Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Variable-geometry spatula

Your partly flexible friend
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Cooking spatulas always seem to be an unsatisfactory compromise in design; the angle between the "blade" and the handle often turns out to be non-optimal.

It is important to note that at different points in the cooking process, different angles are needed, depending on whether the implement is being used for stirring, flipping, or extracting cooked items from the frying pan. It would also be useful to be able to extend the handle to avoid being splattered with hot fat.

BorgCo engineers have prototyped a suitable device. The blade is conventional (but interchangeable) and can be PTFE, PTFE-coated steel, or polished 316SS with a sharp edge. There are two joints in the handle, which is also telescopic.

The joints contain worm gears; rotating a band on the handgrip changes the angle of the joints between 0 and 90 degrees, thus the device can assume any form from a completely straight line to a "5" shape with two right angles. Two other rings allow the user to control the extension of the two telescopic sections of the shaft.

The whole unit is dishwasher safe, and the handle is ergonomically designed to allow the user to rapidly and accurately reposition the blade during the frying process.

8th of 7, Jul 18 2019

13th Duke of Wybourne https://www.youtube...watch?v=aUFidVw66Mo
[bigsleep, Jul 18 2019]

Spatula etymology https://www.etymonline.com/word/spatula
Mentioned in my anno [notexactly, Jul 20 2019]

'Boots' theory https://www.goodrea...rich-vimes-reasoned
You know it makes sense. [8th of 7, Jul 21 2019]

proto-indo-european https://en.wikipedi...o-European_language
spatula not included [pertinax, Jul 30 2019]

dronchitecture high rise building by [teslaberry]. Mentioned in my anno [notexactly, Aug 20 2019]

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       A slight mutation on this theme might be to attach the shape of a "french curve" via a rotating link to the spatula arm, such that you can adjust the amount of curvature presented to the pan as per requirements; So for stirring, you might want to present a strongly curved, thin edge to the pan, while for omelette-flipping, you might want to use a much wider, more gently curving edge.
zen_tom, Jul 18 2019
  

       That could be offered as an option; would you like to be Assimilated into our product development team ?
8th of 7, Jul 18 2019
  

       I prefer contracting, but would consider assimilation if there's a decent retirement plan. Bonus? Paid holidays?
zen_tom, Jul 18 2019
  

       Many parts means many places for crud to collect (and, being a cooking implement, it WILL collect...), so either have it easy to disassemble (completely) for cleaning, or have no telescopic bits and the joints "stiff" but moveable, and all covered in a single piece of silicone rubber.
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 18 2019
  

       [neutrinos shadow] stiff joints with silicone rubber might be nudged just a little to be: gumby-like wire internally, with spring coils in little air spaces, and stretchable silly-putty like plastic with air-surrounded springs for the flippy spatula foot
beanangel, Jul 18 2019
  

       // covered in a single piece of silicone rubber. //   

       You should ask Sturton about that - PVC, leather, rubber, he's a real enthusiast.
8th of 7, Jul 18 2019
  

       He's actually a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to fetishes. I mean, rubber (technically, gutta percha) and leather yes; PVC not so much. Spot of flagellation now and again, obvs (public school). Feet - very much *not* his cup of tea; in fact his last advertisement for a PA specified "footlessness an asset". Didn't get many applicants; settled for a Greek lady with one leg but fired her when it turned out she had two feet. He's also got a thing about chipmunks - don't ask. I mean, really, just never ever ask. And he has an internationally-known collection of Hawaiian pano-a't'hui-hui which he says are for research purposes only.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 18 2019
  

       I had to look most of that up, but you're clearly an expert with a deep knowledge of this type of activity. This must have required considerable close observation.
xenzag, Jul 18 2019
  

       //the shape of a "french curve"//   

       Crepe idea.   

       Clearly for a circular pan with some edge geometry a companion cooking utensil is in order. The utensil should be able to present a scraping edge for the internal radius where the sides attach. Paired pans and utensils is the answer, which sounds like a CAD application - "Me alone in a room full of massive computing power and a bulk emailing tool ?" [link]
bigsleep, Jul 18 2019
  

       The force needed to change the utensils shape will always have to be more than the force the spatula is applied in use, or else there will be a lot of refunds.
wjt, Jul 20 2019
  

       If you make a commercial for this, demonstrating it in a fake studio kitchen yelling at the camera the whole time I'll buy this.
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2019
  

       This idea wasted several hours of my looking up the etymology of spatula in the notion that breaking the word down into components is the key to breaking the spatula itself down into transformable parts.
Ian Tindale, Jul 20 2019
  

       Apparently it comes from the Latin word "spatula", meaning "spatula". [link]
notexactly, Jul 20 2019
  

       So the word "spatula" is derived from the latin word "spatula" meaning "spatula"?
doctorremulac3, Jul 20 2019
  

       So it would seem. It's all rather sinister, to be honest; the Vatican are probably behind it - they use a lot of latin words.   

       Of course, a cooking spatula is a major plot device in the well-known conspiracy-theory novel "The Da Vinci Cod", so it all makes sense, in a dark, twisted way.
8th of 7, Jul 20 2019
  

       // Latin word "spatula", meaning "spatula" //   

       Huh. Etymonline is normally pretty good about these things.   

       I would guess that the origin is a metaphasis of the latin word scapula, which originally referred to a towel or spade. Shoulder blades came later, named either because of their visual similarity to a spade, or possibly because in ancient times animal scapulas were used as such. I believe that "scalpel" has a very similar word origin.
mitxela, Jul 20 2019
  

       // I believe that "scalpel" has a very similar word origin. //   

       <Considers [mit]'s probable level of credulity/>   

       Hey, [mit], would you like to make lots and lots of money with no effort at all ? We have a wonderful scheme we're sure you'll want to sign up for ... but hurry, applications are limited !
8th of 7, Jul 20 2019
  

       I can't really work up any enthusiasm for this idea. I am pretty sure this purported device would function for about, oh, 18 hours before suffering some terminal failure.   

       If you're serious about frying, you will already possess a wide range of spatulae, each adapted to its task and honed from an appropriate grade of steel by a traditional spatulista. A true afficionado will own no fewer than fifteen spatulae, ranging from the humble, versatile and invaluable egg flipper to the immense and weighty dover sole spatula. Anyone with even a passing interest in international cuisine will of course have a couple of sizes of spatola per cipolle, a tóu sháo zhújiàn, an amerika o mawasu, and of course an authentic Javanese sayur- sayuran.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 20 2019
  

       //about, oh, 18 hours before suffering some terminal failure//   

       Is that a problem? This morning at about 9:30 I started using a $4 umbrella for the second time; it came apart at about 12:30 PM, only about a half hour before I finished needing it. It seems, however, to have served its purpose, which was the extraction of my $4.
lurch, Jul 21 2019
  

       Actually, more than $4, because you'll have to replace the umbrella. In fact, you're now trapped in a vicious circle of umbrella purchasing as each successive umbrella fails in a predictable way; and there's the associated problem of umbrella disposal.   

       This actually sounds remarkably like Captain Vimes' "Boots" theory of economic inequality. <link>
8th of 7, Jul 21 2019
  

       ^ and don't forget the HGTTG shoe event horizon example that states the depression included with that failing umbrella.
wjt, Jul 21 2019
  

       I like it, but for best results it should be motorised. Specifically, the spatula should reciprocate.
sninctown, Jul 27 2019
  

       I'd never considered this before, but we're severely lacking in Greek and Latin etymologists. It's all very well tracing the root of a word back to some classical language, but where did *they* get it from?   

       Ideally, we should be able to trace these things right back to the very earliest homo loquiturus.
zen_tom, Jul 29 2019
  

       Ahem. See link.
pertinax, Jul 30 2019
  

       <Blackadder>   

       "Alright, let’s start with the basics. English is a non-inflected Indo-European language derived from dialects of…."   

       </Blackadder>
8th of 7, Jul 30 2019
  

       Have we covered resonance yet ? Scraping sauce with a springy utensil and it suddenly turns into a splatula.
bigsleep, Jul 31 2019
  

       Haha.   

       The choice of materials and the design of the joints are engineered to produce maximum stiffness; if flexibility is required, this will be designed in as a user-controlled function.
8th of 7, Jul 31 2019
  

       //flexibility//
Run small capillaries inside the "head"; in normal operation, the head is flexible (as per your ordinary plastic spatula) but if you squeeze the handle, it forces fluid into the capillaries, stiffening the head.
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 31 2019
  

       // I'd never considered this before, but we're severely lacking in Greek and Latin etymologists. It's all very well tracing the root of a word back to some classical language, but where did *they* get it from? //   

       Well, appropriately for the topic of spatulas, the word "etymology" comes directly from ancient Greek, so they must have had etymologists back then. Maybe some of their writings have survived, and have been waiting unread in some museum storage room since being found.   

       // Scraping sauce with a springy utensil and it suddenly turns into a splatula. //   

       Reminds me of that "dronchitecture" idea from several years ago, where a building has drones to carry people between levels/offices on the outside rather than elevators on the inside, and how I said that when it rains, it'll become drenchitecture. I can't find it now—maybe that was why it was deleted.   

       Edit: It wasn't deleted; I just wasn't looking for it correctly. See [link]
notexactly, Aug 10 2019
  

       "Spatula" looks like a diminutive to me. If it *is* a diminutive, it's probably a diminutive of "spatha", which is found in late-imperial Latin as a word for a kind of sword, which sometimes had a rounded end (because it was meant for slashing from horseback, not stabbing). The "h" could easily have dropped out, because aspirated consonants in Latin were often just half- hearted attempts to sound more Greek (and hence, sophisticated).   

       Hence, "spatula" - "like a round-ended sword, but smaller".   

       In late texts, we also find "spatharius", meaning aide-de-camp, from which we may imagine the unattested "spatularius" as the job-title of one of those thankless "food technicians" who do the actual cooking for celebrity chefs (I'm told).
pertinax, Aug 20 2019
  

       Oh, good insights there! I noticed a while back that your username seems to come from Latin, too, so I guess it's a language you're familiar with?
notexactly, Aug 22 2019
  

       Don't jump to conclusions, [not]; it may be a reference to Sir Pertinax Surly, a character in "The Alchemist" by Ben Jonson.
8th of 7, Aug 22 2019
  

       //Surly//   

       Aaah, pot-kettle-black?
pertinax, Aug 23 2019
  

       //good insights//   

       Shucks.- {blushes}
pertinax, Aug 23 2019
  

       //"Spatula" looks like a diminutive to me. If it *is* a diminutive, it's probably a diminutive of "spatha", which is found in late-imperial Latin as a word for a kind of sword, which sometimes had a rounded end (because it was meant for slashing from horseback, not stabbing)//   

       It could have been used for applying sun tan lotion or frosting. We don't need to assume gladiatorial combat was all about violence.
bigsleep, Aug 24 2019
  


 

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