Out of Control. Ideas: The weird, the funny, the ludicrous, and maybe hidden in there somewhere, the Next Big Thing

Here's an engineer's playground, found, of all places, in the design column of the New York Times. It's a sample of the work of Steven M. Johnson, billed as an " inventor/author/cartoonist/former urban planner."  Stuff to make you smile. Stuff to make you go, "Hum-m-m-m."  Where do good ideas come from anyway?