“The Big Rip”

The coolest ad I’ve ever seen

I was going over to Salon to read an article, and since I don’t have a subscription, I had to click on an ad and view it. What popped up was an extremely nifty Flash ad by General Electric: A string of water bubbles that you can “play” to produce notes on a violin. (There’s a screenshot of it above.) I messed around with it for a few minutes and soon was able to play quite complex melodies. And I thought, damn, now this is what more online ads ought to be doing — producing fun, engaging, quick-hit interactive experiences. It’s a superb little bit of work: Part ad, part game, part instrument.

Go try it out! Hint: To play individual notes, sweep up from below to touch the bubble you want. By the way, going to view the ad will also put money in Salon’s pockets, so you will be supporting independent journalism by playing music. How often do you get to do that?

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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