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

  [vote for,

Derailleur gears which incorporate small pieces of flint to produce an impressive shower of sparks when changing gears.
hippo, Jul 19 2011

Spark brake Spark_20brake
Motivated by similar love for sparks, bikes, barks and spikes. [bungston, Jul 20 2011]


       Essential accompaniment to the usual grinding of this dismal arrangement (I'm a committed Sturmey Archer advocate) +
xenzag, Jul 19 2011

       Ah the missing component to my bicycle time machine. September 10th, 2001 here I come!
rcarty, Jul 19 2011

       I thought that the lever (downtube mounted of course!) would pull a cable which would fire the flintlock; the sparks would ignite a small charge, which would impel the mechanism one space up or down. Some kind of automatic powder loading system would need to be incorporated to allow rapid shifting up or down the gear range.
pocmloc, Jul 19 2011

       I feel it would be more historically accurate if the rider had to periodically dismount and use the ramrod to recharge the shifter mechanism stack - automatics are so now-age.
normzone, Jul 19 2011

       Thinking of upgrading them to business, rcarty?
neuro, Jul 19 2011

       [rcarty] Wow, that was a little OTT. And blaming it on terrorists like that - nice touch.
spidermother, Jul 20 2011

       [rcarty], having recognized, in this idea, the missing sparkly widget that'll make his Wellsian time machine go, planned to travel back in time and stop the bastards.   

       Hopefully, he's not taken offense and decided to call it off.
mouseposture, Jul 21 2011

       I was simply assuming a Terminator universe rather than a Back to the Future one; accordingly, [rcarty] has been going to have had something to do with those events, and the rest is history.   

       My first comment was supposed to be twice-sarcastic, and therefore not sarcastic (or offensive). Obviously.
spidermother, Jul 21 2011

       [spidermother] I'm not sure I'm really able to articulate the differences between the 'Terminator' and the 'Back to the Future' schools of thought on time travel - as far as I can see, hey both allow tinkering with the past to change the present - could you explain?
hippo, Jul 21 2011

       This is an excellent product for a scorching day down leafy trails.
ldischler, Jul 21 2011

       Back to the future: [rcarty] goes back in time, meddles with events, comes back, and notices that everything is different from how it used to be going to be, as a result of the meddling.   

       Terminator: [rcarty] goes back in time, meddles with events, comes back, notices that everything is exactly the same, but now understands that the time-travelling meddling was the cause of the current situation.
spidermother, Jul 21 2011

       A further simplification is this:   

       In a Back to the Future world, time travel allows an individual to alter the course of history. (i.e. If Marty gets home and finds that things are not to his satisfaction, he can get back in the Delorean and go "Back" to the future/past and through a direct result of his actions, can make life better for himself and his immediate friends and family)   

       The Terminator world is much more fatalistic, it turns out that no matter how much meddling you do, the (underlying) timeline remains exactly the same. (i.e. SkyNet takes over and destroys most of mankind, it always did, and always will do, no matter how much fiddling about you do - in fact, your fiddling about may have inadvertently caused it in the first place - the implication is that however much pulling and pushing and cows full of guns you send into the future/past/present - SkyNet will launch those missiles) - the only difference being how much, or how many levels that can be revealed/explained by non-linear events.
zen_tom, Jul 21 2011

       somewhere in time this discussion got derailled,,,
RayfordSteele, Jul 21 2011

       //twice-sarcastic// Never before attempted! Self-canceling double sarcasm! Can [mouseposture] top that? Triple meta-sarcasm with a half-gainer! Without a safety net! (Drumroll, please.) THUMP! (audience gasps.) Um... would somebody call an ambulance? I can't feel my legs.   

       (In physics, the "Terminator" idea is called a "block universe"[1] In literature, it's called "the Appointment in Samara" plot.[2])   

       [1] Paul Nahin [2] Larry Niven
mouseposture, Jul 22 2011

       Thanks [zen] and [spider] - I suppose the Hitchhhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a 'Terminator' universe as well - Arthur and Ford's journey back to the prehistoric Earth doesn't really change the outcome.
hippo, Jul 22 2011

       Hitchhiker's is a multiverse; Arthur and Ford went back to 'a' prehistoric Earth, not 'the' prehistoric Earth.   

       Sorry, but there's some things I just have to be picky about.
Alterother, Jul 22 2011

       Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Earth.
rcarty, Jul 22 2011

       Where's an ontology of theoretical models of time travel when you need it?
hippo, Jul 22 2011

       The question is, when is it?<rides off in a shower of sparks>
rcarty, Jul 22 2011

       [hippo] Niven's "Theory and Practice of Time Travel" is a good short ontology of theoretical models of time travel, and Nahin's _Time Machies_ is a good long (indeed exhaustive) ontology.
mouseposture, Jul 23 2011


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