tcepsa: (Cake)
... FOR SCIENCE!!! XD

Today I have discovered that one can, with the careful application of microwave energy, make popcorn in a jar!

In discussing with [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee the hazards of commercially available microwave popcorn, the thought popped into my mind that, "Hey, it's just popcorn in some butter/oil/salt concoction that you microwave for about two minutes. I can do that!"

And I was right! The initial batch came out a little burned because I left it in an extra minute in a vain attempt to get better pop percentage. However, the second batch is delicious and has a reasonably (for microwave popcorn) satisfactory popped/unpopped ratio. Here's how it works )
tcepsa: (I'll fix it!)
I will do Science to it! BD
tcepsa: (TryScience!)
From the first couple of transition batches, where I used molasses, the kefir grains got very dark brown. This batch, with the secret ingredient, is much lighter and doesn't really have nearly as much stain/dye for them to absorb. I'll get back to why this is relevant in a moment ^_^

I wanted to bring the batch with me to VA for the weekend, so I put them in the car and left them there all day. When I got back to the car they had all sunk to the bottom (I don't remember if I mentioned this last time, but it's a good sign if all/most of them are floating because it means they're doing the conversion from sugars to CO2 and the gas is making them float) so I was concerned that perhaps I had inadvertently killed them. However, I was pretty sure that getting a little chilly wouldn't do them any lasting harm, so I figured I would let them come back up to the upper 60's and see whether that helped.

It did. So I think it was either a combination of the densities changing when things got cold, or the grains going dormant-ish, or both. They are happily sitting on the counter now, and have even produced enough gas to build up a little bit of pressure inside the jar.

Not only that, but I noticed that some of them are developing little white bumps (kind of like when a potato eye starts to sprout), which means that not only are they not dead, they're actually growing! Given that many of the other accounts I saw of this sort of thing said that they didn't have much luck getting milk kefir to grow in water, this is incredibly encouraging ^_^
tcepsa: (TryScience!)
An article regarding the successful crash landing of Chandrayaan-1's Moon Impact Probe earlier today: India probe crash-lands successfully on moon

My favorite section:
Space official Shiv Kumar said the 34-kilogram probe hit the moon surface traveling at 1.6 kilometers per second, which is a speed of 5,760 kilometers per hour (3,579 mph).

Kumar said the probe transmitted sufficient signals to the mother craft before landing, but no more were expected after the impact.
It puts me in mind of that science experiment in which students try to devise ways of getting an egg safely from the top of a building to the ground via freefall, but without the "safely" part ^_^
tcepsa: (TryScience!)
It's certainly too small to be called microbrewing: I'm doing one-off batches of milk kefir and milk-kefir-adapted-to-eat-sugar-in-water. So far it's been going pretty well, especially since [livejournal.com profile] gipsieee and I are reasonably certain that the months-old jar in her fridge (milk kefir) is, surprisingly enough, still food (at least, neither of us suffered any noticeable ill effects from a few mouthfuls of it).

Cut because I anticipate this getting longish )
tcepsa: (TryScience!)
I loved the stuff as a kid (still do, in fact!) and now the wondrous material known colloquially as Oobleck just got even better.

Not since I discovered ferrofluid have I been so intrigued.
tcepsa: (TryScience!)
[After conversation in which I described making biscuits and adding garlic, using a different type of fat, and sprinkling cheese on top and then not being terribly fond of them but not being able to say what it was about them that I wasn't so keen on. I then described making eggs by mixing together a couple of eggs with rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and milk and heating the whole thing in the microwave for a couple of minutes. I wasn't particularly sold on them either, but again I couldn't tell which of the ingredients was the problem child, or whether it was because I had microwaved them. After that, while we'd been on the phone, I had grumbled about how cold it was upstairs and proceeded to close the door and hang a polar fleece blanket over the windows. After a bit I observed that it had gotten measurably (as in about 4 tenths of a degree) warmer throughout the conversation, but that I wasn't sure whether it was the blanket or the door or both that were responsible for the change, whereupon we had the following exchange]:

[livejournal.com profile] gipsieee: You're just having a bad day with the scientific method, hon.

Me: Why do you say that?

[livejournal.com profile] gipsieee: Because you keep changing more than one variable!!
tcepsa: (JuggleGeese)
If a conductive material is moved through a magnetic field in a direction perpendicular to the lines of said magnetic field, an EMF will be generated within the conductive material. The EMF will be proportional to the speed at which it is traveling and the strength of the field. The EMF will be at right angles to both the direction in which it is traveling and the lines of the field.

This will occur regardless of whether the source of the magnetic field is in motion relative to the conductive material or not.

(Again, disagreements are welcome, though it might be tricky to discuss in depth without something to draw pictures diagrams on...)

EDIT: As [livejournal.com profile] reedrover pointed out below, I failed to clarify one small but very crucial detail: in both cases the conductive material is in motion relative to the observer.

Premise #1

Jun. 27th, 2006 01:37 pm
tcepsa: (JuggleGeese)
If a bar magnet is oriented near a current-carrying wire so that the magnet's field lines cross perpendicularly to the direction that the current is flowing, and they are motionless relative to each other, the magnet will experience a net force of zero from the current in the wire.

(feel free to present examples to the contrary--if this statement is incorrect, I'd rather find out sooner than later ;)

[Technically, I think that the net force is still zero even if the magnet is moving relative to the wire as long as its distance from the wire remains constant and the magnetic field lines remain perpendicular to the wire. However, this should not strictly be necessary for this project, so it's more a point of trivia than anything really pertinent]

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