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

Slimline sandwich interlock system.
  (+38, -10)(+38, -10)(+38, -10)
(+38, -10)
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I like to take a couple of sandwiches to work with me for lunch. They are nutritious, tasty and quick - the perfect meal. Sadly, my lunchbox is ever so slightly too small for two sandwiches, which results in the sandwiches being slightly compressed. Clearly the problem lies with the fillings: if I could only lose those crucial few millimeters taken up by ham, cheese, tomato or gherkin, my lunch would remain unsquished.

Here we have two example sandwiches. Sandwich A (curved brackets) is filled with 3mm of tomato and sandwich B (curly brackets) is filled with 2mm of ham and 2mm of cheese:
(|) {||}

If we remove the tomato, ham and cheese, we have this:
() {}
which saves us 7mm but provides no sandwiches, as without a filling a sandwich is merely two slices of bread.

If we then place one inside the other like this:
({})
we end up with a bread sandwich, the filling being composed of two slices of bread (note - the filling for sandwich A is *not* sandwich B as without a filling this has reverted to being two slices of bread). Sadly, one sandwich is insufficient for lunch - I require two. So instead we can interlock the two pairs of bread like this:
({)}
This will give us two sandwiches, each with a filling composed of half of the other sandwich, complete with a 7mm saving in height.

Be sure to eat both sandwiches simultaneously. If you try to divide the two sandwiches like this
({......)}
you will find that your sandwich sandwich reverts to two pairs of bread slices, each with butter on the outside of one face.

EDIT: Title provided by Ms. Wagster, credit where credit's due etc. etc....

wagster, Oct 09 2006

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ham_sandwich_theorem http://en.wikipedia...am_sandwich_theorem
"The ham sandwich theorem, also called the Stone–Tukey theorem after Arthur H. Stone and John Tukey, states that given n measurable "objects" in n-dimensional space, it is possible to divide all of them in half (according to volume) with a single (n - 1)-dimensional hyperplane." [zen_tom, Oct 21 2010]

[link]






       you're def short of something for a picnic ;)
po, Oct 09 2006
  

       Now, where did I leave my lab coat and clip board? I know I have a laterally flattened peanut butter and apple sandwich in one of the coat pockets.
skinflaps, Oct 09 2006
  

       A discovery of pure unadulterated genius.
If each sandwich is composed of half the other sandwich, then, according to maths:
1 Sandwich Sandwich (SwSw) = 2 Sandwiches (S).
Yet equally, 1/2 a SwSw = 1 and 1/2 S
meaning that
1 SwSw = is 1, 2 and 3 Sandwiches all at the same time!
Some people might furrow their brows at this point and ask from whence these virtual sandwiches have been magic'd.
Thankfully, due to the Laws of Thermodynamics, we can show that the mysterious and virtual superpositional quantum states can be actualised into a pile of cheese, ham and tomato, which might be described as a rudimentary pizza topping, located somewhere in [wagster]'s kitchen.
zen_tom, Oct 09 2006
  

       Sorry [wag] but there is a flaw in you're thesis.   

       There is no saving in height as a sandwich sandwich is taller than a ham sandwich:   

       ({)} > (|)   

       This is not to detract from the discocery of the Mobius sandwich - merely to point out that the spatial property of height is limited.
Jinbish, Oct 09 2006
  

       perhaps the contents of the lunchbox (bob the builder? snigger) could be filling only on alternate days.
po, Oct 09 2006
  

       [Jinbish] - Of course a sandwich sandwich is taller than a ham sandwich - a sandwich sandwich is in fact *two* sandwiches whereas a ham sandwich is only one sandwich. The point is that a sandwich sandwich is more compact than two ham sandwiches.
wagster, Oct 09 2006
  

       Strictly, a Sandwich Sandwich is both one, two and three sandwiches. By the way, what did you do with the gherkin?
zen_tom, Oct 09 2006
  

       I have no idea what the f#ck you are on about, however, i did at one time take 9 sandwiches to work , as well as three apples, a banana, and copious cans of coke. I consumed the lot , 4 hours before we knocked off for the day, and was a shadow of myself before dinner. My question is, " why don't ya just get a bigger tuckerbox man"?
Stork, Oct 09 2006
  

       There'll always be the trouble of the solitary red onion into the conceptual framework or Kantian epistemology if you so wish and thus fitting into the complex reality of the sandwich sandwich.   

       I believe that we need a diagrammatic representation other than ({'
skinflaps, Oct 09 2006
  

       Ok [wag], I'm with you now. But I fear that there may be a devil in the detail: which side(s) are the sllices of bread buttered on?
Jinbish, Oct 09 2006
  

       [skinflaps] by applying a Lorenzian transformation, I think we might be able to form a set of equations that describe this unique structure in terms of a complex Minkowskian space, using the reciprocal sandwich tensor as a primary means of expressing i. If we solve the equations carefully, we should be able to cancel out any constants such as these single red onion and butter quandaries.   

       Diagrammatically, there's always the [] approach. Alowing, if we are ready for it, the potentiality for describing, in textual forms, the existance of an even more exotic form of sandwichery; The Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich:
[){](}
zen_tom, Oct 09 2006
  

       [Jinbish] - The inside of the bracket.   

       [z_t] - Your sandwich sandwich sandwich contains a )( which is a null sandwich.   

       [Stork] - wrong question
wagster, Oct 09 2006
  

       Sorry, yes - just going over the variations, and I think this one might be more stable:
[{(}])
zen_tom, Oct 09 2006
  

       //ham, cheese tomato and gherkin pie//Not sure about pie either, it might make a nice quiche.
[{(<})]>!
zen_tom, Oct 09 2006
  

       Gherkin McFlurry? Eeeeugh!!
Jinbish, Oct 09 2006
  

       Hmm, symbiotic sandwiches - sounds good. Couldn't you make your sandwich problem-solving-space richer and more likely to result in tastier sandwiches (while still being constrained by your lunchbox and your need for two sandwiches) by relaxing the rule that a sandwich's internals must be delimited by bread? If a sandwich can be, for example, CBC (C=Cheese, B=Bread) or BCB - i.e. a cheese-based bread sandwich and a bread-based cheese sandwich, then CBCB provides two sandwiches and will be suitably economical of space to fit in your lunchbox.
hippo, Oct 09 2006
  

       Steak overflow!   

       'ruby snack?
Dub, Oct 09 2006
  

       Very nice solution [hippo]. By this logic you could even have a ham and cheese interlock: HCHC which would have a thickness (using the above figures) of only 8mm. Ultraslim lunching to go with your Motorola Razr.
wagster, Oct 09 2006
  

       Ummmm, what?
DesertFox, Oct 09 2006
  

       Have any studies been done to quantify any change in the mass of your (_|_) caused by replacing your (|) {||} with a ({)}?
MoreCowbell, Oct 09 2006
  

       did you really *mean* (_l_) ?
po, Oct 09 2006
  

       if only you had another two of these, then your picnic would be complete +
xenzag, Oct 09 2006
  

       po, that's rude!
Dub, Oct 09 2006
  

       If you toasted 2 of the slices you could have T(T) which would give you a toasted bread sandwich and a toast sandwich.
oneoffdave, Oct 09 2006
  

       (Mnx)[(ovo)] - Ham'n eggs, and owl on rye.
Dub, Oct 09 2006
  

       [Po] Yes! :O   

       [UnaBubba] That looks a little odd/deformed. I think (_!_) is more accurate.   

       [Dub]LOL   

       [everyone else] If you wanna claim your ({)} so no one will eat it you can :P({)} lick it first.
MoreCowbell, Oct 09 2006
  

       (Sir,   

       My name is Mr. JOHN MENSAH. I am the accountant of the International Commercial Bank - Ghana, First Light Branch Accra. I am a Ghanaian married with two kids. I am writing to solicit your assistance in the noble transfer of US$3,800,000.00 (Three million, eight hundred thousand U.S. dollars). This fund is the excess of what my branch in which I am the accountant made as profit during the last year. I have already submitted an approved end of the last year report for the year 2004 and also submitted report of first quarter of this year 2005 to my Head Office here in Accra and they will never know of this Excess. I have since then, placed this amount of US$3,800,000.00 (Three million, eight hundred thousand U.S. dollars) on a SUSPENCE ACCOUNT without a beneficiary. )
Dub, Oct 09 2006
  

       ({+)} For those with big appetites, you could make a dagwood sandwich sandwich sandwich. This has the advantage of being three sandwiches, all of which contain three fillings apiece, using only one extra filling.   

       ({[|)}]
omnilynx, Oct 09 2006
  

       Cling film?
squeak, Oct 10 2006
  

       I think that [Dub] is a mugu.
skinflaps, Oct 10 2006
  

       ([Dub])
moomintroll, Oct 10 2006
  

       No, [Dub] is a Maga.
neelandan, Oct 10 2006
  

       KEEEEP OOOOOOOFFFFF GUY[Dub]!!!
skinflaps, Oct 10 2006
  

       I find that by spreading the vagina jam very, very thinly and removing most of the hairs (does anyone know a better brand than Benfrost Farm?) my sandwiches are precisely 14mm, allowing two to fit snugly in a 3cm deep sanger box.   

       I do like sliced apple with it though, so sometimes a bread -jam-apple- bread -apple-jam- bread construction is called for, with the apple slices being 3.5mm thick.
ConsulFlaminicus, Oct 10 2006
  

       I prefer packing a BreadFish in my lunch.
craigts, Oct 10 2006
  

       Multi-grain on wheat french toast and french toast on multi-grain, with apple sauce spread. Mmmm.   

       //Steak overflow!// - Still laughing at that.
Shz, Oct 10 2006
  

       Around here you can substitute "healthy body weight" for "geeky".
Texticle, Oct 10 2006
  

       [Shz] ////Steak overflow!// - Still laughing at that.// Me too!
MoreCowbell, Oct 10 2006
  

       Can't be bothered, [UB] - that bit was only there to introduce the concept (without making it sound like I'm the geeky type who considers various methods of sandwich construction just to pass the time).
wagster, Oct 11 2006
  

       [Wagster] Please tell us you are a mechnical engineer specializing in laminated structures. Please, please, please.
Galbinus_Caeli, Oct 11 2006
  

       If you used 6.0221415 × 1023 mol-1 molecules of cheese, you could have a cheesy-moley guacamole sandwich. Nice!
webfishrune, Oct 11 2006
  

       //the geeky type who considers various methods of sandwich construction just to pass the time// <looking worried>What's wrong with that?
zen_tom, Oct 11 2006
  

       //Steak overflow!//   

       Careful, you might trigger a "butter overflow" too.
webfishrune, Oct 11 2006
  

       No glass of ice-cold milk to have with your sandwich? - sounds like a pinta error.
hippo, Oct 11 2006
  

       [webfishrune] {nods}
Dub, Oct 12 2006
  

       Ha ha ha [+]
energy guy, Oct 12 2006
  

       For unsquished and healthier alternative than that tasteless white bread use 100% rye bread slices. Does not squish and much better for you. Well baked in Eastern European and Nordic countries.
Pellepeloton, Oct 13 2006
  

       I'm wondering which way up the sandwich would fall. Of course, if it was a mobius sandwich sandwich, it would get so confused on the way down that it would stop halfway and jump back into the safety of the lunchbox. Probably.
Ling, Oct 13 2006
  

       Wags, it seems to me that the problem is not with the sandwiches or their content but with the outdated slicing method used. As a systems manager I can tell you that the solution lays not with maths or geometry but with process re-engineering. If you cut your filled bread into smaller and more useful shapes then you would be able to fill your lunchbox more efficiently and avoid the unwanted squishing effect.

This would also have the effect of providing you with a box full of bite-size morsels, thus avoiding the problem of content slippage when you sink your teeth into the disorganised remains of what once passed itself off as a sandwich.

An additional benefit of this is that never again will your boss (or anyone else for that matter) arrive unexpectedly at your desk to find you with a half-eaten sandwich in your hand (or, more likely, half-way down your arm).

To summarise. I vote 'nay' to the sandwich sandwich and 'yeah' to spending several hours arsing about with a bread knife when you're in a hurry in the morning.
DrBob, Oct 13 2006
  

       A mincer might do the trick, you could then transport the contents of your sandwhich in an icing bag, piping it onto your tongue whenever you feel hungry.
zen_tom, Oct 13 2006
  

       [zen_tom] - that's brilliant! And if you have a drink with your lunch - say, Diet Coke - and a piece of fruit or a yoghurt, you could mix that in too, to create a sort of lunch slurry. This can be put into a plastic bag which will then mould itself to whatever spare space is left in your briefcase, as opposed to a rectangular lunchbox which is not very economical in its use of space.
hippo, Oct 13 2006
  

       I don't want to sound like the marketing exec for Gillette, but has anyone considered a Sandwich sandwich sandwich sandwich? Perhaps with a cocktail-sandwich attachment when precision sandwich-eating in those tricky places...
theleopard, Oct 13 2006
  

       I'm not keen on hippo's slurry as that would destroy the essential sandwichyness of the sandwich. At least the mincer would retain the bread-content-bread format although in a long, thin string of sandwichyness.
DrBob, Oct 13 2006
  

       Mmm..sandwich strings..
skinflaps, Oct 13 2006
  

       Like cheese-strings?   

       Made with *real* sandwich flavour?
theleopard, Oct 13 2006
  

       I had to read this twice; at first it looked like you were breaking conservation of luncheon meat. But this is far from bad science. Add a pastry to your lunch.
ed, Mar 14 2007
  

       A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and a can of spam beside me.
theGem, Oct 29 2008
  

       You could manage a slurry sandwich, if you used the same technique the toothpaste people use. Instead of the red/blue stripes, you squeeze out your sandwich in an alternating bread/filling/bread string. [+]
cpmcc, Oct 30 2008
  

       this idea (?) is on my top five list for best dialogue and most entertaining.
WcW, Oct 30 2008
  

       Aaaargh! No contact poi buffet?
Zimmy, Oct 27 2010
  
      
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