Diet Coke and Mentos, Round 1

So, the sidewalk egg-frying experiment made me think about some of our previous science experiments after work.  The first one was an attempt at the classic Diet Coke and Mentos explosion.  If you’re not familiar with it, hop on over to YouTube.  It’s a fairly popular Bill Nye the Science Guy-style trick.  Essentially, adding Mentos candy to Diet Coke causes an extremely quick and foamy reaction.

I don’t know the chemical steps, but the basic science amounts to the small pores in the Mentos hard coating catalyzing the fast release of CO2 gas from the soda.  Apparently, this experiment doesn’t work very well with other types of soda or at all with different candies.  For our procedure, we went right for the good stuff.  We rigged up a Mentos Release Device, so a trap could be opened by pulling a string.  Trap is released, then the Mentos plop into the Diet Coke.

Here’s a breakdown of this experiment:

Step 1: The Explanation
Step 2: Pull the string, the Mentos drop
Step 3: Prepare to regret not standing farther away

Fried Eggs

It’s been so blasted hot in Texas this summer, there have been some news stories asking if it was hot enough to cook various food products on various surfaces outside.  For example, bake cookies on a car hood, or fry an egg on the sidewalk.  Well, some co-workers and I took this challenge to heart, and attempted to fry up some eggs on the sidewalk outside of our building.

It actually worked pretty well!  At first, we were impatiently expecting instant gratification.  Personally, I was looking for some nice sizzle, like a cracking an egg into a hot frying pan.  That didn’t happen; it actually took a few hours before anything cooked.

Egg #1 was on a sewer hole cover:

I think the super-heated metal worked well to cook the egg, but it still took a few hours.  Also, it seems that some squirrels or birds ate part of it.  Or someone from the bus station near our office.

Egg #2 was on the concrete next to the other egg:

I mixed the yolk up a bit with a stick on this one, whereas with the first egg, we left the yolk intact.  There’s no doubt this one cooked, but the end result didn’t really look like an egg.  Is it a coincidence that the squirrels/birds/hungry bus-goers left Egg#2 alone?  Probably not.  It looked pretty gross.