by Blair Pfander
If designer Bryce Bell has anything to do with it, business cards won't be regarded for their paper weight or raised ink, but by their ability to fling random objects through space. His latest invention, the "Trebucard", does exactly that, using the weight of 16 pennies to launch jumbo-size paperclips 8-10 feet in the air.
Cleverly designed to fold into a wallet-friendly rectangle, the Trebucard is modeled on a classic trebuchet (a kind of medieval catapult). Two curved wings on the outside of the card can be clipped together in the center to create a rocking teeter-totter, while stacks of taped-together pennies fit into identical windows at the top. A paperclip, slightly stretched-out, is then positioned beneath a white tab at the bottom. When the catapult is positioned upright over the paperclip and released, it lurches forward, propelling the clip into the air with jaw-dropping speed.
Not only is the Trebucard a fully-functional (if very small) weapon, but Bell makes it easy to customize it to the user's needs. The cards can be ordered blank or pre-printed with contact information, and Bell conveniently includes a paperclip with every card, so each one is ready for blast-off as soon as it leaves your wallet. And those outside the U.S. need not worry—Bell assures us that most small coins can be used in lieu of American pennies.
Anyone who ever wanted a weird party trick or a harmless way to annoy a cubicle-mate can order cards online (prices start at $1.25 for a set of 1-9) and go forth with confidence. Also available is Bell's Cardapult V2, recently enhanced for greater power. Take a look at the Trebucard in action in this video.