Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dandelion clock

It's a dandelion clock.
  (+10, -2)(+10, -2)
(+10, -2)
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The dandelion clock is exclusively for patient, wealthy people with good eyesight.

On top of the gently-curved stainless- steel tubular stem sits a small glass button, about a quarter of an inch in diameter.

On the surface of this glass button are 1,440 small dimples. Embedded within the glass are 1,440 exquisitely small copper coils - one beneath each dimple. Two almost invisibly fine wires run from each coil down into the stem.

Sitting on the glass button are 1,440 individually hand-crafted dandelion seeds. Each seed consists of a 3/32" long sliver of polished nickel, topped with a 1/3" tall umbrella-like feather made from the finest silver wire. Each seed is held in its respective dimple by electromagnetic forces from the corresponding coil.

At any given time of day, the microprocessor in the stem regulates the flow of current to all 1,440 coils precisely. At the same time, it monitors the inductive properties of each coil, thereby detecting the presence or absence of each one of the 1,440 nickel-tipped seeds.

The wealthy, patient, sharp-eyed dandelion clock-owner plucks this artificial flower from the table, holds it to his face and gives a gentle blow. A number of the seeds break free of their magnetic bonds and scatter across the room. A second puff dislodges another cloud of seeds - but perhaps fewer than before: the inner workings of the clock have slightly increased the current to the electromagnets holding the remaining seeds. A third puff dislodges fewer still - but now there are only perhaps a few dozen seeds left.

A fourth puff dislodges only a handfull of seeds. After that even the strongest blow does not dislodge the remaining seeds - they are held now by stronger fields, as the current through each of the tiny coils beneath the remaining seeds has been increased to its maximum.

Clearly, then, it is four-something- o'clock. A casual examination of the depleted seedhead reveals that exactly 24 seeds remain attached and intractable. It is, therefore, 4:24.

Time to order another dandelion clock, obviously.

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 21 2007

Dandelight http://www.dezeen.c...andelight-by-drift/
Dandelion seeds glued onto white LEDs. [jutta, Apr 26 2007]

Dandelion Simulator http://www.neave.com/dandelion/
Loads of interesting stuff here [Dub, Nov 11 2010]

[link]






       Shades of [FarmerJohn]. (+)
normzone, Mar 21 2007
  

       am or pm? Surely not a twenty four hour dandelion. I would run out of puff before three in the arvo!
the dog's breakfast, Mar 25 2007
  

       + lovely
xandram, Mar 25 2007
  

       Inhaling nickel dust from your dandelion clock is carcinogenic.   

       Be afraid. Be very afraid!
croissantz, Mar 25 2007
  
      
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