Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dynamic Crop Circles

Life imitates life
  (+17, -1)(+17, -1)
(+17, -1)
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Crop circles (and other patterns) have become rather old hat recently. They are laborious to make with string and garden rollers (much easier with a UFO) and once they're done.. well, that's it really.

It's about time the creatives in Monsanto got cracking on the idea: Engineer the crop genome so the plants disperse marker hormones through the roots, and monitor the levels of said hormones from their neighbours. The amount they disperse depends on the ambient level, governed by 'Game of Life' type rules. The plant tips also change colour depending on the hormone levels. So you get continuously changing patterns sweeping (rather slowly) across the field.

Mickey the Fish, Sep 06 2000

Daniel Rozin: Wooden Mirror - 1999 http://fargo.itp.ts.../~danny/mirror.html
The art mentioned by [rmutt]. [jutta, Sep 06 2000]

Far Away Art http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Far_20Away
Could be used to implement this. [blahginger, Sep 06 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Why not raise and lower square meters of turf on hydraulic lifts? Each square is a pixel: enough pixels make a large-scale display. (I'd link the wood-block-image SIGGRAPH demo if I could find the URL.)
rmutt, Sep 09 2000

       Or you could assign each field a UPC number and have it display its own barcode. This could be read by a giant scanner, to aid in identifying the crop.
Ander, Sep 09 2000

       That wooden mirror is neat...
StarChaser, Sep 09 2000

       It's like a plant "Mexican Wave" - but more sophisticated. Makes me think why football crowds can't be more creative and use "Game of Life" type rules to decide what they do rather than just copy the next person to them.   

       Arguably, they might be able to do as well, even better, than plants. A baseball cap that is black one side and white the other might give their state. Different (reversed?) rules for other side supporters might give interesting transitions.
mkirksmith, Dec 12 2001

       Hmmm. There is a sort of plant which will collapse if it is touched twice. You could probably create a non-collapsing variety of this plant using a standard screening and selective breeding programme. (No genetic engineering required). Then you could plant these plants together in whatever formations you desired. When they had grown enough, a couple of quick taps on one sensitive plant would create a domino effect, revealing your crop pattern.   

       While the sensitive plants have some down-time it would presumably be possible to make large enough loops for them to recover before re-collapsing when the wave-front reached them again. Doing this too much might make them grow more slowly or die unfortunately.
Loris, Sep 03 2002

       One of the things I love about this site is the "scientifical" education it gives me, and for free no less.
thecat, Jun 09 2003


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