Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Gently moving river which contains the antithesis of its own crossing

River crossing that contains its own opposite
  (+19, -8)(+19, -8)
(+19, -8)
  [vote for,

The second lesson of Winston.

It was Winston's second day at the monastery. He had learned the lesson of the spoon, and was now ready to take on its opposite meaning.

The nearby river was to be dammed to allow the installation of a new crossing. Winston and his fellow neophytes toiled in silence clearing a straight line across the dry bed, whilst the water was held at bay by the dam they had previously installed up-stream.

Once the pathway was formed it was levelled with care. A series of hollow barrels were then revealed by the sage, which had previously been prepared in the workshops. Each barrel was lined inside with a mirror that reflected the sky outwards towards all those who gazed in.

The material of the barrels tapered to a razor edge at the top, and each one was of a slightly different height and increasing diameter.

The barrels were duly installed according to a carefully drawn plan, with the smallest one near one side of the river bank, and the widest one close to the other side. When in place their top edges lined up precisely.

All retreated to one side as the dam was opened to allow the river to resume its journey. Winston watched as the water rose inexorably up the outside walls of the line of barrels, until its swollen meniscus kissed the line of their top edges exactly.

The river was now crossed by a series of gradually increasing hollow spaces that reflected the ever changing sky, as the water slipped silently around their emptiness, but never entered it.

Winston stood on the edge of the river and remembered the new words of wisdom: "You must learn how to create a space that is the opposite of the shape you wish to empty"

xenzag, Nov 04 2006

zenspoon zenspoon
Winston's first lesson [xenzag, Nov 04 2006]

what I imagine when reading this idea... http://usera.imagec.../xaviergisz/xenzag/
??? [xaviergisz, Nov 05 2006]

The Millenium bridge was meant to be a blade of light. http://www.galinsky...iumbridge/index.htm
[po, Nov 05 2006]


       I think it is good but I just don't get it. Care to explain it to me like I'm a three year old?.
zeno, Nov 05 2006

       great theory but wheres the prototype?
Stork, Nov 05 2006

       Winston's third lesson may be occaisioned by noticing the eldery bloke on the opposite shore, scratching his head and expressing an expression which is easily readable as "What the hell?"
lurch, Nov 05 2006

       [xaviergisz] the images are close - colours are a bit strong, and I envision the water being very still and much darker with the barrels being spaced further apart, but otherwise very good.
xenzag, Nov 05 2006

       Vertigo alley. But, I like it.
nth, Nov 05 2006

       Beautiful, just beautiful.   

       Useful salmon trap, too.
egbert, Nov 05 2006

       Love the concept. How deep are the barrels? Can I sit and meditate inside one, watching the water as it flows slowly by?
imaginality, Nov 05 2006

       Yeah but you might suffocate.
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 06 2006

       It's just so biased. Should'nt there be a wo-meniscus too?   

       Ah, a picture speaks a thousand words,+ then.
zeno, Nov 06 2006

       But if a duck landed on it, wouldn't it get sliced up?
wylie_coyote, Nov 06 2006

       The duck contains the antiquacking of its own quack.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 06 2006

       Apologies my dear [xenzag], but either I don't get this or else it's just a load of zenonsense. [-]
wagster, Nov 06 2006

       The illustration was exactly as I visualised it, and yet I still don't get it. Should I go back to lesson one?
jtp, Nov 06 2006

       It's an ancient Zen mystic thing. You're not supposed to get it.
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 07 2006

       Oh! I get it now.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Nov 07 2006

       //You must learn how to create a space that is the opposite of the shape you wish to empty//   

       But isn't this space the same as the shape you wish to empty?   

       I like the idea anyway.
jmvw, Nov 07 2006

       Sorry, but it doesn't go with my wallpaper. -
moomintroll, Nov 07 2006

       //The material of the barrels tapered to a razor edge at the top, and each one was of a slightly different height and increasing diameter.//   

       This is the part where I get lost. Does the diameter of the barrels vary with their height? Or, does the diameter of each individual barrel increase towards the top, or towards the bottom?   

       NB, please do not answer 'yes', just to be zen about it. :p
pertinax, Nov 07 2006

       I like the image but I forsee practical problems with maintenance. The barrels are going to fill with water both from turbulence in the river and with rainfall, and ten you've got dead eaves, bits of twig, bird droppings etc.

I'd go for stepping stones with a mirrored surface. Easier to keep in good condition.
DrBob, Nov 07 2006

       [pertinax] the barrels increase in diameter as the cross the water - largest near one bank, smallest near other. The deepest barrels are at the centre of the river. Each barrel therefore has unique size, but shared characteristics, and is dependant on its value by the one on either side.   

       The ones nearest the banks invite crossing on the part of the largest one, but simultaneously the impossibility of the completion of this crossing, due to the diminishing sizes.   

       DrBob - stones would not be hollow spaces contained within the flow of the water. The dutiful monks will ensure that the river level is kept calm and perfect. If the level tries to rise they will divert water, and if it falls they will place stones on the river bed to raise it up.
xenzag, Nov 07 2006

       A lovely idea but it made my head hurt trying to understand what you meant until I looked at the pictures. All barrels are hollow, this being a defining characteristic of barrels - what you are referring to are half barrels open to the sky. [+]
DocBrown, Nov 07 2006

       Well, I finally read it. Freakin' A.
daseva, Nov 07 2006

       What do you step on? The razor sharp edge?
Worldgineer, Nov 07 2006

       You don't step on anything, except with your mind.
xenzag, Nov 07 2006

       its hard for an engineer to imagine something without practicality. its just pwetty.
po, Nov 07 2006

       I just read this idea; the title reminds me of my idea -big zen bun for you.
DesertFox, Nov 08 2006

       If a thing has been made, chances are an engineer was involved at some stage, whatever its practicality.
egbert, Nov 08 2006

       Mona Lisa?
po, Nov 08 2006

       Yeah, da Vinci really could have used an engineer.
Worldgineer, Nov 08 2006

       //DrBob - stones would not be hollow spaces contained within the flow of the water//

They would be if you looked at it on the atomic level.
DrBob, Nov 08 2006

       yes, they would, but so would the water.
xenzag, Nov 08 2006

       So, an empty space contained by an empty space. Sounds pretty Zen to me.
DrBob, Nov 08 2006

       The ultimate Zen is at quantum level, but the interesting Zen is this magnified in such a way as to make it invade perceived material reality.
xenzag, Nov 08 2006

       This makes me think of Wes Studi in Mystery Men.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 08 2006

       //Yeah, da Vinci really could have used an engineer//   

       they're so pretty - my gorgeous lookin' lovely!
po, Nov 08 2006

       /Mona Lisa//   

       A work of art is hardly "made", I'd say "crafted" would be more appropriate. Anyway Leonardo was pretty much the daddy of all engineers.
egbert, Nov 08 2006

       //Can I sit and meditate inside one, watching the water as it flows slowly by?//   

       Wait... if the barrel cross section was big enough, you might be able to. Oxygenated water at equilibrium with the atmosphere flowing overtop of the barrel could provide sufficient gas exchange with the air underneath, which will be at a slightly lower O2 concentration.   

       Cool, its kind of like a blood capillary.
Cuit_au_Four, Nov 09 2006

       I don't think the water flows over the barrels. Anyway, if you want a macroscopic representation of the quantum world, just check out Young's double slit experiment. Also, some current work, looking for it....
daseva, Nov 09 2006

       //daddy of all engineers// quite right, eggy.
po, Nov 10 2006


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