Monday, July 11, 2011

mento bomb

My boy has big ideas. Sometimes he gets inspired to try an experiment. Much like his delightful mother, when my boy gets a notion he becomes keenly focused on the making of it to happen. He will speak about little else, he will think about little else. He will request the time and materials to get 'er done at millisecond intervals.

The most recent dream has been an, um.... explosive device involving mentos and coke (Don't ask me, I have no idea).

I encouraged him to go for it, but he had a substantial obstacle thwarting his progress: the dude is broke. I was willing to support this depraved endeavor emotionally, but financially? Not so much.

He is no longer allowed to ask his sister for money, because she always says yes and then regrets it and tries to repo and things get ugly. If my boy wants cash, he has to earn it. The kids' bathroom is always up for a good cleaning!

Cash in hand, he hit the market and came home with a coke and three packs of mentos: two of the mint variety (also known as toothpaste candy) and one fruit flavored roll, strictly for eating, because every dummy knows that the fruity ones won't blow up. Duh.

I almost didn't take photos because the table was so messy, but then I realized: 1. I smelled a blog post, and 2. next time anyone needs money they have to clean off that table.

He had constructed a clever model for this experiment. The idea was that the water bottle/rocket would be filled with mentos, then suspended above a container filled with coke.

Earlier versions included a small cardboard disc tied to a string. The disc would prevent the mentos from prematurely falling into the coke. Once the stage was set, my boy would tug the string to release the disc and the mentos would fall into the coke and explode with a force great enough to propel the rocket, presumably into outer space.

The disc was tested, but failed, so a wax paper substitute was quickly constructed. Please note that my girl tuned in to my constant bitching about the building of rocket projects on top of a mess, so she erected a helpful napkin backdrop for my photo.

Once the model was complete, we headed outdoors to avoid blowing the roof off the joint, except in a figurative sense.


 And then, the moment we had all been waiting for:

Rocket science is an imperfect art, but you learn more from your failures than your successes, right?

He's already got plans for an improved model. I can't wait to have the windows washed!

And although the mento bomb was a dud, there was a silver lining:

And no one blew up.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

What an intrepid young scientist your boy is! And what an accommodating (and delightful) mom he has!

Sorry the experiment didn't work, but if it *had* worked, San Diego may have been upset that coke and toofuspaste candy was raining down upon it.

Dan't wait for the next experiment!

Great post, yo.

like the fruity mentos in PA said...

I'm pretty sure dave letterman did the experiment on his show, so maybe your boy can google it.
I also think you need the 2 liter bottle of coke and you drop the mentos in, but again, I'm not clear on the details.
I'd ask my 16 yr old, but I don't want him to decide that he should stop what he's doing and make one...the clean up might be lengthy :)

Hsin-Yi said...

It was a nice idea and your boy seemed like a good sport about the anti-climatic results. Oh well.

For round 2 - you'll need an entire 2 liter bottle of soda, and the classic (mint) mentos. That should yield better results. And then you can ask your kids to wash the windows =) Good luck!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I appreciate that he didn't google it -- just gave it a shot, relying only on memory and rumor and the good ol' spirit of invention.

I watched rocket after rocket be sent skyward yesterday. No mentos involved, although various sizes of plastic bottles were. Your boy would have been all over it!

I must say though, the mentos/coke concoction does look a bit tempting....