Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Expensive, difficult, slightly dangerous, not particularly effective... I'm on a roll.

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Melon training

For contaminated melon recalls
  [vote for,

So here in the U.S., in the Eastern Seaboard area, we've had a melon recall, some melons contaminated with listeria or something, they were cantelopes.

Melos are quite round, so I figure to save transportation costs and fuel, the melons could just be rolled back to where they came from. So I propose that melon farms be equipped with little schools to train the melons to roll around on command. Whenever there's a recall, all the melons could just hop out of the bins and roll their way back to Indiana (or wherever they were grown). Save everyone else the time.

EdwinBakery, Aug 22 2012

Shades of Samuel R. Delany http://en.wikipedia...allos_%28novella%29
"...goes on to synopsize Phallos — during which synopsis, now and again, he quotes from it more or less liberally. That synopsis, along with the footnotes — some of them as extensive as five or six pages..." [normzone, Aug 22 2012]

One of Kelly's nine month exposure projects http://www.pinup4u....?id=201759&bigpic=0
This one is "safe for work", but much of her body of work falls outside those guidelines... [normzone, Aug 23 2012]


       [marked-for-deletion] magic. </21>
DIYMatt, Aug 22 2012

       seconded m-f-d   

       EDIT: vote to keep for priceless annos
Voice, Aug 22 2012

       I just threw one I had into the compost bin!
xandram, Aug 22 2012

       there's nothing magical about it. If you'd but put in the proper effort, grow the stones to instill some discipline, even the most headstrong melon can learn to roll. If your students haven't learned, they haven't failed, you have failed as a teacher.
EdwinBakery, Aug 22 2012

       There is less magic than you may think. The Ivory Coast Pumpkin (which is actually a type of gourd, and about the size and shape of a football) actively rolls to help disperse the seeds.   

       The ripe gourd is segmented (in the same way that an orange is), and individual segments either swell or shrink by moving water between them. They do so in response to a combination of sunlight and air temperature.   

       The result is that, if the gourd falls on fairly level ground, it actively rolls by about a third of a turn per day. This can continue for up to a fortnight or so, by which time the gourd (if it has not hit any obstacles) can be several metres away from the parent plant.   

       However, the Ivory Coast Pumpkin is not amenable to training or recall. Nor, alas, to eating (it is bitter, and is sometimes used as a purgative).
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2012

       Our understanding up until now has been that African species (unlike the European ones) are in fact non-migratory.   

       This is certainly true for coconuts.
8th of 7, Aug 22 2012

       [MaxwellBuchanan] This has all the believability of Swiss spaghetti tree harvests. I am ashamed to have tried to Google this. Is the original research in French?
4and20, Aug 22 2012

       // Is the original research in French?// Mais non! The Ivory Coast Pumpkin was introduced to the English (as the "Ivory Coast Rolling Cucurbit", at the time) by J.W. Odell.   

       By all accounts, he had rather a tough time of it. First, he didn't believe the locals who told him it rolled, and simply reported it as another one of numerous dull gourds. He believed the locals were pulling his wossname.   

       Finally, he was persuaded to actually sit and watch one such gourd over a four hour period from dawn, whereupon he saw it roll for himself. (He described its motion as "not very sudden".)   

       Then he reported this back to the Royal Hort. Soc., who of course failed completely to believe him.   

       He therefore took photographs of one such gourd over a nine day period, and sent _those_ to the Royal Hort. Soc., who pointed out that anyone could take a photo of a gourd in nine different places.   

       Finally, he brought seeds back to Blighty with him, and spent two years trying to get the thing to grow and fruit. He then spent several weeks waiting for his new crop of gourds to start rolling, which they conspicuously failed to do. He reports this time as "rather tiresome".   

       Finally finally, he realized that his gourds were on a damp soil. When he placed them on a dry, baked soil, lo and behold, they moved (it's to do with moisture). It then took him a further week to persuade another member of the Royal Hort. Soc. to camp out and see the thing moving for itself.   

       Gallingly, his written report on the species was edited without his consent, and reads "It has long been known that..." etc. (Journ. Royal Hort. Soc. xxxii. 250 (1906)).
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 22 2012

       Is that the guy who is the grandfather of Kelly O'Dell, the eclectic time-lapse pornography star?   

normzone, Aug 22 2012

       Would that be the same J.W. Odell who pioneered the development of the time-lapse phonograph?
8th of 7, Aug 22 2012

       Nothing was mentioned of turgidity? In light of new evidence offered in the form of a reference to a journal possibly confirming the existence of a rolling melon ,the deletion mark should be removed.   

       Of course, rolling melons were quite popular in the late 19th century, 1880-1899, in parts of Europe and North America.   

       These curiosities were farmed almost exclusively by Dutch migrants in South Africa and sold to markets in the United States of America and Europe.   

       The melon was popular as a children's gift, and commercial lithographs from the time illustrate merry children rolling on floorboards with the melons.   

       Not much is known about the disappearance of the melon. Some speculate that the last remaining melons were destroyed in the Second Boer War between 1899-1901. A British horticultural journal reported on the existence of the melon in 1906.
rcarty, Aug 23 2012

       OMG I have to read about this ivory coast pumpkin, what's the sicentific name?... Or are you pulling our legs?
EdwinBakery, Aug 23 2012

       //The melon was popular as a children's gift// Yes, but not with the children. It is safe to say that the words "Oh my, is it really a melon??!!" were not often heard.   

       //that was a melon entry my dear Watson.// Marked-for-award.   

       // ivory coast pumpkin, what's the sicentific name?// The problem with gourds is that, taxonomically they're a mess. They're all interrelated, and many radically different gourds are actually just different cultivars of the same species. It's believed that the Ivory Coast Pumpkin is a variety of Cucurbita foetedissima (another variety of which is the buffalo gourd), but this is surprising because most African gourds are in the genus Lagenaria.   

       Since there are no ancient records to consult, it's possible that this species was imported into Africa. The fruit can also dry out naturally, and it's just possible that the dried fruit reached Africa via the ocean.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 23 2012

       I believe there is a New Zealand variety of gourd whose flower smells irresistable to a type of hibernating vole. The vole goes to sleep at the bottom of the flower, and the gourd grows to envelope the vole. When the vole awakes it is hungry, and starts eating all the seeds. When it has licked the inside of the gourd clean to the hard flesh, it starts running to find more food. As it is inside the gourd, the gourd starts rolling at up to 10 miles per hour.
pocmloc, Aug 23 2012

       Don't be ridiculous.   

       It's a shrew, not a vole.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 23 2012

       Of course it is; [pocmloc] is just trying to set up for a cheap pun about the gourd making involeuntary movements …
8th of 7, Aug 23 2012

       Hmm. Shrewd.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 23 2012

       But which is most shrewd of vole?
rcarty, Aug 24 2012

       very good, Maxwell, you had me going there; seemed quite believable to me, and let's face it, it would be; we've all heard of crazier things in the natural world. Should have remembered cucurbit fruits don't have sections, they can only have ribs (as on pumpkins)
EdwinBakery, Aug 24 2012


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