Watch a Former NASA Engineer Turn Sand Into Liquid—Then Take a Dip

iStock
iStock

NASA engineer-turned-YouTube host Mark Rober is known for regularly conducting zany science experiments in his own backyard and filming the results. More than a year after he went swimming in a sea of Orbeez, Rober's latest stunt features him taking a dip in a hot tub filled with liquid sand.

But wait: Wouldn't bathing in liquid sand be akin to taking a really grainy mud bath (albeit with great exfoliation potential)? Rober isn't technically wetting down the granular material, as he explains in the video below—he's making the sand sift, blow, and bubble using nothing but a nitrogen tank and some PVC pipe.

“If you take a tub of sand ... and then add air in just the right way, it basically becomes a liquefied soup,” Rober explains of the seemingly magical process. “In science this is known as a fluidized bed," or a bed of small, solid particles that are suspended and galvanized by an upward flow of gas.

The upwards-blowing air is equal to the downward force of gravity. This causes the sand to hover in equilibrium, and allows the grains to slide around like water. The top surface of the mix "is nearly frictionless," Rober says. "It's like an air hockey table. And then when you cut off the air, it freezes everything exactly where it's at," prompting the tub's ingredients to transform back into ordinary, heavy sand.

[h/t Twisted Sifter]

Artist Celebrates the Poop Emoji's 10th Birthday by Reimagining It in 50 Different Forms

Justin Poulsen, YouTube
Justin Poulsen, YouTube

Even as new emojis are added to mobile keyboards each year, the poop emoji remains a beloved go-to for phone users with an appreciation for toilet humor. Artist Justin Poulsen recently honored the icon's 10-year anniversary by depicting the poop emoji 50 different ways, designboom reports.

In the the video below, which he created with the Canadian creative agency Rethink, the poop emoji takes multiple forms, including a candle, a cupcake, a trophy, a marshmallow, and a piñata. Poulsen is mainly a photographer, but he also built his own props and scenery for the project, and the video serves as kind of a poop-themed resume showing off his capabilities.

The smiling swirl of cartoon poo has been inspiring people since shortly after its debut in 2008. Poop-emoji baked goods, including donuts and cupcakes, have grown into a trend, and in 2017 a 3-year-old in St. Louis even celebrated a poop-themed birthday party with emoji decor.

[h/t designboom]

Are Your Kids Struggling to Tie Their Shoes? Teach Them the Cheerio Method

iStock.com/Maica
iStock.com/Maica

When kids don't know how to tie their own shoes, getting them out the door is a struggle. But parents don't have to choose between tying their children's shoes for them every morning or converting to Velcro. According to Lifehacker, there's an alternative technique that makes life easier for kids who struggle to how to tie their shoes. Instead of using the bunny-ear or bow methods, show your kids the super-simple Cheerio trick, which you can see in the tutorial video below.

First, have your child cross one shoelace over the other and tighten as they typically would when starting to tie their shoes. Next, instead of making two loops, tell them to make a knot but stop short of tightening it all the way. This should leave them with a small, Cheerio-sized hole—hence the name. From there, they can finish the job by poking the ends of the laces through the hole one at a time, then pulling the resulting bunny ears to finish the knot.

Though it's more time-consuming than the traditional way of tying shoes, the Cheerio method doesn't require using both hands at the same time, making it a more approachable option for kids still developing their hand-eye coordination.

The Cheerio method isn't the only alternative shoe-tying technique. More advanced users can teach themselves to tie their laces with one hand, as demonstrated by Paralympian Megan Absten here.

[h/t Lifehacker]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER