A Counting Catharsis

It was anyone’s game by the time B Watch was stood-down that night. Noah Citron (the low-baller at 1,987 pieces) was close but not quite out. I was secretly rooting for Mike Gil (2,300 pieces). Mike was the only A Watcher in the pool, and the idea of him walking away with the entire bin of B Watch’s midnight snacks plus one vegan cupcake was more than a little entertaining. Being the only vegan in the pool, I wouldn’t be able to savor the victory snacks myself. I was, however, curious about the ship’s going-rate between baked goods and shower-day trades.

Hot Hands, Instant Crystals, and Super Cool Solutions

As the weather gets colder, fingers get frosty. Most chemical hand warmers are single use and take a while to warm up. But it's easy to make an instant, reusable hot pack with two simple ingredients: baking soda and vinegar. Follow the recipe below to make your own at home!

Materials:
  • 1 cup white vinegar (acetic acid C2O2H4)
  • 5 level teaspoons of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3
OR

Ask a Scientist! Grossology Edition

Have a science related question? Ask away! We'll track down an answer from one of our OMSI scientists and post the answers.


Q: How long does it really take to digest gum? My second grade teacher said thirty days. -Savannah

A: It's a lot less than thirty days - more like thirty hours. After you chew the sugar out of gum, if you swallow it the gum passes through your body like any other indigestible fiber. Just like the fiber in lettuce, bread or any other food, gum will pass mostly unchanged through your intestines and come out the other end in one or two days.

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