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Firefly Fountain

Appears to sparkle at night.
  (+13)(+13)
(+13)
  [vote for,
against]

The effect would be achieved by having the fountain water contain hundreds of 1" clear plastic balls with bright, battery powered led lights.

The pump mechanism would obviously be constructed in such a way as to not damage the balls as they were sucked from the collection basin below the fountain and sprayed up in the stream.

They could also be made to pulsate and twinkle or even flash for additional effects.

Having then all remote controlled might be interesting. Have them all strobe in sync and adjust them to get one of those slow motion fountain effects.

Of course a much easier way would just be to load the water with thousands of plastic mirror pieces and shine bright spotlights on the water, but the flashing light units would be much cooler. You could also just use air to blow them around but I think the lights would play with the water nicely.

You'd use induction recharging so you wouldn't have to change hundreds of batteries.

doctorremulac3, Dec 10 2017

Just look at the :20 to :25 segment. https://www.youtube...watch?v=ualDtRbPajM
Ignore the rest. [doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017]

Water and lights at night. https://www.youtube...watch?v=zsSyxhmGMos
A worthy endeavor. [doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017]

LED balls https://www.amazon....E56DVBXA541E2ZQPF9D
$5 each. [doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017]

Glowing balls. (I'd have that looked into)<-- joke https://www.amazon....s=fluorescent+balls
About fifty cents each so 1/10th the cost. [doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017]

Another estimation of what it might look like. https://www.amazon....s=fluorescent+balls
Came across this quite by accident. [doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017]

Lit up golf balls for nigh playing. https://www.youtube...watch?v=bzusC4y9edc
It's a real thing. [doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017]

The real Doctor Remulak https://www.youtube...watch?v=hNJ3AlJrgv4
I however am NOT doctor Remulak. [doctorremulac3, Dec 13 2017]

What the hell is this? https://marketplace...WhiteSilver/2317840
Is this my idea? [doctorremulac3, Dec 21 2017]

Takes a while... https://www.youtube...watch?v=nIMQjnMX7GM
... and when you see it you'll say "Well, just wasted precious minutes of my life I'll never get back." [doctorremulac3, Dec 22 2017]

Wow. https://www.youtube...RDqlTCB_p3slY&t=293
Artificially induced glowing bits in water, definitely worth pursuing. [doctorremulac3, Dec 23 2017]

Vieques Island Bioluminescent Bay https://vieques.com...bioluminescent-bay/
It's the brightest in the world, apparently. [Wrongfellow, Dec 23 2017]

[link]






       So many good ideas in one idea. The "Dry Fountain" is my favourite.
bigsleep, Dec 10 2017
  

       You could also add a sort of volcano effect by having the fountain on top of a stepped pyramid base so the balls would bounce entertainingly down after being shot up in the air.   

       Wonder if Disney would give me a Brinks truck full of money for this idea. I've always wanted one of those.
doctorremulac3, Dec 11 2017
  

       Why not have the carrier fluid be an acid, and have dissimilar metal panels on the surface of the spheres ? A small battery could accumulate energy via a DC-DC switcher - or use a supercapacitor.
8th of 7, Dec 11 2017
  

       Well, does add that element of danger that most fountains are missing.   

       Unless you're talking about acids that are safe for contact with human skin, in which case not interested.
doctorremulac3, Dec 11 2017
  

       The pump could also reset a timer and mode switch on the balls.. This would allow for synced emission, for patterning and waves of color.
mylodon, Dec 11 2017
  

       Shirley much simpler to use a saltwater fountain and some luminous dinoflagellates? They emit light in response to shear stress, so the light would have interesting patterns that corresponded to local turbulence. They're also much cheaper to produce than plastic balls, and don't need charging, and are easier to pump.   

       You could probably also engineer them for both colour and stress sensitivity, to get a fountain that was different colours in different parts.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 11 2017
  

       Forget the batteries. Design the balls in such a way that they accumulate a static charge or something or are capacitors charged by magnetic induction or some such emf magic.
RayfordSteele, Dec 11 2017
  

       You could put a photosensor in them to trigger light so an external laser could create images and effects without really complex onboard CPU synchronization.   

       Also getting your millions from Disney might go well with having them at the gift shop, with little LED hearts on them so couples could express affection and throw them in the fountain together. The lights in the fountain would grow and grow.
beanangel, Dec 11 2017
  

       I want one.
I don't know where I'd put it, but I want one.
  

       We have a suggestion as to where you can put it, specifically The Place Where The Sun Does Not Shine.   

       It will look better in the dark.   

         

       // Unless you're talking about acids that are safe for contact with human skin //   

       Oh come on, what do you think ?   

       // luminous dinoflagellates? //   

       Wouldn't you need a fairly narrow band of temperature control ? What about nutrients ? How hard would it be to keep the culture pure - would you need some sort of microbiological Gestapo to enforce racial purity ?   

       Presumably you'd have to make really, really tiny bands with swastikas on them to be worn on the flagellae ?   

       Aren't the brown shirts going to obscure the light somewhat ?   

       What are you going to do if the fountain annexes the Sudetenand ?
8th of 7, Dec 11 2017
  

       They could also be kinetically powered. Have little generators that have an offset weight on the rotor so as the thing gets tossed around by the water the generator spins enough to provide power.
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       Interesting idea.   

       Might help if the outer casing were ovoid rather than spherical, to induce tumbling.   

       A kinetoelectric generator is going to add mass, whereas for maximum height - even entrained in a fluid column - a fairly low mass will probably be better.   

       There is no doubt a calculable optimum density for a given size of element.   

       When an element departs from the fluid column, if it has low density then it will store less kinetic energy, and aerodynamic drag will slow it at a greater rate before gravity pulls it down.   

       A heavier unit will have more energy, but depending on its profile it may be harder to transfer kinetic energy to it from the fluid, meaning its starting velocity is lower. Since there is a V^2 term in kinetic energy,small changes in V are more significant than large changes in M.
8th of 7, Dec 12 2017
  

       Hang on a moment. This is silly. You'll want thousands of these things for an effective fountain.   

       Make the balls (which can be any size you like) out of phosphorescent ("glow in the dark") plastic, which is already a thing.   

       In the base of the fountain, have an intense light (UV might be good) to keep their "glow" topped up. If they get re-charged in this way on every trip around the fountain, they'll be super bright.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2017
  

       That's smart. They wouldn't be as bright as I had hoped for but that would definitely be the easiest way to do this.          

       Can you see laser beams shot through water if they don't hit anything reflective? If not, you could have a couple of dozen lasers at the base aimed up that would illuminate the balls, plastic mirrored confetti or whatever as they danced and bounced around in the water.       

       I was basically picturing something a little like the link.   

       But Max, if you can sell the combo of our ideas to Disney, I'll split that Brink's truck with you. Half a Brinks truck is bettern than no Brinks truck at all.   

       I mean, sort of, semi, quasi seriously, this is the kind of idea I throw away then see on SharkTank making millions of dollars a few years later.   

       If I were at Disneyland with the kids, I would feel like I didn't get my money's worth if we left without seeing the "Firefly Fountains" tm, copyright all rights reserved.Yes? No? Maybe?
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       //They wouldn't be as bright as I had hoped for//   

       They can be. A good phosphor will emit a great amount of light for a few seconds after being zapped.   

       //But Max, if you can sell the combo of our ideas to Disney, I'll split that Brink's truck with you. // I'll settle for 5% as (a) you did the hard part and (b) you'll be the one banging on Mr. Disney's door.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2017
  

       //They wouldn't be as bright as I had hoped for//   

       They can be. A good phosphor will emit a great amount of light for a few seconds after being zapped.   

       //But Max, if you can sell the combo of our ideas to Disney, I'll split that Brink's truck with you. // I'll settle for 5% as (a) you did the hard part and (b) you'll be the one banging on Mr. Disney's door.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2017
  

       They won’t twinkle as a phosphorescent thing, and color choice could be limited. Hmm... there must be some simple way...   

       I’m still thinking a charge pad in the fountain somehow, and a reliable capacitor.
RayfordSteele, Dec 12 2017
  

       //you'll be the one banging on Mr. Disney's door.//   

       I actually have links to Disney. They own my publishing.   

       Very very very different department.
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       //They won’t twinkle as a phosphorescent thing, and color choice could be limited. //   

       True, apart from those two points.   

       (1) For twinkle, just have black and phosphorescent sectors of the sphere.   

       (2) For colours, you can get yellow, green, red, blue, orange, purple... any others you'd like?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2017
  

       It occurs to me, people have done the whole "water and lights" thing before with candles floating down a river. Not sure where I saw that but I'm sure it's been done somewhere and it looked really cool. I'll see if I can find a link.
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       Well well, take your pick. Light up balls either fluorescent or LED are right their on line. Just throw them in a properly configured fountain and viola! (see links)   

       Idea simplification - no complicated ball accomodating pump system needed, just have the balls fall into a large funnel around the base of the fountain, have the balls directed into the stream via channels where the high pressure water stream grabs the ball, propells it upwards so the next ball moves into its place and likewise gets thrown up into the air.   

       Same exact effect, no tricky mechanism needed.
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       Some Oriental cultures have a tradition of floating candle lanterns down rivers ... might be some sort of commemoration of the dead ?
8th of 7, Dec 12 2017
  

       Sounds like an idea the eastern candle businesses came up with. "You need to throw thousands of pieces of our product in the river. You don't want to dishonor your ancestors do you?"
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       [doctorremulac] If you would like your millions from Disney a "microentity" patent is only $70 at uspto.gov
beanangel, Dec 12 2017
  

       Those are very cool but I don't qualify. I've already got a few patents so I file under "small entity status".   

       My favorite patent office innovation is the really cheap "provisional patent" that gives you 12 months to claim your priority for an invention for about a hundred bucks. (I believe I've mentioned these before.) My guess is it was inspired by the old wive's tale that you could claim date of invention of something by creating a written description of it and sending it in an envelope to yourself through the mail, the postmark being proof that you invented the enclosed invention by that date. (Of course nobody would ever be able to open an envelope and put something in later by just sending themselves and unsealed envelope.) The idea however is sound if you have somebody else receive the idea and hold it on file which is what the patent office does.   

       Once the description is in the files of the patent office, you have 12 months to file an official patent that actually gets reviewed and approved or rejected, but if you get it, you're protected from the date of priority established by the provisional patent sent earlier. 12 months should also be enough time to see if anybody would buy your idea in the marketplace.   

       If I were to go for this, that's what I'd do. Keep it cheap until the market is established. If Mickey flips me the middle finger of his puffy white glove, I'm only out a few bucks.   

       Next step after you've established a market is to get your product made in China, and I'm speaking from experience, at that point welcome to hell. And good luck hanging onto your sanity.   

       Luckily I have little martians living in my head using little shock paddles on my brain, otherwise I'd have gone nuts a long time ago.
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       Wow, LED golf balls are a real thing. See video link. They've got motion activated or light activated.
doctorremulac3, Dec 12 2017
  

       [doc], one thing* has always puzzled me. Your username is [doctorremulac3], but it's actually spelled "Remulak", according to the infallible internet. So, does that mean that there were two other guys who spelled it "Remulac" before you got there?   

       *This is of course a gross misunderstatement. There are, at last count, 1437 things that puzzle me. There used to be 1458, but I am slowly working my way through the list.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 12 2017
  

       //specifically The Place Where The Sun Does Not Shine.   

       It will look better in the dark.//   

       I'll set'm up and you knock'm home.   

       //So, does that mean that there were two other guys who spelled it "Remulac" before you got there?//   

       Well, three actually. Here's the very boring story.   

       There was a character on this radio show that would call in and just say "I am doctor Remulak" over and over. The day I heard that show I was setting up an email address and needing a seldom used word to name it, I tried "doctorremulac" not knowing (or caring) that the character spells his name with a K. That was taken, so I tried "doctorremulac1", that was taken as well. Took till 3 to find one that was available.   

       Subsequently, I had been driving down a street rife with speed-bumps and wondered if a cornstarch and water filled affair, that was soft if you drove over it slowly, might make me some kind of super rich speed bump mogul. I searched and found the custard filled speed bump and decided this site looked like an interesting place to drop into now and then. I was prompted to come up with a login name and since I didn't want to have a different ficticious name for every site I went to, there you are.   

       I assumed I'd come onto the site for a month or two and lose interest so I really didn't give a lot of thought to the user name. That was 13 years ago.   

       Happy to have reduced your list to 1,436.
doctorremulac3, Dec 13 2017
  

       // I didn't want to have a different ficticious name for every site I went to //   

       Sloppy ... that just makes it easier to hunt you down and stalk you ...   

       // reduced your list to 1,436. //   

       You're behind the curve. We've just added a couple of new ones ...
8th of 7, Dec 13 2017
  

       //Here's the very boring story. //   

       Maybe a similar approach could be used for naming babies. Just have an algorithm take each name in turn, and try "Name1", "Name2".... until it finds a number that's not taken as an email address. The name with the highest number wins (or loses).   

       //We've just added a couple of new ones// In general, Borg-related problems don't make it into my list, on the grounds that they are often Borg-specific and, in any case, insoluble.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 13 2017
  

       I'd always assumed it was an anagram of "MacLure".
pertinax, Dec 13 2017
  

       //I'd always assumed it was an anagram of "MacLure".// How could it be? There's no "3" in MacLure.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 13 2017
  

       Beautiful balls [+]
Voice, Dec 13 2017
  

       //Also getting your millions from Disney might go well with having them at the gift shop, with little LED hearts on them so couples could express affection and throw them in the fountain together. The lights in the fountain would grow and grow//   

       Hmm. Clever.   

       Wonder if you could make a biodegradable light up floating thing so people could throw them in rivers, lakes, waterfalls and the like at night.   

       Charge $20 a pop for them and then watch the look on the girl's face when the boyfriend says "Naa, that's too expensive." They'll be back shortly after about an hour of "What's wrong?" "Nothing, I'm glad you saved $20 on our $5,000 trip to Niagra Falls.".   

       The smart move would be to say "I'll take ten please."
doctorremulac3, Dec 14 2017
  

       You know, really the easiest version of this would be the thing I referred to about just having little mirrored pieces of plastic. If they were small enough you could just dump them in any fountain that had bright lights aimed at the water column and you'd get a sparkly effect as they rotated and swirled about.   

       Of course any inventor has to consider liability and make sure the design wouldn't clog the pumps or kill seagulls or any other stupid bird or animal (or human for that matter) that's attracted to shiny objects.
doctorremulac3, Dec 14 2017
  

       Democrats?   

       // you'd get a sparkly effect as they rotated and swirled about. //   

       Or you could just look at a regular fountain after taking a couple of these little tablets ? Only $5 each, or $20 for five...
8th of 7, Dec 14 2017
  

       But I think that method is pretty well baked.
doctorremulac3, Dec 14 2017
  

       Wow if you paid $5k to visit Niagara Falls you must've stayed in some kind of swanky place.
RayfordSteele, Dec 15 2017
  

       Can somebody please click on the link to this "product" and tell me if it's my fountain idea?   

       It says "Sparkle Fountain" that includes "Water sounds, sparkle effect & on / off switch."   

       Note that it's not a photo of something, it's a very poor quality 3D rendering. If there's any confusion about what the hell this thing they're selling for L$150 is, they've cleard that up by saying   

       "A lovely decoration for any garden. Also comes with an On/Off switch so if SL is giving you lag your fountain can easily be switched off."   

       Since they reference "Water sounds" I don't know if those are created by water or something else. Usually you don't refer to a product emitting (insert name of product here) sounds.   

       "For sale motorcycle, emits genuine motorcycle sounds. Has off switch in case of SL lag whatever that might be."   

       You guys are smart, what am I missing here?
doctorremulac3, Dec 21 2017
  

       I believe, [doc], that what is being offered for sale there is a virtual fountain.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2017
  

       What if the liquid in the fountain was a concentrated solution of Radium salts ?
8th of 7, Dec 21 2017
  

       Yep, the key here is 'second life.' Virtual world for people who either messed up their real lives too much or got bored with them or something.
RayfordSteele, Dec 21 2017
  

       //I believe, [doc], that what is being offered for sale there is a virtual fountain//   

       Like an 3d file for video game or something right? That crossed my mind due to the fact that there's no photograph of an actual fountain but isn't $150 a lot to charge for something that would probably be given away at other sites?   

       But yup, you're right. I had clicked on another page on the site and it looked like what they were selling was actual merchandise but looking at other stuff, yea.   

       Ok, thank you Max, that's what I come here for, second opinions. That and the flame wars. Those are good too.
doctorremulac3, Dec 21 2017
  

       //isn't $150 a lot to charge//   

       I think it's actually L$150, whatever that is.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2017
  

       I think it might be come kind of virtual money that that website uses. The SL they refer to might be talking about how if the fountain is screwing up a scene you're using it in you can switch it off so it doesn't use as much processing power or something.   

       Anyway, not my fountain, just an animated fountain that looks sparkly, that's all I cared about.   

       Thanks all. I'm asking because I'm thinking it might be worth looking into the possibility of considering making a prototype of the simplist version of this idea. Little plastic confetti that would fit through a regular fountain pump with no modification, then made to sparkle by a bright light or series of lasers at the bottom of the fountain nozzle.
doctorremulac3, Dec 21 2017
  

       I think any sparkle from the confetti would be overwhelmed by the sparkle from the water itself.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2017
  

       Good point, the water drops themselves are little mirrors.
doctorremulac3, Dec 22 2017
  

       " Little plastic confetti that would fit through a regular fountain pump with no modification "   

       Sounds more to me like the result of a failure cause analysis - " Little plastic confetti contaminated pump mechanism "   

       But I haven't seen the design specs and test reports, so further deponent sayeth not.
normzone, Dec 22 2017
  

       Your best solution might be to just put fluorescein in the fountain and light it with a strong long-wave UV source. Fluorescein is cheap by the kilo, and at high concentrations it is very, very bright under UV.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 22 2017
  

       But that has to have been done no?   

       The only thing I could find was the very un-impressive thing in the link.   

       What I'm wanting is basically a sustainable fireworks fountain. As bright as possible.
doctorremulac3, Dec 22 2017
  

       Isn't this idea meant to be about a _Firefly_ Fountain?   

       Build a fountain with two heads, connected to two separate water supplies.   

       Add a luciferin to one supply and a corresponding luciferase to the other.   

       When two droplets collide, they will mix, leading to light-emitting reactions winking into existence at random points in the air.   

       The water at the bottom of the fountain will glow, too, as the unreacted luciferin meets the enzyme.   

       It might even be possible to create a multi-coloured fountain using more than two heads.
Wrongfellow, Dec 22 2017
  

       Well yea, that would literally be the firefly without the fly part, just its glow juice.   

       I'm wanting brighter though. Don't know why, just do.
doctorremulac3, Dec 22 2017
  

       You could add little pellets of potassium, coated in a soluble gel. As soon as the water dissolves its way through the gel, you'd get a little bang and a flash. Running costs might be high, though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2017
  

       // little pellets of potassium //   

       AHAHAHA ! HAHAHAHAHA ! MUHWHAHHAHHAHA !   

       Ahem.   

       Why "little pellets" ? Why not "big lumps" ?
8th of 7, Dec 23 2017
  

       I'm wondering what the coating could be. Clearly not a water-based gel (like gelatin or agar). Would potassium react with molten sugar? I suspect it might.   

       Maybe potassium pellets coated with lithium. I think the lithium would react slowly enough to let the pellets disperse before the water reached the potassium.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2017
  

       Well, potassium's a powerful reducing agent; it's going to rip the oxygen off anything it can.   

       What about hot-dipping it in molten potassium chloride ? That would be inert to the potassium metal, but soluble in water.   

       K melts at 65 C, KCl at over 600. The answer would be to pour a closed tube of KCl, let it set, fill it with molten K, again let it cool, then seal it with more molten KCl.   

       Automate the process and do it in a dry Argon atmosphere.   

       For a cheap version, do the same thing with Na and NaCl.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2017
  

       Gotta be cheap and safe. Disney's gotta want a dozen of them at every location.   

       Maintenance has to be the same as any other fountain. Dump some chlorine in, that's it. No recharging with chemicals that react for the effect then need to be replaced.   

       Relatively expensive one time, cheap from then on.   

       Might be getting back to the inductive rechargable plastic balls with flashers in them. They do whatever you want and after hours sit on the bottom getting recharged. You can even have them remotely controlled so they dance to music or whatever.   

       You'd have to keep people away from them or they'd take them home as souvenirs.   

       I liked the idea of dumping some kind of mirrored confetti in and illuminating it but as Max pointed out, you've got thousand of little mirrors flying around in the form of water droplets already so there's probably not much to be gained.
doctorremulac3, Dec 23 2017
  

       If you want cheap and bright and low-maintenance, fluorescein is the way to go. If you have your longwave UV lights piped into the water jet, the water will act as a light pipe, illuminating the entire stream internally and quite efficiently. Some UV beams could also illuminate the falling droplets.   

       I don't think you'll find anything else which is cheaper, brighter or low-maintenancer.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2017
  

       Yea, that is something that should be explored. Still can't believe nobody's done that. People love glowing water when nature does it with fluorescent algae.   

       How about fluorescein contained in little balls so you still get the "star" effect rather than the water itself glowing? I think to get the full effect of the glow you'd need it to be set against a darker background, in this case the water of fountain.   

       THAT might be the way to go. Actually, that IS the way to go. Ok, so it might not be dazzling bright but the difference between thousands of little mechanisms and just balls filled with stuff is substantial. You make them small enough that they won't clog a standard pond pump, I assume they use impeller pumps. No reason you can't make the balls small enough to flow through these. Then just sell them boxes of these things.   

       See link to get idea what little fluorescein balls in water look like using natures examples of glowing bits in water.
doctorremulac3, Dec 23 2017
  

       Looking at the waves that break and light up, is there a way to copy that mechanism? You could sent the water with glowing bits up in a laminar flow water column then when it broke apart at the top the magical glow bits would light up.   

       I guess you could just grow bioluminescent dinoflagellates in a pond and do whatever's necessary to make them glow. Have fountains, waterfalls etc. Shouldn't be too hard to culture these things. Then you've got the repeating income of water preperation chemicals, bioluminescent dinoflagellate food, whatever that is. "Super bioluminescent dinoflagellate vitamin mix with 8 essential nutrients and vitamins that bioluminescent dinoflagellates crave."   

       I can see it now. (two shapely women by the pool at an expensive resort) "Who's that hot older gentleman who's not at all gross despite pushing 60?"   

       "That's Doctorremulac3."   

       "THE Doctorremulac3? The Super bioluminescent dinoflagellate vitamin mix with 8 essential nutrients and vitamins that bioluminescent dinoflagellates crave mogul? That Doctorremulac3? Oh my God, I'm going to faint."
doctorremulac3, Dec 23 2017
  

       If you build it on Vieques Island [link] then all you'll have to do is pump water from the sea through the fountain. That sounds relatively low- maintenance.
Wrongfellow, Dec 23 2017
  
      
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