Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Popcorn Sundial

When the clock pops...
  [vote for,

In the midst of his morning routine, just before day break, a monk walks in a garden. By the dim light of the morning's daybreak, he carefully measures and moves the various pieces of the garden's large and seemingly complex timepiece to set it, once again, for the day.

The garden's timepiece is made up of a series of nicely designed tripod like mounts, each affixed with a set of lenses and mirrors that have been placed and calibrated to accomplish one thing. Focus a beam of sunlight at a particular spot on the ground at a particular minute (such as on the hour or on the half hour) during the day.

After the timepiece has been aligned for the day, the monk says a brief prayer and proceeds to place a small bit of oil and a few popcorn kernels in small dishes on the tops of rocks at the points where each of the intended beams will be focused as the sun moves through the day.

Returning to make breakfast, the sun has risen above the horizon, and a solitary "pop" is heard from the corner of the garden. The day has started.

zigness, May 11 2006


       Destined to become very popular with birds.
methinksnot, May 11 2006

       I agree. I also like birds.
zigness, May 11 2006

       Are the kernels also calibrated to pop after a predictable, specific amount of heat energy has been applied?   

       The oil probably isn't necessary. You can pop dry popcorn in a microwave or in hot air. (It is a lot better in oil, however. I deep fried a few kernels once...they popped as expected, but were terribly oily to eat, so the other extreme isn't any better. I wouldn't recommend it.)   

       Does time stop if the corn doesn't pop?
half, May 11 2006

       Hooray for monks, I say. [+]
Letsbuildafort, May 11 2006

       <bad pun groan>//I have a vested interest in this idea [+]// "vested" interest???... <bpg>   

       That was bad.
zigness, May 12 2006

       //The oil probably isn't necessary. // You know, I wondered about that.   

       I've actually tried to pop corn with a magnifying glass on a sunny day, and I've gotten the kernels to catch fire, but not actually pop. (This is a limited test of only 4 or 5 kernels).   

       I think that by having a dark colored dish with a little oil in it, and having the beam heat the oil, there might be a better distribution of heat (which is essential to getting a kernel to pop.)   

       Clearly, a little trial and error would be involved in the development phase.
zigness, May 12 2006

       I'll take one, but then again, I am the originator of the deleted [Helmet Mounted Popcorn Feeder], so my opinion is scarcely objective.
normzone, May 12 2006

       What if...it rains?
Viejawendy, May 12 2006

       Time will stop.
methinksnot, May 12 2006

       This is brilliant! Right up there with the best of clocks invented here. Wanted to ask why you didn't put it in the clock category but will now ask why there isn't a clock category: Why isn't there a clock category?.
zeno, May 12 2006

       [zeno], there are 21 variants of the Product: Clock category (this is not counting the Product: Alarm Clock ones). But I would have put it under Product: Light: Control or, going by the last paragraph of the idea text, Product: Alarm Clock: Timing.
methinksnot, May 12 2006

       Why thank you very much, why didn't I think of that? <hides head in shame> One of the ideas in product:clock is mine. <sinks through the floor>
zeno, May 12 2006

       Look, it's pop'o'clock. [+]
kuupuuluu, May 12 2006

       What I love about this idea is how quiet and calm it would have to be (like in a monastery) in order to hear the one solitary pop outside when the clock goes off. +
NotTheSharpestSpoon, May 12 2006

       //Does time stop if the corn doesn't pop?//   

       The first ends DST, after that there's trouble.   

       Be sure to buy the model with Orville Redenbacher accuracy.
Shz, May 12 2006

       + I love corny ideas.
xandram, May 12 2006

       Why is this one not in the clock category? Well, it was a tough call, but my mental image of it puts it into the sculpture category. Also, a clock, to me conjurs an image of a movement and a mechanism. This is intended (on any particular day, having been setup by our monk friend) to have no moving parts except for the Earth, Sun, and a bit of popcorn.
zigness, May 12 2006

       And a bird flies into the beam focus point.   

       "Mah! What we havin' for dinner!"   

       "Pi'gin, dear Henry!"
DesertFox, May 12 2006

       Any monk caught swiping the popcorn prior to vespers shall henceforth be known only as Chip.   

       This is one of the times I wish I could give 2 buns, 1 for the idea, but 1 simply for the writing of it.
Germanicus, May 14 2006

       //...keeping the cardinals out of the yard// //...known only as Chip// I knew this idea involved corn, but I really had no idea... [Germanicus], Thanks for the vote.
zigness, May 14 2006

       It's National Popcorn Day! (Jan 19). (Just felt like celebrating).
zigness, Jan 20 2010

       I love the smell of popcorn in the morning. It smells like ...ficklry.   

       Not really, + I dig this idea big time.
Zimmy, Jan 20 2010


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