Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Professional croissant on closed course. Do not attempt.

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dewdrop

designed glass stone for adhesion and flow control of fluids
 
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Sort of a cross between scoria and a pipe to make pasta shaped pebbles that control slow water seep.

Since the perfect shape is unknown. I like to start with a pressed flat sphere, printed with tiny golf dimples. The whole button is then twisted along a line of diameter, like those wooden wind twists. The size of these objects would be about 15mm.

Obviously testing every shape under the sun would be expensive and time consuming although artistically pleasing. A computation modelling program that allows the sketching of a the dewdrop and then scales up to give a couple of truck loads with physical properties and possible seep dynamics, would be the way to go. CAD/CAM could be involved to take the design to the recycled glass smelter's CAM.

wjt, Mar 28 2010

prior art nubbly_20flow_20catalysts
Although the dewdrop is more macro and earthy [wjt, Mar 28 2010]

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       I think you are asking for trials on various stone shapes. Well that's not an invention. You do the research, however silly and pointless, and come back and tell us which shape you want to invent. Thank you.
dentworth, Mar 28 2010
  

       I see no problem with proposal for a research program as a halfbakery idea. In fact, I'd say a research proposal is the quintessential half-baked idea.   

       I know of at least two things *like* this idea.
One's used in chemical engineering -- ceramic rings (I forget the eponym) dumped into a vertically-oriented cylindrical tank, filling it up, but with interstitial space. Fluids & gases are pumped into the tank at various points along its long axis, and the rings encourage orderly mixing.
The other's emplaced on the sea side of a seawall -- large, irregular structures shaped like,if I recall, giant jacks, or tank traps (sometimes, simply irregularly shaped boulders) to break up and diffuse the force of a wave before it hits the sea wall.
mouseposture, Mar 29 2010
  

       So...hydrophylic and hydrophobic surfaces?
phoenix, Mar 29 2010
  

       no, only scales of shape, to allow domains of the fluid(probably water) to do their collective thing.   

       i was thinking recycled glass because of the glut, cheap and quite plastic when hot. Good for automatically churning out truck loads.
wjt, Mar 29 2010
  
      
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