Watching Our Water Ways

Environmental reporter Christopher Dunagan discusses the challenges of protecting Puget Sound and all things water-related.
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Amusing Monday: Weird science on the net

March 5th, 2012 by cdunagan

I’ve always been a sucker for weird science experiments — and I mean going back to my childhood.

I’m dating myself when I tell you that one of the first television shows I remember as a child was “Watch Mr. Wizard,” which I viewed on a black-and-white TV with rabbit ears.

When we notice something interesting in nature and wonder what’s going on, science can help us understand. Even more intriguing perhaps is when someone shows us something entirely unexpected and then goes on to explain the scientific understanding about why it is so.

In a line of Mr. Wizards and weird science guys comes Dylan Hart with his “Scientific Tuesdays” videos on the Household Hacker channel on YouTube.

Using ice to boil water is the kind of counter-intuitive idea that I’m talking about. As revealed in the video player on this page, it is not just a play on words. Ice is the key element in the experiment that results in bubbles bursting forth from a bottle of water.

Is it possible to make things disappear? It’s all about light refraction, and a video from last August shows the basic concepts of invisibility. To go a step further, Adam Frank of National Public Radio discusses the theoretical concept of about how objects could be”cloaked,” based on research at Cornell University.

If you want to know how water can be kept below 32 degrees without freezing and then observe ice crystals form rapidly, check out the video from June 2010.

If you want to see water climb up and over a glass of water, see the video from January 2011.

“Scientific Tuesdays” also features a bunch of fun things to do, such as create super bubbles, and burn a $20 bill without losing a cent.

For the complete list of “Scientific Tuesday” videos, go to this page.

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"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

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