Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Water Reflection Nightlight

Eats your flesh while you sleep, then does laundry
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I don't know if I'm the only one, but when I see those ripples of light formed when water refracts (or would it be reflects?) light, it makes me relax a bit. I already have a lava lamp and a disco ball, now I just need this: Basically, it's just a bowl of water that reflects (refracts? damn, this is confusing me) a colored light onto the surrounding walls. Of course, it'd need a way to make ripples, perhaps plug it in and have it act as a small fountain? Maybe hire Elfmaster the baboon to tap the bowl every 5 seconds or so, then do a backflip, I don't know. Feel free to mock me, my brain's a bit scrambled right now.
AfroAssault, Oct 02 2001

Polyethylene glycol. http://geology.asu....s/lab_tour/PEG.html
To thicken water. [angel, Oct 02 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

'Bubba http://welcometofightclub.cjb.net/
[technobadger, Oct 02 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Baked, says [dare99] http://www.innovati...KKG00AKHTV258KA76PA
Put links up here, not down there. [jutta, Oct 02 2001]

Peaceful Planet? Aquarium http://www.fisherpr.../product.asp?id=274
Fisher-Price has what you need... [phoenix, Oct 02 2001, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Glitter Lamps http://shop.store.y...ny/glitterlamp.html
I have a black bodied one with blue liquid. [StarChaser, Jan 07 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       I don't want lights on in the room, but maybe microcircuitry and internal sconce lighting would be a nice effect for contact lenses.   

       BTW -- happy b.day!
reensure, Oct 02 2001
  

       Awww, shucks...a few weeks late though.

The light won't be very bright, not like a lava lamp. It's mostly the reflections of the light you'll see...I wish I could describe it better. I first thought of it when light through the window bounced off water in a bowl and subsequently presented itself on the ceiling in a colorful array of socks--I mean light-- if that's any help as to what I'm talking about.
AfroAssault, Oct 02 2001
  

       Light + Bowl + Dojo or Kuhli Loach
thumbwax, Oct 02 2001
  

       Sounds similar to a child's night lamp. It turns around slowly and coloured animals and shapes move around the ceiling.   

       This idea probably stemmed from a repressed childhood memory where the kid next door got a night lamp for Christmas and you didn't.
Helium, Oct 02 2001
  

       To generate ripples you could drip water in what appears to be a random order by using very low-power fountains that pump just enough water. The head could have different shapes to allow water to accumilate and drip at differt rates and places.
Aristotle, Oct 02 2001
  

       You have my croissant. But in a "bowl," or "small fountain," the waves or ripples are going to be shifting with a very high frequency, and the effect will be much to nervous and jittery, I'd think. To get something soothing like the patterns on the bottom of a swimming pool, I think you need a vessel the size of a swimming pool. Of course a projector could generate or such images or play recorded images to simulate the effect, but it would be better if it were generated with real water.
beauxeault, Oct 02 2001
  

       [later] Instead of moving the water, what about moving the light? A clear bowl, filled with a transparent gelatin, whose surface is molded to the surface of a choppy sea (miniturized in scale, of course). From beneath, a very low power, focused beam of light is lazily moved in a "random" pattern across the molded surface. Come to think of it, this might even work with a single molded piece of glass or plastic, with no need for gelatin (which might eventually draw flies anyway).
beauxeault, Oct 02 2001
  

       You guys seem to know exactly what I was talking about, even though I did a horrible job describing it. Is there a way to "thicken" water to solve the beauxeault problem?
AfroAssault, Oct 03 2001
  

       I'm pretty sure I've seen lamps designed to shine light off a sheet of water running over a tilted slab. This produces approximately the effect AA is looking for but perhaps is too jittery?   

       Thinking about it a bit, I bet the speed of the waves is related to the difference in density between the water and the air (the buoyancy corresponding to the restoring force in the simple harmonic oscillator we all learned about in physics class and then probably forgot when we decided it wouldn't allow us to (a) blow things up or (b) get laid.).   

       Anyway, so: just make a box with oil and water, or two other immiscible fluids, and bounce the light off of the oil/water interface. Or shine it through. Make the box out of some sort of index-matching material to minimize stray reflections. Rock it slightly, a la those executive desk toys, to produce the waves.   

       Not sure how to do the flesh-eating bit. Perhaps one of the fluids could be conc. hydrogen peroxide?
wiml, Oct 03 2001
  

       Damn, I like this idea. I swear I'm going to bake it in some form or another.
Dog Ed, Oct 03 2001
  

       maybe an internally lit plastic thing floating/bobbing in it,make ripples -and- light
technobadger, Oct 03 2001
  

       'Is there a way to "thicken" water'
Try polyethylene glycol (link).
angel, Oct 03 2001
  

       Speak with a physics teacher about a ripple tank - oftentimes there is one in their lab space - those are made to view from above - perhaps he can help you engineer /obtain one to get desired effect. They have water rippler motors and everything. At the very least some chem or biology or physics teacher has gotta have a dripper for room temps. Drip Drip Drip Drip
thumbwax, Oct 03 2001
  

       how about a dripping tap
that would make ripples
edski, Oct 03 2001
  

       The French interior design thriller "Diva" has one scene where the manly, resourceful stranger who gets to rescue everybody sits cross-legged on the naked concrete floor of his warehouse, solving a huge puzzle depicting a single large wave, in a room that (in my memory, at least) appears lit through one of those boxes that have blue liquid, transparent liquid, phase separation between them, and a motor slowly shaking it from side to side. (Rent it, it's a good movie, and all of its sets are to die for.)
jutta, Oct 03 2001
  

       Dog Ed, if you build it and wet the bed, will you warn everybody else here that also thinks it's a great idea?   

       Oh, and if you have pets (?and/or kids?), note that PEG is very tasty and even more poisonous.
tminus12, Oct 03 2001
  

       tminus12: not in this case. You may be thinking of ethylene glycol [antifreeze]. I'd look for a solid-state concept that shifts light, just the same. Maybe kaleidoscopically.
reensure, Oct 03 2001
  

       I was in a swimming pool in Germany once that was lit only from inside the pool, and the result was what you describe. I thought it was pretty damn tranquil, and I think this idea is pretty bakeable (as others have said, all you really need is oil and water mixed in a wave-box modelled on those executive toys, lit from underneath), so have another croissant for your pastry tray, Afro.
Guy Fox, Oct 03 2001
  

       I like this... but flesh eating laundry? are we talking about some sort of halucagenic compound in the water?
RobertKidney, Oct 03 2001
  

       Caustics is the name given for the phenomenon you are referring to (the evolving patterns coming from light striking the waters surface and being specularaly reflected, refracted, focused and defocused).

You can get a reasonable simulation using shiny mylar (think balloons), a light source, and a fan to move the mylar. Different weights of mylar are used to approximate different viscosities/frequencies. This is often what lighting directors use to do the job on movie sets. Sometimes, using red lights, this same effect is used to simulate the light from a fire.
bristolz, Oct 03 2001
  

       BAKED. See the innovations site   

       [see link. --admin]   

       (A bit long but it's there)   

       Whoops. Sorry.
dare99, Oct 04 2001
  

       <sigh> I never realized that I possessed such a treasure. I have the real McCoy. My bedroom window is no more than 2 meters from the community swimming pool. Some 2 hours after I go to bed, when the last inconsiderate swimmer goes home, I get wonderful rippled reflections from the pool dancing on my ceiling. The light comes from a dusk-to-dawn floodlamp at the end of the next building.   

       I also get a very jittery, nervous display just before sunset on bright, clear days. The swarm of kids in the pool keeps the water's surface quite agitated.   

       By the way, for those worried about the light display's effects on toilet habits...
Never once has the sight of the rippling light induced any urinary urges. I think such effects would be limited to situations involving the *sound* of water (gurgling, splashing, dripping) in motion, and only then because of the direct association with the sounds of urination.
BigBrother, Oct 04 2001
  

       Unless, of course, one commonly urinates in swimming pools.
beauxeault, Oct 05 2001
  

       Dog_ed: If you bake this, I want one. Or two. My fiancee would love it as well.
StarChaser, Oct 06 2001
  

       Why not use a sealed Pyrex platter full of mercury? Above this dish, you could mount red, green and blue lasers which would shine down onto the surface of the mercury to be reflected onto the ceiling in a brilliant display. For the ripple effect, you'd just have to place the contraption on top of a speaker or subwoofer and turn on the tunes.
Guncrazy, Oct 07 2001
  

       Don't some fish tanks have a light thingamabob where you end up getting that effect? I think I've seen this sort of thing in movies where teenage boys either hack into goverment computer systems or make contact with alien life forms from the safety of their bedrooms at 2 in the morning.....
Graciem, Oct 08 2001
  

       I've got one of those things by fisher-price. Works wonders, even puts me to sleep.
barnzenen, Jan 07 2002
  

       It turns out I already had something like this. The glitter type lamps, <A link appears> especially the blue one, does just what AfroAssault asks for. Set it in the middle of the room and you get the gentle curves and shapes on the ceiling and walls as you would from an indoor pool. I didn't realize it until I gave one to my fiancee last time I was in California <And while I thought of this at the time, other things intruded and I forgot about posting...>
StarChaser, Jan 07 2002
  

       Aristotle: "To generate ripples you could drip water..."   

       Isn't that a form of tourture in China? drip, drip, drip...
JesseOQ, Aug 01 2003
  

       I think you're thinking of 90210 reruns.
AfroAssault, Feb 25 2004
  
      
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