In Brief: Buckyball Takes Manhattan, $100 Million for Central Park, Tesla Museum, iPad Mini Debuts

• Public art meets Buckminster Fuller’s brand of “energetic-synergetic geometry” in “BUCKYBALL” (pictured) by Leo Villareal. The new sculpture goes on view tomorrow in New York’s Madison Square Park thanks to the Mad. Sq. Art program, which has previously commissioned works by artists such as Jessica Stockholder, William Wegman, and Ursula von Rydingsvard. Villareal’s nested geodesic spheres are lined with 180 LED tubes arranged in Fullerene formation, with individual pixels along the tubes that can display 16 million distinct colors at the direction of custom software. You have until February 1, 2013 to catch a brain-bending BUCKYBALL light show in the park.

• And speaking of leafy urban refuges, Central Park is $100 million richer thanks to John Paulson. The hedge funder (and park lover) announced yesterday that he is donating $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy. According to The New York Times, it’s the largest monetary donation in the history of New York City’s park system—and possibly the nation’s. And lest you suspect a bid for Paulson Plaza, nope. Nothing in the park will bear his name.

• Over in Long Island, a web-based campaign has succeeded in raising $1.3 million to preserve the laboratory of scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla. Fire up your Tesla coil and listen to the Science Friday interview with Matthew Inman, who spearheaded the crowdfunding effort to rightfully honor the man he describes as “the greatest geek who ever lived.”

• In other geektastic news, the iPad Mini is upon us. Thinner and considerably lighter than the third-generation iPad, it’s perfect for those with little arm strength: Apple touts it as “a revolutionary design you can hold in one hand.” To flummox your buying decision, the company chose the same day to announce the fourth-generation iPad. Both new models go on sale next Friday, with the iPad Mini starting at $329 and the iPad 4 starting at $499.

• If you want our advice, liquidate your tiny tablet device fund and hit the Madeline Weinrib sample sale, which runs from today through Sunday at ABC Carpet & Home in New York. The sale will include the designer’s vibrant handmade carpets, pillows, fabrics, furniture, fashion, and accessories, all reduced by 40% to 70%. Because ikat beats iPad any day.