Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Patriotic Colored Liquid Layers - Red, White & Blue Density Column

There's just something cool about layering colored liquids! This particular density column shows off the red, white and blue colors, plus (of course) you can light it on fire. I've got instructions for patriotic-colored liquid layers using common household materials, or you can make a layered mixed drink for a holiday celebration. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions are simple to make!

 

 

Red, White and Blue Layered Mixed Drinks

  • Red: food coloring with 151 rum or red fruit juice or grenadine
  • White: Irish cream or half-and-half or milk
  • Blue: food coloring with simple syrup or blue curacao

Health Risk from Butter-Flavored Popcorn

Did you know you can get a condition called "popcorn lung" from breathing the artificial butter flavoring from microwave popcorn? The artificial butter flavoring is a naturally-occurring chemical called diacetyl. Diacetyl causes no problems in the butter, milk, cheese, beer, and wine where it's found, but when vaporized it can cause damage to the bronchioles in the lungs, eventually deteriorating them into the serious irreversible condition called bronchiolitis obliterans. If you nuke a bag of popcorn every now and then, it's not a health concern for you, but workers in the factories producing the butter-flavored popcorn are at risk for lung damage, as are consumers who pop a couple of bags of corn daily. I would guess theater concession stand employees would also fall into this category.

This Day in Science History - May 21 - EKG and EEG

May 21st was the birthday of two men who invented two electric diagnostic devices that are often confused with each other. The EEG, or electroencephalogram device, was invented by German psychologist Hans Berger to record electrical signals from the brain. The ECG or EKG, otherwise known as electrocardiogram was invented by Dutch physician Willem Einthoven to measure the electrical current given off by heart beats.

Perhaps nobody mixes these two devices up, but I sometimes do. All you have to remember: EEG - brain waves, ECG or EKG - heart beats.

Cool Liquid Nitrogen Activities

Liquid nitrogen is literally cool! If you get hold of some, I expect you to be creative coming up with things to do with it. However, what if you're stumped for ideas? I'm planning to get some liquid nitrogen and want to make sure I don't miss any cool projects. Therefore, I've compiled a list of activities you can perform using liquid nitrogen, plus there is a section where you can read ideas for liquid nitrogen projects or add your own favorite project. Of course, you're welcome to post an idea right here.