Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Half Full / Half Empty Quandary Busting Cup

An end to “it’s all in the way you look at it”.
  [vote for,

The optimist says it is half full, blah, blah, blah. So long as people continue viewing this situation subjectively there can be no meaningful evaluation. This is unacceptable. Let us go with an objective assessment: The container's interior volume is twice that it needs to be given the volume of liquid in it. Even the pessimist must agree with this. It is a truth, and with it a solution can be developed.

Introducing the Quandary Busting Cup - The cup that is always the same volume as the liquid contained within.

A protruding base and rim connect to the main body which is a collapsible plastic tube fortified by an integrated wire coil, similar to a dryer ventilation hose. Under the inside of the rim is a floating ring that will raise or lower the height of the cup as the liquid level changes.

So it can be picked up, vertical telescopic tubes connected between the base and rim surround the main body. The telescoping segments are short and semi-loose fitting with catches to prevent them from sliding off one another. When the cup is squeezed, the tubes flex pressing segment ends against connecting segment sides at a slight angle, thus preventing extension / retraction while taking a sip.

Unless you feel the need to intentionally manipulate it (in which case there’s a name for you besides optimist or pessimist), this cup is either full or empty. You may now proceed to the nearest chicken / egg discussion.

Shz, Oct 04 2006

Collapsible cup http://www.clearpoi.../0499000000main.jpg
[fridge duck, Oct 04 2006]

Drawing, as requested http://home.comcast.../~shzy/hb/QBcup.gif
[Shz, Oct 10 2006]

Quandary pondering http://home.comcast...b/HalfSomething.gif
Left to right: jhomrighaus, xandram, Shz, NotTheSharpestSpoon and sartep [Shz, Oct 24 2006]


       <tips cup> Cheers! +
xandram, Oct 04 2006

       + If you tip the cup, will the rim of the glass try to stay horizontal, thus making it difficult to spill the contents?   

       Can they make coffee mugs out of this?
Zimmy, Oct 04 2006


Definitely egg.

       If you fill the cup with eggs, is it half-fowl? +
imaginality, Oct 04 2006

       If they're rotten eggs then it's completely fowl.   

       //will the rim of the glass try to stay horizontal// It will try, unsuccessfully. If you can figure out a mechanism to get that functionality, it would make an excellent halfbaked idea.   

       I did ponder the addition of a handle. All it really did was hold / squeeze the cup, but that may be all it needs to label it a coffee mug.   

       I'm with ya on that one, [2 fries].   

       Cheers, [xandram]!
Shz, Oct 05 2006

       chook [+]
pertinax, Oct 05 2006

       1) I like it accept I figure it would spill or increase in emptyness with fluids of different density: ie. a slushy with mostly ice, or a milk shake with lots of fat.   

       2) Egg, for sure.
LED Prism, Oct 06 2006

       So, if this cup is always full, does that mean it would never be empty? When it doesnt contain any liquid, (and assuming these telescoping tubes were infinitely compressible) would it not be a cup at all, but a surface?
zen_tom, Oct 06 2006

       Let me get this straight... assuming a constant diameter, in order to remain half whatever (let's call it 'flemtpy'), the surface of the liquid needs to be exactly halfway between the rim and the base. As the liquid level falls and the distance between the surface and the base falls, the distance between the float and the rim must also fall. How does this happen? Any chance of a drawing?   


       Gary Larson defined the four basic personality types:
1) "This glass is half full"
2) "This glass is half empty"
3) "Half full. No... half empty. No... what was the question again?"
wagster, Oct 06 2006

       It is //either full or empty//, never half flempty. The float is fixed at the rim, making the rim level with the liquid, hence a full cup. When it is empty, the rim is level with the base. This is possible because the base drops down at the sides (is raised in the middle). The sides and floating ring collapse around the raised inner base. Empty, it has a height, but no more than is necessary to collapse the sides, compress the tubes and bring the rim to the (center) base height.   

       As for buoyancy in liquids of differing densities; It is calibrated not to spill with lower density liquids. If we find our syrup drinking customers begin arguing about whether the cup is 99.7% full or 0.3% empty, we will address the issue appropriately at that time.   

       Chance of a drawing: 50/50. <snicker> OK, I'll do one this weekend.
Shz, Oct 06 2006

       I'm glad I'm not the only one who knows the egg came first.
jellydoughnut, Oct 06 2006

       hah! I had forgotton about the last line after sitting in a kind of dream like trance and imagining the Half Cup for a while.   

       I had no idea why all these anno's were saying "Egg". Maybe it's the latest slang that means "really cool", thought I.
I might not have figured it out, but for your comment [jdoughnut]. I crack myself up.

       So Egg.
Zimmy, Oct 06 2006

       Thanks [Shz] - this is totally different to what I thought it was but it will fix the problem quite effectively.   

       A chicken and an egg were lying in bed together. The chicken lights a cigarette and says, "Well, that's settled that."
wagster, Oct 07 2006

       That cracked me up.   

       But when this cup is empty, it also has zero internal volume and so could also be described as being full (you need zero volume of liquid to fill a cup of zero volume). So you've replaced the half-full/half-empty argument with a full/empty argument.

I think a better solution would be a cup which couldgive results based on the first differential over time of the volume. So, when the liquid was at the halfway point, if the rate of change of liquid over time was positive then it would flash "Half full" on a small display - if, on the other hand, the level of liquid was going down it would display "Half empty". This accords with common sense - you don't fill a glass up until it's half empty, you fill it until it's half full, and you empty it until it's half empty.
hippo, Oct 09 2006

       While I like the idea of determining half empty or half full by level change over time as an argument, I fear it leaves the same problem. This quandary always arises on the way down as is.   

       The surface is full? - Now there's a discussion I would enjoy!   

       Chance of a drawing: 100% <link>
Shz, Oct 10 2006

       Not to bump my own idea, but... <link>
Shz, Oct 24 2006


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