If tinkeringis your thing, youill find hours of addictive fun at Sodaplay. Using Java, this site provides you with something thatis a mix between a KiNex constructor kit and a wireframe modeler, and a little bit of something else entirely different. The objective is simply to build neat stuff.
Building something that works looks deceptively simple at first. Using your mouse, you start constructing your model by connecting points. To create movement other than the environmentis natural gravity, parts of your model need to have springs. Controlling the spring relies on placing the springis movement onto a imuscle wave.i When the model is animated, the wave flexes each spring according to its placement, and you can simulate your results with your choice of gravity or weightless environments.
A model wiggles across the play area.
With only a small amount of practicing on the interface, plenty of trial-and-error and some knowledge of physics, you can create a model that wanders happily about the screen, rotates like a windmill, or -- if youire like me -- shuffles along the ground like a drunken slug. Sodaplay allows you to save your creations, e-mail them to friends, or submit them to the Sodazoo for other players to study and manipulate.
You can start building your own models at the Sodaplay Web site. Donit feel too guilty if youire wasting heaps of time -- itis, um, educational. Yeah. Thatis it.
Now walk, damnit!