Noisebridge appears to have an answer:
Jameco and Instructables.com donated a buncha weird parts to Noisebridge, including LED’s, crystal oscillators, 555 timers, Russian capacitors…. Thank You, JameCo and Instructables! Thanks Dana Sniezko for suggesting this partnership.
Our mission: make something that does something. Not as easy as it sounds.
The result: A 9-volt battery driving an LM317 power-supply outputting 5 volts, driving a tiny sliver of crystallized rock into resonance at one-and-a-half thousand vibrations per second, divided in half, 8 times, by a binary counter, down to a speed of about six vibrations per-second, driving an LED.
Meaning, we made multiple LED’s blink at varying rates, all without a microcontroller. “i’m happy to say, not one 555 was used”, says Johny Radio, organizer. “This was my design goal, since everybody uses 555′s for everything.” READ MORE HERE