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This is a question Home Science

Have you split the atom in your kitchen? Made your own fireworks? Fired a bacon rocket through your window?
We love home science experiments - tell us about your best, preferably with instructions.

Extra points for lost eyebrows / nasal hair / limbs

(, Thu 9 Aug 2012, 17:25)
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A story from when I used to actually work in the lab....

We were bored one day, just after the weekly radioisotope delivery, nicely packed in dry ice.... So... Fill a sink full of boiling water. Add some dye (we used Coomassie Blue which is a dye for visualizing proteins, but you could use food colouring), and some detergent (Triton X-100 for preference, but Fairy liquid will do at a pinch). Then, whilst standing at a judicious distance, lob in about 2 kilos of dry ice. Result? A sink-diameter snake of blue bubbles will boil its way out, and crawl along the lab floor... Record distance about 4m.....hypothesis tested and confirmed.

Can you try this at home? Oh yes. Just take some dry ice home....
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 20:54, 20 replies)


Like this, but with foam?
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 22:41, closed)


Top tip..strength of the detergent is key.
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 8:09, closed)

Bet the cleaners loved you. It's a pain in the arse to get Coomassie off things, even with copious amounts of warmed destain.
(, Sat 11 Aug 2012, 23:13, closed)
I have a giant coomassie stain on my lab coat from last wednesday, when my hand slipped off the bottle and half of it slopped down my front.

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 1:21, closed)
Coomassie. Yeah, riiiiiiight.

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 10:25, closed)
I'm not in ANY way suggesting that it was Blue WKD.

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 10:26, closed)
It's just that it probably was.

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 10:26, closed)
we don't have blue WKD in australia.
If I'm going to drink, it is Wine or Sloe gin, thank you very much. Any booze stains are decidedly red in nature.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 5:41, closed)

Hated us.... Mind, this was an old-fashioned bucket biochemistry lab, so the whole place was basically stained blue anyway. It was also 20 years ago and people didn't care so much about safety. Along the corridor, there was a lab where an utter nutter would adjust the flow from a hydrogen cylinder... with a fag in his mouth. It was about then that the department realized it was time to enforce the rules.
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 8:23, closed)
could have been worse
could have used trypan blue.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 10:39, closed)
Or prussian blue

(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 11:03, closed)
Can I be the 1st to say...
"Mother-fucking Snake of detergent out of the Mother-fucking Sink!"
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 4:51, closed)
You cannot
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 11:22, closed)
Is this the sort of biting wit that you're hoping will get you a load of hits on your internet dating profile?

(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 11:54, closed)
Ther laaideez luruuuve it.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 10:47, closed)
I had always dreamed
of flushing a similar mixture (on a grander scale) down the lab toilet on my leaving day.
Sadly, I needed to collaborate with the current boss in my new job, so no dice there.
(, Sun 12 Aug 2012, 10:07, closed)
forget that - for optimum toilet comedy dismantle a foam fire extinquisher
and pour one of the chemicals into the cistern and the other into the bowl. The next person that flushes will fill the cubicle with foam in seconds.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 10:34, closed)
ah, detergent
I've always wondered (well, not really, just idle curiousity) about colouring the vapour from dry ice but dye alone does nothing.

However, the best thing to do with a small piece of dry ice is to surreptitiously drop it into someone's tea or coffee when they aren't looking. That, or eppendorf bombs.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 10:32, closed)
Or, as we once did
when a supplier sent us something with dry ice lumps rather than those little pellets...half fill a 500ml coke bottle with it. And wait. And wait. And wait.

And then monumentally shit ourselves when it took out two ceiling tiles and made a bang that could be heard two floors away.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 11:06, closed)
haha, skills
I once tried it with a 50mL falcon and that nearly took out a VLF glass screen. Press caps, not screw caps, for the safety win, kids.
(, Mon 13 Aug 2012, 11:32, closed)

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