Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Single Corn Popper

Nuclear fusion style device, in miniature, to pop corn, one kernel at a time
  (+28, -3)(+28, -3)(+28, -3)
(+28, -3)
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Much of the fun of old-time corn poppers is waiting for those corns to pop - you never know quite when it's going to happen, and they'll suddenly puff up.

This desktop device restores the uncertainty by placing the corn front and center, or rather, in the middle of a miniaturized device similar to the nuclear fusion machine in Spiderman II. Intense beams of light are focused on the corn kernel from multiple directions, causing it to heat up and pop.

Two options are available: electric, with a heat lamp source, and the outdoor, eco-friendly, system that focuses the rays of the sun. (For the halfbakery elite, of course, we could also substitute piezo-electric lasers.)

Given that a given kernel takes just as long to pop on its own as when it's grouped with its peers, it is to be hoped that, engrossed in feeding the corn one at a time into the device, little Johnny and Janey will not notice that it now takes all of an hour or so for them to get through a bowl of popcorn, instead of the regular three and a half minutes plus, oh, maybe forty seconds.

(Alternative use for melting toy soldiers, ants, crack cocaine, etc., not approved by manufacturer.)

(We also disavow any knowledge of a Halfbakery elite.)

DrCurry, Feb 12 2008

Personal Popcorn Machine Personal_20Popcorn_20Machine
see especially anno by neutrinos_shadow [xaviergisz, Feb 13 2008]

Inertial confinement fusion https://lasers.llnl.gov/programs/nic/icf/
Just so you can see what they're doing these days on a large scale. [Vernon, Jul 03 2008]

I had something much quieter in mind http://www.youtube....watch?v=mYP83szJmJI
[DrCurry, Oct 14 2010]

Ah, getting closer... http://www.break.co...er-slow-motion.html
I don't think this is the film that wagster is referring to, but it's still pretty darn cool. [DrCurry, Oct 14 2010]

Hotbits http://www.fourmilab.ch/hotbits/
Truly random number generator. [bluebeaversscrubbingourfloors, Oct 15 2010]

Life Imitating Halfbake... http://gizmodo.com/...le-piece-of-popcorn
Single-Kernel popper! [neutrinos_shadow, Nov 06 2012]

cellphone popcorn popper http://www.youtube....M2g&feature=related
photoshop advertisement revealed later that year [pashute, Nov 08 2012, last modified Nov 09 2012]


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Annotation:







       The kernel's not gonna like this.   

       How about an additional microwave option ?   

       [+]
8th of 7, Feb 13 2008
  

       This could evolve into a form of Skeet shooting, where a kernel is flicked into the air and the shooter tries to pop it with a laser beam before it lands. Fewest unpopped kernels wins.
phundug, Feb 13 2008
  

       I'm thinking that heat transfer through the shell of the kernel is going to take some time. If you apply too much heat to the outside, it's simply going to burn the shell, rather than conduct heat to the moisture inside. [Later] Oh, the idea takes that into account. Sorry.
baconbrain, Feb 13 2008
  

       No - a conventional corn popper uses hot vegetable oil as the heat transfer mechanism - that heats purely by conduction through the outer skin.
8th of 7, Feb 13 2008
  

       Yes, but it heats the entire surface simultaneously at the same time.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 13 2008
  

       There should be some fan film about Luke in old age using his lightsaber to make popcorn for the kids.
nomocrow, Feb 13 2008
  

       Excellent!
ldischler, Feb 13 2008
  

       The kernels should be housed in a soundproof, opaque reactor, too, to add a whole extra layer of quantum fun!
Smurfsahoy, Feb 13 2008
  

       +
xenzag, Feb 13 2008
  

       +
  

       +
  

       +
  

       ...can't stand waiting....
xandram, Feb 14 2008
  

       I can easily envision this sitting among other pointless, useless devices in a novelty shop[+].
aguydude, Feb 14 2008
  

       Isn't there anyone else who doesn't much care for popcorn?
Ned_Ludd, Feb 15 2008
  

       No, you're just a freak.
nomocrow, Feb 15 2008
  

       Looking mommy no hands... no really... they melted, how about instead of popping the popcorn, you simply give it enough heat to turn it into a carbon copy within 10 seconds? Then I could add it to my evil repertoire [+]
xxobot, Feb 16 2008
  

       "...a whole extra layer of quantum fun!"   

       What a wonderful phrase!
fridge duck, Feb 16 2008
  

       where does fusion and/or quantum physics come into this idea anyway...? also, does it come with in a head-mounted version to keep your head warm?
xxobot, Feb 17 2008
  

       //...you never know quite when it's going to happen...//   

       Can it be used as a random seed (pun not intended) for random number generators? It would add a new level of randomness to your encryption algorithms.
Veho, Feb 18 2008
  

       You know, I have tried to pop one kernel at a time, while I was bored frying something or other. I could never quite get it to work. They would just burn, or else sort of half pop into a crappy little dense popcorn piece.
GutPunchLullabies, Feb 18 2008
  

       // I have tried to pop one kernel at a time, while I was bored frying something or other //   

       You need to get out more .........
8th of 7, Feb 18 2008
  

       ?? We can't all BASE jump while we are preparing dinner. What do you do for excitement while you are doing chores?
GutPunchLullabies, Feb 18 2008
  

       //where does fusion and/or quantum physics come into this idea anyway...?//   

       Fusion: The idea suggest using lasers to heat the kernel on all sides at once, which is a copy of one design for a fusion reactor.   

       Quantum: A single kernel of popcorn is the smallest possible unit of a bowl of popcorn. (Isn't it?)
baconbrain, Feb 18 2008
  

       // What do you do for excitement while you are doing chores? //   

       Full scale, all out, interstellar, interspecies armed conflict. Next question ?   

       // A single kernel of popcorn is the smallest possible unit of a bowl of popcorn //   

       Hmmm. In a suitably sealed box, it is impossible to determine whether the popcorn kernel has popped or not. Cue Schrodinger popcorn, stage left .....
8th of 7, Feb 18 2008
  

       Doh. 8th beat me to the Schrodinger punchline.
RayfordSteele, Feb 18 2008
  

       I'll take 2! (I like my uncertainties in stereo)
bleh, Feb 19 2008
  

       Eating popcorn one kernel at a time seems to me like drinking beer with a spoon.
xrayTed, Feb 20 2008
  

       Thats another reason I want 2.
bleh, Feb 20 2008
  

       //where does fusion and/or quantum physics come into this idea anyway...?//   

       You need a reason these days? Man, I have been away a long time.   

       //Popcorn is disgusting. It makes me feel bloated and thirsty.//   

       No, UB, that's diabetes.
BunsenHoneydew, Aug 11 2008
  

       There was a "zen film" I saw once which featured a popcorn kernel popping, very slowly, in extreme close up. The "pop" moment itself took five minutes to unfold and the magnification was so large that you could only see about quarter of the kernel - in fact you couldn't really figure out what you were watching until a couple of minutes had passed. I have no idea how they shot it, but it was very beautiful.
wagster, Aug 11 2008
  

       >>>The kernels should be housed in a soundproof, opaque reactor, too, to add a whole extra layer of quantum fun!   

       Schrödinger's kernel?
copycat042, Aug 14 2008
  

       link or it didn't happen, wags!
Voice, Aug 15 2008
  

       Um... Veho, why not just cut to the case and go true quantum level random? (link)   

       Baconbrain's shell heating problem actually is valid. It's the reason why if you cook a pancake at too high a heat the outside is well cooked but the inside is still batter. I suggest using a MASER instead of a LASER, the microwaves would go straight through the shell and only heat the inside.   

       I think a one kernel at a time popper has the potential to be vary efficient. (+)   

       Hmmmmm...I still have the text and a couple of comments from my short-lived attempt at a fully automatic popcorn weapon - I wonder if this could be adapted...
normzone, Nov 06 2012
  


 

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