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The next Newton's cradle?

Sure, the Newton's cradle reigns supreme as the world's most mesmerizing desktop toy. But if you're looking for a replacement, we've got options for you.

At a mere 18 inches long, the Da Vinci Trebuchet lets you lob a soft clay ball right into your officemate's coffee mug. Theoretically.

Published:Caption:Photo:Marbles the Brain Store
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It's for my allergies, OK?

According to maker BestFire, this gimcrack serves as a pen holder, sterilizer and humidifier and is recommended for office use.

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The whole Ball of Whacks

In 2004, veteran workplace creativity consultant Roger von Oech developed the Ball of Whacks, a 30-sided polyhedron assembled from 30 tiny magnetic pyramids. More than just a puzzle, the ball can be reassembled in myriad ways, spurring creativity.

Google has bought 7,000 Balls of Whacks for its programmers and developers.

Published:Caption:Photo:Creative Whack Co.
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Earth globes are so 2013

Desktop globes sure are stately and educational. But you could get a 21st-century upgrade.

Consider a spinning globe of Mars, Titan, Jupiter or the moon instead. Their rotation is powered by solar cells.

If you insist on kicking it old school, there's an Earth spinning globe, too.

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This thing

You're looking at a piece of the Free Universal Construction Kit, a 3D-printed tool available via The Creative Home. Its function: allowing all of your construction sets (Legos, Tinker Toys) to talk to each other.

If that descriptor doesn't sell you, consider: It looks incredibly cool. And it's free.

Published:Caption:Photo:The Creative Home
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Got an executive-size desk? Call a meeting and make the middle managers watch you go for a strike on this 4-foot-long desktop bowling set.

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Desktop prism

Confuse and dazzle the office cat (or maybe the intern) with this 4.5-inch desktop prism.

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Floating world

The Levitron Ion is a magnetic floating globe crafted using NASA imagery. The manufacturer, Fascinations, also makes a gravity-defying top.

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Virtual keyboard

This laser-projected virtual keyboard actually works...and it leaves more room on your desk for that 4-foot desktop bowling alley.

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Ferrofluid flask

An iron-rich fluid in a jar? Check. A magnet on the other side of the jar? Check. The effect? Concept Zero's jarred ferrofluid, which forms peaks and patterns reminiscent of the black oil in The X-Files.

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Kinetic compass desktop sculpture

Artist Michael Stromberg created this art using walnut, maple, mahogany, zebrawood and a strategically placed magnet.

Published:Caption:Photo:Uncommon Goods
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Crookes radiometer

Glass bulb plus partial vacuum equals vanes that rotate when they come into contact with light ... even flat, fluorescent, office light. This Gerald Vogel version of a Crookes radiometer sells at the Museum of Modern Art online store.
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Tiny beach

It ain't Waikiki Beach, but this 7-inch, elegantly packaged "Executive Sandbox" might destress you ... if you have a really, really good imagination.

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Retro steampunk clock

Reminiscent of an old train scheduling board, this clock, available at Dot & Bo, updates via a flip action every 60 seconds and runs on a single D-cell battery.

Published:Caption:Photo:Dot & Bo
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Corporate espionage

Face it: An office isn't an office without a little backstabbing. Get ahead of your rivals with this desk-size spy scope made of mahogany and brass.

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John Edmark's desk toy -- nay, art -- works like this: twist the thin brass tube back and forth, and the 38 laser-cut wood pieces will swirl rhythmically into a pine cone shape.
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Perpetual motion machine

Powered by the sun, ThinkGeek's desk-friendly perpetual motion machine will work until it gets dark. You know. Kind of like you.

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USB typewriter

Bring some old-fashioned pizzazz to your desk with a gadget that links your tablet to a typewriter via USB.
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Playable art ball

Everybody loves a colorful ball, right? These interconnected beechwood balls are like a toddler toy for precocious vice presidents.

Published:Caption:Photo:Marbles the Brain Store
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Office guest book

Bosses love to keep employees waiting at their desks while they chat away on the phone. If you are this boss, consider leaving out this tongue-in-cheek guest book.

Published:Caption:Photo:Marbles the Brain Store
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