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Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:45 pm UTC
by DelendaEst
I thought an alternative design for the fridge could be to have the middle conveyor belt attached to the right, leaving a gap on its left and obviously it would move toward the left. This way we could put food on the topmost belt on its left side and the food would travel along that belt then drop onto the middle one, then travel to the bottom belt and finally fall into the BAD bin. Of course we'd have to relabel all belts accordingly.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:46 pm UTC
by TickleMyElmo
I feel the need to point out a flaw in Randall's design: the door dispenser won't work. It looks correct when the door is open, but when it is closed, the items will get wedged between the slide and the side of the fridge. The slide should direct the items away in a line perpendicular to the door.

Yes, I created an account for this. Someone on the internet is wrong! And it's Randall!

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:56 pm UTC
by Whizbang
viklund wrote:To combat this there should be an artificial nose that smells everything at the end of the belts combined with an arm that can reposition the food based on the results.


AvatarIII wrote:I propose some kind of advanced system that is both able to visually scan best before dates on all products, then use a sophisticated system to analyse the odour and visual condition of the product, before moving the item to a waste receptacle if deemed inedible by the sophisticated software based on a series of historical data and risk assessment ability.


wolftune wrote:A much better idea is just a fridge that somehow scans for whether food is actually going bad. Or at least something that just puts older stuff up front so you check it sooner.


The catch is the words like "somehow" and "some kind". Is there even the beginnings of a science to testing food edibility by testing the ambient air around a particular food item? The current date method is flawed, and possibly even manipulated to encourage more frequent buying (although food is already sush a consumable item, this seems a bit silly), but it is the best we've got. If we just got rid of these dates and told people to use their noses/judgement, there would be all sorts of people coming down with food poisoning. I know I would be a horrible judge of the "goodness" of food, just from sight and smell. So we need to rely on some sort of intelligent system to tell us to maybe avoid the yogurt at the back of the shelf. The FDA and food manufacturers set those dates to avoid sickness and lawsuits.

That not to say anything about the differences between "best by" and "sell by" dates, though. "Sell by" annoys me, a lot.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:00 pm UTC
by Not_an_S
If you don't trust the expiration dates on your food, then just move the food to the left a little.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:05 pm UTC
by Kit.
wolftune wrote:No, I bumped because nobody responded in 3 linear postings.

I've read your post and decided that there was nothing I'd like to respond to.

Feel better now?

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:07 pm UTC
by wolftune
@ Kit, I don't even care about responses, I just wanted my post to get read and noticed as a post about the original topic, not in the middle of replies about tangential things.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:08 pm UTC
by wolftune
Whizbang wrote: Is there even the beginnings of a science to testing food edibility by testing the ambient air around a particular food item? The current date method is flawed, and possibly even manipulated to encourage more frequent buying (although food is already sush a consumable item, this seems a bit silly), but it is the best we've got. If we just got rid of these dates and told people to use their noses/judgement, there would be all sorts of people coming down with food poisoning. I know I would be a horrible judge of the "goodness" of food, just from sight and smell. So we need to rely on some sort of intelligent system to tell us to maybe avoid the yogurt at the back of the shelf. The FDA and food manufacturers set those dates to avoid sickness and lawsuits.

That not to say anything about the differences between "best by" and "sell by" dates, though. "Sell by" annoys me, a lot.


You really should watch Dive! the film

There's obviously a continuum between perfectly fresh and obviously bad. You can easily learn through sight and smell to recognize when something is fine. Your claim about people using noses/judgment as unreliable is questionable. We evolved to be able to tell things like when food is rotten. We can easily decide to be cautious and give up on anything iffy. Some FDA dates are reasonable and some items really have a strict shelf life, but lots do not. But really, if you want to claim that humans are terrible at identifying good and bad food after some reasonable quick learning — burden is on you to provide evidence. Otherwise, it's just FUD.

I think we should use date as a guide, as part of our information, but we should absolutely not use it as the only deciding factor.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:12 pm UTC
by Radical_Initiator
I just want to say one word to you regarding the refuse bin. Just one word. Are you listening?


Portals.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:20 pm UTC
by alcore
This is an epic idea. Please hurry up and patent it so that I don't have to buy an iFridge to get one.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:20 pm UTC
by Dr. Diaphanous
da Doctah wrote:Not all of them. But for certain things (I'm thinking of milk in particular), there's no point even carrying them into the house. Just drop them in the dumpster as you come back from the store.


Considering the point of food, why can't we just dump it into our mouths as we come back from the store?

Antior wrote:Get rid of the conveyers. Put a rfid-chip in/on every food item in the fridge. Build an rfid reader and a small crane in the fridge. If something gets past the use before date according to the chip, the crane picks it up and drops it in a waste backet. That's a much more precise solution than this conveyer, that runs on regular times. For my solution, you don't even need to put stuff in at a certain position.


But you would need huge amounts of empty space in the fridge for the crane to operate. It would be more efficient if the crane were mounted outside the fridge. That raises the problem of the crane being in the way of the door, but you can solve that by mounting some kind of arm on the user's shoulder. To save electricity, you could use some kind of biological arm fused with the user that runs on energy from the food itself ... oh wait that already exists. :D

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:28 pm UTC
by mathmannix
This might work if you had your own food production sources, rather than a store... for example, have a conveyor from your henhouse that takes freshly-laid eggs to the fridge, and then slowly moves them down the shelves until they get thrown out after a month (or whenever). Same with milk that would come from the cows, through the automatic pasteurization and homogenization processes, of course. Or, have a milkman that leaves your bottles on the same place on your porch. Or, just have robots do all your shopping for you. (Do they make fridges yet that order milk and eggs through their internet connections?)

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:29 pm UTC
by flicky1991
Whizbang wrote:That not to say anything about the differences between "best by" and "sell by" dates, though. "Sell by" annoys me, a lot.

As far as I know, they were going to stop putting those on the packaging a while back (in the UK, at least). I haven't heard anything about that since, though.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:41 pm UTC
by AvatarIII
Whizbang wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:I propose some kind of advanced system that is both able to visually scan best before dates on all products, then use a sophisticated system to analyse the odour and visual condition of the product, before moving the item to a waste receptacle if deemed inedible by the sophisticated software based on a series of historical data and risk assessment ability.


The catch is the words like "somehow" and "some kind". Is there even the beginnings of a science to testing food edibility by testing the ambient air around a particular food item? The current date method is flawed, and possibly even manipulated to encourage more frequent buying (although food is already sush a consumable item, this seems a bit silly), but it is the best we've got. If we just got rid of these dates and told people to use their noses/judgement, there would be all sorts of people coming down with food poisoning. I know I would be a horrible judge of the "goodness" of food, just from sight and smell. So we need to rely on some sort of intelligent system to tell us to maybe avoid the yogurt at the back of the shelf. The FDA and food manufacturers set those dates to avoid sickness and lawsuits.

That not to say anything about the differences between "best by" and "sell by" dates, though. "Sell by" annoys me, a lot.


I think you missed the joke in that I pretty much was describing a person. but I'm not sure.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:45 pm UTC
by Kit.
wolftune wrote:@ Kit, I don't even care about responses, I just wanted my post to get read and noticed as a post about the original topic, not in the middle of replies about tangential things.

As I said, it was.

Then you bumped it.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:57 pm UTC
by Zamite
Kit. wrote:
wolftune wrote:@ Kit, I don't even care about responses, I just wanted my post to get read and noticed as a post about the original topic, not in the middle of replies about tangential things.

As I said, it was.

Then you bumped it.


^ what he/she said

And then he bumped again, starting a new "tangential" pseudo-thread about how useless bumping is in here....

Plus this is XKCD, as far as I aware a lot o laterality in discussion is expected. Sometimes something interesting comes out of it, sometimes it doesn't.... (and I guess in the end it all depends on the average airspeed velocity of a swallow. Though I'm uncertain whether european or african.)

PS: Btw airspeed velocity doesn't make any sense.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:59 pm UTC
by Whizbang
AvatarIII wrote:
Whizbang wrote:
AvatarIII wrote:Words


Responding words


I think you missed the joke in that I pretty much was describing a person. but I'm not sure.


That I did. Carry on, then.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:02 pm UTC
by Rotherian
wolftune wrote:@ Kit, I don't even care about responses, I just wanted my post to get read and noticed as a post about the original topic, not in the middle of replies about tangential things.


Ok. Your post has been read, noticed, understood, and now filed under stuff about which I don't, personally, give a crap.

Do you feel validated now?

Regardless whether you do, or do not, feel validated, I'm going to get back to reading about the tangents that I found more interesting.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:07 pm UTC
by Zamite
Rotherian wrote:
wolftune wrote:@ Kit, I don't even care about responses, I just wanted my post to get read and noticed as a post about the original topic, not in the middle of replies about tangential things.


Ok. Your post has been read, noticed, understood, and now filed under stuff about which I don't, personally, give a crap.

Do you feel validated now?

Regardless whether you do, or do not, feel validated, I'm going to get back to reading about the tangents that I found more interesting.


:D

Depends. Does the feeling of validation come from a formula similar to that of relevance or impact of scientific papers, based on the number of non-self-citations?? If so, by now he should be very validated :P

PS: Sorry, I'm being a pain in the...

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:09 pm UTC
by teelo
To the patent office!

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:10 pm UTC
by Wnderer
FridgeGarage1.jpg



I don't get it. Wouldn't that contraption break the bottles?

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:28 pm UTC
by JudeMorrigan
This would possibly be less of an issue if he didn't do this:

http://xkcd.com/854/

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:33 pm UTC
by najodleglejszy
TickleMyElmo wrote:I feel the need to point out a flaw in Randall's design: the door dispenser won't work. It looks correct when the door is open, but when it is closed, the items will get wedged between the slide and the side of the fridge. The slide should direct the items away in a line perpendicular to the door.

Yes, I created an account for this. Someone on the internet is wrong! And it's Randall!

no, he isn't wrong. he just said it's his ideal fridge. maybe he likes his food getting wedged in some corner?

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:44 pm UTC
by Zamite
JudeMorrigan wrote:This would possibly be less of an issue if he didn't do this:

http://xkcd.com/854/


+1 internets for you sir.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:50 pm UTC
by bantler
JimsMaher wrote:Wouldn't it be more efficient to put the trash bin on the non-hinge side of the door?


Swapping the fridge-hinge side is one of the greatest home projects/pranks of all time.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:05 pm UTC
by Chicagojon
Instead of conveyors there should be pushing arms at the edge of each shelf that hydraulically slide out of the side of the fridge and push the ingredients along. Same general effect but a much cleaner design and easier maintenance. Otherwise you're gonna end up with something leaking all over the conveyors.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:13 pm UTC
by Frankula
the27thvoice wrote:
Disposable_Identity wrote:I'm not one to complain (apparently, I am)
But wouldn't a better system be

3 months to 1 month ->

<- 1 month to 1 week

1 week to past due ->
| dev/null |

Perhaps have a railing system to kind of cushion the fall on the end. This way your glass jars don't have to go down as far once they go from 3 months to bad.


Curse you! Here I made an account on the forum after over a thousand comics ONLY to say this. Having to manually move food up shelves is not efficient, reversing the shelves' order and then turning one of them the opposite way automates the process.


I think you are both misunderstanding the original drawing. You aren't supposed to move things up the shelf when they get to the end of the conveyor belt. Proof of this is that the 2nd belt ends with "1 day" and the top belt starts with "3 days", which means you aren't expected to continuously move things up as they get to the end.

I believe the bottom shelf has a wider range because it moves a lot more slowly. How is this useful? Well bigger items take up more room so putting them on the a belt means theres a lot more overlapping in potential "time till death".

You're way of thinking is also flawed in that you assume equal distribution of expiration dates across all items in the fridge. However this is most likely not going to happen (which is why there are overlaps in the original drawing). If we did it your way many things would end up clumped together making the use of space really inefficient, and maybe even leading to things being placed in sections which describe incorrectly their expiration.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:19 pm UTC
by PhDFluff
I saw the idea with rfids in this thread and I thought that all food products could have rfids instead of barcodes.

Then when you put your foods in your fridge it auto-magically knows what's in it and when it expires considering the temperature it is stored in (according to the latest database it downloads from the internets). This would also mean that you easily can check with your smartphone app if you're out of milk when you're at the store. On the fridge door the monitor shows you the current stock, when they expire and suggested recipes that can be cooked with the ingredients available.

I guess the cost for one rfid chip needs to be lowered by quite a lot before this is viable though :/

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
by Whizbang
For those questioning the placement of the bin (ie it would be more efficient on the non-hinge side to reduce the amount of door-openness time to remove said bin), just put a bin-door on the main door (kinda like a pet door in a house door) This will fix the issue that someone pointed out about the door-belts causing a jam because the items aren't defelected towards the bin, but towards the hinge of the door. Extend the bin out into the door-space. You have to give up some more door shelf space for this, but it can't be helped if your primary concern is efficiency. This way, you don't have to open the entire door. Just open the smaller bin-door, slide out the bin, dump and replace.

I would do a drawing, but there is an equal liklihood the drawing would look like a dinosaur, a car, an elephant or an advanced converyor-belt-refrigerator.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:53 pm UTC
by najodleglejszy
Whizbang wrote:I would do a drawing, but there is an equal liklihood the drawing would look like a dinosaur, a car, an elephant or an advanced converyor-belt-refrigerator.

that made me want to force you to do it.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 3:58 pm UTC
by johnnyrooster
The shelves are upside down for proper sanitation. Meats, which are the most perishable and most dangerous if they are left for too long, should be on the bottom shelf, especially if there's a chance the liquids can drip onto lower belts. Ready to eat foods, like pickles and condiments, should go on the top, because even if something drips down, it is less risky and you are probably going to cook it anyway. Also, this is why every refrigerator you have ever owned has the vegetable drawer in the wrong place.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:04 pm UTC
by endolith
So his ideal fridge is empty? My fridge is usually empty, but that's not ideal.

This is my ideal fridge:

Image

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:23 pm UTC
by Whizbang
Anyone ever wonder what would happen if someone put their hand inside an active replicator (assuming, of course, that they were real)? I am imagining a scenario like "The Fly", only with food. Maybe that is what happened to Pizza the Hutt.

Image

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:30 pm UTC
by Me321
I want to buy one of these, if they dont exist by this time next year im building one.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:35 pm UTC
by endolith
Whizbang wrote:hand


Well that one episode they proved someone innocent of firing a phaser while being transported because there's a force field around the transporter zone or something. So there's probably a force field that prevents you from sticking your hand in too?

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:38 pm UTC
by Angry Rooster
Couldn't you approximate the functionality of this fridge with some simple labels? Divide each shelf into 4 sections, and assign a date (let's say 4 days apart, maybe a separate scale for the bottom shelf, so you have a place for longer shelf-life items, as is suggested by the comic), then put food into the approximate "expiring" location, and check/eat accordingly.

When a date is passed, you replace the label with one for 4 days after the furthest date currently in the fridge (you'd probably want an indicator you could attach to the most "urgent" date so it would be easy to find, probably a big red divider, so that the "newest" and "oldest" food never accidentally mixed together).

The only additional work here is changing the labels and manually throwing out the food, but as many in this thread have pointed out, automatically throwing out food based on dates is a huge waste; if you're going to manually check it anyway, you may as well manually throw it away (that in-fridge bin would get absolutely disgusting).

The problem I see with this design (which is inherent in the comic's design as well), is that your fridge organization is going to get completely destroyed... sorting everything by date will make it *much* harder to find any particular item when you're looking for it. Although I suppose if you're willing to "eat by the dates" and just build meals out of whatever the most urgent items are, it's probably a great system for building some bizarre recipes.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:12 pm UTC
by Jamaican Castle
Whizbang wrote:That not to say anything about the differences between "best by" and "sell by" dates, though. "Sell by" annoys me, a lot.


"Sell By" is actually the more useful of the two. You, the end consumer, can look at/smell your food to see if it's still fresh and/or safe for human consumption (well, maybe you can't, but lots of people can). A supermarket can't do that for all of its thousands of individual products every day, but it can look over their packaging for a date. It's not like they go around assigning those by dartboard, either; for what they measure, they're reasonably accurate. (A little like weather forecasts; horribly inaccurate by any objective standard, but they do the job.)

My guess is that anyone who needs a ludicrous system of conveyor belts to keep his fridge organized isn't really on the "able to judge freshness" end of the spectrum anyway...

ETA: Oh, god, replicators. I would imagine that, to prevent horrible terrible accidents (possibly in the wake of the first horrible terrible accident) they possess an emergency cutoff, similar to a microwave's, that stops the machine if someone reaches into it before it's ready. Or else they just teach people not to and accept that occasionally someone gets their hand woodchippered, but that seems a little... brutal for the good ol' Feds.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:34 pm UTC
by MarkSmash
Instead of trash, my conveyor leads to an intermediate step for weekend eating:

Fruit and some veggies - juicer or blender
Some veggies - made into omelettes or stirfry
Meats - fried or baked for omelette/stirfry/side

Also,my fridge is equpped with two drawers for veggies. The left veggie compartment is for freshly bought items and, once used, the remaining items are put in the right drawer. These are now fair game for snacking or sides.

I suppose one should consider the refrigerator in the context of a greater food consumption system. My system includes the following guidelines that radically reduce the amount of stuff that gets thrown out:

1. Build your shopping list based on what you plan on cooking. Check your fridge to ensure that you don't have that ingredient from a previous recipe.
2. It's quicker to supplement leftovers than it is to cook from scratch.
3. use a china marker to identify food/date on your tupperware.
4. Keep a pantry stocked with stuff you can use with leftovers to make a meal: tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, black olives, tomato soup, mushroom soup, rice, quinoa, pot noodles, bulk spices, crackers, pasta noodles (various shapes),

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:03 pm UTC
by Whizbang
There seems to be a variety of Food/Pantry Inventory apps available, though I couldn't find one with barcode scanning. This would be the best way to keep your fridge stocked with what fits where, but also an easy way to view items that are past their dates. Also, it is portable to take with you to the store to limit needless buying (Do I have a can of salsa already? I better buy one just in case. *Have two in fridge, opened, and 3 in cupboard, unopened). Would still require manual disposal, but at least this gives you the chance to decide if maybe it goes into a Wednesday night mish-mash casserole or into the bin.

***Edi***
Prep and Pantry seems to be a decent app that says it supports barcode scanning.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:08 pm UTC
by Doodle77
You'd have to put each item back in the correct place after you took it out. That would basically defeat the purpose. Then again, it will help get rid of the things you people buy and never touch.

Re: 1109: "Refrigerator"

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:42 pm UTC
by Steve the Pocket
I know someone who could use a fridge like this. *shudder* Come to think of it, every office fridge should be replaced with one of these as well.

rhomboidal wrote:Yeah, I'd like to have a garbage-eating shark/troll in the "bad" bin to really make it energy efficient.

Or a Mister Fusion! Which could then be used to power the refrigerator.