Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Butter-Side-Up Bread

Adjust bread's center of gravity to favour face-up landings.
  [vote for,

Bread lands butter side down. The condiments move the center of mass toward the face of the bread, which rolls to the bottom as the slice falls. There is hope: if the majority of the bread's cross-sectional area can be moved to the face side of the center of mass, then face-up landings will prevail.

This may be accomplished by extruding the crust of the bread on the condiment side. Picture a cutting board with a wall at one end. Protruding from the wall is a square frustum with the overall dimensions of a crustless bread slice. If a loaf is pressed against the square during slicing, then the "bread" part of the bread will be compacted while the crust part will not. When the slice is removed, the bread will spring back to its original shape, with one side convex and the other concave. The latter is the butter side. Note: this assumes that the loaf already has a convex end; the first cut of the loaf will remove only crust (which no one likes anyway).

The offset crust, having negligible mass, will catch the wind on the way down in the manner of a rudder vane, and prevent the bread from capsizing. Dust it off, and breakfast is back on schedule.

subatomicsushi, Sep 12 2010


       When the Mythbusters tested the mtyh of butter-side down, they did come to the conclusion that from a great enough height, there is a bias in favor of butter-side up, because the act of vigorously buttering toast produces just such a concavity as you describe. But they thought the bias was for aerodynamic reasons, not weight distribution, which I think would dominate here. Not that the idea won't work, it'll just work for a different reason.   

       Of course, your method is much more scientific than just haphazardly mashing in one side of the bread with your knife.   

       On the other hand, physics also dictate that when a piece of bread is knocked off a table in a lateral direction, the most common result is a 180 degree rotation before landing, which results in butter-side down. I'm not sure the small mass and/or aerodynamic adjustment will be enough to overcome this tendency within the time frame of a drop from a typical table.
5th Earth, Sep 12 2010

       There are "Holy Toast" presses that systematically deform a slice of raw toast so as to produce an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary when it's cooked.   

       This sounds far more practical. All that is needed is to bend over the corners of the slice, creating a "hollow".   

       The toaster could actually do this, by having asymmetric grids that exert unequal pressure on the two sides of the slice; one side presses the central region, the other bends the corners.   


       (Oh, and welcome to the HalfBakery).   

       // Mythbusters //   

       Interesting factoid: Jamie's beret has a stunt double for the risker shots.
8th of 7, Sep 12 2010

       [5th Earth], I did intend aerodynamics to be the cause of the bias, but weight distribution affects which side is "down".   

       [8th of 7], a toast press is indeed more practical, and it seems to me that it would improve the structural integrity as well. Thanks.
subatomicsushi, Sep 13 2010

       If you cut the bread with a curved knife (both a curve on the cutting edge, and curve from the edge to the back) you should be able to get the same effect.
MechE, Sep 13 2010

       Would it not be simpler to just butter both sides of the bread?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2010

       Or, as one of the random taglines suggests, strap the buttered slice to the back of a cat...
Canuck, Sep 14 2010

       [5th] is right - a slice of bread dropped from an average table height will make a single 180° rotation before landing. The solution is to have your bread butter-side-down on your plate, so it lands the 'right' way up on the floor, or have much smaller bits of bread on your plate which will rotate more and, perhaps, land the right way up. Alternatively, one can take a probabilistic view: If you use small enough pieces of bread such that aerodynamics don't play a part in how much they rotate - e.g. 1cm cubes of bread, buttered on one side - and drop a whole plateful of these, then they should land in a random distribution of orientations. Over time, the proportion that land butter-side-down will asymptotically trend towards 1/6, or 16.666%.
hippo, Sep 14 2010

       Simple solution - turn up the corners of the crust to form little legs, so even if the toast lands butter side down, the butter is supported clear of the carpet.   

       Thus the carpet is saved from butteriness and the butter is saved from carpetiness.   

       (Reminds me of a conversation with my technical director, who referred to the control of a cooling fan as a 'fanniness parameter')
Twizz, Sep 14 2010

       Halve the height of your floor.
hippo, Sep 14 2010

       Wouldn't it be better to invent butter that is only sticky on the side that is in contact with the bread? So have some sort of epoxy relationship between the two components?
DrBob, Sep 14 2010

       butter the carpet
pocmloc, Sep 14 2010

       Butter the roof of your mouth. Who cares which way the bread (toast) goes in? No need to remove a cat, either.
Boomershine, Sep 14 2010

       Melted butter camelbak. Just take a bite of bread then a small sip of butter.
MechE, Sep 14 2010

       //a small sip of butter.// Dont hear that everyday!!!
gnomethang, Sep 14 2010

       Toast microsandwich.   

       The toast is made in the conventional way. It is then held perfectly flat in a jig, and an infrared laser is used microtome-wise to slice off one surface at 10% of the thickness.   

       The jig then opens to separate the two halves. Butter (and a topping of desired) are applied to the cut surface of the 90% slice and the 10% slice replaced as a protective cover. The corners are then slightly crimped to ensure the "lid" stays in place although the adhesive properties of the butter should help.
8th of 7, Sep 14 2010

       I like the camelbak idea but it is too passive. What’s needed is a head-mounted mechanism that senses approaching toast, and deploys a nozzle on a robot arm that reaches into the user’s open mouth to spray or exude the molten or semi-molten butter onto the upper surface of the toast. I say into the mouth as if the butter was applied outside of the mouth there would still be the possibility of dropping action and butterdownation. If your toast falls out of your mouth and onto the floor you have more to worry about than butter-floor orientation vectors.
pocmloc, Sep 14 2010

       How about not dropping the toast?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2010

       //How about not dropping the toast?//   

       Huh? I don't get this...OTOH, since we've doubled the height of the table, halved the height of the floor, and brought the ceiling down twice as low, is it still possible to even make toast, let alone drop it? Oh...the buttered carpet. I forgot.
Boomershine, Sep 14 2010

       It's basically the same as dropping the toast, but with not.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 14 2010

       [MB] Oh! *With* not...[smacking forehead.]
Boomershine, Sep 15 2010

       Butter just half of your slice of toast, then turn it over and butter half of the other side. Then, when you drop your toast on the floor, it has both landed butter-side-down and, simultaneously, butter-side-up, in a sort of beautiful superposition of quantum toast states. It also allows you to be philosophical about the whole thing: the Zen Toast master sees toast falling butter-side-down and butter-side-up as the same thing.
hippo, Sep 15 2010

       @hippo: I foresee the development of a box, to be placed on the floor at the toast landing site and equipped with a sensor and motor to close the lid when the toast falls inside. The observer doesn't know which way the toast has landed, so it must be considered to be in the dual quantum state of both butter side up and butter side down.   

       Clearly much easier than buttering half of each side.   

       Alternatively, butter both sides, then the toast always lands butter side up.
Twizz, Sep 15 2010


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