Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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+/- 1% Table

alka de-stable
  (+9, -3)
(+9, -3)
  [vote for,

+/- 1% Table is a four legged table with a subtle difference: It's never totally stable. One, or more of its legs will always be slightly longer or shorter than the others, and the table will be off balance, by a factor of about one percent in any particular direction.

Placing little folded up pieces of paper under the 'short' leg will not correct the imbalance. On carrying out such an action, a degree of stability may be created, but it won't last. Within a very short space of time, the table will be off-balance again. Shifting the under-leg paper repeatedly from leg to leg, or adding more may be tried, but the end result will always be the same. The table will re-establish its imbalance because that is its permanent natural state.

Here's how it works: At the top of each leg, where they connect to the table top, is a device. These devices are hidden by the skirting that encircles the table top. Each device consists of a small silent motor, and a sensor. The motors can raise or lower each of the legs by a few fractions of an inch. The four sensors are inter- connected, and the entire system is powered by a rechargeable battery. Anyone who looks up under the table will only see the legs disappearing underneath the false bottom, as the entire destabilising apparatus is totally concealed.

The table can, and will silently and relentlessly raise or lower its legs by tiny amounts; just enough in fact to maintain its inherent instability. Its processor can determine how many legs need to move, and by what amount, this action being initiated as soon as it detects that someone has tried to make it become stable.

Works best when people are trying to enjoy full cups of coffee, or show how great they are at folding up little cardboard wedges, and solving the problem of a rocking table.

Who wants to build this for me? Ha!

xenzag, Sep 13 2014

Astable Multivibrator http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Multivibrator
Not at all salacious. [8th of 7, Sep 14 2014]

Turning a Wobbly Table Will Make It Steady http://www.scientif...e-but-true-turning/
[xaviergisz, Sep 15 2014]

The wobbly table's tale http://www.newscien...tale.html?full=true
Imagine dragging the table while keeping two diagonally opposite feet on the ground and tipping it so that the other two feet are at equal heights over the ground at all times. The authors have shown that it is always possible to find a stable spot with four legs on the ground. [xaviergisz, Sep 15 2014]

Evil door Evil_20door
[calum, Sep 16 2014]


       A slightly simpler variant might take advantage of the fact that many tables have "feet" which screw into the bottom of the table legs. Manually adjusting those feet normally suffices to make a table stable. However, if your motors were inside the table legs, and were able to screw-in or unscrew-out the feet arbitrarily....
Vernon, Sep 13 2014

       This system might well trigger incipient insanity and psychotic behaviour in sensetive individuals.   

8th of 7, Sep 13 2014

       You should patent this.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 13 2014

       Could this be done entirely mechanically? I am thinking of something like the clicking latch that is in the top of a push-to-retract ballpoint pen, fitted inside two or three of the legs.
pocmloc, Sep 13 2014

       In my role as executive designer for the Ministry for Infuriating Objects I welcome your idea. In fact, if you'd like to put together a CV* we'd be sure to look at it. Recently, we've been working on a set of double doors, like you might find in a government building or department store. Early research had the "push" panels on both sides, for confusion purposes. We're now up to a set of double doors that will open only on the last of all 4 push/pull left/right options. We aim to infuriate AND make you look stupid to the person behind.   

       *if the file arrives in an easily readable format, we'll be disappointed.
bs0u0155, Sep 13 2014

       // if the file arrives in an easily readable format, //   

       That would be a .CSV, shirley ?
8th of 7, Sep 13 2014

       This is almost as exciting as restless leg syndrome.
4and20, Sep 14 2014

       As far as my experience in life shows, this happens naturally without any motors, although it is on of the anomaly's still not understood by science, and used by Mormons to prove their point.
pashute, Sep 14 2014

       //// if the file arrives in an easily readable format, ////   

       //That would be a .CSV, shirley ?//   

       That's trivial. If you want a document to be corrupted for a recipient in some infuriating way, you use MS Word.
I think that they heard about the concept of WYSIWYG and decided that their internal policy was "absolutely not, at any cost".
Loris, Sep 14 2014


       // put together a CV* .... easily readable format //   

       // That would be a .CSV, shirley ? //   

       Puns aren't funny if they have to be explained. Some puns aren't funny anyway, but even the ones that are funny don't work if the audience has the mental acuity of an elderly wallaby that's just been stunned by violent accidental contact with a low-hanging branch, requiring the pun and the funniness thereof to be explained slowly and in excruciating detail, as if to a small child with severe learning difficulties, a foreigner, or the chairman of the board.   

       "CV" ... "CSV" ... Curriculum Vitae, elided into Comma Separated Variable ... so a CV could be sent in CSV format, which is a generic .... oh, wht's the use ....   

       <Throws microphone on floor, stamps offstage muttering>   

       The idea should actually be titled "AsTable" or possibly "UnsTable".
8th of 7, Sep 14 2014

       [xaviergisz] the link is interesting, but the table I have proposed will defeat any attempt to make it stable, because as soon as it detects stability, it will adjust one or more of its leg lengths to restore a state of instability.
xenzag, Sep 15 2014

       To find inner balance one must first refer to the table of discontents.   

       I think we already have these tables in my local pub. Whenever we go in there, the first ten minutes are always spent sorting through the chairs in order to find the ones that have a viable degree of stability for us fat boys to sit on. It's not an easy task. +
DrBob, Sep 15 2014

       I'm sure restaurants would be happy to offer special fat boy chairs on request.
4and20, Sep 15 2014

       See what I did there? I started talking about tables but finished talking about chairs. Senior moment.
DrBob, Sep 15 2014

       [+] You devious little halfbaker you!!
btw- this could also work with chairs [DrBob]!
xandram, Sep 16 2014

       There are a few architectural and furniturial unpleasantries in the halfbakery: this one is at least as good as the seminal Evil Door (linked).
calum, Sep 16 2014

       : gets up and wanders off, distractedly brushing leaves out of hair.
Loris, Sep 18 2014


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