Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Boiling fountain skyscraper sculpture

Quite a show!
  (+23, -1)(+23, -1)(+23, -1)
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Many skyskrapers are built with semireflective windows, to cut down on heat entering the building and cooling costs. If you traverse an area of street where this light is being reflected, it is pretty warm. And bright.

This phenomenon is harnessed in the interest of dangerous public art. By slightly angling the windows, the reflections converge on a fountainlike sculpture in the center of the public square. During a short period of the day, for a few months of the year, sufficient light is converged on the fountain to heat it up such that it sputters and boils, setting off steam powered whistles. School children are taken on fieldtrips to watch this spectacle. Hotdog buns and dimsum can be placed over strategically positioned vents so that they might be steamed to a succulent softness. Spectators hurl paper airplanes and wads of trash up over the fountain so that they are instantly consumed in a flash of fire. Buskers sing folk songs about steam, fire and the Sun.

bungston, Jun 21 2005

Inspiration Portable_20solar_20...igh_20concentration
[bungston, Jun 21 2005]

The expensive part is done. http://www.cityam.c...-light-beam-fry-egg
Now just build the fountain. [scad mientist, Sep 03 2013]

Walkie Tallkie building in London http://www.independ...ath-it-8794970.html
this building fries eggs and melts cars [xenzag, Sep 04 2013]

[link]






       What about the other times of year, when the light would focus on other places and cook the odd pidgeon or businessman?
discontinuuity, Jun 21 2005
  

       Why only odd pigeons?   

       I like the idea but am skeptical of the boiling part. Might look extra interesting, though.
bristolz, Jun 21 2005
  

       Ssssssmokin.   

       Have the tilt of all of the windows controlled such as in my AOL CD idea (the second one, that ends in "of Doom!").
Worldgineer, Jun 21 2005
  

       //Why only odd pigeons?//   

       Because all the even pigeons have moved to Jamaica.
DesertFox, Mar 31 2006
  

       I can't help thinking that if the windows are aligned so as to reflect lots of sunlight onto the fountain at a particular time of year, then immediately before and after that time the sunlight will be focussed onto a line leading towards and away from the fountain. After a while people will know to avoid this charred and pitted path of concrete but there may be a few quite expensive lawsuits first.
hippo, Mar 31 2006
  

       When I saw the article about the Walkie Scorchie, I knew I had seen that idea someplace before. I guess it's not baked until they build the fountain. See link.
scad mientist, Sep 03 2013
  

       [bigsleep], are you saying that someone from the halfbakery was on the design team for that building?
scad mientist, Sep 04 2013
  

       I am delighted. Inflamed, even. I can know in my heart that my contribution here at the HB helped make the world a more interesting place, even if the architects do not send me a tshirt.
bungston, Sep 05 2013
  

       That architect really needs to be demoted to draftsman. Sunlight is just about as important as wind in building design.
Voice, Sep 05 2013
  
      
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