Thursday, September 25, 2014

Coffee Joulies - cool coffee faster

I know what my wife's Christmas gifts are going to be this year. She, admittedly, likes her coffee pretty hot, so I don't know whether that will be the prefect temperature for her, but the science is outstanding.

And that's what matters, right? Whether I find her gift interesting, right?

The Coffee Joulies are filled with a phase changing material that has a transition temperature at whatever appropriately hot coffee is supposed to be. Hopefully it's right.

Amazing chemical reaction between North Korean coin and US quarter

What kind of demonry is this? Our faceless, voiceless, assumedly-hand-modeling demonstrator is able to press one coin through the other without a whole lot of effort.

Luckily their webpage - where the coins are sort of on sale for €35.50 for three coin pairs - says the following about the 'trick':
These coins are made of gallium and indium bearing alloys that when in contact, spontaneously form a non-toxic eutectic (well defined melting point) alloy that is liquid at room temperature!
The above trick, though, seems much quicker and smoother than does the one I've seen before.

They sure don't make pyrex like they used to

We've been hearing for a few years that Pyrex isn't what it used to be, that the quality control from the overseas manufacturing might be a little less strict than that in typical American manufacturing.

And now we know all about it thanks to Theodore Gray's Gray Matter column, which he largely has turned into his two, thoroughly entertaining Mad Science books. I even really like the legal disclaimers from the books (which I sadly can't find online for the linking). Lots of good reading there - along with some pretty spectacular photos of chemical reactions.

What's in your iPhone?

Nothing is in my iPhone. I'm an Android guy, myself.

Hah! These are the jokes, folks.

I love the American Chemical Society's series of videos about the chemistry of a whole lot of different topics: candy, iPhones, fireworks, life hacks, and lots more. Here they go through the numerous different elements used in making a smart phone. I particularly find the molten potassium bath for the screen fascinating.