A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wham-O Window

Richard Knerr died yesterday. He was the founder, with partner and best boyhood friend Arthur Melin, of Wham-O, the coolest toy company ever. Knerr and Melin were responsible for the Hula Hoop, the Frisbee, the Hacky Sack, the Superball, the Slip 'N Slide, and Silly String. And for my favorite Wham-O product of all, the Magic Window.

According to the packaging, the Magic Window “CREATES MOVING, CHANGING PICTURES! with fascinating 'VOLCANIC ACTION." It's made of "MILLIONS OF MICRODIUM CRYSTALS." You're invited to "TURN IT OVER" AND "WATCH THE MAGIC ACTION!"

This toy consisted of two plastic "windows" sandwiched together with the multi-colored "microdium" crystals inside. The different colors of crystals didn't want to mix together, so shaking or twirling the window produced swirling patterns. The toy came in two color combinations that I recall, blue and white or pink and white.

Magic Windows were licensed in 1973, but eventually discontinued. It was the perfect seventies toy...endlessly fascinating for curious kids, and undoubtedly even more psychedelically, funkadelically, radically cool for stoners. It was, like, far out, man.

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