Like most toddlers, I am easily distracted, always to the detriment of vital tasks at hand. Lately I've been ignoring professional responsibilites in favor of an old obsession with electronics, tinkering with the contents of my junk box and attempting to assemble something fun and useless. This week's project was a bristlebot, a tiny, autonomously mobile creature composed of a pager motor (the device in your phone that makes it vibrate when receiving a call), a battery, and the head of a toothbrush. Against all expectations, it swiftly and unpredictably navigates whatever flat surface it's let loose upon. My version also sports a power switch (for that touch of sophisticated technological elegance), and a tail of stiff wire that keeps it from chronically tipping over.