Who Invented The Coke And Mentos Experiment

coke and mentos did not take off in popular culture until 2006, when two journalists (David Kestenbaum and Michele Norris) released a blog based on it

coke&mentosIt is not normally socially acceptable to play with your food, but in the instance of a ‘coke and mentos eruption’, the entertainment value can throw that perception out of the window. Who introduced the world to this bizzare application of science?

Despite the experiment being shown and explained on a TV chat show in 1999 (by physics student Spencer Tyler), ‘coke and mentos‘ did not take off in popular culture until 2006, when two journalists (David Kestenbaum and Michele Norris) released a blog based on it, and within months video sharing websites such as YouTube were packed with new videos of people trying the creation of a carbonate beverage-based explosion for themselves.

After many tried efforts with a variety of mints (or even fruit-flavoured ‘mentos’) and drinks (such as lemonade) in combination, it is regarded that the combination for a big explosion is to use Diet Coke and Original Mint-flavoured Mentos. This ‘formula’ provides the quickest reaction, and therefore the ‘highest’ explosion, with the Guiness World Record height for an explosion measuring at over 9 meters (with the aid of a nozzle). A testament to the popularity of the ‘coke and mentos’ explosions is that some joke shops now sell mentos with the advertised purpose of causing explosions.

An example of this bizzare experiment can be seen in the video below:

Diet Coke and Mentos Eruption – Wikipedia

Who Invented Bop It

bopitBop It is a popular audio-based game that is developed and produced by Hasbro, and has proved to be a popular way for children to pass the time on long journeys, even if it is to the annoyance of the other passengers. But who set off this noisy and repetitive phenomenon?

The inventor of the Bop It was Dan Klitsner, who patented the design in 1996, the year that the original version was released. The basic functions of the original involved three buttons/levers, and the player being instructed to either ‘bop it’, ‘pull it’ or ‘twist it’, with the game speeding up as it goes along, with longer games likely to get a higher score announced at the end. With the aid of fellow designer Bob Welch, the game would develop into more versions, spin-offs (such as Zing It or Groove It), and features (e.g. ‘flick it’ or ‘shout it’), with the game still going strong today.

Different versions released since the original include:

– Bop It Extreme

– Bop It Extreme 2

– Bop It Blast

– Bop It Download

–  Bop It Bounce

– Bop It Minis

An example of the game of Bop It being played can be seen below:

Bop It – Wikipedia

Who Invented The Trampoline

Who Invented The Trampoline

trampolineThe trampoline is a device that is used around the world both for entertainment and for sport, but who was first to arrive on the scene with this springy product?

In 1936, two Americans, George Nissen and Larry Griswold, who were both athletes representing the University of Iowa (in diving (Nissen), and gymnastics (both)), decided to create a ‘rebounding’ object that would allow for enhanced training and more entertainment in sport, after seeing a circus trapeze act use a tight net for a more entertaining and flowing show. Nissen and Griswold would realise that their product could provide more than one ‘rebound’, provided that it was used correctly (jumping). They would tour their product, named after the Spanish word for ‘diving board’ (trampoline), and eventually started selling them commercially in 1942, with the new product even being used in training for astronauts. The modern trampoline is now made with a mesh canvas/polypropylene surface attached to springs at the side to provide the ‘rebound’ effect.

Nowadays, alongside being produced for competitive ‘trampoline gymnastics‘ competitions (including at the Olympic Games), and being used as training methods for other sports, trampolines have been sold for home use, meaning that the thrill of bouncing can now be a few steps away in your back garden. With a variety of styles, and improving saftey measures to combat the obvious risk involved, it is fair to say that Nissen & Griswold’s product has really ‘taken off’.

With the popularity of home-use trampolines reaching new ‘highs’, it is inevitable that users will try and expand their use, and attempt to create different ‘moves’ or styles. Sometimes, though, to the delight of home video clip shows, this does not go to plan…

Trampolines – Wikipedia

Who Invented The Party Balloon

Who invented the balloon

balloonsWhen planning a party or special event, one of the first things that comes to mind is to have balloons as part of the decoration, due to their colourful, simple, and novelty-style appearance. But who came up with the idea to produce these rubbery sacks of air?

The idea of the ‘balloon’ was first proposed in Italy in 1643, when physicist Evangelista Torricalli wanted to prove that air was more than ‘nothing’. Although the theory was correct (how can a balloon, or something similar, have shape with trapped air if it is suposedly nothing?), the first production of the item was by Portugese priest Bartolomeu de Gusmao, who in 1709, first displayed air trapped in a substance, and gave it the name that it is known by today, balloon.

In the 19th century, balloons were developed further, this time in England, when scientists used rubber to store the air, and experimented with ‘lighter than air substances’ such as hydrogen, discovering that it caused the balloon to float upwards. In 1881, these types of ‘balloons’ were made available to the public, and in 1931 the first ‘novelty’ version was produced. From the 1970’s onwards, party balloons have been seen in the variety of colours, designs, shapes, and sizes that we see today, with modern materials including rubber, nylon, or latex, amongst others, and being designed to be filled with water (water balloons), helium/hydrogen (for upwards floating), nitrous oxide, or normal air, allowing for modern balloons to be applied to a wide range of purposes.

One concern about balloons, though, is when they are punctured. If enough pressure is applied to a party balloon that causes a break of the material, it will ‘pop’. It is usually to quick to notice, and it is hard not to feel as though a gun has just been fired, but with slow-motion cameras such as those in the video clip below, you can see just how quickly a balloon will burst, even by comparision to gravity…

Balloon – Wikipedia