Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Canary Resuscitator

If you're going to put them at risk, give them a chance
  (+47, -3)(+47, -3)(+47, -3)
(+47, -3)
  [vote for,

Canaries have long been a safeguard for miners. By quickly dying, the canary sends the message that it's time to leave the mine.

So, while many owe their lives to the canaries, what do the little birdies get in return? Just a quick tip of the cage into the wastebin.

Want to try CPR? Sorry, human fingers aren't fast enough.

So here's the answer. On top of the canary's cage is a small polycarbonate container with a hole just big enough for the insertion of the supine finch. The end of the hole has a dimple fitted for the bird's beak. On the side of the container, a crank handle (geared to acheive several hundred beats/min) whose shaft drives a chest compressor and a very small bellows pump. Oxygen can be supplied from a standard micro cylinder.

Insert the canary, and start cranking. When the bird starts struggling, the back of the block hinges downward, and the bird is back in the cage.

In the spirit of avoiding double jeopardy, the rescued canary can be retired from service - enjoying a nice little retirement party with those others whose lives were saved.

lurch, Jul 10 2006

BBC: Canaries phased out in 1986 http://news.bbc.co....2547000/2547587.stm
An Agence France Presse article from Jan 2 1996 reports on the last four canaries retiring from the North East Mines Rescue Service center in Tyne and Wear, ten years later. [jutta, Jul 11 2006, last modified Jul 13 2006]

Mentioned here, if you look deep http://www.rogerfro...om/hon.htm#Catalyst
I bet this is the one Dub mentioned. If it wasn't an April Fool's joke, anyway. [lurch, Apr 01 2008]


       +1 my dad once offered an asthma pump to a dying goldfish!   

       nice to see you, lurch.
po, Jul 10 2006

Dub, Jul 10 2006

       One problem - the original alert is still in force, hence endangering the canary attendants. The solution would be to fire the canary as far as possible away from the affected area, whilst allowing the personnel to evacuate unhindered and unconcerned. A special canary restoration team outside, and exactly in line of shot of the trajectory, catches the alarmed alarm bird and inserts it into their hole.
Ian Tindale, Jul 10 2006

       Didn't Sting write a song for the poor little beggars?
BirdAid or some such.


       Can someone please tell me which mine sites still use canaries? In answer, [21 Quest] I think you'll find that there are any number of electronic devices available. I was using one the other day to determine that a "confined space" (enclosed or confining work space) on a mine site had a "safe atmospehere". It tests for oxidation potential (flammability or ignition potential), toxins, engulfment risks (ie too much CO2, low oxygen, etc) and some of them, airborne particulates as well. I really do think that you'll find that most if not all mine sites will use electronic devices at regular intervals in underground mines, especially Coal mines.   

       I believe the Canary has become somewhat of an iconic cliche, and would be really surprised (and I mean completely stupefied) to find canaries in use in modern mine sites.   

       bun for the idea, though, 'cause animal cruelty (especially where a perfectly viable alternative is available) in totally inexcusable.
Custardguts, Jul 11 2006

       + A bun for all canaries who have given their lives and this wonderful idea, even if canaries don't have to work in the mines any longer.
xandram, Jul 11 2006

       It seems to me that a small, complex, living, breathing creature is the best indicator that conditions are favorable/unfavorable for other larger complex, living, breathing creatures. I would feel better if there were *both* living and mechanical means of detection if I were in that mine. Which is more cruel? Let a small animal die or to let many men, most of whom have single-income families at home, die. I choose the bird any day. For those the say otherwise, I'm sure you can be replaced just fine by a canary that didn't have to die in your stead.
MoreCowbell, Jul 11 2006

       Generally speaking the devices I have mentioned can detect harmful conditions at concentrations far lower than is required to actually harm people. I really don't understand how it would not be obvious that an advanced, analogue signal such as from an atmosphere sampler is a far better warning than a simple binary (canary is alive, canary is dead) output.. This is not to mention the fact that you have to employ someone (therefore exposing one extra person to the potentialy harmful environment) to monitor the canary.   

       The mining industry (of which I am speaking about developed countries) has come a long way from the industry in which many people have formed their opinions on. Laugh if you like, but for something easily monitored and avoided such as harmful atmospheres, I can garuntee that their detection systems are completely foolproof, probably with multiple redundancies..   

       I also imagine there are a number of harmful or potentially harmful environmental conditions that air quality monitoring would detect before a canary would even notice. Airborne silicon particles, Radon, Hydrogen leaking from an UPS, the list goes on...
Custardguts, Jul 11 2006

       Sorry [custardguts], but everytime someone says something is foolproof, a better fool is made.
fridge duck, Jul 11 2006

       yes, and they always spell guarantee that way
pigtails_and_ponies, Jul 11 2006

       My salient point being that the canary is far less "foolproof" than the devices in use already. Anyone know of any incidents lately of air-quality related incidents in mines where a canary would have helped? -One gets used to making broad sweeping statements, especially when talking to management: they have to think less if you don't use qualifiers-   

       As for typos and spelling mistakes: guilty as charged. Guarantee always comes out wrong, and I never notice.
Custardguts, Jul 11 2006

       + for being considerate to birds.
xenzag, Jul 12 2006

       //It seems to me that a small, complex, living, breathing creature is the best indicator that conditions are favorable/unfavorable for other larger complex, living, breathing creatures// Sewer rats would tend to belie your argument, [morecowbell] ;-)
coprocephalous, Jul 12 2006

       "Any sign of distress from the canary was a clear signal . . .." It seems the birds didn't die.
baconbrain, Jul 12 2006

       Zombie canaries?
RayfordSteele, Jul 13 2006

       I now have a desire to start a mime school for canaries, so that they can learn to more readily communicate their distress. Then put them to work in office building elevators, where their singing would surely be an improvement over the piped-in boredom-vibes, and they could provide a focal point for folks wishing an excuse to avoid eye contact. And someday, you may just see one, lying on his little back with one claw wrapped around his beak, the other foot slowly stroking the air while he emits little "pfft - pfft - pfft" noises, and you'll know to wait for the next car.
lurch, Jul 16 2006

       Maybe this could be combined with the Phantom Forty Pounder Floater idea ? After all, toilet stalls and elevators are of comparable dimensions.
8th of 7, Dec 21 2007

       How about switching to using chickens? This would avoid waste.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2007

       <swisscheese tag - replacing [UnaBubba]'s vanished annos, paraphrased>What @$#%* boned this?</sc-tag>   

       Go easy, [UB]. Remember, the instructions to the jury were rather loose, and some of them are drunk. This time of year, some are even involuntarily visiting in-laws & are downright grumpy. It's OK, really, it is.
lurch, Dec 23 2007

       <swisscheese-tag - [UnaBubba] again> Well, they could have just sent an "Empty Box of Chocolates". </sc-tag>   

       But I don't want one.   

       They could send it to you, but then I'd never know, and you would be scratching your head wondering "What's *this* for?"   

       Imagine you're driving down the road, and you come to a sign with an image of a hand with the mid-digit extended. It might not make any sense, but getting out and arguing with it won't help.
lurch, Dec 23 2007

       // getting out and arguing with it won't help. //   

       No, but a 12-guage loaded with buckshot will ....
8th of 7, Dec 24 2007

       //buckshot will...// Now, Mr. [Seven], I previously had this all figured out about one of us being a true & proper subject of Her Majesty, and the other a redneck. You're confusing me on which of us is which.
lurch, Dec 24 2007

       Are you the good twin, or the evil twin ?
8th of 7, Dec 24 2007

       Baked. I saw one of these in the Science Museum earlier (It wasn't quite the same design, but performed the same purpose).
Dub, Apr 01 2008

       wouldn't it just be easier to use the pet semetary, though?
drummac88, Apr 01 2008

       Au contraire, mon brave. They're weren't generally indigenous to where they were used (wonders if they ever bothered to try bats in a coalmine)
Dub, Apr 02 2008

       I like it, and think it deserves a bun. However...   

       <pedant> CPR actually only revives somebody in about 2% of cases, even if administered promptly. So your little Canaresuscitator (thanks, UnaBubba!) wouldn't save many lives... Unless you add a teeny weeny canary-calibrated defibrillator! Tuck the tiny electrodes under the feathers and voila'! The little guy's chances have improved by 75%. </pedant>
Ratwoman, Apr 02 2008

       Sounds good to me. Any idea of what voltage it should use?
lurch, Apr 02 2008

       Well, if this is any help, according to Monty Python, 90,000volts isn't enough to make a Norwegian Blue parrot go Voom!
Dub, Apr 02 2008

       Heh---"supine finch." That's a phrase you don't hear very often. I'm going to see how many ways I can work it into conversations tomorrow.
Ander, Apr 03 2008

       What's the ratio of mass between a Norwegian Blue parrot and a canary ? Besides, defibrilators work on energy (in Joules), not voltage.
8th of 7, Apr 03 2008


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle