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

zany orbs bobbing and zigzagging on columns of air
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By connecting a vacuum cleaner hose to the exhaust port and floating a ping-pong ball on the expelled air, one notices that the ball follows the pipe even when it is angled up to 30 degrees, and that the ball's height is relative to the air output. A row or ring of these blowers plus balls could be steered to produce some fascinating effects.

Using a base, housing pipes suspended on two axles, each sphere could be made to move in three dimensions. An automated unit could be programmed to cause them to hover separately or in unison to create for example a sidewinder effect, a turning helix or every other ball bouncing up while the others bounce down, in midair.

Viewer interaction could be added so that the zesty orbs would back away or zip up to avoid contact, or the pattern of balls could roughly mimic or react to sounds. A wide tray at the base would be inclined towards the blowers to catch any dislodged balls and zap them back in play.

FarmerJohn, Nov 13 2002

Fun with Bernoulli http://www.sciencej...rnoull/bernoull.htm
"sciencejoywagon.com". Gotta love that. [half, Oct 21 2004]

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       Very nice, but how do you tell the time from it ?
8th of 7, Nov 13 2002
  

       Only time will tell.
FarmerJohn, Nov 13 2002
  

       FarmerJohn, I've seen this work with 11" balloons above the air flow of mid size room air purifiers. Do you know how much wider the air column needs to be beyond the balls' circumference for stability?
_Mowgli_, Nov 13 2002
  

       _Mowgli_: Well, my vacuum cleaner pipe is smaller than the stable, ping-pong ball.
FarmerJohn, Nov 13 2002
  

       FYI, there's an installation like this at Sesame Place, I think. (I got lost conceptually somewhere around the double helix.)
Nick@Nite, Nov 13 2002
  

       I like this (+). However, there will be some trickiness involved when the paths of moving spheres overlap. In a ghostbusters stylee - It'll not be easy to get 'crossing the streams' to work.
Jinbish, Nov 14 2002
  

       This museum needs a name.   

       I suggest -   

       FJ Institute of Moving Space and Time
- including special 'Clock This!' exhibit.
Jinbish, Nov 14 2002
  

       I thried this with our dyson, it shot the ball right out of the room
dare99, Nov 14 2002
  

       Jin, slack needed. Didn't work for me.
RayfordSteele, Nov 14 2002
  

       If the spheres were opaque, could you project moving images onto them ?
8th of 7, Nov 14 2002
  

       Oops, I hit delete instead of edit on my mundane anno, so here it goes again.   

       The first thing I thought when I saw this, was how cool a multi balled floating logo would look as someone came through the front door of a business. (+)   

       They work great for me. Thanks, [Jinbish].
XSarenkaX, Nov 14 2002
  

       I get errors on the last two but not the first.
Nick@Nite, Nov 14 2002
  

       Nick, same here.
RayfordSteele, Nov 14 2002
  

       There used to be a demonstrator in the hands-on science museum in Bristol, before it closed. The blower was about the size of an industrial vacuum cleaner. It could hold a beach ball in the air about 6ft up and 2ft off to the side. It's an awesome effect the first time you see it.   

       FJ, could this idea be used to power the duodecahedral clock?
egbert, Nov 15 2002
  

       Jinbish: I would think it would be quite hard to cross the air streams, though bouncing a ball from one column to the next should be possible.   

       8th of 7: Sure.   

       egbert: To float the dodecahedrons, yes. I was thinking if the iron weight rolled freely in the polyhedrons, electromagnets in each facet could produce rotation.
FarmerJohn, Nov 15 2002
  

       Is the autoboner on holiday, or, dare I say it, gone for ever.....?
sild, Nov 15 2002
  

       Time telling, eh?   

       Have 5 rows of balls, 10 in the first, 6 in the second, 10 in the 3rd, 6 in the fourth, and 12 in the last.   

       Each second, one of the front balls is elevated above the rest. A second later, it drops down, and the one to the right goes up.   

       Once you get to the last, a ball behind it elevates, etc etc.   

       OR, you could have them swivel back and fourth.
Quadlex, Nov 17 2002
  

       Sounds like an air abacus.
FarmerJohn, Nov 17 2002
  
      
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