What is this thing?
October 3, 2014 1:36 PM   Subscribe

So. What IS it?? I don't know the owner, but I'm just as curious as she is.
posted by harrietthespy to Grab Bag (16 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Surely a toy, right? Reminds me of the Hoberman Switch Pitch.
posted by Xalf at 1:48 PM on October 3, 2014

How about a pot-stand? When it's open, you could set a hot pot on it. When it's closed, it can be hung up, or set on a small shelf.
posted by blue_wardrobe at 1:50 PM on October 3, 2014

If not a pot-stand, then an exercise ball?
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 1:51 PM on October 3, 2014

What about a model illustrating how you determine the volume of a sphere? Kind of like the discussion on this page?
posted by msbubbaclees at 1:54 PM on October 3, 2014 [5 favorites]

Something to keep a hat in shape ?
posted by Mac-Expert at 2:01 PM on October 3, 2014

It's pretty heavy-duty, so it must be a tool of some kind. Some type of object where you place it in a depression as a sphere, then untie it so the fronds spread out to evenly apply pressure for some purpose.
posted by Think_Long at 2:06 PM on October 3, 2014

Something for wig making?
posted by tomboko at 2:22 PM on October 3, 2014

The nails on the bottom with the string wrapped around them remind me of a child's loom. I could see this being some kind of weaving tool that can be expanded or contracted for different sized baskets or pots. I'd also love to know what it really is!
posted by bendy at 2:32 PM on October 3, 2014

Best answer: It's a part of a set of Ross Mensuration Blocks -- Dissected Geometrical Solids. Here's the relevant part, and the rest of the set.
posted by nonane at 2:50 PM on October 3, 2014 [29 favorites]

Response by poster: We have a winner! Thanks nonane! I will let her know.
posted by harrietthespy at 2:52 PM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Now the question is, how did nonane do that?
posted by jon1270 at 5:11 PM on October 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

jon1270: "Now the question is, how did nonane do that?"

It's ask me. This place is overflowing with miracle answers! And really quickly, too! Hugs to all.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:01 PM on October 3, 2014

It never ceases to amaze me what the hivemind is capable of. All hail. Bzz bzzz!
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:03 PM on October 3, 2014

Response by poster: I told the owner and she is excited! Check her site tomorrow for the updated listing. I wonder if she will change the price based on the new information?
posted by harrietthespy at 8:25 AM on October 4, 2014

The Matrix is almost complete. Redirecting Internet Outrage Energy Source in 3... 2... 1...
posted by IAmBroom at 2:11 PM on October 5, 2014

Now the question is, how did nonane do that?

Nonane (my wife) did that by being Curatorial Associate, Science & Technology, MIT Museum. It's literally her job to know this stuff.
posted by dmd at 12:40 PM on October 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

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