Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Snow-Line Ice-Cube Maker

For the best hotels
  (+4, -3)
(+4, -3)
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It's a 6 star hotel; it's hot; there's a water shortage and the electricity supply is too unreliable.

Ice is off the menu. Guests are getting miffed.

Fortunately, in the extensive grounds of all the best hotels, ice is available at the bottom of the Snow-Line Ice-Cube Maker. This device, a giant tower something like 20,000 feet high, has its top above the local snow line. Ice accretes naturally at the top and on falling is channeled by the flared receptacle just below the snow line to be conveyed to the cheery waiter below.

Commissioned by the best hotels, money was no object; the best architects competed to design the towers, many are now architectural gems. The very best engineers fought to overcome those glum naysayers who said it could never be done; the laws of physics were as nothing in comparison.

Of course, health and safety dictated that the falling ice be slowed suitably before ground level to avoid killing the waiter. A mere afterthought you may think, but the best health and safety brains pondered long and hard over their safety cases to approve a suitable solution involving a curving helter-skelter arrangement near the bottom of the tower.

DenholmRicshaw, Mar 06 2008

Tallest Structures Built http://en.wikipedia...ctures_in_the_world
...top out just over 2,000 feet. [DrCurry, Mar 07 2008]


       To the two of you who boned this without annotation, Shame! Several frosty buns cascading in your direction from high.
sprogga, Mar 07 2008

       Would it not melt on the way down? Nevermind, I like it anyway.+
xenzag, Mar 07 2008

       Stopping the ice from melting on the way down is a problem. Insulation would help and an airlock to prevent an updraft of hot air from below would also be needed.
DenholmRicshaw, Mar 07 2008

       [sprogga]: Why?
phoenix, Mar 07 2008

       If money is no expense, why are they suffering from a water shortage?!   

       I can think of plenty of other uses for a 2,000-story tower than providing ice cubes to the coddled, but frankly, this has to be [marked-for-deletion] architectural magic. We simply can't build that high yet, however much money you want to throw away on chilling cocktails.
DrCurry, Mar 07 2008

       sp: storey   

       Of course we can't build that high; although I notice your use of the word "yet".   

       I was in Switzerland the other day and noticed some large structures in the background with chilly water running off them.   

       Perhaps we can be flexible about the definition of "tower"?
DenholmRicshaw, Mar 07 2008

       I note that the tallest structures built are 2,000 feet tall. The difference between this and 20,000 feet is nothing. Go to it, Denholm, and god's peed.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 07 2008

       I tell you what, we'll relax the meaning of tower a bit more and allow the use of a giant dirigible suspended on the end of a light weight tether.
DenholmRicshaw, Mar 08 2008

       [phoenix]: This is just as halfbaked as the hullabaloon, and the only reason it deserves less votes is the lack of an illustration.   

       It probably wont work, it might be impossible, it's pointless, expensive, and an excessive solution to a problem we dont really have. This is perfect 'bakery material!   

       //god's peed/ Does that mean it will make yellow Sno cones as well?
sprogga, Mar 11 2008

       you can put a balloon up that high and laser-guide the ice-cubes down... but "accretes naturally" ? barring occasional hailstones, you'd just have snow, which would melt on the way down.
FlyingToaster, Mar 11 2008

       Good point about snow - the more I think about this, the more I'm thinking we need to find a way to suspend a glacier at high altitude without all that tiresome mountain building.   

       I'm going to draw a picture; wish me luck.
DenholmRicshaw, Mar 11 2008


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