I am prone to boredom. Actually, that’s not true. I am almost never bored, because any time I get a spare moment, I find myself occupied learning new and exciting things. The problem is, in many situations the resources available to me do not lend themselves to useful scientific inquiry. Times such as these tend to produce information of no use to anyone. But, hey, this is the internet. Why does it exist if not to distribute useless information? Here are a few choice discoveries.
My nose can hold at least $1.50 in quarters.
The thought process behind this one was pretty simple. I had a handful of quarters, a nose, and a fifteen minute wait for my train. Their appearance in my nose was a foregone conclusion, really. When the first one fit so well, I set about my quest of discovery. I only had six quarters, but the nostrils were getting pretty crowded by then. A side product of this experimentation was the discovery that quarters smell funny, and that homeless people don’t particularly care where a quarter was before you handed it to them. Also, I’d love to tell you that this was learned back when I was a little kid, but it was in high school.
If you put a cat in a full nelson, it gets the hiccups.
I can’t take the credit for this one. My brother, after I had had enough of being the victim of his recently acquired wrestling prowess (this was in the golden age of the WWF), had decided it was time to become inter-species champion. Pinning a cat is harder than it sounds, because they don’t usually like to lay on their back. They also have claws, and despite the fact that I contend they should count as foreign objects and thus are grounds for disqualification they tend to use them indiscriminately. Luckily, the full nelson takes the claws out of play. After a few seconds, though, the cat will start sneezing, and have the hiccups. So there you have it. Cats are allergic to the Full Nelson. Oh, by the way. This was only done twice, because even at that age we figured that probably this wasn’t doing the cat any good.
Pineapple Soda + Chocolate Milk = Delicious Volcano
It is a fairly well known principle that, if you have kids and at least two different liquids, eventually the liquids will be mixed and/or spread on the walls. In this case we got a hold of some C&C brand pineapple soda and a pint of Clinton Chocolate Milk and poured one into another. Now, the ph of pineapple soda is ’round about 4.3, which is fairly acidic. And the pH of chocolate milk is just a smidge over 7, which makes it very mildly alkaline. And what happens when you mix a carbonated acid with a base? Evidently the cafeteria monitor makes you clean up the mess and stand against the wall during recess.
Dog discuits taste much better than cat food
Gravity is a harsh mistress Pennies hate my chin
The amount of evidence I have in support of gravity’s malicious nature is FAR too massive to post here, but the event that really hammered it home was when I tried to do the “penny trick” on the Stunt Man’s Freefall at Six Flags Great Adventure. This is when you drop a penny at the precise moment the fall starts and it hangs in front of you for a second. There are two problems with this. First, a penny and a fully loaded Freefall cart don’t have the same terminal velocity. Second, the Freefall track curves at the bottom. This places, oh, say, your CHIN directly in the path of the plummeting coinage. The end result is a coin that ominously floats upward, then viciously attacks your face. It is the first time the gravity seemed to be consciously trying to punish me.
There are so, so many more lessons I’ve learned from boredom inspired experimentation. I think they say that idle hands are the devil’s playthings because idle hands tend toward the scientific method, and we all know how church feels about science. Any unimportant lessons to share? Feel free to leave them in the comments. We’d love to hear.