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Paper straws


I’d been keeping these stripey straws for something as their little stripes create an optical illusion when the straws are rolled around. Then this little toy sprung to mind. 

Using wire I made a little frame that would hold cut pieces of the straws. I should say at this point that I used two straws whose stripes were printed in opposite directions. This was what created a strange effect.

This video begins to capture the strange optical effect, but ideally you’d see all the straws rolling at a constant speed at the same time!

On sharing the video above, I was reminded that it’s the same kind of thing going on with barber shop signs. It creates an infinitely upward moving effect, like a corkscrew. There’s even an interesting reason why babershop signs feature blue and red. You can see a video about it here.