And you thought the theremin was weird.

Well, it is, sorta. But 50’s science fiction movies would never have been the same without it.

Here’s a video of Leon Theremin playing his own instrument:

The Japanese, of course, know how to take anything weird and push it over the top: Here’s an orchestra of young ladies playing Beethoven’s 9th on theremins built into Russian Matrochka dolls:

But thanks to modern technology (and some retro technology), people have figured out all sorts of new ways to make music.

Some geek figured out how to program old 5.25″ floppy drives to make music. This is not good for the drives, but it’s pretty cool:

But a good idea can always be made better:

Not to be outdone, Steve Ward and Jeff Larson realized that Tesla coils could be made to become musical:

The physics behind this feat is explained at Physics Buzz.

While Mario Brothers sounded good, I think Inspector Gadget sounded better:

And one last one, the most complex effort I’ve seen in this medium:

There are far more odd ways to make music than I could list here, but these were some which tickled my fancy.

Edit: Thanks to Inshadowz who pointed out this one using a dot-matrix printer to play “Eye of the Tiger”

Edit 2: Here’s a captivating demonstration of how using the same principle can create speech using nothing but a piano (The narration is in German, but the captions are adequate):

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Proper Care of Floppies

Geek Alert: This is old humor, dating from when floppy disks looked like this:

The Proper Care of Floppies

1. Never leave diskettes in the disk drive, as data can leak out of the disk and corrode the inner mechanics of the drive. Diskettes should be rolled up and stored in pencil holders.

2. Diskettes should be cleaned and waxed once a week. Microscopic metal particles can be removed by waving a powerful magnet over the surface of the disk. Any stubborn metallic shavings can be removed with scouring powder and soap. When waxing diskettes, make sure application is even. This will allow the diskettes to spin faster, resulting in better access time.

3. Do not fold diskettes unless they do not fit in the drive. “Big” diskettes may be folded and used in “little” diskette drives.

4. Never insert a diskette into the drive upside down. The data can fall off the surface of the disk and jam the mechanics of the drive.

5. Diskettes cannot be backed up by running them through the Xerox machine. If your data is going to need to be backed up, simply insert two diskettes together into the drive. Whenever you update a document, the data will be recorded on both diskettes.

6. Diskettes should not be inserted or removed from the drive while the red light is flashing. Doing so could result in smeared or possibly unreadable text. Occasionally the red light continues to flash in what is known as a “hung” or “hooked” state. If your system is “hooking” you, you will probably need to insert a few coins before being allowed to access the disk drive.

7. If your diskette is full and you need more storage space, remove the disk from the disk drive and shake it vigorously for two minutes. This will pack the data enough (Data Compression) to allow for more storage. Be sure to cover all the openings with scotch tape to prevent loss of data.

8. Data access time can be greatly improved by cutting more holes into the disk jacket. This will provide more simultaneous access points to the disk.

9. Diskettes can be used as coasters for beverage glasses, provided that they have been properly waxed beforehand. Be sure to wipe the diskettes dry before inserting into drive. (see item #2 above)

10. Never use scissors and glue to manually edit documents. The data stored is much too small to be seen by the naked eye, and you may end up with data from some other document stuck in the middle of your document. Razor blades and scotch tape may be used, provided the user is equipped with an electron microscope.

11. Periodically spray diskettes with insecticide to prevent system bugs from spreading.

The Old Wolf has spoken