Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The phrase 'crumpled heap' comes to mind.

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Demodex Pen

Install a ball in a follicle mite for writing purposes
  [vote for,

I have been provoked into writing this by the pressing issue of Demodex constipation. Naturally we all pity the plight of the poor constipated follicle mite, and this way we can harness them for a new purpose.

The excretory and presumably defecatory organs of the follicle mite provide a potential ink which usually only captures human attention when associated with blepharitis. For us, constipated follicle mites are probably a good thing unless they end up exploding as a result of impacted guts. In order to prevent such an occurrence, I suggest the following:

Firstly, as [mylodon] suggests, a metallic sphere can be inserted in the back end of the mite. I'm with the previous idea on this one.

Secondly, and this is the innovation, the Demodex should be given a substance which stimulates peristalsis. I'm sure extensive research has been undertaken on this matter.

The result is a steady flow of stools onto the anal ball, and the mite can then be used as a tiny ballpoint pen, suitable for writing on black surfaces such as obsidian. Since the diameter of the ink trail would be around thirty microns, it would be feasible to form characters around a quarter of a millimetre in width and height including clear margins. A piece of obsidian the size of a 7" tablet could then be used to store approximately 1.7 Mb of text, viewable like a microfiche.

In order to wield such a pen, some kind of scaly-downy apparatus linked to a glove could be used, or maybe a pantograph.

nineteenthly, Oct 07 2017

Demodex retroactive backend refitting http://www.halfbake...backend_20refitting
Inspiration [nineteenthly, Oct 07 2017]

Chip's Log https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chip_log
This is a mechanism for determining how fast you are approaching a former colony. [mylodon, Oct 09 2017]


       // some kind of scaly-downy apparatus //   

       You have to choose either scales or feathers. You can't have both at once.   

       What about dinosaurs ?
8th of 7, Oct 07 2017

       You'd never fit a dinosaur up a demodex's arse.   

       Ironically (and I use that word quite inaccurately), Demodex mites are one of the few animals that are incapable of becoming constipated, due to the geometry of their guts and of their anuses.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017

       For a very long time now I have intermittently wanted to know more about the little crocodiles. I am now spurred into action by your comment [MB], so thanks for that.
nineteenthly, Oct 07 2017

       You're welcome. You may also care to know that Demodex can regenerate lost limbs (just as, say, spiders can) but - remarkably - it regenerates more limbs than it loses. So, a segment that has lost one limb on one side often regenerates two limbs in its place. Clearly this is unsustainable in the long run, which may explains why Demodex only live for three to four months.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017

       "it would be feasible to form characters around a quarter of a millimetre in width and height" That is huge, are you sure? Also, for the calligrapher, perhaps a liquefying laxative and a nib would be feasible.
beanangel, Oct 07 2017

       If the line is 30-40 microns thick, then a character like "E" is going to be at least 150-200 microns tall. If written to resemble a normal "E" (wherein the spaces are about 2x wider than the strokes), it would be about 210-280 microns tall, or about a quarter of a millimetre.   

       It would be important, also, to use only male Demodex, since the anus of the female is about 40% wider.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017

       //150-200 microns tall// That's definitely some construction with egestion.
wjt, Oct 07 2017

       My estimate is based on the idea of an 8x8 character matrix. Although I realise cursive or drawn print letters are not the same, I still believe it's a good guide to how much detail is possible, which is where I got the figure from.
nineteenthly, Oct 08 2017

       The Incans used to write with dried stick insects. One species in particular feeds on some plant with a high tannin content, and its gut contents are black (a bit like oak gall, I think). The Incans used to dry these insects out, snap of a bit, and use the remainder as a sort of pencil.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2017

       // Incans //   

       Sp. "Inca". It's both singular and plural.   

       Just don't chew the end in pensive moments ...
8th of 7, Oct 08 2017

       //It's both singular and plural// That must have been very confusing for the inhabitants of Incia.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2017

       Hmm, my understanding is that the Inca didn't write at all.
nineteenthly, Oct 08 2017

       Was it the Inca who kept accounts using knotted ropes?
pertinax, Oct 08 2017

       That was the british.
mylodon, Oct 09 2017

       Sp. "British".   

       The Exchequer used "tally sticks" - lengths of wood split into two halves, with identical markings. It was the attempted disposal of these old sticks in the 19th century that resulted in the Houses of Parliament burning down.   

       Sadly, no politicians died in the inferno.   

       The Inca used "quipu", a code using knots in lengths of string.
8th of 7, Oct 09 2017

       [maxwellbuchanun] can you point me at the source of information you have that says female demodices have %50 larger anuses? Not cloaca.   

       Android spellcheck, why do you fight my halfbakery posts so?
mylodon, Oct 09 2017

       //can you point me at the source of information//   

       I was about to do that, but then noticed that the "Bollox Lock" key on my keyboard was on. Unfortunately it seems I've been typing complete nonsense.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 10 2017

       I've also seen it claimed that the mites concerned completely lack any method of voiding, and since I know there are animals whereof that's true, e.g. bryozoa and acanthocephala, I can believe it might also be the case for Demodex, in which case we need to tear them a new'un.
nineteenthly, Oct 10 2017

       Ok that's good news. Whew. Here I thought I had come up with a bad idea.
mylodon, Oct 10 2017

       Perish the thought.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 10 2017


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