Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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KillerNewton's Cradle.

Large.
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First, you need to find two tall structures about (say) 50 metres apart. A pair of large office buildings on opposite sides of a road would do very nicely.

Second, you will need balls of steel, five, weighing (say) a ton each. Each should have an attachment point for a cable. In a preferred embodiment, said balls are chromium plated.

Third, you need ten strong bolts and 2000 metres of steel cable.

Fourth, attach bolts to buildings (in two horizontal rows of five), steel cables to bolts (connecting each bolt to its counterpart on the opposide building), and a ball to the middle of each cable. The balls should hang (all at the same height) about 5 metres above the ground.

You now have the world's largest Newton's Cradle. Each morning, it can be set in motion by means of a Delegated Official on a firetruck. A variety of different patterns can be established, by pulling back and releasing either one or two of the balls, or by simultaneously pulling back and releasing balls on opposite ends of the row.

If the supporting wires are about 100m long, the balls will swing majestically, about once every 20 seconds.

MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2009

Hippo's Silent Dodgy Chimes Hippo_27s_20Silent_20Dodgy_20Chimes
[hippo, Apr 27 2009]

[link]






       I am relieved to see that, despite the title, this is not a means of execution.
jutta, Apr 26 2009
  

       I bet it would make a fantastic report.
tatterdemalion, Apr 26 2009
  

       //this is not a means of execution.// Actually, now you mention it....
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2009
  

       //it would make a fantastic report.// Indeed it would. However, for noise-sensitive areas, the balls could be replaced by fearsomely powerful spherical magnets, with matching poles facing eachother. They would then transfer momentum eerily and noislesslily contactlessly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 26 2009
  

       If not magnets then you'll need balls of fullerene.
I think that the energy from the impact of balls of steel that large colliding will be transfered to deformation of the spheres and dampen any sinusoidal wave after very few oscillations.
  

       Could be wrong.   

       // They would then transfer momentum eerily and noislesslily contactlessly. //   

       Maxwell's silent dodgy giant Newton's cradle.
tatterdemalion, Apr 26 2009
  

       //you will need balls of steel, five// [marked-for-tagline]
loonquawl, Apr 27 2009
  

       //A pair of large office buildings on opposite sides of a road would do very nicely//

I see this as essentially a traffic calming measure. You certainly wouldn't catch me driving down that street...or walking...or going anywhere near it.

In fact, I'll go further and say that if mother nature had meant me to walk under a one ton, swinging ball of steel then she would have provided me with some rather sturdier head gear. Burn the scientist and all of his demonic ilk!

[rushes off to stir up angry mob of strangely ugly, pitch-fork wielding peasants]
DrBob, Apr 27 2009
  

       //[rushes off to stir up angry mob of strangely ugly, pitch-fork wielding peasants]// That should be pretty easy, in Lewes.
hippo, Apr 27 2009
  

       //energy from the impact of balls of steel that large colliding will be transfered to deformation of the spheres// Hmmm. OK, so it's either the magnetic option, or rubber-coated metal balls (and who wouldn't enjoy those?), or Very Strong Steel.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 27 2009
  

       //Each morning,...// But does that imply that it runs out of swing in under 24 hrs? I certainly do not want to be the poor person who has to stop these 1 ton balls swinging so that the // Delegated Official // gets to give it a new push. I guess the length of overall time of swinging depends a lot on how squiggy soft this steel really is.
RattyBunyip, Jul 15 2009
  

       A 1 tonne steel ball wouldn't be that big really (60ish cm diameter?), steel weighs nearly 8 tonnes per cubic metre. If you want them big and to make a great noise, you'd need them hollow.   

       To reduce deformation, you could have a solid bar running across the ball at the points of impact.
marklar, Jul 15 2009
  

       The place to set this up would be under a bridge. Bridges are long and they are strong. There are fewer things to hit underneath. I could see this being a public art project set up under a bridge (perhaps in a park?) for a special occasion. Or possibly guerrila art set up at night. For the latter, paper mache balls might be used for rapidity of construction.
bungston, Jul 15 2009
  
      
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