Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
"My only concern is that it wouldn't work, which I see as a problem."

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P(f) Bakery Mountain

Price as a function of freshness.
  (+16)(+16)
(+16)
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Old bakery items are usually marked down so that by the end of the day, you can pick up a baguette or other specialty bread for cheap. Unfortunately, items are either marked down or full price. The freshness of a loaf, however, is a gradient, starting from fresh and gradually working down to stale. So I'm proposing an automated system to correct this discrepancy.

Consider a mountain roadway. It winds around the mountain like the thread of a screw. Now in the bakery section of the supermarket, apply the same principle, except replace the road with a slow conveyor belt. Items start at the top of the mountain, at 100% price, and slowly work their way down, so by the time they get to the bottom, they are dumped into a bin and only cost a fraction of what they intially did.

The mountain is just a gimmick used for approximation of price; the actual cost is determined by a computer algorithim when the item is scanned at the checkout. Also, it wouldn't be a pyramidal mountain, but more like series of superimposed conveyor belts that wind around a wall. There could also be various belts that run at different speeds, for some classes of bakery items might have a lower average turnover rate then others.

Cuit_au_Four, Nov 08 2005

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       I like the helter skelter approach. A funfair of yeasty goodness.
calum, Nov 08 2005
  

       And then wee men could run up the conveyor belts, leaping over the loaves of bread until they reached the top where an evil gorilla had captured their girlfriend... hmm, there's a computer game in there somewhere...
moomintroll, Nov 08 2005
  

       "Sherpa to isle four please."
"Sherpa to isle four."
  

       sp: pyramidal   

       + for making more good computers to overcome the bad computers.
reensure, Nov 08 2005
  

       Little old ladies may never eat fresh bread again...
fridge duck, Nov 08 2005
  

       You'd need several lanes of course, since baguettes and croissants don't go stale at the same rate!
placid_turmoil, Nov 08 2005
  

       Have a croissant to test placid's suggestion. You'll have to supply your own baguette, I'm afraid.
dbmag9, Nov 09 2006
  
      
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