The Magnetic Volcan-O-Matic
Over the years, customers have often come to us with a simple problem: the lack of volcanos in France. We can all sympathise, of course, with those trying to melt France on a budget, or those ready to make a long-awaited move up the France destruction ladder. These groups perennially find a total lack of professional tools available to them, despite the growing demand.
That's why we here at Ivo Horticulture, Ltd., have put our best and brightest on the job of supplying this gap in the market! We have been testing a promising new machine in our refurbished lab, and development will continue as soon as the refurbishment is complete once again. Meanwhile, this press release should let you know what to look forward to in our new catalogue.
Ivo Horticulture's new Volcan-O-Matic system is made unique in the marketplace by our famous mastery of industrial security and technological leverage in a bold new paradigm. In short, all our competitors were destroyed in lab accidents while trying to reverse-engineer our products.
The major obstacle to destroying France with a volcano, as anyone who has tried it will tell you, is the unfortunate lack of stress lines in the Earth's crust under France. This has previously been seen as a very tricky obstacle to overcome, but our new technology finally renders plate tectonics irrelevant to your volcanic potential, and allows you to unlock your true creativity.
Our beta-testers have been supplied with a Volcan-O-Matic pack, comprising our patented drilling head, winch wire, and surface installation comprising a metal scaffold assembly, industrial-strength generator and an iMac (to keep interfering Rodents away, by killing them).
Though it is hard to say at this stage, the early results look very promising, with more than half our beta testers no longer responding to mail or telephone calls. Whether this is because they have successfully managed to create a volcano or whether it was just down to the usual high standards of safety set by Ivo Maintenance -- the suppliers of the generator -- we are not quite sure.
While we obviously cannot disclose all details pertaining to the patented workings of the Volcan-O-Matic system for fear of competition, we will try to explain the basic principles behind our flagship product. While you are reading this section, please refer to Figure 1.
The Volcan-O-Matic system is a temporary structure, which is erected at the desired site of operation during the drilling process. This process typically takes just over a year at full power, with 30km crust thickness. The site is typically chosen for its geographical properties; namely the height of the ground, and the relative seclusion from prying Rodents. However, it is important for civilization to be within range of falling debris, because it's more fun that way.
The Volcan-O-Matic consists of the following key components:
- One (1) scaffold structure
- One (1) generator (supplied by Ivo Electric, Ltd.)
- Two (2) winch wires
- One (1) hopper
- One (1) domestic Easy-Lovely-Vac Vacuum cleaner (supplied by Ivo Homecare, Ltd.)
- One (1) focused ultrasonic drilling head
- One (1) control unit
- One (1) iMac
The scaffold structure is erected above the required drilling site, and the generator is situated close by. The generator is connected directly to the two winch wires, which are tethered via insulating blocks built into the scaffold structure. The other end of the winch wires (extending to 45km in length each) is typically connected to the control unit, assuming you've got a few days to spare unwinding (and untangling) that much cable. The generator ensures a constant potential difference of 25,000V across the winch wires, which both serves useful to power the drilling head attached to the other end, and also serves to keep curious Rodents at bay (by ensuring they don't get another chance to mess with the drilling rig).
The other end of the winch wires attach to the control unit, which is both electrically and physically connected to the three remaining components -- the hopper, Easy-Lovely-Vac, and the ultrasonic drilling head.
Looking at the assembly from the top down, the components are in the following order:
The scaffold rig (1) holds up the winch wire (2), approximately 6 metres above ground level (3). The generator (4) connects to the winch wire (2), which extends downwards. The end of the winch wire (2) connects to the control unit (5), which is attached to the side of the hopper (6). The Lovely-Easy-Vac (7) is attached below the hopper (6), and draws dust created by the drilling head (8) and deposits it into the hopper (6) since the vacuum cleaner is operating without a bag or filter. The drilling head (8) is an ultrasonic device which is suited to cutting granite and other hard surfaces without the requirement for any moving parts, which would otherwise wear out.
The Easy-Lovely-Vac (7) and drilling head (8) receive power via the winch wires (2), from the generator (4). The control unit (5) oversees the whole operation providing the correct voltages and sequencing events. The iMac (9) located near the installation wards off unwanted visitors (10). The high voltage produced by the generator (4) wards off any unwanted visitors who didn't get warded off (11) by the iMac (9).
The theory of operation is really very simple, and shows the sheer elegance of the design; something we are renowned for. When running, the drilling head erodes earth and rock directly below the drill, and powders it. The powder is removed and deposited into the hopper, thus causing the entire assembly to advance downwards, pulling more winch wire down with it. A constant supply of power is ensured via the winch wires. The drilling head is capable of eroding at an average rate of about 6 centimeters per minute, through average rock. The drilling hole diameter is governed by the width adjustment on the ultrasonic drill head, and is typically set to 10cm in diameter.
The hopper measures 3 metres in height, and 10cm in diameter (excluding recess to hold control unit), and assuming that the powdered rock will consume approximately 30% more space due to air gaps, the hopper will typically fill within 37 minutes of drilling. As a result, the hopper must be emptied; therefore, an extra 8 minutes is allowed for this process, giving a final figure of 2.9 metres per hour drill speed.
The means by which the hopper is emptied, when potentially up to 30km below ground level is as much ingenious as it is fun. Rather than opting with inefficient piping to feed the powdered rock back to the surface (like our competitor's worthless products) or manually winching the hopper up when full (too
borin..um, time consuming rather), we have opted to construct the winch wire out of muscle wire. Muscle wire, commonly used in robotics, is a metal wire which contracts in length when heated by the passage of considerable electric current; typically taking only a few seconds to shrink by a considerable factor (over 50%), although obviously slightly longer when dealing with longer lengths.
In our installation, the control unit automatically places a spanner (supplied by Ivo Toolbox, Ltd.) across the 25,000V supply from the generator when the hopper is full. Once the spanner has been removed (the spanner is only used for fun), a leet hacksaw is placed across the winch wires instead, causing the winch wires to reach red heat within a matter of seconds. In no time at all, the one-ton assembly of drilling head, vacuum cleaner, control unit, winch wire, and hopper containing a solid core of rock hurtles up the drilling shaft at speeds approaching 1,500km/hour due to the fact that the winch wire contracts in under a minute. Unable to be stopped by the weak force of gravity, the payload continues upwards, long after the 50% mark of the winch wire, causing the wire to go slack. The payload continues upwards, until it rises so far above ground level that it pulls the winch wire taught in the air (at a height of 22km), causing the payload of now-solid rock core to be jettisoned by the speed at which the device decelerates, some of which go into orbit, some go into outer space, and others merely make their own little impression in surrounding European countries, and mainly their inhabitants.
Though we have yet to confirm it (none of our machine operators have managed to survive it), we believe that the hopper and drilling head assembly returns to earth safely, guided by the scaffolding into the hole , where the air resistance breaks its fall in such a way that the unit survives for several more cycles, launching more rock and drilling yet deeper into the Earth's crust. Unfortunately, at this stage we have yet to iron out a few of the bugs, and the device usually fails catastrophically after 10 cycles. One school of thought believes that this is the sheer stress placed on the Lovely-Easy-Vac vacuum cleaner during launch, which was simply not designed for tasks like this. However, considering the vendor, we don't think that is likely. We have reason to believe (from past experience with Ivo Electric products) that the generator is actually exploding with the force of a small nuclear device. This would explain the large crater at the site of all previous drilling experiments, and would certainly be in keeping with the reliability and safety record of other Ivo Electric products.
News flash: We have contacted the manufacturer of the generator and they have confirmed that this explosive trait is actually a design feature that the product line is known for. The manufacturer is unable to offer any generators of the non-explosive kind, however, so we are currently awaiting a new supplier.
A rather unfortunate downside of this system is the time taken to create the shaft -- typically a year. The time itself is not so much an issue, as the cost of the fuel required to supply the 450 megawatt/hours required. We are developing a new product -- the Oil-O-Matic -- which will let you turn the constant supply of silly Rodents (who have fallen victim to either the iMac or the high voltage; more commonly the former) into biodiesel fuel, suitable for supplementing or replacing the generator's usual fuel supply.
Meanwhile, you can use the FurNess, from Ivo Home Heating, Ltd., to simply burn the silly Rodents and power a steam turbine. This, in conjunction with burning the abundant supply of Mario games, can provide all your power needs, although some scientists have expressed concern about the toxic fumes emitted by burning the Mario cartridges. Apparently, these fumes are not the carcinogenic fumes caused by burning plastic, but rather the release of a certain chemical -- Plummeride -- from the insides of the ROM chip. The long term effects of this chemical are unknown, but it is thought to have been responsible for the sudden increase in overweight Italian plumbers.
Apart from the interesting side effect of sending multi-ton cores of rock crashing down on various places in various surrounding countries from a height of 22km, we believe that our product will one day survive long enough to drill entirely through the Earth's crust, opening up a long, continuous shaft, allowing pressurised lava to blast up, and turn France into a volcano. Whether or not the rest of Europe would also be included in this volcanic construct, we're not sure, hence the rush to develop a reliable enough system, so our machine operators can find out.
Though we clearly cannot show you any pictures of France being turned into a volcano at this stage in development, we can show you some extracts from the photo-casebooks of some of our experimenters, working in their back gardens with the Volcanic Panic (the forerunner to the Volcan-O-Matic). I hope you will be as impressed as we were to see the fruits of our hard labour!
Update: Unfortunately, in a recent accident involving an experimental new Ivo Electric product, the Machine Dance, and a violent blast, all photographic records were destroyed. Therefore we can no longer display the photos here.