Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Stick-On Readout Dials

Just to keep you on your toes.
  (+9)(+9)
(+9)
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Hang on. I’d better just check my toaster again… Phew. Seems okay. For now…

I’m imagining tiny electronic devices which consist of little more than a small glass window with a moveable needle inside, a la the ubiquitous UV meter. Some unspecific scale is marked on the meter, and of course, there’s a generous portion of red to the right hand side of the display. They have a strip on the back which covers a small section of double-sided sticky stuff: remove the tape and you can stick the needle-meter onto anything you choose.

Now, here you’ve got a couple of choices. You can either go for the hi-tech version, in which silly imaginary Bluetooth technology connects all these autonomous devices to a central computer in your home and dictates, from what you tell it your mood is today, whether the dials say that everything is running smoothly; or just have the dials be self-enclosed and work on a random basis. Gimme a second while I just go check on my bookcase – it was edging dangerously close to meltdown last time I saw it.

False alarm. Anyway, the more I think about it the more stupid this idea actually is. Although sticking a dial on your forehead and using it to indicate how close to mental meltdown you are does have a certain charm.

“NO! You can’t put your mug down there!”

“Why not?”

“The coffee table cannae take it, Captain! The readings are aff the scale already!”

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to replace the Dilithium Crystals in my cat. His flashing lights and sirens have just gone off. Again.

dustmonkey, May 15 2003

Ambient Dashboard http://www.thinkgee...ts/electronic/732d/
The "silly imaginary Bluetooth technology" version has actually been baked, you can buy it here. [krelnik, Mar 17 2005]

" She canna take much more, Captain ! " http://www.hotcars....os/skodacockpit.jpg
[normzone, Mar 17 2005]

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       Sign me up for a 12-pack. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, May 15 2003
  

       I like it, "But, I just don't know Jim"
silverstormer, May 15 2003
  

       croissant++
urbanmatador, May 15 2003
  

       Eggs'll ent
thumbwax, May 16 2003
  

       nice +1
po, May 16 2003
  

       peach +
saker, May 16 2003
  

       Utterly pointless. Croissant factor nine. +
friendlyfire, May 16 2003
  

       How about some that actually work? 26% of my book is read, the milk's 79% full...
oatcake, May 18 2003
  

       Gotta go with [oatcake] on this one. I want to know what percentage of my toilet-cleaning tablet is still in the tank, how much sleep I need to meet my quota, and at what decibels my neighbor is playing "Hey, Jude" for the 28th time.
k_sra, May 18 2003
  

       [k_sra]: Sorry, I'll turn that down.
Cedar Park, May 18 2003
  

       Seriously... some battery company makes those built in to the package the batteries come in... or on the battery itself. I peel them off and save them for weird stuff like that. Also, they have something similar for fish tank temperature and compressed gas tank level. They are a variety of LCD I think, with either thermometer-like or number display instead of a needle.
mr2560, May 30 2003
  

       I recently re-wired my entire vehicle and just for the hell of it, I decided to put in some colored diodes that do nothing but light up. Along with a few digital gauges, my car now looks like it could go "back to the future" or something.
demtangs, Jun 20 2003
  

       This is great! I would use these at home AND in the office - what fun!!
Mamamoose, Jun 20 2003
  

       At work we have a problem with operators that "need" to adjust the machines. These, along with a few well positioned inactive dials and switches would do wonders to stabilize production.
TitaniumZ, Jun 20 2003
  

       Can you make one that says 'Muffler Bearing Pressure?'
RayfordSteele, Jun 20 2003
  

       I thought it said stink-on readout dials-- for when you really get your stink on.   

       ok, I want a few of yours for the minivan-- it's got a real lack of indicators.+
oxen crossing, Jul 02 2003
  

       //sticking a dial on your forehead and using it to indicate how close to mental meltdown you are does have a certain charm.//   

       Baked. 2000AD Mean Machine.   

       //His flashing lights and sirens have just gone off. Again.//   

       Reminds me of a gag we played on an engineer in the server room. There was a big sign that said "Halon extinguisher system. When siren sounds, evacuate room." Guess what, I bought a cheap burgular alarm siren...
FloridaManatee, Jul 02 2003
  

       That's spectacular. Dials that _did_ work would be excellent, but random dials are certainly cool enough for my needs. A lot easier to produce, too, I suspect.   

       I'll take a gross.
Elvisatehere, Aug 08 2003
  

       Doesn't Homer Simpson have a load of them? I love em'
Ossalisc, Aug 27 2003
  

       This idea reminds me of the stickers I printed to stick on door knobs that say "twist". Points out the obvious.
Cosmo, Aug 29 2003
  

       I used to have labels on my doors reading "DOOR". There were also "WINDOW" and "WALL" labels.
nonpet, Jul 15 2004
  

       There was a parafoil-n-fan based ultralight (sorry, don't remember the maker) with an "instrument panel" that was only a mirror (to keep an eye on the wing) and a decal of an airspeed gauge with the needle at 8 knots. That's the only speed it flies. If you add power it climbs; throttle back to descend. Off subject, but I thought it was funny. On subject, I like this. Audiophiles will buy 'em by the boatload.
bpilot, Jul 15 2004
  

       This is the best idea ever.   

       (no sarcasm)   

       (I want three dozen)
Cheekio, Jul 16 2004
  

       Are UV meters ubiquitous? Not sure that I have ever seen one.
bristolz, Mar 17 2005
  


 

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