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Author Topic: Quicksand and Custard
Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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From BBC's Ceefax service ('Ten things we didn't know last week'), quote:

Qicksand and custard have the same physical properties - both are non-Newtonian fluids that flow when treated gently but thicken when hit hard.

Does this mean that if I jump into quicksand it will be like hitting rock, but if I wade through it I will sink?

I am not willing to try this, but if someone makes a big enough bowl of custard...

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Andrew, Ware, England

Posts: 1709 | From: Ware, England | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Stoneage Dinosaur
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England:

I am not willing to try this, but if someone makes a big enough bowl of custard...

The BBC website has video of Jonathan Edwards triple jumping across a (not very deep) pool of custard:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4477512.stm

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"You learn something new every day if you're not careful" - Wilf Lunn

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England:
Does this mean that if I jump into quicksand it will be like hitting rock, but if I wade through it I will sink?

A thixotropic fluid like clay suspensions and other things (custard?) will react to a sharp impact like it was a hard object. But after the impact, the fluid will immediately return to its previous state.

So, you'll hit it and it'll kick back nice, but if you're still standing on it after a couple milliseconds it'll act like a liquid again and you'll immediately sink.

I've screwed around with gypsum solutions, and from my experience the hardening effect is significantly faster than human reaction time, so I suspect you wouldn't be able to run across the stuff either. You'd need to press your feet against the fluid for a good fraction of a second, much longer than the fluid remains hard.

Maybe someone with amazing reflexes . . .

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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Giant Communist Robot
I Saw Three Shipments


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How much time does this guy
quote:
The BBC website has video of Jonathan Edwards triple jumping across a (not very deep) pool of custard
have on his hands?


...

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I'm thinking of a dessert. It's colored . . . it has a color. It starts with a letter. Starts with S, I think. Does that remind you of anyone? Any dessert you once had? I feel like something happened to this dessert. It was there and then it was gone. I think the name rhymes with a condiment. Rhymes with . . . ketchup. Yes, does anyone remember a dessert called smetchup? No?

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I thought you were holding a seance - "Yes, the smetchup has a message for John. John, it knows you ate it John. It was there and now it's gone."
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Lunasa
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur:
The BBC website has video of Jonathan Edwards triple jumping across a (not very deep) pool of custard:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4477512.stm

They also tried it on Braniacs, I think.

quote:
Originally posted by Finite Fourier Alchemy:
I'm thinking of a dessert. It's colored . . . it has a color. It starts with a letter. Starts with S, I think. Does that remind you of anyone? Any dessert you once had? I feel like something happened to this dessert. It was there and then it was gone. I think the name rhymes with a condiment. Rhymes with . . . ketchup. Yes, does anyone remember a dessert called smetchup? No?

YOMANK! [Big Grin]

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"England and America are two countries divided by a common language." - George Bernard Shaw

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Electrotiger
Deck the Malls


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Was it a-two-hundred... and a-forty dollahs... a-worth a-custard? Aw yeaaaaaaah?

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Mr. Sagan did not go too fars, If you just took the time to scan its,
You'd count billions and billions of stars, And billions and billions of planets.

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Lunasa:
quote:
Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur:
The BBC website has video of Jonathan Edwards triple jumping across a (not very deep) pool of custard:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4477512.stm

They also tried it on Braniacs, I think. (SNIP)

I just discovered that show. They run it here in the US on G4, a cable station dedicated to gaming and high tech stuff-- pretty cool show.
I have yet to try the latest thing I saw which is to make a dough from corn starch. As you kneed it it hardens up but goes runny again (almost immediately) when you stop rolling it around.

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Alkatr0z
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I've tried the corn flour & water trick, Pretty cool stuff. Solidifies when you stir it then liquidifies again [Wink] Read about it in one of New Scientists little booklets that came with one of the mags [Smile]
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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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That's pretty awesome. That would make a great museum demonstration, although I know most folks where I work wouldn't try it. On the other hand, it might be easier to sell than the bed of nails... [Big Grin]

Corn flour and water is the standard demonstration I've run across. It's called Oobleck in most places; here's a recipe if you'd like to try it at home. I recommend if you're going to add food coloring, go ahead and add it to the water before mixing it all together; otherwise, it's a pain to stir into the mixture for obvious reasons.

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"But about the reindeer...what kind of a nose shines? How did he get it? Maybe it's not a reindeer after all. It could be something else."

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Andrew of Ware, England
A-Ware in a Manger


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Thanks Angels for the recipe. Not sure if I am brave enough to try it. Can porridge be used instead? Then if the experiment goes wrong at least it will be one scientific experiment that I can eat!

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Andrew, Ware, England

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Tantei Kijo
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Angels From the Realms of Dory:

Corn flour and water is the standard demonstration I've run across. It's called Oobleck in most places;

We made it in school right after reading the Dr. Seuss book Bartholomew and the Oobleck. (The same Bartholomew of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins). That's where the name came from, I wonder when the two first got connected.

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Bender: Though you may have to make a metaphorical "deal with the devil". And by "devil", I mean the robot devil, and by "metaphorically" I mean get your coat. ------------ My sad site: A new way to be bored.

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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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Andrew, I've never made it with anything but cornstarch myself. You could try it and let me know. Generally the best mix for the cornstarch is 1 part water, 1 part starch, but I don't know if porridge would be the same mix. It thickens in water, right? (Apologies...unabashed American-style breakfast eater here. [Smile] )

Tantei, yeah, I think most teachers use Bartholomew and the Oobleck lesson plan. I know we've done something different at the museum, where you give kids random junk like straws, cardboard, foam, etc. and challenge them to make a "planetary lander" that will sit on the surface of the Oobleck without sinking. It's amazing what some of those kids come up with.

The Glurch listed on the website I gave is also lots of fun. With the right mix and some time, you can actually make yourself a decent bouncy ball.

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"But about the reindeer...what kind of a nose shines? How did he get it? Maybe it's not a reindeer after all. It could be something else."

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