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

Giant mylar fake cloud gizmo
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Every years some stretch of blazingly hot cloudless days will come by and cook a few cities, causing dozens to die from heatstroke. Since nature did not see it fit to provide any shade from coulds that might provide relief, it's up to us to provide a half-baked solution!

The Portable Could would consist of thin reflective plastic tubes filled with helium, which support a thing mylar shield. The Portable Cloud can be pumped up and secured by ropes over a city to provide shade like a giant parasol, and the cost defrayed by advertisements along the underside. Most airports tend to be at the perimeter of a city, so it shouldn't be that much of a problem.

Alternatively, if the use of helium is too expensive, a plastic duct carrying hot air from the city's incinerator, power plant, or center of government can provide the necessary lifting power to the balloon tubes.

lagarto, May 16 2003

Joe Btfsplk http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Btfsplk
Historical context / Prior art [csea, Nov 27 2007]

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       By reflecting sunlight away from the earth, this concept could be a 'hands-on' way of mitigating global warming, as well as providing local shade. It would take a lot of PC's to reverse global warming, but its better than nothing.   

       On the downside, the thing could take off under heavy wind loads. And, if it caught on fire, you might find it raining burning plastic!
afinehowdoyoudo, Nov 27 2007
  

       Completely unfeasible, but perfect for the 'bakery. [+]
sprogga, Nov 28 2007
  

       Wow. Four and a half years before getting a response. That must be some kind of record.
wagster, Nov 28 2007
  
      
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