Zarinah Agnew lives at the Red Victorian, a modern-day commune in San Francisco's Haight neighborhood. Six months ago, as an experiment, she and her roommates thumbtacked $80 in cash on three different corkboards (at the Red Vic and another local intentional community called The Embassy). They then attached small pink signs that read, “Take what you need, leave what you don’t!”
They called each of their experimental corkboards, the "Great Wall of Money."
Here's what happened next, according to Agnew:
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We left them up in our houses and watched. It was kind of amazing.
I watched them stay pristine for a few days, and slowly gain extra funds. Once they had been touched, the notes started to move and disappear. The $1s went first, but again once a $20 had gone, the others followed suit. But they oscillated back and forth in a healthy manner.
Then one night the board was cleared, presumably by a single person. It was full at 3am and gone by 6am that morning. I was sort of delighted by this as it demonstrated to me that the board wasn’t remaining replenished through politeness. People were using it as it was intended. And lo, after a week, the empty board, started to collect notes once more...
Before long the Red Vic Great Wall of Money collected bart tickets, maps, notes, and all sorts of things. Eventually, the community moved it out onto the street where it collected even more goods and services — half smoked blunts and items of clothing were pinned to the board.
Cody from Cody's Lab had 640 pounds of liquid mercury lying around, so he devised an experiment to see if he could stand on it. Read the rest
I love both the idea and the lessons behind this project writer Mike Adamick took on with his daughter during her winter break from kindergarten.
Emmeline wanted to know what life was like underwater for the crabs she and her dad caught in San Francisco Bay. So the two of them brainstormed and figured out a way to answer her question. Together, they built a "crab cam," using an iPhone attached to a crab net.
The results were underwhelming.
But here's the awesome thing. Instead of throwing in the towel, Mike used the experience as a way of showing his daughter was scientific inquiry is really like. Sometimes, your experiments don't work. And, when that happens, you go back to brainstorming, figure out how to improve the experiment, and try again. Because that's the awesome thing about science: Even failure teaches you something.
In the end, Mike and Emmaline were able to improve their experiment, and Mike turned the whole thing into a really sweet and funny video. Great work!
Scientists have developed a modified form of ecstasy that can kill blood cancer cells in a test tube. It's really fascinating chemistry, but please note the italics and do not try this at home, kids. Read the rest
OK, this should make up for the intestinal worm.
In this video, you'll learn how to use an ultraviolet LED to kickstart a chemical reaction capable of sending a cork flying halfway across a lecture hall. It's a hazardous science demonstration! Hooray!
Quick note: The sound quality gets a little sketchy at times. If you click on the CC option in the lower-right corner of the player window you'll be able to read the English subtitles.