February 12th, 2015


Meet the Floppits

This is the bonus material perk for the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl meeting the $300 level.

In Terramagne, Tim Henson makes Floppits and launched a television show called Semolina Lane. One thing that distinguishes Floppits from Muppets is that Floppits are soft puppets (like Kermit, but unlike Bert) who can scrunch their faces, and they also have a very particular gesture of scrunching down so that the sleeve wrinkles, the way a human would slouch or cringe. They use foam in different degrees of stiffness to provide structure, with skin made from another material such as fleece or fake fur. They can be human, humanoid, anthropomorphic, or animal in shape. (There are also regular actors on the show.) A few of the larger Floppits require more than one puppeteer to manipulate.

There are tips on how to choose a puppet maker, how to build a quality puppet or muppet or a fraggle style puppet, and some general resources. Watch a video of Jim Henson that shows puppet making and characterization.

A few of the following Floppits have already appeared in poems or stories. Others may appear in future writing. These are some ideas that I and a few friends have come up with.

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Toroidal Bubbles and Sapience

I first saw a video of cetaceans making toroidal bubbles on Facebook, and then also found this clip elsewhere.

Dolphins and other cetaceans can blow toroidal bubbles underwater. The video shows the dolphins in particular manipulating the bubbles quite skillfully to change their size and direction. The dolphins display a similar playful interaction with the bubbles that they do with toys such as plastic hoops provided by humans.

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