Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Breakfast of runners-up.

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Venus Caracole

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Once a venus flytrap has been sprung, it's out of action for a considerable time (days, apparently).

A caracole sounds as though it ought to be a stately early-modern dance. It almost is. It's actually a cavalry drill, typical of the early seventeenth century, in which each rank in turn fires pistols and then retires to the rear of the formation to reload, rather slowly.

The basic idea here is for an array of venus flytrap plants to be rotated, very slowly, so that at any given time the open, hungry plants are exposed and any passing flies are attracted and/or funneled towards them while the other, sated plants digest.

I think the funneling might involve some careful shaping of mesh screens. Running water might also be involved, because of its cooling effect. I say that because I've often noticed that the flies that cover me while I wait at the hot bus-stop vanish from me as soon as I step into the air-conditioned bus. I don't know what the mechanism is that keeps those flies off the bus, but if it is based on temperature, and can be mimicked with running water, then I'd like a garden installation where we picnic beside the running water, in the shade of some rocks, while our very slowly rotating array of plants keeps the flies off.

I wanted to post an idea called 'combined heat and flies', in homage to 'combined heat and power' technology, but I didn't actually have an idea, just a name, so this will have to do instead.

pertinax, Jan 13 2010

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