:

  • having invasive surgery because you're too lazy to swim is a little drastic
  • The weight of all that lead shielding inside your brain might give you a sore neck
  • The Daedalus articles were written as a why won't this work? exercise (although some have since been created).
but there's definitely something in it. Which begs the question, 'why am I telling you all this?'

If someone downvotes this node out of existence, and I see a new startup in February called Fuzzy Logic, I'll open a can.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.