Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Crop Circle Cereal

Just add milk---no UFOs needed
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You pour the cereal in the bowl. You add milk. Miniature crop circles form before your eyes.

(No, I don't know how to do it. That's the tech guys' job. I'm the idea man.)

Ander, Oct 13 2000

Theremin noises http://www.geocitie...nna/1859/music.html
[hippo, Oct 13 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Crop Circle Cereal (1997) http://www.cropcirclecereal.com/
Marketing plan for what hippo expected to find. [jutta, Oct 13 2000]

Crop Circle Cereal (TM) http://tarr.uspto.g...rial&entry=75341925
Trademark status for the trademark held by the owner of the website above. Seems he's cerious! [jutta, Oct 13 2000]

"Using lateral capillary forces to compute by self-assembly" by Paul W.K. Rothemund http://www-scf.usc.edu/~pwkr/pnas/984.pdf
Or, how to make floating things that make pretty patterns. This paper is worth reading for the pictures, even if you skip the rest of the content. [egnor, Oct 13 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Image from paper above http://www-scf.usc....wkr/BMC/penrose.gif
This is a set of floating Penrose tiles which arranged themselves into a legal tiling. [egnor, Oct 13 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Virtual Theremin http://www.bbc.co.u...und/theremin1.shtml
The BBC's free downloadable virtual Theremin for Macs and PCs [hippo, Oct 13 2000, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Stonehenge Crop Circles http://www.artbell.com/img/stone.jpg
The pattern on the box linked to by "Crop Circle Cereal (1997)" is that of a real crop circle. Notice the Stonehenge ruins in the background of both circles. [jutta, Oct 13 2000]

[link]






       When I read "Crop Circle Cereal" I thought this would be a very exclusive brand of cereal actually made from cereals gathered from crop circles. For loony New Age types, that sort of thing.
hippo, Oct 13 2000
  

       Yeah, me too.   

       Since my cereal usually lacks the whole appearance of "stalks" that could be bent sideways to form patterns, I'm a little confused as to what crop circles in cereal would look like, especially in one I'd still want to eat. Details?   

       No UFOs needed - or maybe each box comes with its own UFO crop circle applicator that you hover above the bowl as it makes Theremin noises.
jutta, Oct 13 2000
  

       Cheerios? High in fiber, but too low in complexity. Besides, we're looking for something that forms before the eater's eyes.   

       (Anyone remember the hatching dinosaur egg cereal? Now that was a narrative. Wish it had tasted better.)
jutta, Oct 13 2000
  

       The the original crop circle hoaxters can splash around in my cereal any time they want. It's the media and the extraterrestrial-UFO believers the next morning that would get annoying in the long run. ("What do you mean, you just ate them?")   

       If this gets out, it could be the start of a whole line of supernatural cereals -- cereal of christ ("a miracle in every box!"), cereal killers (with marshmallow body parts and axes), spoon benders "classic" (high in fiber) and "neo" (so light they hardly exist!), and of course abominable frosted flakes.
jutta, Oct 14 2000
  

       This could be implemented with a capillary technique similar to that described by Paul Rothemund for self-organizing systems.   

       Basically, you strategically paint hydrophilic and hydrophobic patches on the floating bits (plastic tiles in his case; cereal flakes in this case -- puffed rice might work well). Rothemund is interested in developing computational systems, but making units that tend to form circles ought to be doable. One of his demonstrations is a set of self-organizing Penrose tiles that automatically form a quasiperiodic tiling when stirred.   

       See links.   

       I have no idea if the chemicals he used would be safe in a breakfast cereal, or would work when suspended in milk.
egnor, Oct 14 2000
  

       Hey! I like Frosted Flakes! And not only because it's got a tiger for a spokescat...   

       <And yes, I buy Exxon gas, too. Why do you ask?>
StarChaser, Oct 15 2000
  

       Ack! Now I'm getting paranoid. What must we do, search the Web before posting anything we're vain enough to consider original? (Thanks for voting for it anyway, guys.)
Ander, Dec 29 2000
  

       Searching the Web is a good start, yes.
egnor, Dec 29 2000
  

       I think you have it in reverse: the people who have these ideas should first check here. If it's here, then they know it's not worth doing and they should give up.
Vance, Jan 30 2001
  

       Because there were crop circles in this pattern near Stonehenge. See link.
jutta, Jun 04 2001
  

       i'm thinking that the cereal could be made of shredded wheat fibres so when you pour them in it's like a mini wheat field
Cesario, Jan 13 2008
  

       I think the design of the bowl could be the way to go here. Of coarse it would be round and metallic in appearance.   

       In between an inner wall and an outer wall it should have a built in network of circular patterns that are followed by an electronic magnet.   

       The power source would likely be batteries that are loaded into the base of the unit.   

       Periodically the magnet would take control of the spoon and stir the cereal in circular motions leaving behind crop circles. Blinking lights would have to come into play somewhere, probably situated around the outer perimeter and doing their thing as the circles are being formed.
UfosOverChina, Jan 13 2008
  
      
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