Showing posts with label science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label science. Show all posts

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stunt Zombie makes some crystal in the kitchen.


The past few years, I kept hearing about this science show, where two guys create crystals in their kitchen and get into all kinds of adventures. I thought it sounded like fun, so I went out and bought my very own crystal growing kit. Let's go do some science!




If the back of the package is any indication, this should be easy, as well as fun. It certainly doesn't sound too difficult. Basically, you just dissolve some powder in water and you're done. It's not much different than making Kool-Aid. Except, you don't use rocks when you make Kool-Aid. Well, you might, but I know I certainly don't.


Pictured is everything you need to make your own crystals. The rocks, popsicle stick, display tray and powder were all included. You also need some newspaper to set everything on, because this stuff looks like it will stain anything it touches. The glass of wine wasn't part of the experiment, but it was still necessary. After I read the actual directions, I discovered the process is a little more involved. It requires filling the display tray, measuring how much water was in it, dumping that out, refilling the glass to the same level and then you dissolve the crystal powder. Okay, so it's still sorta easy. I'm just waiting for the fun part.


This is the packet of magical crystal growing chemical. I'm not sure what monoammonium phosphate is, but now I'm wishing I had worn gloves while I was doing this. If I start growing extra limbs, we'll know why. Once you have your water measured out correctly, you use it to dissolve 3/4 of this package. Just pour it right in and stir away.


Using the included stick, I stirred this stuff until my arm cramped up and it still wasn't fully dissolved. I was starting to get a little frustrated by all of this "fun", so I decided to add a little more power to the stirring operation. Time for the frother!


Now that's more like it. I wish I had thought of this earlier. It would have saved me the trouble of cramping my entire left side. I still wasn't able to get all of the powder to dissolve, so I eventually just said "Screw it", and dumped the mixture in the tray. I probably should have cleaned the frother off too, but I'm sure it'll be fine.


After you've filled the tray, you drop your rocks in, and then you sprinkle the remaining magic crystal chemical on top of them. You did remember to only mix in 3/4 of the package right? If not, I doubt it would even matter at this point.


Other than the photo on the front of the package, there are no other pictures showing me what each step is supposed to look like. I can only assume that this is what everything is supposed to look like when you're done. According to the directions, I could expect to see crystal growth in just a few hours. So, every couple of hours I would go back to the kitchen and see if anything was happening.




 It might look like the same photo three times in a row, but I promise you, these were all taken hours apart from each other. Chelsea eventually got tired of me hanging around waiting for the crystals to grow, and she shooed me out of the kitchen. Of course, I immediately forgot about the whole thing for the next few days, until I was told to get it out of the kitchen. By that time, it looked like this:


Apparently the trick to making crystals grow is to set everything up and forget about it for four or five days. I'm a little disappointed though. The package promised at least 3-4" of growth, yet this is barely out of the tray. Now I know how all my ex-girlfriends felt. So there you have it. It wasn't particularly fun, not that easy, and didn't teach me a single thing.

It does look like the sort of thing Cobra Commander would have lusted after on the G.I. Joe cartoon, so, that's something.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Fun Food Friday -Hostess Lemon Fruit Pie



Welcome to the first Fun Food Friday..or should it be Food Fun Friday, or Friday Fun Food? Either way, I'm going to try to make a weekly post spotlighting some sort of snack food or restaurant dish. Eating out is pretty spendy these days though, so expect more snack food posts. Today's food is one of the Hostess Fruit Pies I picked up a couple weeks ago. Since no one took part in my poll, or even left me a comment, I'll just assume you were all worried about my well being, and refused to take part in my suffering. Unfortunately, I'm a glutton for punishment, so I decided to go ahead and try one of the pies before they were completely stale.


Out of the package, I have a couple of observations. The lack of smell concerns me just a little. Usually these kinds of snack pies have a sickening sweet smell, while this one has more of a old sugar and cardboard aroma. Speaking of cardboard, just look at the outside of this thing. It looks like someone made a model of a Hostess Fruit Pie out of a box, and then covered it in Elmer's Glue. I also discovered, accidently I might add, that these pies are pretty durable. I know that because this one has fallen off the top of the fridge at least twice now, and there are no cracks in its pastry shell. Either this thing really is part cardboard, or it healed while it was sitting around in the kitchen. Finally, these things are HUGE.


Hostess Fruit Pies didn't cover that much of my hand when I was 7 years old. I swear these things have gotten bigger over the years. You can provide all the facts and figures that you want, but there's no way you can convince me otherwise. Reese's Cups and Cadbury Eggs may be shrinking, but the Fruit Pies are ever-growing.

Before I put this thing in my face, let's look at some numbers shall we? One pie is considered one serving, and the Lemon pies contain 490 calories. 200 of those are from fat. Total fat is 22g, with 11 of that being saturated. That's 55% of your recommended intake. Sodium isn't too bad at 420mg, but the carbs and sugar are off the chart at 69g and 38g respectively. But hey, it has 4g of protein for all that muscle building. I understand that they were never advertised as health food, but there are fast food burgers that aren't as bad.

Okay, enough dilly dallying, let's get this over with.


That is a real look of concern. My 8 year old self would eat one of these things, then spend the next 12 hours running around outside. My 31 year old self has already dialed "911" on his cell phone, in case this thing causes a massive coronary.


This is about 4 bites in. That's how many it took before I actually reached the "real" "fruit" filling. A common problem with Hostess Fruit Pies, the filling would often end up settling in one end or the other. If you were lucky, you started on the "filled" end. Otherwise, you had to fight your way through 20 sq ft of pastry shell before you struck sugary gold. That's if the crust held together and didn't spill the rest of the pie in your lap. At the least you ended up with filling covering most of your hands and face. Speaking of the filling, it almost seems criminal to have the word "Fruit" as part of this thing's name. Any resemblance to fruit was chemically stripped from this crap long ago

Six bites total, and this is where I stopped. I had to, I just couldn't take the flavor, or rather the lack of, anymore. For something that contains so much sugar, it really wasn't that sweet at all. It certainly wasn't as satisfying as I remember. Granted, I think it's been close to twenty years since I've eaten one of these things, so I'm sure they've changed something about their recipe in that time. As I sit here typing this, it's been close to an hour since I finished my last bite, and I still have an odd chemical flavor on my tongue, and the roof of my mouth feels oily. Also, I have a ringing in my ears, and my left eye won't stop twitching. I'm not sure if that's caused by the pie, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

So, after all that, what's the verdict? As if you didn't know..


Yeah, stay far, far, away from Hostess Fruit Pies. If the one I ate is representative of the rest of their product, the world will be a much safer place without them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monster Science Monster Eyeball

This one was another impulse buy from my Target excursion. I was always a sucker for those growing toys when I was younger. At one point, I sent away for a set of growing dinosaurs that were part of a cereal box promotion. I can't remember if it came from Trix or Cocoa Puffs, but I do know that was the longest two months ever. At some point I completely forgot about them, so when a small padded envelope with my name on it finally arrived, I was ecstatic. Of course, I just loved getting things in the mail anyway, but that's a story for another time. On to the monstrous eyeball!


I love that the scientist on the front looks so surprised at the large green cloud that's suddenly expanded over him. Or he's shocked at the fact his skin is now green, and his hair suddenly turned purple. Both good reasons for the stunned look on his face. Also, check out this kid at the bottom corner:


Better yet, don't look at that kid, he's just too damn frightening. Do check out the size of the eyeball on the right though. If mine doesn't end up that big, I'm writing an angry letter.

The back gives you a list of tools you'll need, though it pretty much just amounts to a dish of water, something to write with, something to write on, a scale, and a measuring tape. It also warns you to use warm water, not hot. Otherwise, the eye will just melt into a puddle of goo.


Once you have all your tools gathered up, you're supposed to guess the circumference and the weight, then take the actual measurements to see just how far off you were.


Yeah, that was originally 29 cm under my initial guess. Then I looked at a ruler and realized I was thinking of millimeters. My guess in inches was actually rather close, as well as my guess in ounces. I'm just not built for the metric system..After all the paperwork, you fill your container with water, and drop the eyeball in;




It actually looks a bit freaky sitting there, staring out at me..The directions call for you to remove it from the water and take a measurement every 24 hours. I said "screw that" and decided to go for 48 hours before I checked on it again. Actually, I was too busy and too inebriated to remember it yesterday, so here's the eye after two days:


It's gained an inch and a half in circumference and has tripled its weight. At this rate, it should gain sentience before Halloween gets here, and my plans for world domination can finally begin. Stay tuned until Wednesday, when we shall see how much more my new pet has grown..
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