This fantastic YouTube channel features spectacular experiments that we can’t do at home! Ever wonder what’s in glow-sticks? Want to shatter hearts with liquid Nitrogen? Will it oxidize?? Find out all this and more with NurdRage.
Oak Ridge Health Physics Museum Online
In case you haven’t already clicked the link just from reading the title, Oak Ridge National Laboratory was one of the flagship sites for the Manhattan Project – America’s successful bid to build a nuclear bomb. They deal in all manner of nuclear experimentation. But this very special website is dedicated to history: the history of radioactivity and human culture. Radioactive toothpaste, buttons from the Chernobyl control room, and the infamous Shoe-Fitting Flouroscope are just three of the delightful entries in the online museum. Fascinating histories and descriptions as well as radiation dosage rates (where applicable) are provided.
In the Pipeline – Things I Won’t Work With
For a more technical read, there’s the In the Pipeline blog by a research chemist. Along with his reviews of literature, commentary on the industry and so on, however, the author also provides an entertaining look into the chemicals that scare chemists. The “Things I Won’t Work With” category reads as a litany of the lethally poisonous, the highly explosive, and the just plain stinky.
At Home Experiments
You can make a grubby old corroded penny look shiny as new by rubbing it gently with salt and vinegar. Rinse your shiny pennies in water and dry them off for a permanent finish. (Just don’t do this with expensive coins that people might want to collect. Removing the patina removes the value.)
Instant Freeze Soda
One cool experiment making the rounds takes advantage of the ability of some liquids to stay liquid below their freezing point if there’s nothing for ice crystals to form on. Soda, luckily for us, is one of these. Shake a sealed plastic bottle of soda really hard. You want to get all that CO2 out of solution, and raise the pressure. Then, put your pop in the freezer for about two and a half hours… the exact time might take some trial and error to perfect. Be careful, though, a soda bottle forgotten in the freezer for too long will explode (this is also why you shouldn’t leave soda cans out in a car trunk in freezing weather). Finally, when your sodas are super-cooled, but still liquid, you can uncap the bottle suddenly (releasing the built-up pressure and lowering the temperature even more) and pour yourself an instant slushie.
While the ever-popular Naked Egg (48 hours sitting in vinegar will strip the shell right off a raw egg) is very well-known, one of the greatest hits in the Teen Outpost this summer was the Vinegar Bone. Steep a clean chicken bone in vinegar for about two weeks, and the vinegar will react with the calcium in the bone, leaving behind only rubbery connective tissue. Gross! You might even be able to tie your bone in a knot! (Rib bones – long and slender – are good for knot-tying.)
-Katherine Skaggs, Teen Services, Teen Outpost, Highlands/Shelby Park Branch
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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic . Anyone can be a “Brony” or “Bronie” (bro + pony), but some females identify with their own group: Pegasisters (Pegasus + sister).
In its newest version (starting in 2010 and currently in its third season), producer Lauren Faust wanted to create a cartoon that didn’t fall back on the blatant sexism that the older versions had. The girls, aka the “mane six” ponies, would no longer be limited to only “girlie activities.” These ponies go on dangerous adventures, deal with difficult “frenemies,” and battle evil. But what about the guys? The “man-ponies?”
Some call the new show out on sexism… but this time towards men. There are three male pony characters, but none with any personality to speak of. This makes this statistic all the more interesting; 86% of Bronies are found to be men. There was even a MMO (massive multiplayer online game) for about a year or two for My Little Pony, but it seems the people running it had some “internal issues,” and have since disbanded. But, you can still keep up to date with other games, community issues, toys, etc. on Equestria Daily .
Why are people so crazy about it? What is the appeal? Is it funny in an ironic way? Sometimes, but not always. I really want there to be more to it, but my research has concluded with this simple answer; it’s cute… and funny, and that is why Bronies exist. Men (and women) are getting very serious about this cutesy bubble gum world of enchantment and magic, and don’t seem to be afraid to embrace their younger, more feminine side--and let the whole world know it.
Shining example here: this is the punk rock band Neigh Slayers, who are all men who look to be around 18 . And, if you want more stats on Bronies, check out Brony Study (that’s where my statistics came from).
-Lynette, Teen Services, Shawnee Branch
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What's Going on Here?!
It is pretty simple actually. We have three different common household fruits: banana, orange and apple. Copper (Cu) and Zinc (Zn) nails are inserted into the acidic fruits (apple and orange) and the nails are connected through the banana with small metal wires. Lastly, a simple 5 Volt USB cable is being used to charge an iPod.
So How Does It Work?
The energy that we get to charge our iPod is coming from an electron exchange in the metals between the fruits. Both nails are undergoing a chemical reaction caused by the acid in the citrus fruits. The Zn atoms are being dissolved into Zn ions that are positively charge (give two negatively charged electrons). The Cu nail has an oxidized tarnish (Copper Oxide) that dissolves in acid. The Copper ions attract the negatively charged electrons to neutralize the ions into Cu metal.
The banana is necessary, because it is relatively neutral (pH) and will continue to conduct the electron flow. This creates a circuit. The USB cable is able to enter the circuit and continue the electron flow and receive enough of an electrical charge to briefly charge an iPod.
How Does this Compare to a Battery?
Technically this would be considered a fuel cell, but the idea is very similar. In fact, the type of fuel cell that we see created is very similar to the very first chemical battery invented in 1800 by Italian physicist Count Alessandro Volta, namesake of the volt. His design is the foundation for the modern battery.
Check Out These Resources for More Information:
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Main Library, Friday, August 2, 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
The Louisville Free Public Library is celebrating ten years of Animecon! The annual convention is a day-long celebration featuring anime-themed activities, games, contests, and more - FREE.
Highlights of this year’s event will include a performance by the Cincinnati-Dayton Taiko Drumming Group, a workshop on stop-motion animation, the annual ramen noodle eating contest, costume contests and anime screenings.
This event is free - Click Here to register or call 574-1620.
Teens ages 12-19.
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Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection (The New 52).
Barbara Gorden/Batgirl might be a protégé of Batman and the commissioner's daughter, but she can hold her own in Gotham City. She’s a master of karate and a genius to boot. The Darkest Reflection begins shortly after Gorden recovers from three years of paralysis. She is racked with survivor’s guilt and has flashbacks to the night she opened the door to find the Joker, who then shot her and left her to die. Gorden struggles to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder and regain her physical and psychological strength while reentering the crime fighting scene. You’ll learn about other members of the Bat Family and get a glimpse into Batman’s extended universe.
Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore.
The Killing Joke details the events following Barbara Gorden’s shooting. The open-ending will give you the creeps and send you searching for the sequel (spoiler, there isn’t one).
Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone.
After she is paralyzed by the Joker, Batgirl the crime-fighting librarian becomes Oracle the wheelchair bound computer genius and hacker extraordinaire. Oracle leads the Birds of Prey, a team of crime fighting women involved in global espionage.
Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones (The New 52) by Scott Snyder.
Swamp Thing plays homage to classic b-movie horror films and he is THE environmentalist super hero (move over Captain Planet). In some versions of Swamp Thing, the character is Alec Holland turned monster from the swamp but Snyder’s antihero sticks to the Alan Moore backstory of a plant creature with the memories of the deceased Alec Holland. In this story, he has regained his human form but cannot forget his time as Swamp Thing. This story is pure horror as Holland finds himself in an age old battle between the Green and the Rot.
Anything by Scott Snyder, he seems to be writing every new DC title and with his talent it’s clear why.
Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore.
This graphic novel should sway anyone who doesn’t believe comics can be high art, while remaining true to its roots in pulp horror. Read this Alan Moore masterpiece, then read everything else he’s written.
What was the first superhero comic you read? Do you have a suggestion for new comic readers? Have you enjoyed any of The New 52? Let us know in the comments.
-Ruth Houston, Teen Services, Teen Underground @ Main
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