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

Accurately judge the proportion of extra ingredients you will need in order to serve unwelcome guests.
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In the middle of Doctor Spoading's kitchen stands an ionic fluted pedestal, upon which is affixed a grand black-metal mechanism. A large plate in its centre is surrounded by eight smaller plates on the ends of spider-like articulated arms. Many levers protrude from the apparatus, giving it the look and feel of a gothic chandelier hanging from the floor up.

When the Doctor heard that Felix Smithe and his bulbous wife Eleanour had somehow weaseled their way into his dinner party, he knew his recipe for Poulet Au Curieux would not feed them all. However, never fretting, Doctor Spoading arranged his ingredients on the counter-top and placed them, one at a time, on separate plates of the apparatus. Adjusting levers and such, he set the ingredients to zero, then set the benchmark to the central plate, which in this case held the poultry.

He then added 4 chicken breasts to the centre. As he did, the other plates lifted up. Each one was attuned to their specific initial ratios, so the Doctor could add touches of garlic here, glugs of goats blood there, a sprinkle of badger's teeth on one and a few drops of rohypnol on the other. When each plate leveled, he knew he had the correct proportions.

The Doctor had designed it using gears and pulleys and such, the which I shan't bore you with the specifics now. But suffice to say the ionic column was hollow and full of dangling weights, lightly oiled with science. However, its utilisation was intuitive.
(1) Add the ingredients
(ii) Set to zero;
(c) Adjust the benchmark lever to one specific ingredient (the one you are going to alter); and
(Four) Adjust the other amounts accordingly.

The dinner party was a great success! Felix and Eleanour were so delighted with the chicken that they dribblingly agreed to participate in Spoading's human-phoneme experiments, in which the Doctor intended to use ground living humans' bone marrow to produce a new vowel. In previous dabbles in the black arts of phonology he had invented the schwa.

And all thanks to Doctor Spoading's Octoproportionatron!

theleopard, Oct 21 2009

[illustration] http://i35.tinypic.com/ims7pe.jpg
[theleopard, Oct 21 2009]

For [RayfordSteele] Upright_20ready_20meal_20mould
How's about sub-atomic lasagne? [theleopard, Oct 27 2009]

Halfbakery: Autotumultatron Autotumultatron
...perhaps form part of a kitchen set? [zen_tom, Oct 29 2009]

[link]






       It should also be available in Doric, to match more minimalist kitchen decor. Besides, the Ionic order would get food scraps stuck in the scrollwork.
pertinax, Oct 21 2009
  

       The problem arises with non-linear (yeast is a big one) and quantum (eggs, for instance) ingredients.
MechE, Oct 21 2009
  

       //ionic fluted pedestal//
Wouldn't this be highly charged?
coprocephalous, Oct 21 2009
  

       [pertinax], these are designed ad hoc. Any pedestal you'd like.   

       [MechE], very good point (although I don't know what you mean by quantum). Could we assume that the omniscales could be calibrated to take in to account non-linear ratios. For instance, when increasing ingredient x by a factor of 3, rather than y increasing by a factor 3, y would need to increase by half. 3x would equal 1.5y, rather than 3x = 3y.   

       Considering how complex this device is already, I don't see how making this addition would detract from its plausibility.   

       But how can I fix your eggs?
theleopard, Oct 21 2009
  

       //But how can I fix your eggs?//   

       By auto-dialling a pizza co.
Jinbish, Oct 21 2009
  

       Quantum (in this case): discrete subdivisions of a material or property that cannot be further subdivided.
MechE, Oct 21 2009
  

       You mean in relation to egg yolk versus white?
theleopard, Oct 21 2009
  

       Mostly that, while you technically can use 1/2 or 1/3 or whatever of an egg, it is not convenient to do so, recipies try to use eggs on a integer basis, which is one of the things that make scaling recipies so difficult. Similar items are chocolate, especially bakers chocolate (1oz squares in the US, a real pain to divide more than in half); canned or packaged materials, e.g. sweetened condensed milk, pudding mix; some spices, particularly bay leaves, whole cloves. I'm sure there are others those just came readily to mind.
MechE, Oct 21 2009
  

       //rohypnol just has negative connotations of date rape //   

       Negative connotations are good, as, thematically, this is supposed to be a bit creepy. However, I would emphasise that Doctor Spoading is not interested in such base crimes. He is a scientist, willing to push the boundaries of discovery, in this case by extracting fresh bone marrow from drugged, obnoxious panhandlers in an effort to produce a new vowel. A worthy cause, I'm sure you'll agree.
theleopard, Oct 22 2009
  

       Sleaze + ugliness = creepiness. QED.
theleopard, Oct 22 2009
  

       Ah, the dark arts of phonology. I too have dabbled astance these murky waters. The enfleuragic residue from the pulverised bodies of a milliard baby porcupines I used to prove existence of the hwoorang - and then, my crowning glory - a disembodied, envatted live brain, coaxed into revealing the secrets of the silent five.
zen_tom, Oct 22 2009
  

       * I confess to not understanding a word of this.
dentworth, Oct 22 2009
  

       //disembodied, envatted live brain, coaxed into revealing the secrets of the silent five//   

       Interesting. Did this brain then go on to form the 90s British boy-band 5ive and write their top-10 debut single "Slam Dunk Da Funk"?   

       Damn you braaaaaaaaiiin!
theleopard, Oct 22 2009
  

       + for the Poulet au Curieux alone!
luxlucet, Oct 22 2009
  

       // coaxed into revealing //
sp. "co-ax'ed" ?
coprocephalous, Oct 22 2009
  

       [+]   

       //negative connotations of date rape//   

       But if you had a good date rape experience, wouldn't it bring positive connotations to mind, instead?   

       You should learn to veiw things from more than your own perspective. It's not all about you, [bigsleep].
MikeD, Oct 22 2009
  

       //Accurately judge the proportion of extra ingredients you will need to serve unwelcome guests.//

I believe that my superior upbringing, well rounded education and command of social etiquette have already provided me with the tools to make such a determination. The answer is, of course, that no extra ingredients should be used and that any unwelcome guests should be left standing on the doorstep, hopefully in the rain, and occasionally pelted with the well gnawed remnants of your fine repast. Additionally, you should ensure that a window is left somewhat ajar in order to ensure that they cannot fail to be aware of the sounds of bonhomie and merry making coming from within.

Finally, once the banquetting is finished and the comestibles properly digested, the diners should retire to an upstairs balcony with brandy and cigars where they can be amused by the sight of the gamekeeper taking a few pot shots with an arquebus at the unwelcome interlopers whilst they are being savaged and harried from your property by a pack of large and ferocious canines.

Your Octoproportionatron machine is clearly yet another totally unnecessary and overly complicated kitchen device which, no doubt, some badly regarded and long neglected relative will buy you for Christmas and which your servants will have to try and stack in the ever decreasing space in the cupboard under the sink along with the Genuine Italian Spaghetti Lengthener, the Automatic Cheese Melter (the one with the ill-fitting seals of course) and the Velocitous Vegetable Vapouriser. +

sp: corrected
DrBob, Oct 23 2009
  

       Bun for anything involving polarity and food in the same idea...
RayfordSteele, Oct 23 2009
  
      
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