Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Strandbeest “donkey” rides

Whimsical wind-powered walking machine
  [vote for,

I always feel sorry for the donkeys on the beach. They’re probably all well looked-after, but as animals go, they just have a permanent aura of “oh well, here we go again”.

Strandbeest [link] are amazing, whimsical wind-powered walking sculptures.

This one is modified to have a passenger seat, for an entertaining barely-controlled beach-based ride.

Large beach and wind required.

Frankx, Oct 08 2019

Strandbeest https://www.youtube...watch?v=LewVEF2B_pM
Walking machines [Frankx, Oct 08 2019]

Donkey Rides https://en.wikipedi...g/wiki/Donkey_rides
Very odd ... [8th of 7, Oct 09 2019]

Two-man pedal powered strand beast. https://youtu.be/WMrLyvd6hO0?t=38
Woops. I saved the url at the time I finished watching so scroll to the start if you want more than a three second glimpse. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 09 2019]

Meanwhile, in Australia ... https://www.visitbr...o/tours/camel-tours
[pertinax, Oct 09 2019]

The Old Bazaar in Cairo https://www.youtube...watch?v=I4My1jlhTVE
[Frankx, Oct 17 2019]

The camels have moved. https://www.redsuncamels.com.au
[pertinax, Jun 05 2020]


       Fun and slightly dangerous [+]
hippo, Oct 08 2019

       // slightly //   

       Oh. How dull ...   

       Can there not be a "hideously dangerous" option ?   

       Powered by air movement - so this is a wind-up, right ?
8th of 7, Oct 08 2019

       Makes me wonder why it hasn't been done.
RayfordSteele, Oct 08 2019

       What the hell donkeys on what the hell beach? I've lived on the beach, lived by the beach, lived above it, and beside it, and not once have I seen a donkey. (I'd say "or an ass", but that would be a big fat lie.)
blissmiss, Oct 08 2019

       It seems to be a uniquely British entertainment. <link>
8th of 7, Oct 09 2019

       //Makes me wonder why it hasn't been done.//   

       Sorta been done. Let me see if I can find it again. No guarantees, it's way harder to find stuff quickly than it used to be.   

       <few seconds later>   

       Can't find the first one I saw and this one is pedal powered but if you can figure out how to tack into a wind you're good to go. [link]   

       Wow, 8th, I had no idea. Still not sure why, but I guess it's ok. I've ridden horses on the beach so what's an ass or two? (perinax, I hate to admit it but I find that photo of the camels really beautiful. I mean, REALLY beautiful. Is this wrong, I wonder?)
blissmiss, Oct 10 2019

       Yes, it is wrong.   

       It is an idealized image of camels, that entirely fails to convey the full range of vile unpleasantness that camels perpetrate merely by existing.   

       To begin with, there's the Smell. Yes, the capital letter is deserved; the Smell of a camel is absolutely unmistakeable, right up to the point where the olfactory nerves shrivel and cease to function, which is about the same point that the choking and projectile vomiting starts. Then there's the noise (incredibly loud and discordant), the mess (you don't want to know about a camel's eliminatory habits), and the temperament (bad-tempered, antisocial, vicious).   

       Sitting on a camel is an exceedingly unpleasant experience. Sitting on a moving camel is worse.   

       The only redeeming feature of camels is that apparently they can be quite palatable if cooked correctly. We have no direct information in this area.
8th of 7, Oct 10 2019

       I like them from a distance and the shadows they throw are beautiful. End of story. I don't like to tally up what is bad about any animal. I much prefer instead to see the good. Just like people. It's my nature, I guess.
blissmiss, Oct 11 2019

       // I much prefer instead to see the good. //   

       But what if there isn't any "good" to see ?
8th of 7, Oct 11 2019

       Then look deeper. You aren't looking deep enough. Ever.
blissmiss, Oct 11 2019

       [bliss], I'm mailing you Sturton and the Intercalary. Let me know how it goes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 11 2019

       //look deeper. You aren't looking deep enough//   

       No! [bliss] don't tell him that, this is [8th] you're talking to, quick delete it or he'.. Uh, OK never mind, too late.   

       So what did you find in there [8th]?   

       Anyone for camel kebab?
Skewed, Oct 11 2019

       // what did you find in there [8th]? //   

       Quite a lot. There's a bloke in a silvery trouser suit and a funny hairdo singing rock and roll; a racehorse; a big, tall bloke who says his name's Lucan; a bunch of people in victorian clothes who claim they got off a ship called the Mary something; a squad of American pilots in WW2 era flying gear; and the usual crowd of Lizard People playing strip-poker to decide who gets to play Prince Phillip next month.   

       We'll send another report once we get in through the door.
8th of 7, Oct 11 2019

       Big camel, we''ll need more people to eat all these kebabs.
Skewed, Oct 11 2019

       I've eaten camel. Not a whole one, obviously (although it might not be obvious; I suppose someone stranded on a desert island with only a camel might, over the course of some weeks or months, eat all of it, with the possible exception of the bones and teeth). I believe it was a steak from the hind quarters of the animal, cooked on a barbecue until it was seared and caramelized on the outside but still pink in the middle. I have to say that it was really jolly tasty - robust and yet tender, with a slightly bloody tang to it. It benefitted immensely from having some rock salt rubbed into it before it was cooked, and I wouldn't hesitate to have it again.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 11 2019

       <Goes through next doorway/>   

       Weird ... it's snowy and cold, and there's this old-fashioned lamp-post ... oh no, there's a load of smug, middle-class kids heading this way, we're outta here ...   

       Going to try over there next
8th of 7, Oct 11 2019

       Have you found the electric monk yet [8th]? he should be around somewhere, try the next door.
Skewed, Oct 11 2019

       <Goes through next doorway/>   

       There's a bunch of medieval knights looking nervously at a small white rabbit ... ah, yes, there are a couple of monks, but they don't look electric - one's got a big book and the other's got some sort of primitive explosive device ...   

       There's a cave - we'll have a look in there ...
8th of 7, Oct 11 2019

       If you see Dirk while you're there tell him the old lady died, he can stop looking for her cat, should pee him off nicely, she's not paid yet.
Skewed, Oct 11 2019

       Well, THAT was a mistake. We found a Key, a Bag of Food, a Medical kit and a Jewelled Dagger, but there was a Dragon there and we had to give it half our Gold Pieces before it let us leave.   

       If we find Dirk, we'll let him know. What's that refrigerator doing here ? It wasn't there earlier ...   

       There are some steps here. <Types/> GO NORTH
8th of 7, Oct 11 2019

       //What's that refrigerator doing here//   

       That reminds me, crisp fresh linen.. I'm off to bed.
Skewed, Oct 12 2019

       I'm glad you liked them, [blissmiss].   

       Don't mind [8th].
pertinax, Oct 12 2019

       They only walk in single file to hide their numbers.   

       [+] Is there an armature unique, Strandbeesty, motion to the ride?
wjt, Oct 12 2019

       Hang on. On second thoughts it was beef.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 12 2019

       //GO NORTH//   

Frankx, Oct 12 2019

       <Opens door/>   

       <Enraged female scream/>   

       Oh, terribly sorry Madam, do excuse us, wrong door ...   

       <Closes door rapidly/>   


       <Looks around at TWISTY LITTLE PASSAGES, ALL ALIKE/>   

       <Types/> GO NORTH
8th of 7, Oct 12 2019

       I think I would rather drop dead than consume camel meat...just saying that's a big no. NO.
blissmiss, Oct 12 2019

       I've eaten horse, kangaroo & something that came out of a tin claiming to be aligator (very fatty & vaguely like pork as I remember, not entirely convinced it wasn't), I wouldn't turn my nose up at camel, or practically anything else that wasn't a personal friend (family pet), or human.
Skewed, Oct 12 2019

       No, human's not bad - you should give it a go if it's offered ...   

       Funny, the camel didn't look so big from the outside ... interesting architecture in this part, impressive but disturbing ... H. R. Giger with a touch of Heironymous Bosch ...   

       <Types/> GO WEST
8th of 7, Oct 12 2019

MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 12 2019

       No, thankyou, we don't want any of that fringe stuff, crystals, palmistry, tarot cards, or head-bump reading ....   

       <Surreptitiously googles "proctologist"/>   

       <Googles "phrenologist"/>   

       No, thankyou, definitely don't want any of that either.   

       <Goes through doorway/>   

       R2, we're definitely not in Kansas any more ... oh my ... wow.   

       Hello ... no, just passing and looked in ... wow ... you're much taller in real life ... your pictures don't do you justice ... no, no, no we aren't staying ... do you have shoes on your hooves ? Oh, right, a professional farrier ... yes, very wise, they look very neat and shiny ... nice to meet you, er, must be going, can't hang around ... yes, what a lovely pitchfork <Frantic typing/> GO EAST GO EAST GO EAST RUN EAST RUN AWAY
8th of 7, Oct 12 2019

       Strandbeest jousting would be quite an event, though it would require the use of some kind of power supply instead of a one directional wind.
xenzag, Oct 12 2019

       My understanding is that Strandebeest can be configured to walk into, with or across the wind.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 12 2019

       Well we're not delving into the mechanics of strandbeeste until after we've found our way out of this bloody camel ...   

       I suppose if we just beam back to our Cube you'll accuse us if cheating ... ? Don't bother to answer ...   

       <Types/> GO SOUTH   

       Hey ... we can hear music. It's coming from over there ... behind the red velvet curtains ...
8th of 7, Oct 12 2019

       //after we've found our way out of this bloody camel// OK, it's worth knowing a few things.
(a) there are only three ways out of a camel, or four if it's a female
(b) one of them is very, very unpleasant
(c) the others are worse
(d) points (b) and (c) apply equally from your and the camel's perspective
(e) when travelling by rail in the Netherlands, if it's a double-decker carriage, the top deck is first class (not of immediate help, but worth bearing in mind for the future).
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 12 2019

       I was assuming that [8th] would make another way by channeling his inner xenomorph (an extraordinarily dangerous process if recursion sets in).
pertinax, Oct 13 2019

       Have you any idea how long it took us to clean the cube last time he did that, & he's still not paid us for the job.
Skewed, Oct 13 2019

       You missed a bit, behind that exposed pipe-work. It's getting like the Pompidou Centre, but smellier.
pertinax, Oct 13 2019

       No that's Sturtons lunch, he's just keeping it there until he's peckish.
Skewed, Oct 13 2019

       ... sorry, sorry, we were just getting some popcorn ... yes, his habit of "keeping something for later " combined with his interests in necrophilia and zoophilia have resulted in some particularly vile and disturbing "finds" - and his deteriorating short- and medium-term memory from his prolonged substance abuse has just made things worse ... shhhh the lights are dimming, must be about to start ...
8th of 7, Oct 13 2019

       //configured to walk into, with or across the wind//   

       I’ve been pondering that. With and cross-wind, fine.   

       But Into wind...   

       From sailing, (as an analogy), it shouldn’t be possible. But then, I can imagine a thing with a big wind turbine that spins a lot, being able to crawl slowly up-wind. But that doesn’t make sense.   

       You could have a machine with a wind turbine that anchored itself securely while the wind blew, and accumulated energy in a battery. And when the wind stopped, used electric traction to crawl “up wind”   

       The net force on the machine would be in one direction, but it would move (net movement) in the other direction- hence negative work done.   

       I think it’s breaking one of the laws of thermodynamics.
Frankx, Oct 15 2019

       Surely you could cut out the electric middleman; just gear your wind turbine to a sort of drive shaft which turns an axle whose wheels dig a little into the sand, like the paddle wheels of a Missisippi gambler. The angle to the wind of the blades of the turbine will then play a role loosely analogous to that played by the angle of the keel in the water when a sailing ship is tacking, but with more moving parts.
pertinax, Oct 16 2019

       Yes, true [Pertinax] that sounds rather elegant - but I'm playing with ideas to see what's broken here.   

       I think it shouldn't be possible to have a wind-powered machine that travels up-wind. But we've quickly come up with a couple of ideas that look like they do exactly that.   

       It looks to me like these break some law of conservation. But I'm not sure exactly what.   

       If work done = force x distance moved, and our wind-powered thingamyjig is moving into the wind (against the force) then it's doing work against the wind. And it looks like it can do that indefinitely.   

       I don't like that. It's like a gravity-powered device being able to climb a ladder indefinitely - hints of perpetual motion and all.   

       And yet - when you're sailing, you can tack upwind. You can't point directly into wind, but over two tacks, your net distance moved is upwind, against the net force.
Frankx, Oct 16 2019

       It's only perpetual until the wind stops.
pertinax, Oct 16 2019

       //I think it shouldn't be possible to have a wind-powered machine that travels up-wind.//   

       You can certainly have a wind-powered machine that travels upwind. As a simple example, consider a wind turbine driving a set of very grippy wheels (or tracks). Such a machine can travel into the wind as long as the gearing is right (ie, it takes many revolutions of the turbine to drive the machine a small distance into the wind).
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2019

       There seems to be an echo in here.
pertinax, Oct 16 2019

       Ah - yes, you beat me to it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2019

       //certainly have//... I agree, it looks really simple to build one. But I’m struggling to see how the physics works- particularly in terms of work done.
Frankx, Oct 16 2019

       Viewed as a problem in statics, it's not obvious. The force exerted on a flat surface by the wind must be opposed by the supporting structure.   

       But in that case, no work us done; nothing moves.   

       Instead,the problem is dynamic; because the wind is moving.   

       A windmill, in opposing the force of the wind, extracts (say) 1000W from that wind - not unreasonable, a 1 kW windmill isn't that big.   

       You therefore have 1000W to do with as you wish. You can raise a mass against gravity, creating potential energy. You can convert it to electricity and light a lamp (dissipating it as heat) or charge a battery. You can compress a gas, giving some potential energy, and some thermal losses. Or you can use it as direct mechanical power.   

       Whatever you do with it, that 1kW is decoupled from the source (the windmill ) and with suitable gearing can be used to move the whole assembly in any direction you choose, even dead upwind.
8th of 7, Oct 16 2019

       Thanks 8th. That helps.   

       Reminds me of a joke... punchline was   

       “Well, that’s all very well in practice, but how does it work in theory?”
Frankx, Oct 16 2019

       // That helps. //   

       It does ? Sorry, quite unintentional - it's being stuck inside this camel ...   

       Oh, the curtains are opening ... lights coming up ...   

       Now there are two blokes with moustaches dressed like Egyptians and a rather attractive lady dressed as a belly dancer coming onstage ...   

       Just a sec ... <Activates audio stream redirection/>   

       " ...Sand bags, wind bags, camels with a hump,
Fat girls, thin girls, some a little plump,
Slave girls sold here, fifty bob a lump,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.

Brandy, shandy, beer without a froth,
Braces, laces, a candle for the moth.
Bet you'd look a smasher in an old loin cloth,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.

You can buy most anything,
Thin bulls, fat cows, a little bit of string,
You can purchase anything you wish,
A clock, a dish and something for your Auntie Nellie,

       Harem, scarem, what d'ya think of that,
Bare knees, striptease, dancing on the mat,
Umpa! Umpa! That's enough of that,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.

Rice pud, very good, what's it all about,
Made it in a kettle and they couldn't get it out,
Everybody took a turn to suck it through the spout,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.


       Mamadan, Ramadan, everything in style,
Genuine, beduine carpet with a pile,
Funny little odds and ends floating down the Nile,
From the old bazaar in Cairo.

You can buy most anything, Sheeps eyes, sand pies, a watch without a spring,
You can buy a pomegranate too, A water-bag, a little bit of hokey pokey,

       Yashmaks, pontefracts, what a strange affair,
Dark girls, fair girls, some with ginger hair,
The rest of it is funny but the censor cut it there,
In the old bazaar in Cairo."

       <Deactivates audio stream redirection/> Well, well ...
8th of 7, Oct 16 2019

       Did we do the "ship of the desert" joke already?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 16 2019

       Yes, but it's not ferry funny anyway.
8th of 7, Oct 16 2019

       //Old Bazaar// [link]   

       Yes... but... what?
Frankx, Oct 17 2019

       Don't ask us - we just walked in as the show started.   

       This camel is a lot bigger on the inside than it looked on the outside.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2019

       What might surprise you even more, [Frankx], is that a wind-powered vehicle can travel directly downwind at a speed faster than the wind that's powering it. It sounds impossible, but, when you analyze it, you realize it's exactly the same situation as going directly upwind powered by the wind, and that all that matters is that there's a velocity difference between the wind and the ground that you can exploit.
notexactly, Dec 10 2019

       [notexactly]; umm, THAT one you're going to have to explain carefully. I have some crayons you can borrow...
neutrinos_shadow, Dec 10 2019

       I suppose if you could accumulate enough energy to accelerate through the equilibrium point and out the other side, then you would be tacking against a virtual headwind. But I think tacking presupposes that you can play off the wind against the water, and this scenario would be like tacking against a really strong current, as well as against the wind: the water would be decelerating you even more vigorously than the virtual headwind.
pertinax, Dec 10 2019


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