Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Kinetic Sculpture Mechanical Calculator

A Babbage Engine style calculator with panache
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
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A fellow baker had proposed the rebirth of the mechanical calculator that some may suggest is susceptible to the criticism "w.t.f.?" However, clever people like me who talk loud in restaurants understand that a complicated mechanical mechanism is like a ballet, while an electronic mechanism doing it's thing is a non event, at least from an entertainment standpoint.

Taking the idea of re-birthing the mechanical calculator a step further, I propose creating a calculating kinetic sculpture that turns the most boring calculation into a circus sideshow of mechanical mayhem. An extravaganza of juggling and rolling steel balls, dancing levers and spinning cogs that would make a task as mundane as tallying up the year's utility bills into a fascinating event.

Of course, rather than getting the answer outright, you'd have to wait for it while the machine went through its mechanistic machinations to come up with... wait for it..."DING! ROOOOLL! SPIN! WIZ! CLINK!.... THE ANSWER!! The arrival of which would be indicated by something like a small dog popping out of the clown's head and hitting a little gong.

doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2015

Imagine mechanisms like this doing your taxes. https://www.youtube...watch?v=oiQzn8aHNt8
A beautiful desktop sculpture with a purpose. [doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2015]

Or this... https://www.youtube...watch?v=1CNU3DQclGs
Eh? [doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2015]

How it would look in operation http://3.bp.blogspo...nland+threshing.jpg
[pocmloc, Mar 09 2015]

[link]






       //an electronic mechanism doing it's thing is a non event, at least from an entertainment standpoint// philistine.
pocmloc, Mar 09 2015
  

       Well then, let me rephrase that:   

       It's not very interesting to watch.
doctorremulac3, Mar 09 2015
  

       Ok, granted.   

       After years of being a wind-up-mechanical-watch snob I recently got a cheap digital and actually I find it much more impressive as a piece of design and engineering.
pocmloc, Mar 09 2015
  

       The way to do this: an old fashioned adding machine with all the levers and metal bits inside, but scaled up 100x and open so you could see it all move. One would need some sort of lever or other way to enter the numbers, and at that size I think the pull crank to do the calculation would need a mechanical assist. Power steering.
bungston, Mar 09 2015
  

       //mechanical assist// belt drive from a traction engine, of course. The engine could pull the machine around from place to place, and then power it for use.
pocmloc, Mar 09 2015
  

       I like [+]
AusCan531, Mar 10 2015
  

       ///mechanical assist// belt drive from a traction engine/   

       This could be powered by a set of handcranks, turning a flywheel up to speed. I envision heavy springloaded flappers folded in along the circumference. When the centrifugal force of the flywheel is adequate to swing the heavy widgets out and make the flywheel into a stone and iron flower, it is going fast enough to power a calculation. Get cranking kids! Daddy's got math to do!
bungston, Mar 10 2015
  

       //heavy springloaded flappers//
Inexplicable slip into some arcane speakeasy argot here but I think I know what you're driving at bungston.
calum, Mar 10 2015
  
      
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