Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Pineapple emotion amplifier

I swear to God its true the pineapple was screaming in pain.
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(+14, -10)
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Let the power run down on a battery powered tape recorder. The tape can be of anything, mine was of distorted bendy string guitar sounds. Put the tape recorder next to a sink with a disposall. Shove a pineapple into the drain until just its fronds are sticking out. Turn on the disposall. The tape recorder will come back to life sounding as if it is screaming in pain. It is the most haunting and painful thing I have ever heard. The fronds of the pineapple act as an antena conveying the "emotion" that the pineapple is feeling while being disposalled. A fruit, and I guess this goes for any organic body, must be wound up in some sort of electromagnetic way, so that when you change this wound up state, for instance by unwinding it quickly with a disposall, the varying electromagnetic signal will run any sensative enough instrument in the immediate vicinity.

You might be able to make the tape player convey a pineapple orgasm, if you rubbed it the right way. I wonder what that would sound like. Unfortunately the tape player I conducted this accidental experiment with now shuts off whenever the batteries get low. I wonder how hard it would be to rig a tape player so it doesn't shut off when the batteries get low, so that it just plays slower and slower -- when it is like that you can hear disturbances in the electromagnetic field like a pineapple crying.

JesusHChrist, May 07 2005

Islamicconcern.org weighs in on whether plants feel pain http://www.islamicconcern.com/plants.asp
[JesusHChrist, May 07 2005]

newspaper article about plants screaming http://www.timesonl...-2-285331-2,00.html
[JesusHChrist, May 08 2005]

Plant identifies killer -- Clive Backster http://www.inq7.net...jun/24/lif_22-1.htm
[JesusHChrist, May 09 2005]

The Secret Life of Plants http://www.amazon.c...67-8501639?v=glance
Thirty-year-old electrophysiology of plants extrapolated to who knows what? [csea, May 09 2005]

Plant Music -- look 3/4 way down the page for "Stereofernic Orchidstra" http://soundplant.org/store/gallery/
For anyone in the DC area: there is a talk on Plant Music at the Library of Congress Pickford Theater on July 25th at 7pm. [JesusHChrist, Jul 19 2005]

The Thwarted Pineapple The_20Thwarted_20Pineapple
Has been awarded to you. [Hive_Mind, Aug 16 2008]

Skeptic's dictionary: plant perception http://www.skepdic.com/plants.html
(a.k.a. the Backster effect) [jutta, Jun 15 2009]


       this will never catch on.
benfrost, May 07 2005

       um..mabey the "electro magnetic energy" did not come from the pineapple, but mabey it was the disposal.
try frozen pineapple, its really good.. here are instructions for making frozen pineapple:
1.place (cut or uncut) pineapple in freezer.
2.wait several hours or until pineapple appears frozen.
3. remove from freezer.
4. eat pineapple.
andrew1, May 07 2005

       <Quietly restraining myself from responding to that last anno>
37PiecesOf Flair, May 07 2005

       Actually the reason why I was putting the pineapple in the drain was that I was trying to be elaborate about cleaning the drain with natural and healthy substances. I figured that the equivalent of the vineagar and baking soda thing with regular good-smelling foods would be garlic and baking soda, and then if you wanted to move on up the line it would be vegetables of less and less acidity. I started with garlic and moved on up to strawberrys when I saw the pineapple. I'm not sure why the signal from the pineapple was so strong -- strong enough to turn the tapeplayer on -- maybe because the fronds and the sink together were acting as a dish antena. But I'm telling you, it was the most beautiful and scary thing I have ever heard, especially because it was so unexpected. And that I had distorted bendy guitar feedback on the tape, that made it cool too.
JesusHChrist, May 07 2005

       JHC - words fail me. You either have the oddest sense of humour of anyone I have conversed with recently, or you are further removed from reality than anyone I have conversed with recently. Either way, I am placing a pineapple next to my computer so that it can transmit a psychic bun to you.
Basepair, May 07 2005

       I had the same experience with a sack of cherries. My tape deck sprang to life at the end of its track, and I heard the eerie rattle of .... applause?
reensure, May 07 2005

       If you can modify this as a feature on an mp3 player, grocery shopping will never be the same
benfrost, May 07 2005

       Is it possible that the noises, if they exist, are to do with interaction between two different metals in the waste disposal unit and the oxalic acid in the pineapple leading to an electric current, like a battery?
nineteenthly, May 07 2005

       /this will never catch on/ - that is pretty funny, [bf].   

       I can imagine that a garbage disposal might emit radiation which could be heard on a tape recorder. A lot of unshielded motors do. I used to be able to see my clothes dryer come on via the waves it put on the TV. I can hear my windshield wipers if my car radio is on the right station.   

       Instead of running the machine down, you could get an ac/dc converter but run it on a DC strength less that the radio wants. We used to have a hoot doing this with the old battery powered "Merlin" - at low voltage it would make all sorts of pathetic sounds.   

       As regards the pineapple in particular, I am not sure what to say. But if this idea does not qualify as first rate halfbakedness, I do not know what does.
bungston, May 07 2005

       Thank you [Basepair], thats the nicest thing anyone has recently said about me. And thank you [bungston] for the ac/dc tip - that will make the instrument.   

       A little googling says that fruit emits ethylene when distressed and that this sound if amplifyed sounds like screaming. I also remember when first researching this that I read a story about a court case in which the prosecution used plants from the murder sceene hooked up to a lie detector so that they screamed when the murderer entered the courtroom -- in response to the memory of his electromagnetic signature and the electromagnetic signature of the murder. Can't find that story now though.
JesusHChrist, May 08 2005

       Why would the emission of ethylene rather than something else make a distinctive noise?
Some plants in the pineapple family are carnivorous, so maybe they deserve to suffer.
nineteenthly, May 08 2005

       [nineteenthly] Maybe plants evolved the ethlyene noise thing because sound is faster then purely chemical communication -- so to be able to communicate distress to eachother more quickly than other types of purely chemical communication that they do.
JesusHChrist, May 08 2005

       Hey, it works for sentient beings, animals, and humans ... I suspect the same evolution occurred in flora for whatever reason.
reensure, May 08 2005

       Why would they communicate distress to each other? It's not like they can do anything about it.   

       With the exception of runner beans, of course.
lostdog, May 08 2005

       They could do something. If an army of caterpillars is gradually devouring a patch of plants, after a while they might start to produce more of a chemical that is harmful to the reproduction of the pests, such as particular insect hormones or something actually poisonous to them, which would otherwise be too metabolically expensive for the plant to produce.
Actually, i accept that bromeliads are just doing what they have to in order to survive and i don't blame them for being carnivorous. However, would it be OK for a vegetarian to eat a carnivorous plant, or for that matter a screaming pineapple?
nineteenthly, May 08 2005

       //Why would the emission of ethylene rather than something else make a distinctive noise?// Well, in my experience, the emission of methane often makes a distinctive noise. Is it possible that we are mistaking the desperate cries of slowly-digested intelligent sweetcorn for mere farts?

JHC, ethylene is a gas. A gas is not a noise, it is a gas. This is why we have distinct words for 'gas' on the one hand, and 'noise' on the other. They are different lengths to help tell the words apart.
Basepair, May 08 2005

       [Basepair] Ethylene making a sound doesn't make any sense to me either, its just what they say on the internet. My experience was that a just-barely-dead tape player was brought back to life with the distinct varriences in power so that is sounded like a human being, not a lion or a tiger or a pineapple, being shoved into a disposall. It was that real, seriously. Except that it was coming out of a little tape recorder speaker. And when I plucked and manipulated the fronds of the pineapple the sound of the human voice screaming was bent impossibly into the high and low registers, after which it would return to moaning realistically, making it sound, well scarrier than anything else I've ever heard.   

       All that says to me is that dismaying a pineapple causes disturbances in the electromagnetic field surrounding the pineapple, enough so that it will turn on a just-recently dead tape player. I don't know about the ethylene thing, I just found that on the internet by googling "plant screaming".   

       The links both say something about an actual sound being produced, but in my experience it was just the tapeplayer being manipulated by a varience in an electro magnetic field. I just want to make that clear, I am making no claims about plants emitting ethylene, I am only saying that a tape recorder that was near a pineapple that I was shoving into a disposall started screaming like a dying human being, and then responded with impossibly acrobatic jumps into the high and low registers when I plucked the fronds. I don't want anyone to think I'm crazy.
JesusHChrist, May 08 2005

       //I don't want anyone to think I'm crazy.// Heaven forfend.

I think what you need to do here, JHC, is consider which of these is more likely:
a) Pineapples, contrary to all known biology, are sentient beings that scream; that they scream like humans; and that they choose to convey this fact to you (and you alone, btw) via a tape recorder's speaker, using some hitherto unsuspected new physical process.
b) Your tape recorder made some funny noises when you put it near your garbage disposal.

Now, I'm not saying that my money is the smart money, but I know where my money is on this one. And remember, just because everyone thinks you're crazy doesn't mean that you're not crazy.
Basepair, May 08 2005

JesusHChrist, May 09 2005

       This whole thing piqued my interest enough to prompt me to replicate the experiment. I didn't have a pineapple handy, so I decided to substitute 3 small limes. Also, I don't have a cassette recorder or bendy guitar music, so I have substituted with an 8-track player and salsa preformed by Pablo Perez. After stacking the audio equipment next to the sink, I realized that I don't have a disposal. Not one to let this stop me, I stacked an electric blender on top of the 8-track player. Also remembering the blender's owner's manual prescribing to always add liquid, I added vondka and ice.   

       Sure enough, those limes screamed like a bunch of screaming limes, plus static. Torture tastes suprisingly good.
Laughs Last, May 09 2005

       As much as this idea sounds like pure insanity to me, it's growing on me too...   

       Still witholding +/- judgement though.
Jawzx, May 09 2005

       There are much more senstitive (and repeatable) instruments for measuring plant electrophysiology than borderline defective consumer electronics. (Not that I'm against new and innovative uses for old junk, quite the contrary!)   

       Where it all started... see [link]
csea, May 09 2005

       This is the second time that I've read this idea. The first time I read the summary and dismissed it as a silence of the lambs vegetable satire. I am very thankful for re-reading it.
\\the prosecution used plants from the murder sceene hooked up to a lie detector \\. What good would a lie detector do? Check for unscrupulous foliage?
hidden truths, May 09 2005

       I think galvainc skin response lie detectors jump when the ethylene is emitted from the skin of a fruit or plant.
JesusHChrist, May 09 2005

       Some scientists you lot, going around assuming, because the noises sound that like of human distress and because the pineapple was being eviscerated, that the noises emitted are ones of pineapplean displeasure. If we set asside this shaky assumption, and if we consider what we know about the psychological make up of the pineapple - nothing - it is perfectly possible that the noises were indeed the cries of pleasure of a masochist death-wish pineapple reaching final, life-ending orgasm.
calum, May 09 2005

       The fact that limes did the same thing supports my oxalic acid hypothesis because limes are unusually acidic. In fact, i think they're probably the most acidic fruit that's actually eaten.

I would suggest, and i may try this myself, taking a sponge soaked in vinegar, sticking it in a blender, and seeing if that does anything.
nineteenthly, May 09 2005

       //I read a story about a court case...//

The key word here, I think you will find, is story. Get a grip.
Basepair, May 09 2005

       I read on the internet that this really happened!   

       I can't remember where on the internet exactly, but I think it was the "havebakery" or something....
sophocles, May 09 2005

       I--am--um--I--no--er--goggle-- what--cannot--
Etymon, May 10 2005

       ity placing a lemon on top of a turn table and cutting it ip and if the turntable does anything other than what you would expect a turntable to do in that situation, it may be true that fruit can scream, it may also be true that you have false expectations of what turntables will do if they are ever in the aformentioned situation.
hmm, i wonder what frozen lemon would taste like...
andrew1, May 10 2005

DesertFox, Apr 16 2006

egbert, Oct 31 2006

       Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...What? I award you the Thwarted Pineapple.
Hive_Mind, Aug 16 2008

       This idea is a hashish induced delusion. However I did once have an interesting experience with a fermenting pineapple that whistled and nearly drove me crazy until i figured it out.
WcW, Aug 16 2008

       An update to this idea: this weekend I experienced something along these lines with another pineapple. I spent the weekend with a friend in Chicago and the friend bought a pineapple in honor of my story about the emoting pineapple. When we were just about to cut the pineapple I turned on the laptop and brought up my sisters myspace page and it automatically started to play one of her songs. I walked over to the kitchen counter where the pineapple was laying on its side on a cutting board. I fiddled around with a big chopping knife a little getting the perfect one handed grip on it. My friend was across the kitchen, and I raised my hand exageratedly above my head and stopped and looked over at her, to catch her attention, as a kind of a joke as if I was about to sacrifice the pineapple. My intention was to be just playing around and joking -- I was not thinking of doing any experiments on the pineapple. So I raised the knife above my head sort of slowly and exageratedly to get my friends attention and then brought it quickly down jabbing the knife into the pineapple - you know joking around that I was sacrificing the pineapple on an altar (I checked later and the knife went just through the "heart" of the pineapple). So the crazy thing is that at the exact same moment that the knife entered the heart of the pineapple the computer just stopped playing my sister's song, right in the middle of the song. I went over to the computer afterwards, after saying "what the fuck? what the fuck? over and over in disbelief but also relief that at least there was someone around this time to witness that things were going strange for me and the pineapple - so that I wouldn't have to go through the hell of trying to explain to someone that the pineapple was emoting, I went over to the computer and my sister's song had just stopped in mid tune, not paused but had just switched to the next song in the playlist of her myspace page and when I tryed to click the play button the screen froze. Now ok if there are any cynics out there there are lots of other possible explanations for this, like for instance that there are little green computer gremlins who very carefully synchronized the jab of the knife with the turning off in mid stream of the song, but I am not buying any of them. I'm telling you I was there and this time so was a friend of mine who is totally level headed and not a freak and not someone who has a habbit of sounding out of their mind. And you know this was not the pineapple screaming in pain like last time, and it is not the pineapple getting up and walking around the room and reciting the lords prayer. This is just the computer basically crashing in a really small way at the moment I stuck the knife into the heart of the pineapple. And nothing else had changed in the room, and it wasn't a vibrational thing, the knife didn't go all the way through the pineapple and the stoppage was instantaneous, you know so that basically the only two things that changed in the room in that little 1 second frame of time, were the knife going into the pineapple and the song stopping suddenly. So anyway, I was there and I am telling you the pineapple stopped the computer, which is not such a big deal I guess, I mean all it says is that pineapples are electric, or that they have some kind of electric field and they interact with other things with electric fields. It doesn't say that pineapples have emotions, for sure. But it certainly adds to my speculation. So anyway it was cool and I am so happy to have had someone there to witness this with me, and now I dont feel like such a total dork bag or like I am crazy or like I am not crazy but the world just hates me and wont let me describe my pineapple emotion experience to them without telling me that I am crazy.   

       So Ok so the pineapple is electric. Not such a big deal. But what I cant understand is why Clive Backster (you can google him) the plant emotion guy is not using the audio interface described in the idea above to prove to people that the plants are emoting. It seems to me that the plant emotion people spend all of their energy trying to convince people that these graphical lie detector readouts are emotions, when it would be so much easier to give the plants and audio interface of the galvanic "skin" response effect that is going on on the plant.
JesusHChrist, Jun 15 2009

       Oh jesus h christ. Oh jesus h christ. ooooooo
blissmiss, Jun 15 2009

       //basically the only two things that changed in the room in that little 1 second frame of time, were the knife going into the pineapple and the song stopping suddenly.//   

       Correlation does not prove causation. From the description, sounds like repeating the experiment multiple times might be in order.
csea, Jun 15 2009

       But if you did repeat the experiment - especially with adequate controls - you wouldn't get results! (As the people who refuted Baxter's bullshit more than 30 years ago noticed themselves.)   

       How do you know it's not the knife that's crying?
jutta, Jun 15 2009

       Null results (nothing happens) can be quite useful. I recommend judicious use of Occam's razor (simplest explanation is most likely.)
csea, Jun 15 2009

       // judicious use of Occam's razor //   

       Very judicious - pineapple husks are tough, and you could easily ruin a good razor if you weren't careful.
8th of 7, Jun 15 2009

       another interface for this i just discovered is to let a flourescent light run out until it just flickers all the time, either because or not because you are too disorganized to go get a new light, and everything that you do that surprises whatever field we are talking about here will spark the flickering light into full flourescence. But it has to be a surprise, so when I planned it out: "I am going to stick this carrot in the disposall to see if the flickering light will go on," it didn't work, but every time I think of something destructive to some organic body all of the sudden, the light turns on. pretty cool.
JesusHChrist, Sep 20 2009


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