Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tasting Through Your Nose - Experiment #102

"The smell of a food is as important as its taste! In fact, its smell actually influences how it tastes! If you doubt it, try this experiment.

You will need: 
Small peeled potato
2 spoons
Small grated apple

What to do: Grate part of a peeled potato and put it on a spoon. Grate an equal amount of a peeled apple and put it on a second spoon. Close your eyes and mix up the spoons so that you're not sure which is which. Hold your nose and taste each of the foods.


Why: The nose shares the airway (the pharynx) with the mouth. Therefore, we smell and taste food at the same time. Only salty, sweet, bitter and sour are pure tastes. Other "tastes" are combinations of taste and odor. Without the help of your nose, you may not be able to tell what you are eating."

What happened when CKS tried it: The potato tasted like both, but the apple tasted crunchy and sweet. I tried tasting chunks of potato and apple too. I guessed everything right - I knew which one was potato and which one was apple. They looked different so use a blindfold too. I guess I'm a good taster!

CKS rating: 4 stars - so fun you should try it a hundred times!

Blow the Book Away - Experiment #76

"Move a book back and forth by blowing on it? Try it!

You will need:
Two long pieces of string or rope
Wooden clothes hanger

What to do: Loop two pieces of string around the book and knot them. Then tie the loose ends of the strings to the rod of the wooden hanger so the book swings freely. Blow on the book. Continue blowing on it every time it swings back toward you.

What happens: Even gentle blowing seems to make the book swing vigorously.

Why: It is not only a question of force, but also one of timing. Although you may not be blowing very hard, regular blowing at the right moment sends the book flying." 

What happened when CKS tried it: It only works when you blow hard and fast. It was a little bit scary to use a big book because it might fall on the floor and make a big noise or land on your toes. When you try it, make sure to use a light, small book.

CKS rating: 3 stars - As good as an ice cream cone.

The Great Coin Blowing Demonstration - Experiment #164

"Do you know anyone who can blow hard enough to blow a small coin all the way across the mouth of a glass? Of course you do. You can!

You will need: 
Drinking glass
Small coin

What to do: Put the drinking glass on a table. Balance the coin on the rim of the class like this: Blow sharply on the edge of the coin....Now, balance the coin on the rim of the glass again. This time you are going to blow the coin all the way across the open mouth of the glass so it lands on the table on the opposite side of the glass. Impossible? No, you can do it! Blow hard. The coin will probably fall into the glass the first few times you try. You must blow right at the edge of the coin....Don't place your lips too close to the coin. Stay back several inches and blow straight at the coin's edge. Blow hard and fast.


What happens: The first time you tried it, the coin fell off the rim of the glass. It may have fallen into the glass or onto the table. But that's what you expected, wasn't it? When you lined up everything correctly, the coin sailed across the glass and hit the opposite rim, but the force of the rapidly moving air kept it going.

Why: The coin is light enough for the moving air from your lungs to set it in motion. It had very little friction to overcome, because it was balanced delicately on the rim of the glass. It's all a matter of directing the coin in the path it needs to take. Air speed does the rest."

What happened when CKS tried it? When CKS tried it, she never got the coin across. She kept trying and trying and trying, but it never worked. The coin kept falling into the glass. Mad Dad Scientist was able to get the penny across the glass two times. But wait! For this to work, you have to line your mouth up with the edge of the coin.

CKS rating: 0 stars - Like cleaning my bedroom....thbbppppt!