Monday, November 14, 2011

Being Sick and Skewer Through a Balloon

I’m sick.  I have sore throat and my head feels 12 pounds heavier with snot.  Ugh.  Not that anyone likes to be sick, but it just annoys me.  I do like the part of a sore throat and congestion that give you that deep husky Demi Moore voice though.  I don’t much like the phone, but I’ll make calls during that stage just to hear myself talk.  I’d like to have that voice and not be sick.  Is that too much to ask?

I discovered the existence of this yesterday.   Nutliquor.  Want.

Easy At Home Science

Skewer Through A Balloon (

What You Need

What You Do
Soak the skewer in the oil for a few minutes.  Blow the balloon up, but not too full, the softer it is, the easier to skewer it.  Starting with the top of the balloon where the color is darkest, slowly start to spin the skewer as you gently press on the balloon.  Keep spinning until the skewer goes into the balloon.  Next, slowly push the skewer to the opposite side, where the balloon is tied off, and as you contact the balloon, start to spin the skewer again, applying gentle pressure as before.  Remember – practice makes perfect.

What is Happening
Balloons are made of a thin sheet of a rubber called latex, a polymer made of long chain-like molecules, or strands, that are all tangled together. There are also bonds between the strands, call cross-links. This tangled, cross-linked network of molecules can be stretched, but when you let go, it returns to its original shape. Such a material is called an elastomer.

When a very sharp skewer is slowly pushed, with twisting, into the balloon, the polymer chains are pushed aside, but remain bonded, so the balloon does not break. (It helps, too, if the skewer is coated with an oil, such as mineral oil or vegetable oil. It slides in more easily, and the oil helps seal the hole.) When a balloon is blown up, the polymer strands are more tightly stretched around the sides than they are at the tied end or the nipple end. It's easier to push the skewer in at the ends, where the strands have more "give." Around the side of the balloon, where the strands are stretched more tightly,  they are more likely to break. Once a tear begins, it continues to enlarge, the air rushes out of the balloon, and it pops.

When you give the balloon a sharp poke with the skewer, the strands are broken, and the balloon pops. 

No comments:

Post a Comment