Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hyperbolic Funnel Fountain

They're so cool!
  [vote for,

Ever seen one of those hyperbolic funnels that you put coins into and watch them spin around and around and around, spiraling down and inward towards the center, where they eventually fall inside? We have one at the mall near my home.

I was at it today, and for fun (I was really getting into it), I fed about 20 pennies into it one after another, every other penny spiraling in opposing directions. Not only did it look really cool, but it sounded really cool, too.

So I was thinking, why not have one with a mechanism inside that lifts the coins back up to the chute and feeds them back in a constant loop so there's never a dull moment? It would alternate pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. Just gather 'round and watch the mesmerizing dance of coins as they unendingly (did I make that word up?) spiral around the funnel. Passers-by could (and probably would!) still add their own coins to the fun.

21 Quest, Nov 16 2006

Hyperbolic Funnel http://www.funnelworks.com/index.html
For [DC] [Worldgineer, Nov 16 2006]

here's another one http://www.bigfunnel.com/
[xandram, Nov 16 2006]

And another. http://www.divnick.com/wishing_well.htm
[baconbrain, Nov 16 2006]

Gauntlet http://video.google...nes+gauntlet+&hl=en
Just because I love that "bzzrbzzrbzzrup!" exit door sound effect :) [quantum_flux, Oct 13 2008]

Juggling in a funnel http://www.youtube....watch?v=MqDAf_lg9Xs
Worldgineer's mention of balls inside the funnel reminded me of this [mwburden, Oct 15 2008]

Ball bearing run http://www.youtube....BWA&feature=channel
[mitxela, Jan 15 2011]


       No idea what you're talking about (picture?), but sounds fun!
DrCurry, Nov 16 2006

       + sounds like fun, but why not 21 pennies? [21Q]
posted a link for you [DrC] but [World] beat me with the same one, so I posted another...whew
xandram, Nov 16 2006

       Its often said that humans are the smartest animal on the planet however I beg to differ. Any time a coin spinning around the fountain can grasp the attention of mall dwellers, I can bun this idea over and over again. What would be even cooler would be to build a fountain that was clear, 40 ft. wide, and 2 stories tall so that you could drop your coin into the fountain from the second level and then go back down to the lower level and watch it roll down.
Jscotty, Nov 16 2006

       I'm picturing a huge glass funnel covering a large public area. Ball bearings (so they don't get stuck) are constantly released all around the perimeter, providing a constant dizzying array of metal vortices and a comforting rumble reminiscent of a waterfall.

       The funnel ends at floor level, and drops down to an underground chamber that feeds back to the top.

       When it rains, water runs in a similar spiral pattern.
Worldgineer, Nov 16 2006

       //Its often said that humans are the smartest animal on the planet however I beg to differ//

       why do people make statements like this, followed by a single example of some mundane aspect of human existence?
xaviergisz, Nov 16 2006

       Agreed, anyway I find the opposite. It reassures me when such small things can capture peoples' attention and delight them. I find it rather sad when everyone's attention is so focussed on everyday concerns like work, money and shopping that they are unable to stop in the mall and appreciate the simple joys of coin-spinning hyperbolic funnels.
cetacean, Nov 16 2006

       I think that "hyperbolic" is the wrong word, even though that is one brand name. They are gravity wells, or something like that. And yes, they are fun to feed coins into.
baconbrain, Nov 16 2006

       There's one at the Museum of Science in Boston that feeds steel balls back to the top, as described. It's cool to look at, but they try to sell you this crap about conservation of angular momentum or some such nonsense.
Shz, Nov 17 2006

       I bought a gross of that angular momentum crap! It did make good mulch.
bungston, Nov 17 2006

       Yes, conservation of momentum is very good for the environment.
Ling, Nov 17 2006

       most excellent idea to watch in action +
xenzag, Nov 18 2006

       //a comforting rumble reminiscent of a waterfall//

       Or a hideous metallic clattering reminiscent of a pachinko parlour.
BunsenHoneydew, Jan 11 2007

       Even better.
Worldgineer, Jan 11 2007

       I've always wanted to steal one and cut a hole in the bottom so I can spend all day rolling coins down it.

       With 20 running at a time though, it only takes one coin inserted badly to trip them all up and ruin it...
mitxela, Oct 13 2008

       //With 20 running at a time though, it only takes one coin inserted badly to trip them all up and ruin it..//
You say it like it's a bad thing...
gnomethang, Oct 13 2008

       Add a speaker box and it could make the original NES Gauntlet exit door noise every time a coin goes into the hole....bzzrbzzrbzzrp!
quantum_flux, Oct 13 2008

       Worldgineer's mention of balls inside the funnel reminded me of an amazing video of a guy juggling inside a clear plexiglass funnel, tossing the balls so that they rolled around the funnel around him (see link.)
mwburden, Oct 15 2008

       I've been looking at these kinetic sculptures lately, and found a whole load of ball bearing runs by someone named denha. I've linked to one that made me think of this idea.

       Check out his channel, there are several other similar creations, all fantastically pointless and beautiful.
mitxela, Jan 15 2011

       That was kinda cool.
21 Quest, Jan 15 2011


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