Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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There goes my teleportation concept.

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Oriental Construction Equipment

Big JCB-like machines, with big chopsticks
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(with apologies for patronizing association of chopsticks with everything Oriental)

Construction equipment - diggers, earthmovers, etc. - tend to have scoops, shovels etc. on them roughly based on forks and spoons. I think one which moved rocks and earth around with giant chopsticks would look cool.
hippo, Nov 30 2001

(?) Stump Splitter http://www.ransome-...itter/splitter.html
What [UnaBubba] is talking about, only with two fingers, like [PeterSealy]. As close as I could find to what [PS] was describing. [sdm, Dec 05 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) Universal Processors http://www.ransome-...c/cat_mp_shear.html
They use these things to tear stuff apart. I see no reason why they couldn't stretch out the jaws to look like chopsticks. Hey, they might even be useful for something. [sdm, Dec 05 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       Oh, yes.
angel, Nov 30 2001
  

       isn't this halfbaked in Meccano?
lewisgirl, Nov 30 2001
  

       And if the chopstics were hollow, you could move liquids more efficiently than the conventional scoops, shovels, etc.
beauxeault, Nov 30 2001
  

       Of course, chopsticks require more dexterity than spoons or forks. Somehow, I just can't picture huge earthmovers being dextrous. Cool idea all the same.
nick_n_uit, Nov 30 2001
  

       I don't know the correct name for the machine with a shovel in front and a scoop in back, but watch an operator in one of those things use it to cross a ditch one day, and you'll see dexterity in an earthmover.
beauxeault, Nov 30 2001
  

       Why not just use Manga Mechs weilding steel girders? It would continue the oriental theme.
DZ, Nov 30 2001
  

       know what you mean UB - its like a butterfly on medication
po, Nov 30 2001
  

       Construction workers always make the earth move for me.
lewisgirl, Nov 30 2001
  

       I absolutely agree with aall of you who said that these heavy pieces of construction equipment are operated with almost unbelievable dexterity.

OK, here's the other half of this idea: The control system for these giant boulder-moving chopsticks in the operator's cab is..... (wait for it) ........ a pair of chopsticks. Obviously, wired up to sense position and movement, and with some kind of clever force-feedback system.
hippo, Dec 01 2001
  

       Instrumented, force-feedback chopsticks. Cool image.
bristolz, Dec 01 2001
  

       you can't keep moving the goalposts, I mean chopsticks.
po, Dec 01 2001
  

       I hope they're both on one hand.
If you spin an Asian around three times... does he become disoriented?
It is Art when seemingly buoyant tonnage balanced in the air is brought to perfect positioning from great distance by hands and eyes and hydraulics.
thumbwax, Dec 01 2001
  

       Someone will need to invent giant rice, of course.
PotatoStew, Dec 01 2001
  

       I have 5000 tonnes of soba noodles to move, soonest! Croissant for Mr. Hippo.
Dog Ed, Dec 02 2001
  

       ...and the operator of this huge piece of equipment will sit cross-legged on a tatami mat in the cab, (with the instrumented, force-feedback chopsticks...).
hippo, Dec 02 2001
  

       What instruments? Would have to be a piano, I guess, for chopsticks...
StarChaser, Dec 02 2001
  

       what? you never played chopsticks on the mouthorgan?
po, Dec 02 2001
  

       Whoo! Not gonna touch that one with a ten foot pole. Or even a seven foot Swede.
StarChaser, Dec 02 2001
  

       hey what have I done now?
po, Dec 03 2001
  

       each to his own
po, Dec 05 2001
  

       brilliant-diggers on stilts
technobadger, Dec 05 2001
  

       [daruma] gets in to his Komatsu excavator and deftly uses the chopsticks to carry a cup of decaf to [blissmiss].   

       And some nice toast, while I'm at it.
daruma, Dec 05 2001
  

       Lying awake in bed last night (and having recently seen "Enter the Dragon") it occured to me that maybe "Oriental Demolition Equipment" might be a better idea. Instead of the rather dull spectacle of the wrecking ball and that grabby thing you could have machines which use an awesome array of scaled-up martial arts weaponry, with appropriate Bruce Lee-esque sound effects.
hippo, Jan 16 2002
  

       [hippo]: Go watch some Japanese animation of mech warriors. Build what you see. A crew of 4 demolition workers in mechanized body armor (and weapons!) could take down a whole city in about 30 minutes. (Or else be thwarted by a 9 year old girl and her pet.)
BigBrother, Jan 16 2002
  

       All your ba...
thumbwax, Jan 17 2002
  

       [ravenswood] Not sure about changing the name. The 3 martial arts experts demolishing a house though dredges up memories from the recesses of my mind - I'm sure I saw this on television once.
hippo, Jan 18 2002
  

       Probably done as a combination benefit and demonstation.
Gary1953, May 10 2002
  

       (The 3 martial arts experts demolishing a house) 1984-5 "That’s Incredible!" report on a Guinness Book noted accomplishments. Beaux- The thingy you are referring is a Backhoe. They already use three arm units to build rock walls; two arm units are used in both construction and demolition, but usually have flat plates or scoops. A nifty posthole digger/rock lifter has been around for about a thousand years. Chopstick shaped devices without tines or scoops or plates would be too unstable.
em-tae, May 11 2002
  

       (Just bumping this fun idea.) I also think a "claw game" crane would be amusing, in the style of those arcade games where you try to pick up a plush toy using a clumsy, ultra-loose claw. Try constructing something with that. But pedestrians keep clear!
phundug, Oct 30 2011
  
      
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