h a l f b a k e r y
The leaning tower of Piezo
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The countryside is all well and good, but
it's not very well edited.
If you've ever walked through a meadow
on a warm summer's day (or even an
English summer's day), you will be familiar
with the racket produced by large
numbers of crickets.
Chirrup, chirrup, chirrup - quite soothing,
really. Chirrup, chirrup. Though it is a bit
over the top. Chirrup, chirrup, chirrup.
And can get annoying after a while.
Chirrup, chirrup, bloody chirrup.
The world, therefore, welcomes the arrival
of the MaxCo Cricket Modulation kit. The
kit comes complete with 250 assorted
plastic wing overlays, a library of sound
files (Macintosh and Windows compatible),
Lasermatic thermal printer, USB cable,
three tubes of Chitomax adhesive, and a
safety pin. Yours for less than £99.99 or
To use, first catch your cricket and use the
handy reference card to determine the
species. Select an appropriate wing
overlay, place the overlay in the loading
tray of the Lasermatic printer, and close
tray. Either choose one of the panoply of
sounds from the free library, or upload
your own (MP5 or .wav supported). Simply
click "burn", and wait 5-10 seconds until
the process is complete.
Open tray, remove wing overlay (caution:
may be hot!) and allow to cool for at least
30 seconds. The overlay can be tested at
this point by drawing a fingernail across it,
where the pattern of grooves etched by
the Lasermatic printer should reproduce
the chosen sound.
Once cooled, the overlay should be
bonded to the left forewing of the cricket
using one or two small drops of Chitomax.
Remember to keep the cricket immobile
until adhesive sets (17-23 hours), before
returning it to the wild.
A few hours' work will have your nearest
meadow resounding to the gentle tinkling
of raindrops, a horde of tiny voices all
shouting your name, or the magical sound
of a tiny hundred-piece brass band tuning
Bulk discounts available.
Prost! [Amos Kito, Sep 29 2008, last modified May 23 2009]
||Could this somehow be automated, and have a machine do all the catching and lasermatic-ing? +
||Excellent - although I must confess to some initial disappointment when I discovered this wasn't something to make cricket more interesting.
For some reason I'm imagining a large field of crickets all chirrupping Rod Stewart's "Sailing" in unison.
||A field of crickets all shouting "Hey!" would put people off their picnics, but might keep the hobos away
||//disappointment when I discovered this
wasn't something to make cricket more
interesting.// MaxCo has been working
on that one for the last nine years, but has
so far failed to crack the problem.
||Great idea, but I was half expecting something like mr. potato head for crickets. Which isn't the case, you've actually used something akin to non-stupidity here. <thousands of mini 'bravo!'s echoing through the night>+
||This idea wont work. You need to modify upper and lower wings to withstand the new ridges, but even if the cricket survives capture and modification, it wont play the file. The crickets natural sound is required for communication, and an off-spec sound is no good. The playback speed produces a high-frequency high-speed chirp. The low number of ridges you could put onto a crickets wing limits the length and quality of sound that could be produced. This is no oompa band. Its not even a hey.
||It has been studied that in many forset settings there includes a "chorus master", usually a bullfrog, that seems to herald openings for forest chatter on a semi consistent basis throughout the night. I have witnessed such an occasion where the forest was quite silent upon dusk. And then, out of nowhere, a bullfrog sounded a long "buuuuuuuuuuurrrrraaap!" whereby the forest came alive with sounds. It's a bit scary to witness, indeed.
||Give each cricket a different insturment, and watch them progress naturally towards vast ensembles of symphonic mastery, mozart and bach and all the rest intertwined and weaving sounds unimaginable, unintelligible and utterly beautiful!
||Or you could make them sound like farts. Low brow for the win.
||First, catch your Cricket.....
||//"chorus master"// hmm, I don't suppose any of those orchestral cues are in the ultrasound region ?
||Yet another of the best, worst ideas ever.
||I ended up in a meadow where someone thought it would quite a lark to hook up all the crickets with samples from a certain song by Rick Ashley.
||Consequently, I set fire to the meadow, and am posting this from jail.
||Listening to Rick Astley is still a criminal offense, in most countries. However the objective is to get someone to listen to his music. It is called Rick- rolling. This would be crick-rick-rolling?