Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Whistled Glissando Microwave Time Input

Whistle while you cook
  [vote for,

Throughout history humans have used whistling as a means of signaling to dogs, horses, birds and other domestic animals, but not machines. Why not? Voice recognition is still not entirely practical, but a computer should have no problem interpreting the frequency of a whistle.

I propose that microwave ovens be equipped with whistle input, which would work thus: You put your food in the microwave and close the door, then whistle the lowest note that you can, the numbers 0:00 appear on the display signifying the cooking time. You then increase the pitch of the note to cause the time to increase.

The response is quadratic so a glissando (or sliding pitch-change) of one half step (from C to C-sharp for instance) would increase the time to 30 seconds, and a glissando of one octave (12 half-steps) would increase the time to 30 minutes. A perfect fifth (the first interval of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”) would give you about 11 minutes.

You don’t need to have a musical ear to operate the microwave, because as you whistle the time is displayed, so you simply need to whistle up until you reach the setting you want, then stop whistling. To add more time, give it another up glissando, to subtract time, slide down the scale. A click of your tongue starts the thing cooking.

AO, Oct 28 2003

The Clangers - Sending Microwaves Mental Since 1969 http://www.bbc.co.u...langers/index.shtml
Dammit! Another batch of blue-string pudding ruined... [lostdog, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

For the whistle-challenged http://www.musichou...m/store/iw-asw.html
[Klaatu, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       Another good one, AO. Nice to see you posting again.
krelnik, Oct 28 2003

       Nice one, AO. And - pass me that Swanee Whistle, would you?
lostdog, Oct 28 2003

       Hang on, though. An old-fashioned kettle could make quite an impact on your electricity bill...
lostdog, Oct 28 2003

       what if some bird makes some sweet, high frequency sound and turns up the cooking time to.. let's say... half an hour and makes your food become ashes? huh ? on the other hand, you can learn a bird how to cook;
sweet, Oct 28 2003

       I couldn't use this. I have a whistle gap - there is a span of 4 tones (from B to D inclusive) that I cannot whistle. Above and below that, I'm fine.
waugsqueke, Oct 28 2003

       You can sell slide whistles as accessories for the those challenged by gaps in their whistle compass/range.   

       You mean the first interval of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, no?
bristolz, Oct 28 2003

       bris, that’s very perceptive of you. I do mean the first interval, (not "the first two notes" as I originally wrote it), assuming you don’t count the unison as an interval, otherwise I mean the second interval. It’s also possible that I was thinking of the short version of the song that goes “twink twink lit star”.
AO, Oct 28 2003

       Harmonica's could free up your hands.
Tiger Lily, Oct 28 2003

       Um... voice recognition.
waugsqueke, Oct 28 2003

       This would be interesting in a restaurant kitchen with half a dozen microwaves..   

       To solve this (and the above bird/kettle problems) the microwave oven could have very limited 'hearing' - say, only be able to hear you while you had your head in it.
benjamin, Oct 29 2003

       Stellar idea, [AO]. I suggest a large display to be readable from across the house. +
k_sra, Oct 29 2003

       AudioUI. That's an awful lot of vowels.
phoenix, Oct 29 2003

       Nice link, [Klaatu].
k_sra, Oct 29 2003

       looks like a dip-stick to me.
po, Oct 29 2003

       What a terrible thing to say about [Klaatu].
k_sra, Oct 29 2003

       So I put my toast in the toaster, whip up my eggs and place them in the microwave. A major third sets the oven at two minutes, medium power. Ting, quick stir, then a minor third to finish the job off. Suddenly the toast sets off the fire alarm, and before the tea-towel-flapping ritual can restore peace, the resulting cacophony has reduced the eggs to a sad, grey, rubbery lump in the bottom of the bowl.
egbert, Oct 29 2003

       You would have to keep chipper people from wandering through your kitchen whistling. Why not clapping through an automated series of menus (double clap to select - one clap for Mac Microwave users (the Macrowave)) for the musically challenged.
Peticelli, Oct 29 2003


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