This time the weekend kick-off is going to be all Asian themed. No bikes, cycles, modern gadgets nor anything 2.0. We'll show some old trickery instead and make the most mechanical of the engineers scratch their heads, for sure.
A Himitsu-bako is an old Japanese puzzle box. It dates back to the early 1900's when craftsmen in the Hakone region near Tokyo began making the boxes to hide messages or good-luck charms.
The boxes come in all sizes and patterns. What makes them interesting, though, is the fact that it takes some brain work and fast fingers to open the box. The smaller ones require up to 12 movements, bigger ones 50-60-70. How's it related to engineering, you ask? The art of designing the plates of the box and the inner construction make the results of this old craftsmanship quite impressive.
One video speaks a hundred words:
If all of the above looks simply too easy, then here's one monster of a box called Yosegi-muku, requiring no less than 324 steps to open the box. Wait and see at least until 2:50. Once the lid is off, you can have a sneak peek at the inside of the construction.
The story goes that such a box-making art is mastered at around 60 years of age. That's some lifetime employment, I'd say.
Still think the Rubic's Cube is a challenge? :)
Oh, and a model of such a box, even the tiniest, uploaded to the Library could probably become the most downloaded of the day, week, month and the year. Yes, that was a hint right here ;)