no, you can't have a ball pit. (not yours.)


I wrote about it in 2005.

Then there was an xkcd comic about it in 2007.

Then this guy bought 1,500 (which isn't that many, really).

Then the xkcd guy did it, too (looks like around 3,000?)

Now the last.fm guys got in on the action (clocking in at 23,000).

And there is also a convenient calculator, which pretty much agrees with my math.

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21 Responses:

  1. ciphergoth says:

    And still, no report on the virtues or otherwise of ball pit sex.

    I mean, seriously, this is the Internet, we demand to know.

  2. perligata says:

    Ball pits are responsible for the spread of MRSA.

  3. evan says:

    The Google ball pit dates to 2004, and was created by some Burning Man people. It was about the size of the XKCD one. I haven't recently looked to see if it's still around, but I think it became part of the "look how quirky we are" company tour, so I'm hopeful.

    • dr_memory says:

      It's still there. Building 40, 2nd floor. (Google's current quirkiness level is of course confidential.)

      • herbie says:

        I'm glad to hear it's still there - when I was doing orientation a couple years ago, it was pretty fun, especially if other people you were with were playing pool. Although I was distressed by the fact that, iirc, it had a cover that could actually be put on while the balls and people were still in it.

  4. rapier1 says:

    So... it would take around $90,000 to fill my house top to bottom floor to ceiling with balls. Maybe close to $115,000 if I include the basement. I think the divorce would cost a lot more though.

  5. dblslash says:

    My dad made one for my youngest (autistic) sister. It stimulates the vestibular system, and helps her to self-regulate. They bought the balls online from some place that cleans and recycles used ones. Total cost was around $200 for balls, wood, and heavy foam padding.

    It's pretty big, six feet by five, and about three deep. I can neither confirm nor deny sexual experiences.

  6. xrayspx says:

    My last.fm subscription ran out today. I'm glad to see my re-subscription would be put toward such a righteous cause. Seems like they've got the expansion plans down too.

    • fnivramd says:

      Mmmm. They do make it clear that aside from allowing them use of the meeting room the company isn't picking up the tab for this. Of course you could argue that your subscription pays the employees who bought the balls. But then some of that money is taxed, and the taxes go to the British government, which among other things uses the money to build & staff hospitals for sick children. So really anyone who doesn't buy a Last.fm subscription should think of the children.

      • xrayspx says:

        I don't care whose money it is, the ball pit is rad. I didn't RTFA because I didn't need to to see the awesome room-full-of-balls. In any case, it wouldn't be users subscription money, it would be CBS dollars now.

        Since society dictates I have to children high on my to-care list, I'll renew my subscription promptly.

  7. ywwg says:

    If you want to make your own pit, make sure you buy the crush-proof balls. They are more expensive than the flimsier balls, but the higher quality is worth it. They also sting more when they hit you in the face. This is a good thing.

  8. dskippy says:

    You're right, 1500 is not enough. I got 1000 more on the same day Randall ordered his so now it's 2500, which is nice. Randall's in 2000 not 3000. He mentioned getting some more as well. 23,000 is, I would say, just about perfect :) I need to go work for last.fm now I guess.

    -mike