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

  [vote for,

The Japanese are a cunning lot, and have spent the last couple of millenia perfecting the art of bonsai*. This art has been refined to the point where, in a mere century or two, a miniature tree can be grown that resembles a weather-beaten, gnarly full-sized tree. Great effort is put into achieving the gnarliness and weather-beatenness.

Howevertheless, a miniature gnarly weather-beaten tree looks pretty silly sitting on a desk and being watered with what would be, in scale, a 60ft-diameter watering can.

What's needed, obvidently, is bonsai weather to go with the bonsai tree. MaxCo. has already taken the first tentative steps in this direction. It is necessary, first, to enclose the bonsai in a draft-proof transparent container, which is hermetically sealed. A double-walled container is ideal, as it helps to insulate the arrangement from external temperatures.

By very, very precisely regulating the temperature gradient, pressure and humidity within the container, it is possible to create miniature clouds which approximate the form of their larger brethren (cumulus, though, is tricky). Cloud-seeding using an automated dispenser of ultra- fine silver iodide particles can be used to create localized downpours of very tiny raindrops. We are also working on electrostatic devices which can generate the relevant lightning bolts, perhaps even scarring the bonsai in a scale- faithful manner. Snow is proving more difficult, but we are working on it.

Unfortunately, the costs of all this work look unlikely to be recovered from sales. We are therefore handing over all of our research materials to the Japanese, in the hopes that a further couple of thousand years will see the development of a true art of bonsai weather, replete with its legendary cloud-masters and rain-sculptors.

*To be fair, they also invented origami, so it's not as if those two thousand years were entirely wasted.

MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 15 2018

Bonsai Mountains https://wiki.lspace...ki/Bonsai_Mountains
[Skewed, Mar 17 2018]

A snow-girl's best friend. https://en.wikipedi...g/wiki/Diamond_dust
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 17 2018]


       This might be an occasion for implementing a Spike Milligan poem, viz.   

       "There are holes in the sky where the rain gets in,
But they're terribly small; that's why rain is thin."

       But won't you have terrible struggles with surface tension?
pertinax, Mar 15 2018

       My first bonsai lasted six months.   

       My second lasted a year.   

       The third one made it about two years, before an unexpected sunshower made it's location inhospitable.   

       I grieve for them all - of course, I grieve pretty easily these days, but I'll get over it eventually.
normzone, Mar 15 2018

       [pertinax] I think we'll be OK. The minute droplets that make up clouds can be the same size as in full-sized clouds. As for raindrops, in East Anglia we already have a special variety of rain* consisting of tiny droplets barely big enough to fall that slowly drift downwards - I think they'd be about right.   

       [*edit: I've checked, and apparently it's imported from Belgium and paid for out of our council tax.]
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 16 2018

       Nice, microgravity.
wjt, Mar 16 2018

       Have this miniature croissant in the hope of attracting an even smaller bird.
xenzag, Mar 17 2018

       //Howevertheless, a miniature gnarly weather-beaten tree looks pretty silly sitting on a desk and being watered with what would be, in scale, a 60ft-diameter watering can.//   

       This is of course the whole point of the exercise (perhaps), allows the watering can wielder to indulge megalomaniac tendencies & pretend they're god in relatively harmless fashion.
Skewed, Mar 17 2018

       My reverse-telescope glasses, an early form of AR were spurned by the Japs. I thought they would save them a lot of time and effort. Now I realise wasting time and effort that was the whole point...
DDRopDeadly, Mar 17 2018

       First baked by Terry (GNU Terry Pratchett) in Thief of Time (I think it is?) with the Bonsai Mountains of the history monks.   

       If anyone has an earlier non-Terry example I'd be fascinated to hear it.
Skewed, Mar 17 2018

       Yes, miniature snowflakes will be hard to recreate.
Your best bet is to attempt to simulate Diamond Dust. [link]

       hmmm the cold needed would certainly kill the plants, but if the 'cold-sink' were held in the area beneath the plants then you might be able to get this effect at an elevation which won't freeze them.   

       I think you could make snow sufficiently fine to work with bonsai. Real snow varies from centimetre-sized fluffs, through to tiny little dust-sized ice particles. Very little snow actually falls as nice hexagonal "snowflakes".
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2018

       It would all come down to air pressure then. Enough to cause the tiniest of crystals to precipitate and fall while not hurting the trees.   

       It would be something to see.   

       I don't think air pressure would have a significant effect. They key parameters are humidity, temperature and the presence of nucleating dust particles.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2018

       At the right temperature a vaporizer would give you the localised humidity you'd need, maybe even without nucleating particles, I just meant that I can't see any micro-crystals 'falling' from an upper low pressure area into a lower high pressure area until they become large enough for gravity to drag them into it thus spoiling the illusion of an extremely tiny snow storm, whereas un upper high pressure system should push the flakes downwards into a lower pressure while still micro.   

       On a side note; a bonsai tornado/trailer park would be cool too.   

       Ah, so you mean a downdraft? Yes, but I think ice particles big enough to see will fall at a reasonable speed. In fact, you want them to fall slowly to be in scale with the tree.   

       I'm guessing a full-sized snowflake falls at maybe a metre per second (highly dependent on size and shape). If your bonsai is on the order of 1/100th tree-size, you'd want the ice crystals to fall at 1cm/s.   

       Coincidentally, it is snowing here now.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 17 2018

       The good thing about Canada is there is always someplace to go. And there is always something to do. One day it'll start snowing, and it won't quit for four months. We'll be through every kind of snow there is. Little bitty stingin' snow, and big ol' fat snow, snow that flies in sideways, and sometimes snow even seeming to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it even snows at night....   

       That micro-crystalline snow making Diamond dust doesn't really fall. It could be made to fall but mainly it just twinkles and looks pretty. Deadly too when it's cold enough out to see the air crystalizing.
Lots of deadly things are pretty.

       I like bigass inch-wide (joined) flakes - means there's no wind.   

       // fall at 1cm/s // SF6 salted with CO2 ? Maybe a pressurized container.   

       You might be able to do something with an ultrasonic mister. Unless you want it to snow all the time, I doubt many trees are going to be bothered by the occasional cold wind.   

       What about condensation on the container sides ?
FlyingToaster, Mar 18 2018

       Indium-tin oxide heaters could prevent condensation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 19 2018


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