The mad scientists behind Backyard Brains have improved upon the already spooky SpikerBox which is a tool to teach students about how electrical signals in the brain create physical movement and other functions.  In another sense it is a device to make amputated cockroach legs dance to music.  While impressive, Thinker Things were not content with the device and decided to one up Backyard Brains with the Salt Shaker, which allows you to mentally control the severed cockroach legs thanks to the integration of an off the shelf EEG machine.  If that doesn't get you thinking about how the brain works, or give you ideas on how to make a creepy Halloween …

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"Earlier this week we saw two neuroscientists at Backyard Brains put on a show at a TED talk by connecting an amputated cockroach leg (don’t worry, they grow back) to a $100 electronic device called the SpikerBox. The SpikerBox allows students to explore the world of axons and action potentials by listening in on the electronic signals generated by the hair on the legs of a cockroach. For the finale for their TED talk, the SpikerBox guys attached an MP3 player to the cockroach leg, causing the now dead appendage to dance a little jig."

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