h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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Right before the guests show up at a coctail party the food table looks as good as its going to all night. The hors d'oeuvre platters are arranged nicely and have no gaping holes. However, ten minutes after the first hungy visitor arrives the serving platters have big gaps making the spread look a
little sad. Replenishing works so long as one still has food reserves, but as the party winds down barren looking appetizer platers are almost unavoidable.
If, however, one had a serving platter whose area shrunk with the food quantity one could avoid this unsightly result.
Possible mechanisms could range from an elastic bottom surface with a stiff outer rim of diminishing circumference or an articulated surface that collapses like a closing hand fan. The timing of the contraction could be based on the diminishing weight of the contained food, the increased light hitting the surface where food was removed, or, for sufficiently crush-resistant food, an elastic outer wall.
||File this under "Problems You Didn't Know You Had Until Someone Devised a Solution." Very well thought out and sensible. Nice use of the word "articulated," as well.
||but what about those crusty people who take one right
from the middle....
||[futurebird] depending on the stickiness of the remaning food it could perhaps shuffle as the area decresed. That would work better with bagel bites than w/ caviar cream puffs.