Archive for May, 2008

Glow in the Dark Drool

Glowing ice melts. If it melts in your mouth, the result is glowing drool. Tonic water isn’t all that tasty, so assuming you don’t want to swallow the melted ice, you can get glowing spit or, as David learned, you can make whatever you spit on glow. Less-nasty applications would include making the water in your bathtub or pool glow. It’s hard to see a glowing ice cube in your own mouth, but that problem is easily solved if you have a mirror handy.
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May 29, 2008 at 10:01 pm 1 comment

Wordless Wednesday – Spring Morning

Winter early-2008 (Anne Helmenstine)
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May 28, 2008 at 12:24 pm 3 comments

Ice on Fire

Icecube I set on fire. (Anne Helmenstine)

I recently got a new camera (Canon PowerShot) so that I could take photos for About Chemistry in situations where stock photography doesn’t suffice. It’s a great camera and I love it, but this photo of a flaming ice cube actually was taken with my Verizon cell phone. This picture isn’t as pretty as some of the others I took for my flaming ice tutorial, but it shows a couple of things those photos don’t: (1) This is very obviously a real ice cube that is surrounded by fire. In this case, the flames are from some rubbing alcohol that I poured on the cube. You maybe can see that the ice itself isn’t burning; the fuel around it is. (2) If you use rubbing alcohol or ethanol, the water from the melting ice won’t put out your flame. This ice cube melted into oblivion before the flame was extinguished.
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May 25, 2008 at 11:38 pm 2 comments

Wordless Wednesday – Jellyball

Non-stinging jellyfish (Anne Helmenstine)
Jellyballs are non-stinging Atlantic jellyfish. Toss one to someone today.
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May 21, 2008 at 12:13 pm 2 comments

Surfing Fun at the Garden City Pier

Eric, his surfboard, and sunset. (Anne Helmenstine)

We went just north of the Garden City Pier last night. I’m usually a little hesistant about playing in the water at sunrise or sunset. As you can see, it’s beautiful, but I remember reading somewhere that it’s prime feeding time for our friends with fins. However, the only sea creatures we saw were several jellyballs (those non-stinging jellyfish). They can’t hurt you, but Ry can tell you being thwacked with one full-force by the waves packs a punch.

Ry goes surfing. (Anne Helmenstine)
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May 20, 2008 at 2:35 pm 1 comment

Kitty in a Sink

Cat in the Sink (Anne Helmenstine)

There was a time when the cat did not consider the sink to be a bed. I have my daughter and YouTube to blame/credit for her education. Sam would catch the cat and watch this YouTube video of Sparta with her. I didn’t think the cat watched the video, but shortly after watching it the ten thousandth time she took up napping in my bathroom sink. I’m not sure of the attraction. I guess it’s cat-shaped. This particular sink catches afternoon sun. It’s relatively quiet. I just wouldn’t think it’s comfortable, even by kitty standards. Do you want to teach your cat this ‘trick’? There is a series of videos featuring Sparta. Here’s the first:

May 17, 2008 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

Feeding the Swan

Feeding the Swan (Anne Helmenstine)

There is a pair of swans that frequents the ‘lake’ behind the house. Tonight one of the swans finally let me feed it by hand. The way it eats is interesting. It tears a piece of the bread from my hand, then shakes it apart in the water and eats the wet mush.

Cell phone photo of swan. (Anne Helmenstine)
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May 15, 2008 at 12:25 am Leave a comment

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