Saturday, August 30, 2008

Supper science

I have two nieces, fraternal twins, as different as night and day, both wonderful human beings (Hi Karlyn! Hi, Claire!)

Leslie and went over to their home tonight to eat. Conversations slid from catching clams to politics to dogs to whatever.

During the rise and fall of voices, Claire punched holes in a Sprite bottle, using the prongs of a corn holder. (Anyone who uses corn holders and indoor toilets is living the good life.)

During a (very) brief lull in the chit chat, Claire jumped in:
How come the soda doesn't leak through the holes?
A teachable moment.

A grown-up muttered something about air pressure. Claire wasn't buying.
The cap's not on....
resist the content resist the content resist the content resist the content resist content resist content

The easy answer is a quick discussion on adhesion. Then the grown ups can get back to discussing whatever it is we discuss at dinner. (Are Michelle Obama and Sigourney Weaver twins separated at birth?) I reflected the question--why won't something, in general, fit through a hole?
I don't know.
I give Claire my best professional science teacher "slack face." She squirms.
Well, maybe the parts of the water are bigger than the hole.
A good start--a testable hypothesis.
And I leave it at that.

Picture from National Archives, clamming at Sandy Hook, NJ


Clay Burell said...

Really? Two holes, and the Sprite won't lead out, even if one of them is above the Sprite-line?

Hm. Go figure. I don't get it. *squirm*

Clay Burell said...

Damn. "Leak" out.

Michael, jump to a self-hosted WordPress now, while there's still time. Imagine the fun with editable comment plugins you're missing.

doyle said...

I read it as "leak out" the first time.

I won't leave you squirming for long, but I wanted to leave it open for a day or so. I promised Karlyn and Claire I'd mention them last night.

I can start yapping about water molecules being attracted to each other because they're polar (charge is not evenly distributed across the molecule, yakkity yak...peek here), but I'd rather throw at you a quick demo showing that I can float a paperclip on water, and let you think about it some more.

Some days kids are ready to kill me.

Last year I heard a student mutter "Don't bother asking him for the 'answer.' He's only going to throw another question at you." But she said it kindly. I think.

*The WordPress option is looking mighty fine.

Karlyn said...

You know, I don't think we ever figured out the answer...
looks like we'll just have to have another dinner together soon.

doyle said...


Next time we have dinner together, remind me to bring a paper clip. We'll float it on water. (Yep, even a metal one will work.)

It will get us one step closer to figuring out why the bottle didn't leak.

(I'm sitting here at 6 AM thinking about today's classes--I think I'll squeeze this demo in--we're talking about how to set up experiments and this one will work just fine, especially since I don't know how it's going to turn out either. Thanks for reminding me!)

--Uncle Muncle