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

More crazy patterns
 
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The smokey window would consist of 2 panes of glass, up to a foot apart. Below and in-between them would be a stove as long as the window. This would then be filled with green stuff or any other suitbaly smoky material, which would subsequently be set alight.

Copious amounts of smoke would then pour up between the panes, creating a lovely 'smoke screen' effect. Provided it's very sunny outside, there's another window or a light source in the room, light would reflect off the smoke as it billows through the glass and light up the room causing different lighting patterns every second.
Due to the totally random nature of such things, no pattern would ever be the same twice.

Parvenu, Apr 18 2003

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       While the idea of lovely lazy patterns floating across a room seems appealing, I'm not sure I'd like the sensory confusion of smoke waves through my home. It would confuse me and just the idea makes me feel a little claustrophobic. That said, colored smoke, lit from below would certainly spice up dinner parties.
k_sra, Apr 18 2003
  

       The logical next step from here seems to be Lava Panes.
friendlyfire, Apr 18 2003
  

       It would be fun trying to clean the soot off of the insides of your windows.   

       If you also had a bug screen in front, would you get moire crazy patterns?
Cedar Park, Apr 18 2003
  

       <cough> <cough> Hey, there's no smoking in here! <gasp> <choke> <dramatic fall to death>
XSarenkaX, Apr 18 2003
  

       There's an ice cream shop in a trendy section of West Palm Beach FL (clematis st.) where the bathroom doors go from clear to opaque with a floating blue pattern after you lock the stall door. Pretty neat.
colaaddict, Apr 19 2003
  

       Has anyone considered the consequence of glass panes being heated up from one side (the inside) while being subjected to comparitively cooler temperatures on the other side?   

       C-R-A-C-K.   

       I have achieved the same result in a much cheaper way, with the help of a football or a cricket ball...
joker_of_the_deck, Apr 20 2003
  

       Would the use of a fog-making machine be less dangerous? The fine mist or "smoke" they create would not be hot, there would be no soot to clean off the glass, you could use a coloured acetate over your inside window to create a colourful effect, and you would have more control over the density of the "smoke" by setting a timer to fog lightly or fog heavily (or - dare I say it - fog off).
Canuck, Apr 20 2003
  

       You could make the windows out of Pyrex, which is immune to heat-expansion cracking.
johnmeacham, Apr 21 2003
  

       Would be awesome, just as long as somebody doesn't call 911 to your house because they think your living room is on fire.
MrJustin, Apr 21 2003
  
      
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