Modern Living: The Current Picture

Within the screen, one viewer sees a configuration of the Virgin Mary, another a storm at sea, a third the blossoming of an exotic tropical plant. But the Kalliroscope is more than a Rorschach in flux. It is also a work of art, a study in hydrodynamics, a patented invention, a decoration, a toy—and with sales already exceeding 15,000—one of this year's most successful novelty items.

The Kalliroscope resembles a glass-fronted picture frame and is filled with a nonflammable cleaning fluid called perchloroethylene. A multitude of tiny flat crystals suspended in the liquid reflect...

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