I loved Theo Gray's frozen mercury fish but, as he says, mercury is bad for you. If you want to play with a nontoxic metal that melts at low temperatures, you can buy little bottles of it at scitoys.com. Simon Field, the proprietor, sells two kinds.
In the photo above, I am holding two small vials of liquid metal. The vial on the right contains gallium, an element that melts at 29.76° Celsius (85.57° Fahrenheit). The vial on the left is an alloy that contains gallium, indium, and tin, and melts at -20° Celsius (-4° Fahrenheit).
You can do a lot of fun things with these. For instance, you can put a drop of gallium on a sheet of aluminum foil and it will combine with the aluminum, dissolving a hole in it.
Nontoxic metal alloy that is liquid at room temperature
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
In a lead editorial in the current Nature, John Wilbanks (formerly head of Science Commons, now “Chief Commons Officer” for Sage Bionetworks) and Eric Topol (professor of genomics at the Scripps Institute) decry the mass privatization of health data by tech startups, who’re using a combination of side-deals with health authorities/insurers and technological lockups to […]
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Home audio has taken some big leaps forward in recent years–not just in terms of sound quality, but also in the style department. The FRESHeBAR Leather Soundbar, now 56% off in the Boing Boing Store, is proof.The FRESHeBAR comes packing almost all the options you’d ever need for a home sound system, including Bluetooth streaming capabilities.The unit’s 90 […]
Much of what goes into creating an amazing photo happens in the digital darkroom. Here’s your chance to master all things photo editing: the Ultimate Adobe Photo Editing Bundle, now available in the Boing Boing Store for just $29.99.Across 8 courses and over 41 hours of intensive instruction, you’ll learn the fundamentals of Adobe’s suite of photo […]