Of the many reveals in the recent Rolling Stone profile of Terrence Howard, perhaps the strangest was his patent application for a set of building blocks.
The block designs are based, we are led to believe, on the Empire actor’s theory that one times one actually equals two. But just because you’re wrong on the multiplicative identity property — so very, very wrong — this doesn’t mean you can’t create art trying to prove you’re right.
Enter Howard’s pending patent, application U.S. 20150079872 A1 to behold “Systems and methods for enhanced building block applications.”
But first, here’s a tweet from Howard today that shows a prototype in action:
These blocks, initially presented as educational toys, were created by Howard and his then-wife, Mira Pak, undertook while attempting to unprove math. He describes the blocks, per Rolling Stone:
“And the proof is in these pieces. I have created the pieces that make up the motion of the universe. We work on them about 17 hours a day. She cuts and puts on the crystals. I do the main work of soldering them together. They tell the truth from within.”
How much truth-telling they do is up to the beholder, we guess, but they certainly look neat in a patent application:
The building blocks have flanges edged with magnets that can move and combine into larger structures. Some of the blocks could contain LEDs that light up when the blocks are connected, or empty spaces will be filled with noble gases (keep that radon block shut tight!), or contain piezoelectric components that change based on, say, a vibration or magnetic field. As an educational tool, maybe the blocks let out a chime that indicates they’re correctly placed. Sounds pleasant!
The application starts to lose its way after throwing out the noble gas idea, ending on a laundry list of potential technologies where these blocks could end up: maybe nanotechnology, space, or cutting-edge water wheels.
Curvy shapes, however, will not prove that one times one equals two.