Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Renovating the wheel

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scales adjust-its

self-watering hanging baskets
  [vote for,

walking past the gardening section at my local supermarket today, it occurred to me that pairs of hanging baskets resembled weighing scales and that if they were calibrated in a similar fashion, the dryer basket (being lighter) would descend to the ground indicating its need for watering. this state of affairs would also render the lower basket more accessible for shorter people.

there is only one drawback to this wonderful invention – scales don’t work like that.

back to the drawing board. o.k., so you have your scales calibrated for weight but instead of the dryer & lighter scale descending, it ascends and the side of the basket triggers a lever on its way up that opens a tap sited above the basket which sends a cascade of water over the thirsty plants until such time as the renewed weight of the now wet basket sends the basket down again. (buggar there must be an easier way to explain this.)

the sight of your hanging baskets ascending and descending all day will hypnotise you gently to sleep as you watch lazily from the comfort of your garden chair.

po, May 22 2004

off topic lads but please read! http://members.ozem...ormboy/man/nuts.htm
[po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The Bucket Fountain http://lilithlotr.e...9bucketfountain.jpg
for [2 fries]. It's not quite a hanging basket waterwheel, but it's pretty close :) [reap, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[reap]'s link (sort of) http://lilithlotr.e...t/NewZealand/24Nov/
Near the bottom of the page are two thumbnails for "The Bucket Fountain". [dpsyplc, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Bucket Fountain http://www.bucketfountain.co.nz/
Who would have thought that a fountain would have it's own website. You shouldn't be forbidden from this. [reap, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Good. I think the “scales” should not be too stable (put the center of gravity only slightly below the axle) so it doesn’t get stuck in a horizontal position with both baskets equally drying out.
FarmerJohn, May 22 2004

       I can't help but picture a hanging basket waterwheel. Nice one po.   

       very slick (+).
xclamp, May 23 2004

       Make the counterweight as the water tank.
FarmerJohn, May 23 2004

       <obligatory misreading> I misread this as "scales adjus-tits" - something to do with a rebalancing bra for women with one breast larger than the other, or something</obligatory misreading>
hippo, May 23 2004

       vision test overdue?
po, May 23 2004

       I like plants.
DesertFox, May 23 2004

       I like the visual of po's original idea, not Brau's , toilet fixtures indeed...
dentworth, May 25 2004

       Entirely bake-able. You're gonna be rich(er), po!
yabba do yabba dabba, May 25 2004

       That is really clever. ++
sartep, May 26 2004

       I spy a fair weather gardener. +
Ling, May 26 2004

       I don't quite understand why there's a nut test on the links, but I rather like the thought of [po] sitting comfortably watching her plants water themselves. +
k_sra, May 26 2004

       think about it!
po, May 26 2004

       Ah, astrology! Libra the scales and Cancer with its 69 symbol - testicular cancer.
FarmerJohn, May 26 2004

       great idea, but you better hope the plants grow at the same rate...
luecke, May 26 2004

       Apparently I am forbidden to peruse [reap}'s link, and not just forbidden but 403 forbidden.   

       [po]. something to do while they wait? : (
k_sra, May 26 2004

       //the dryer basket (being lighter) would descend to the ground indicating its need for watering.//   

       Why would a lighter object descend?
supercat, May 26 2004

       "Why would a lighter object descend?"   

       [Po] is saying she would like them to do that, notice "there is only one drawback..." etc. -gotta read the whole thing.
dentworth, May 26 2004

       [2 fries], you have to supply a local referer. Just stop by your local local referer supply shop and pick one up. Don't forget to mention who referred you.
Worldgineer, May 26 2004

       I like the name as it is Z. sound it out!
po, May 26 2004

       Sounding it out, it still says scales adjust-its. Trying with a south london accent. Ah, now I get it.
Worldgineer, May 26 2004

       thanks cloud, but I disagree. I think the water and soil between them share most of the weight and the plants themselves hardly anything at all. the soil will be equally divided between scales and so the water content is the major weight factor.   

       the water is still water whether it is in the soil or in the plant.
po, May 26 2004

       Yeah, [cloud], conservation of mass. Assuming you don't add soil, very little weight change can happen (O2, CO2, N2 and sunlight is about all that will be exchanged).
Worldgineer, May 26 2004

       Let's see (ignoring the fact that you asked for weight, not mass, so I don't have to deal with IP and SI differences):
e = mc^2
m = e/c^2

       Just take the amount of energy absorbed by the plant, divide by the square of the speed of light, and your answer is: not very much.
Worldgineer, May 26 2004

       CO2 + H20 => hydrocarbons (biomass) The faster it grows, the more of the H2O gets converted into biomass before evaporating.
sophocles, May 26 2004

       [Worldgineer] - You're neglecting the force from the continual impact of photons. :P
Detly, May 26 2004

       And dust. I completely neglected dust.   

       Seriously, I do agree with [sop], though the effect will still be small on the timescale we're discussing.
Worldgineer, May 26 2004

       Gravitational gradient caused by the difference in vapour density above the two plants...
Detly, May 27 2004

       So the plant will need some lovin'--we all do. At least this will take care of random acts of neglet.
yabba do yabba dabba, May 27 2004

       One problem-- This would be a continuous action with one plant getting water, becoming heavier, then moving down with the other plant moving up, and then the other plant getting water, becoming heavier, and moving down, and then the other plant .... etc, and eventually you'll have two hanging baskets lazily asending and descending with two dead overwatered plants. But i guess the hypnotizing effect would be the same.
brodie, Jun 17 2004

       hmmm! perhaps some mechanism for a run-off for an over-watered basket like an overflow pipe. thanks brodie.
po, Jun 17 2004


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