On Oobleck

Small scale:

(A real scientist wouldn't have interrupted an important experiment for such a silly reason.)

Large scale:

More information.

I've made PVA/borax polymer before (I don't think you really need a lot of ventilation when dissolving PVA glue in water...), but not oobleck.

To the supermarket!

6 Responses to “On Oobleck”

  1. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Oh - and we must not, of course, forget the famous Lovecraftian Tentacle Effect.

  2. tomsk Says:

    Oh my.
    I remember making that borax polymer stuff and messing about with cornstarch in Chemistry at school, but I had no idea you could make the stuff crawl out of the dish like that. Amazing.

  3. evilspoons Says:

    They did the same thing on the show Brainiac with custard. It was rather amusing when he tried to get out again.

  4. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Incidentally, the Brainiac custard trick worked because they used custard powder, which, unlike real egg-and-milk custard, is basically just cornstarch.

    That stunt can, therefore, be added to the short list of things that happened on Brainiac that (a) actually attempted to convey some true information (most of what they do is Jackass with white coats, which devalues both white coats and the fine work of Johnny Knoxville) and (b) weren't faked.

    Brainiac is a shitty show, and I hope it dies. I bet it won't, though - apparently they're spinning off a history version now. The few times I watched it, the constant stream of bullshit drove me nuts. Do not watch it; it will pollute your brain with lies.

    Richard Hammond should have been ashamed of himself for being involved with it. But I think he's suffered enough, now.

  5. baralong Says:

    Don't forget to check the cornstarch is made from corn (or maize) before you buy it, most of the cheep stuff is made from wheat, and it doesn't work as well as real corn. I use the Nurses brand Cornstarch. I haven't done it in a while, now I'd like enough to try it in a paddling pool :)

  6. kamikrae-z Says:

    oh boy this brings back memories - hours of entertainment and boxes of cornstarch. whitewings was our brand of choice if i remember correctly...

    we did try custard powder too, although i don't think it was quite as effective. in the end we mixed it with the cornstarch and it smelt so good we had to taste some - blech! its the same as shampoo, except it tastes like conrstarch ;)

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