Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Elephants Who Can Play Snooker

Universal Elephant Trunk Tool Facilitator
  [vote for,

Elephants are highly intelligent, immensely strong, curious, loyal, social animals. They are also playful and collaborative when solving problems. Despite having great strength, their trunks are sensitve and can perform delicate tasks.

Universal Elephant Trunk Tool Facilitator enables these brilliant animals to extend the range of tasks they can willingly perform. It consists of a simple collar that is fitted towards the end of the trunk, and once in place allows the elephant to pick up and operate a greater range of actual tools in total comfort.

Elephants equipped with the Tool Facilitator may now be seen changing the wheels of cars (for example) as one easily lifts the car clear of the road, while another turns the spanner to undo the wheel-nuts. Brushing, using a hose becomes child's play, but other activities like flower arranging; putting clothes on a line; quarry stone hammering; carpentry; ironing; gardening, all become possible for the elephant to achieve.

More advanced tasks may now be attempted - such as completing a jig-saw puzzle or the playing of games like table tennis or even snooker.

xenzag, Jun 05 2019

Elephants never forget https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mR6xvzXpEVo
[xenzag, Jun 07 2019]

Give Wild Elephants Smartphones Mentioned in my anno [notexactly, Jun 21 2019]


       Since elephant polo is known to be a thing, this isn't unreasonable ; however, since billiard and snooker balls used to be carved from ivory, it could be considered lacking in tact.
8th of 7, Jun 05 2019

       I wonder whether an elephant, if it could watch the process of carving ivory into a snooker ball, would treat the ball any differently. The experiment could be carried out today with a little sleight-of-hand.
Voice, Jun 05 2019

       //completing a jig-saw puzzle or the playing of games like table tennis or even snooker// - arguably, if it were possible for elephants to do these things, then millions of years of evolution through natural selection would have resulted in elephants actually doing these things, perhaps as part of a complex mating display, for example.
hippo, Jun 05 2019

       A nasal opposable thumb, then?   

       An oppodhaba thub, you might say.   

       How would the elephant operate it? Would it need a meta- facilitator, ad infinitum?
pertinax, Jun 05 2019

       CNC mills and pick-&-place machines have tool changers. Making them available to elephants too could have world- changing consequences.
Wrongfellow, Jun 06 2019

       //it could be considered lacking in tact//   

       Presumably some other material would be used, human bone?
Skewed, Jun 06 2019

       The problem with human bone is there is no part of the human skeletal structure from which a homogeneous sphere 52.5mm in diameter can be carved.   

       We know, we've tried.
8th of 7, Jun 06 2019

       I can think of a few individuals who’s skulls are solid bone all the way through to a walnut sized brain that controls basic movement functions.
xenzag, Jun 06 2019

       How about the hip ball joint, no, that's a bit small probably.   

       Ok then, still no problem.   

       Just grind to powder, load into industrial compressor (perhap with a little resin mixed in), switch it on & Presto! industrial sized slabs of bone to any specification desired, problem solved.   

       Or (& I know this is a crazy idea) we could just change the regulation size of the balls for elephant snooker to something a touch smaller?
Skewed, Jun 06 2019


       That's in Western Ukraine, right?
pertinax, Jun 06 2019

       I let him off with that one because he's been a bit rusty of late, and needs some fluffy treatment.
xenzag, Jun 06 2019


       ?? Is that a subdivision of furry culture?
Skewed, Jun 06 2019

       // People would starting complaining //   

       No, they're much more likely to keep quiet ; most people will go to great lengths to avoid mentioning the elephant in the room.
8th of 7, Jun 07 2019


       [glances over to make sure Dumbo isn't' listening.. continues in a hushed voice]   

       It's only natural aint it, you don't want to annoy someone that big do you.
Skewed, Jun 07 2019

       Dumbo, or Jumbo as we often called him is always listening.... see last link;
xenzag, Jun 07 2019

       So how might the design work? [xenzag] were you imagining an artificial human hand and forearm tool that grasps on being squeezed or a full trunk fitting artificial limb that the elephant put on and take off at whim. Breathing holes of course. The tool would have to be comfortable so probably a twisted broken looking forearm.
wjt, Jun 08 2019

       // A nasal opposable thumb, then? //   

       Elephants already have opposable trunk tips that they use for grasping small things, and for operating touchscreens both without and with styli —see video in first [link] at my [linked] idea. (It's archived, but it still plays, albeit with two squished copies of the video side-by-side.)   

       IIRC, African elephants have two "fingers" on their trunks, while Asian elephants have one. The elephant in the video looks Asian.   

       // The problem with human bone is there is no part of the human skeletal structure from which a homogeneous sphere 52.5mm in diameter can be carved. //   

       Apply lab-grown meat technology to human bone, and make whatever size you want. Better yet, apply lab-grown meat technology to ivory! It's still a nice material, and I hope we can soon produce it without harming elephants for it. Rhino horns are already being produced by 3D printing (to attempt to flood the market and make poaching not worth it), but I think the material isn't quite the same.
notexactly, Jun 21 2019

       //Elephants already have opposable trunk tips// I think the idea is for more, easier dexterity because they have the intelligence to use it.
wjt, Jun 21 2019


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