July 12, 2008

The miracle of cornstarch and vibration.



This brought back some memories. Cornstarch mixed with water was a classic hippie toy. It's just really fun to squeeze. But we never put it on a tray on top of a subwoofer and made it dance like that. (Via Boing Boing.)

AND: Commenter Zeb Quinn points me to this highly amusing cornstarch demonstration from the Ellen show:

11 comments:

Bob said...

For some reason, that seems...obscene.

Bissage said...

I had no idea.

Henceforth I shall endeavor to treat my pudding with more respect.

Zeb Quinn said...

This Ellen clip was in the comments over there. Interesting.

Baron Zemo said...

Those writhing shapes look like the demons in your brain my dear lady. Do they not?

vbspurs said...

Good God. That was troubling.

Looks like aborted foeti from the Pillsbury Doughboy's missus.

Cheers,
Victoria

blake said...

It would've been even more impressive if they'd cooked with it afterwards.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

It's called "thixatropic" ...

T-H-I-X-A-T-R-O-P-I-C

... and describes the tendency of a material to be solid and stable at rest but liquid when agitated.

Arcane? Not at all. River bottom sediments are nearly always thixatropic, and (surprise) earthquakes do seem to agitate them.

I live in the Kansas River valley, less than 400 miles from the New Madrid fault, due to release at about 7.5 Richter.

The last time it let go, 200 years ago, it rang church bells in Boston, so it will probably shake the Kansas River bottoms pretty well.

Might could be interesting.

Cheryl said...

Fun! I just did this with about 100 kids at Vacation Bible School...they "walked on water" amid lots of "icks" and "ooos." It takes about 20 pounds of cornstarch for an underbed storage box. This is great to try on a rainy summer afternoon. But we didn't try that subwoofer thing. I think I need to come up with another box of cornstarch.

essaybee said...

Bob said...
For some reason, that seems...obscene.

Baron Zemo said...
Those writhing shapes look like the demons in your brain

vbspurs said...
Looks like aborted foeti from the Pillsbury Doughboy's missus.

It's the new inkblot!

AllenS said...

I use corn starch when I make gravy. This is disturbing.

Randy said...

I wonder if Andrew Sullivan has been borrowing from your blog.

Not that you get credited with the find, of course. I guess he could have found it via Boing Boing, as you did, but as usual Sullivan doesn't provide his source.

His failure to attribute sources, or name those whose comments he edits and publishes (if such people actually exist), are two reasons he strikes me as unprofessional and dishonest.