Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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water fins

(water wings is rather a misnomer)
  [vote for,

water fins (arm-bands) for non-swimmers filled with a synthetic spermaceti wax.

the sperm whale gets its name from the spermaceti organ which fills most of its huge head. it is not absolutely sure of all the uses that the spermaceti organ actually does for the whale but one of the most useful is that the organ is a buoyancy control device. the waxy oil has a melting point of between 25c -35c. by controlling blood flow to the organ and therefore its temperature, the wax alternates between liquid or solid. solid wax contracts and becomes more dense, enabling the whale to dive to great depths. warming the wax allows it to expand, bringing the whale back to the surface.

the energy required, to produce this very small increase in temperature to change liquid wax to solid, could probably be achieved with a small battery encased in a waterproof covering.

non-swimmers wearing these water fins would soon gain confidence in swimming on the surface of the pool or traversing at the bottom.

po, Dec 28 2004

Water fins..... http://www.sfdj.com.../esclapez/fins2.jpg
Well, freediving fins, actually. [normzone, Dec 28 2004]


       Actually, for spermaceti to help you dive the way a whale does, I think you'd have to fill your head (or at least your sinuses) with it.
DrCurry, Dec 28 2004

       thinking small swimmers - not whale sized!
po, Dec 28 2004

       Gotta be gator proof.
mensmaximus, Dec 28 2004

       It sinks people who can’t swim? +   

       But seriously, similar methods are used in AUVs, and I’ve always thought it could be used in a buoyancy compensator vest instead of wasting tank air or inflating it manually.
Shz, Dec 28 2004

       did someone flag norm's link? looks ok to me.   

       the temperature control would be in the hand of the swimmer to regulate. he/she can surface at anytime they like.   

       AUV's really? I had to look that up, I thought it was a variant of SUV. I have been talking to someone about automatic tyre inflation.
po, Dec 30 2004


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