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

Pop individual kernels on demand
  (+35, -3)(+35, -3)(+35, -3)
(+35, -3)
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I'd like a popcorn popper that pops individual kernels on demand. It should be gun shaped and battery powered. It should pre-heat kernels to just below popping temperature. When the user pulls the trigger a single pre-heated kernel would be pushed into the firing chamber. It should pop immediately. Butter and salt should be injected into the firing chamber at the same time if desired. The shape of the firing chamber and barrel should allow the popcorn to propel itself out of the gun.

It should be able to fire streams if the user holds the trigger. It would need a silencer for movie or TV watching.

The pre-heated kernels could be kept pressurized to ensure fast popping.

If the kernels were kept pre-heated for too long the shell might break down. I'm thinking of something like a cool storage chamber with a preheating tube that just heats 50-100 kernels at a time.

tolly2, Jan 29 2002

Capacitor Discharge - Water Explosion http://www.amasci.c...mateur/capexpt.html
Scale this down, and it just might work. Produces violent explosions from just a drop of water (which is what's in a kernel of popcorn). [quarterbaker, Jan 30 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       tolly2, I'm sorry to have to report to you that many "successful" halfbakers started out with some really lame first ideas. Unfortunately, your first idea is an excellent one.
beauxeault, Jan 29 2002
  

       Although, now that I think about it, I guess there could be some objection along the lines that putting a gun barrel in your mouth and pulling the trigger over and over again is not a good trick to show the kids.
beauxeault, Jan 29 2002
  

       How about a popcorn mortar? 1" i.d. steel tube in which a small amount of salted butter is heated. Individual kernel dropped into the tube would pop, and the force of the explosion would propel the puffy morsel into the air. Skilled eaters could catch the popcorn in their mouths, avoiding the greasy fingers that usually come with eating buttered popcorn. Angle the mortar just right, and you might not even have to move your head--just sit in front of the telly with your mouth open. Like normal.
Guncrazy, Jan 29 2002
  

       You might burn your mouth if you shoot it right into your mouth, but I like the idea. Also, I like guns. Croissant.
seal, Jan 29 2002
  

       (Imagines the device which places 1-4 salt crystals on a piece of popcorn as it's being popped...)   

       And what if it's a dud? Hot kernel in the back of your throat?
phoenix, Jan 29 2002
  

       It probably wouldn't be too hot. A mortar doesn't really "shoot" a projectile (in this case, a piece of popcorn) as much as lobs it. The puffy kernel, then, would be launched high into the air at an angle, then fall lightly in an arc towards the eater's open mouth. This gives the freshly popped snack some time to shed heat through convection, and as popped corn isn't that great a conductor of heat, it probably wouldn't burn, unless it was overly buttered.   

       [phoenix]: Dud kernels wouldn't launch, as it's the explosion of the kernel that propels it.
Guncrazy, Jan 29 2002
  

       is there enough energy in a popping kernel to propel into the air or shoot it through a barrell?
mihali, Jan 29 2002
  

       [mihali] Your assignment: Go home tonight and pop a batch of popcorn in a pan without a lid. Tomorrow come back and post the answer to your own question.
mwburden, Jan 29 2002
  

       If you only put one kernel in the pan, I'll bet that 9 times out of 10 it doesn't leave the pan.
phoenix, Jan 29 2002
  

       Heat transfer by conduction is too slow to pop a kernel instantly when introduced to the chamber. The hull has enough thermal resistance that you'd need an insanely high temperature in the chamber. Preheating kernels might help, but you can't keep a kernel preheated too long or the steam inside will leak out. If too much leaks out, the round will be a dud. How about using a high-intensity microwave beam?   

       And for those who require added range, give each launch a boost with air jets.
BigBrother, Jan 29 2002
  

       [phoenix]: You're on. But you do it on your stovetop.   

       Just gotta say that this idea is becoming increasingly intriguing as the day goes on. I think, tonight, I might experiment with this. Maybe put a popcorn kernel in a variety of empty shell casings, hold 'em over candles, and see if they launch themselves out.
Guncrazy, Jan 29 2002
  

       Nah, use a capacitor discharged electrostatic pulse.
quarterbaker, Jan 29 2002
  

       Yeah, one o' them decapitating electrolux pulsifier thingies.
thumbwax, Jan 30 2002
  

       ...and don't forget to reverse the polarity...
phoenix, Jan 30 2002
  

       interesting idea, but popping one kernel at a time doesn't apeal to me, i like to eat popcorn by the handfull.
wess, Jan 30 2002
  

       Definitely a bready comestible for you tolly2!   

       fun, innovative, and useful in so many food fight disputes.
The_Englishman_Abroad, Jan 30 2002
  

       "This croissant was brought to you by the National Popcorn Rifle Association, upholding your right to bear arms in any movie theatre of your choosing. Cheese powder optional."
Cedar Park, May 12 2003
  

       "hee,hee"
skinflaps, May 12 2003
  

       Ah, yes, this is a brilliant idea. Always fresh popcorn on demand! +
k_sra, Dec 16 2003
  

       This is an excellent idea. Period.   

       If you ever have made popcorn in a microwave, you’d know it is very quick to make, under 5 minutes, and that’s for a few hundred kernels. I think a miniature, battery operated magnetron would pop the kernel, it wouldn’t take that much energy, and radiation levels wouldn’t be that big.   

       Side thought, maybe the movie theaters could offer a service, where you would pay about 5 dollars more than the regular popcorn price, and hey give you a plain bag, with only an x on it. Then, in an unimportant part of the movie, 3 guys would stroll into the Movie Theater, and blast your bag full with popcorn Uzi’s.
thelambs, Dec 16 2003
  

       Excellent.
FobosDrakontas, Dec 16 2003
  

       Amaizeing.   

       Would the kernel of popcorn pop at a lower temperature if the pressure was lowered?
Clogan98, Feb 20 2004
  

       The mortar is the right idea, but genetics haven't caught up yet. First, breed a huge freaking kernel, since corn started tiny anyway, compared to current corn. The golfball sized kernel would be baseball sized after popping, and could be helped out of the mortar by compressed carbon dioxide. An auto-reloader would be used for solo popping, but parties are the perfect atmosphere for the popcorn mortar. A tank of nitrous oxide could be used in place of the Co2 for college dorm parties as well. The party goers could then dive for the incoming popcorn, no hands, of course.
moPuddin, Feb 20 2004
  

       um....why do I read from bottom to top? If I had started at the top I would have seen the huge popcorn idea. sigh.
moPuddin, Feb 20 2004
  

       make the chamber airtight, and pulling back on the action expands the chamber, reducing air pressure, thereby allowing the already warm kernel to pop. pull the trigger and the action slides forward, both ejecting the popcorn and pulling another kernel into the chamber. might work better with the leverage you can get on a shotgun.   

       or a pump like a bb gun. two chambers, both airtight; one holds the kernal and has the air pumped out of it into the second chamber. pump it until you've lowered the air pressure enough that you hear it pop, then pull the trigger. the compressed air in the second chamber blasts it down the buttered barrel.   

       yay tolly2!
changokun, Feb 21 2004
  

       there should be a world ban on popcorn anyway,as it stinks of shite.   

       Horribble stuff.
Loft Nuthouse, Feb 21 2004
  

       Wait. You know how you throw a piece of popcorn in the air and try to catch it in your mouth? Well, now with this thing, you have 3 challenges instead of 1. 1. You have to be prepared to dive for it. 2. Make sure you shoot the gun into the air so it pops before it goes in your mouth. Yuck, kernels in your carpet and on your couch. 3. make sure it's not a UPK (Un Popped Kernel.) Aiiiii!!!! That one's hotter than Angelina Jolie on MTV's music awards!
croissantz, Aug 28 2004
  

       But it's still more fun, even if you swallow a piping hot kernel. Another 1 of my beautiful croissants gone. This time to you, tolly2.
croissantz, Aug 28 2004
  

       Popcorn yumyum. And guns, think of a popcorn war. croisssant.
finflazo, Aug 30 2004
  

       The Mrs.-to-be and I just finished a lovely batch of popcorn, handcrushed salt and a little pepper, and she thought of this. I had to tell her the idea was...   

       preheated.
normzone, Feb 27 2006
  

       Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Best pun <pretend this is underlined>ever</ptiu>!
notmarkflynn, Feb 27 2006
  

       Need a fully automatic mode for the gun though. Hold down the trigger and fill your mouth with corny goodness.
Galbinus_Caeli, Feb 27 2006
  

       I drafted an idea for a corn powered weapon that threw cubes of butter using steam, but I got caught up in the math of how to make it lethal (steam pressure, feet per second, etc.) and took it down again. Still have the notes, but no success.
normzone, Jul 02 2007
  

       Just like my idea, with a trigger. I admit to a superior design though, I bun relucktantly (sp?)
evilpenguin, Jul 02 2007
  
      
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