Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The steaming mug of coffee

Cool air and make steam with it
  [vote for,

There's something special about a steaming mug of coffee. It warms the soul before it warms the belly. But environmental conditions often lead to a lack of water vapor just a minute or two after pouring. This will not do.

This coffee mug would contain -- very well insulated -- in its base a slice of dry ice. The design of the base would route the cold air straight up around the outside of the (well insulated also) mug. Thus the coffee would steam to the very last drop.

Voice, Nov 26 2020

Three die in dry-ice incident at Moscow pool party https://www.bbc.co....rld-europe-51680049
[hippo, Nov 26 2020]

Wine bar fined after woman's stomach removed following liquid nitrogen shot https://www.theguar...ach-liquid-nitrogen
[hippo, Nov 26 2020]


       An ultrasound atomiser would be much better
pocmloc, Nov 26 2020

       A block of a suitable radioisotope in the base of the mug will keep the liquid hot indefinitely.
8th of 7, Nov 26 2020

       We got your Polonium right here ...   

       // needs only modest shielding //   

       One of its many advantages.   

       // the short half life of 138 days could be seen as a plus — repeat sales! //   


       // Downsides? //   

       Everyone's a critic ...   

       // Highly toxic if ingested. //   

       "Do not attempt to swallow your coffee mug" warning ?   

       // Worldwide production is currently only a few grams per year. //   

       Production is demand-led; there's no technical issue with upscaling.   

       // if BorgCo can ramp up production, //   

       Need you ask ?   

       // solve the supply chain problem of a product that goes stale in a few months, //   

       Cook-chill food goes bad in mere days. This is easy by comparison.   

       // find a use for the remaining lead other than historic restorations of plumbing in ancient Roman villas... //   

       The slugs of Po are pre-cast into the shapes of either entire bullets, or cores for jacketed rounds. Open the can, straight into the reloading press.   

       // sure, it might just work. //   

       Of course it will work ... just keep those pesky whiny product-safety and legals idiots away until there's good market penetration.
8th of 7, Nov 26 2020

       No. 7 or No.9 (skeet) shot sizes, then.   

       Or .177 airgun pellets; much less than 1cc in volume.
8th of 7, Nov 26 2020

       Perhaps Sir is interested in purchasing a pebble-bed reactor "off the shelf" ... ?   

       // Off-planet ... disposal facilities //   

       For the lawyers, or the purchasers who didn't follow the instructions to the letter ?   

       Probably both. And yes, a different planet... the far side of your primary satellite is becoming slightly, shall we say, cluttered with our surplus stuff, and it's getting tedious having to chase your mapping satellites and "fix" the data link to block it out.
8th of 7, Nov 26 2020

       I rescued a Japanese meat industry executive who stuck his head over the side of a 4ftx4ftx4ft 'super carton' of beef being packed with layers of CO2 snow, one day.   

       He was curious about the fog flowing over the edge of the carton and took a deep breath of it.   

       I saw him slump to the floor into about 2ft of very dense CO2 fog on the floor, and raced over and picked him up before he exhaled himself to death.   

       Not sure you want a device that delivers CO2 fog directly into someone's respiratory system.
UnaBubba, Nov 27 2020

       On the contrary, we can envisage several uses.
8th of 7, Nov 27 2020

       //Not sure you want a device that delivers CO2 fog directly into someone's respiratory system.//   

       I suspect that the executive had taken more than one breath of it, and the source was significantly larger in scale in that case.
I'd certainly feel rather more comfortable in the presence of a gram or two of dry ice than 0.1g of Polonium, even if the latter were sealed away.

       I'd feel safer drinking from a cup with a lump of CO2 in it ( I've done this already) than being /anywhere/ in or near a country where heavily Polonium-laden goods are readily available for purchase.
Loris, Nov 27 2020

       And a few BorgCo and MaxCo products ...   

       Well, several.   

       You might even say "Quite a few".   

       Like, more than half.   

       Actually, most of them.   

       Best to look for the labels that read "0% Mercury, 0% Lead, 0% Polonium" in this product.   

       But don't touch the actual labels themselves, the glow-in-the-dark stuff that MaxCo puts in them probably isn't all that safe. Cheap, mind; in fact, better than cheap - Sturton's eBay contact (don't know who he is, just his username, VladKremlin1917) ships it for free, along with attractive gifts ...
8th of 7, Nov 27 2020

       There could of course be another version called "The Streaming Mug Of Coffee", which would be constantly refilled via a miniature replica of Katlot, the famous peeing boy of Brussels statue.
xenzag, Nov 27 2020

       // "The Streaming Mug Of Coffee",// ''   

       I like this idea a lot better. Collaborate you two.
blissmiss, Nov 27 2020

       The Scheming Mug Of Coffee uses the coffee-heat to power a small computer embedded in the mug running a sophisticated AI system which guesses your passwords, connects to local wi-fi and spreads rumours about you online.
hippo, Nov 27 2020

       // they should see a urologist. //   

       Why, do urologists have particularly disturbing characteristics to their urine ?   

       Presumably urologists are less fussy about having an audience when emptying their bladders, otherwise this information would propagate only by hearsay.   

       We wonder if the "Steaming Mug" idea is adopting entirely the wrong approach.   

       What is desired is not actually a steaming cup of coffee, but something that merely manifests the appearance of a steaming cup of coffee. According to the description, the coffee itself is not actually required to "steam".   

       Thus something that mimics the appearance of steam would be satisfactory, hence the use of CO2.   

       So, what about adapting the "fake flickering flame" technology used in some uplighters ? This uses a thin, highly flexible sheet of coloured semi-transparent material, a fan, and a light source to produce the appearance of a flame.   

       The same thing could be done here. A small fan could cause a very thin, translucent sheet to curl and wave, and random patterns could be projected onto it at very low intensity.
8th of 7, Nov 27 2020

       ////... (avoiding places) where heavily Polonium- laden goods are readily available for purchase.////   

       //Stay away from tobacconists. And seafood restaurants//   

       So how much polonium do you think these carry?   

       Looking at some research online, I found a value of 0.33–0.36 picocuries per gram [pCi/g] of tobacco material. I'm going to conservatively use 0.35 pCi/g.   

       Wikipedia mentions (in a roundabout way) that a milligram of 210Po is 5 Curies, so 1 gram would be 5000 Curies. So this would imply maybe 7e-17 g Po/g, or 0.00000000000000007 grams of polonium per gram of tobacco.   

       With this in mind, I calculate that to get enough polonium to power a single steaming cup of coffee (0.1g), we'd need over 1.4 gigatonnes of tobacco.   

       So I think it'd be a stretch to call tobacco /heavily/ laden with polonium.
Go right ahead and check my maths, and feel free to do a similar calculation for seafood yourself.
Loris, Nov 27 2020

       As my second alternative, I propose The Screaming Mug Of Coffee. This is kept permanently close to boiling point by an embedded element that's heated by induction. The screaming, from where it earns its name, starts when anyone tries to drink the boiling liquid.
xenzag, Nov 27 2020

       //the short half life of 138 days could be seen as a plus — repeat sales!//   

       The Keurig head office is suddenly a hive of activity...
bs0u0155, Nov 27 2020

       "Screaming coffee mug" reminds me of my old "Screaming candy dish", that sat on my desk and yelled bloody murder when anyone took more than their fair share of sweets. Hahahaha. I still love that one.
blissmiss, Nov 27 2020

       //can you put a number to what you would consider "heavily" laden, and *IS* there any place you could buy such?//   

       Yes, and for polonium it's somewhere between 0.1g within the volume of a mug, and in a volume of matter rather more than a cubic kilometre.   

       For your second question, again yes - apparently Russia sells several grams of polonium to the western world each month. However my guess is that a) it's not cheap, and b) there is some regulation involved.   

       The thing is, I generally think concerns over terrorism are overblown. But polonium is soluble and very very toxic when ingested, so it would be straightforward for someone so inclined to practically wipe out the inhabitants of e.g. an entire city or larger region.
If such items were readily available to the general populace, disasters with significant loss of life would be almost inevitable just through accidents.
Loris, Nov 27 2020

       //You were expecting any different when 8th got involved? I only suggested it because he seemed a bit down lately, figured it would cheer him up...//   

       Oh, well fair enough.   

       Maybe we could try a small pyrotechnic charge.
Or in fact let's just simplify matters, and put a coffee holder on machine guns as standard. This would nicely complement the tea brewer on his Vickers.
Loris, Nov 29 2020

       You need travel mugs with lids, otherwise the recoil throws the stuff everywhere.   

       Tea brewed from the barrel jacket of a belt-fed water cooled MMG tends to have a tang of oil about it, although some call it "characterful". The best idea is to use the steam condensed in the water can for the tea-brewing.
8th of 7, Nov 29 2020


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