It’s So Easy To Make A Speaker At Home!

By Anupum Pant

While doing a random experiment with the ordinary motor, a youtuber Andy Elliott who runs the channel mist8k (known for his awesome videos) mistakenly touched the 3.5 mm jack of a speaker cable to the motor’s wires.

This resulted in something very interesting. The sound being transmitted through the cable started coming from the motor. And consequently, he invented the very basic speaker. Then he made a video of him explaining how to make a speaker at home using just a copper wire, magnet, tape, jacks and a disposable plastic cup.

I first saw this on Gizmodo and I thought it deserved a mention in the engineering section of this blog. I can’t wait to try it myself and probably improve the “very basic speaker” to make a nice iPod dock in the future…

Here is what he does –

  • Uncoils a copper wire from a component of an old PC, turns it into a small circular coil of the size of the circular magnet and then tapes it to the back of a disposable plastic cup.
  • Then, makes a larger coil by winding it around a bottle cap and tapes it on top of the smaller coil.
  • Connects one end of the larger coil to the tip of the 3.5 mm jack and the other end of the coil to the base of the jack. The other end of this wire having the 3.5 mm jack is also a 3.5 mm jack, which goes into the computer’s (or any player’s) speaker plug.
  • Places a strong neodymium magnet on top of the coils and plays the music. That’s it!

The computer turns the sound signal into an electric current. This current flows into the jack and then into the coil. Thus, the coil produces a magnetic field of its own. This varying magnetic field coupled with the static magnetic field of the neodymium magnet makes the coil move. Which in turn moves the back of the cup (as it’s taped on it) and makes the air vibrate. As a result, sound is created.

Here’s the video where he teaches how to do it…

The Evil Powdered Alcohol or Palcohol

By Anupum Pant

As if liquid alcohol wasn’t itself causing enough menace, now we have this futuristic powdered alcohol. They call it “Palcohol”.

All you need is, to mix a little of it with water, and there, you have your doze for the day. Other way to consume it would be to snort it for an “instantaneous high”, which by the way, is nothing less than deadly.

On an unrelated note, I find the host of this show is so adorable.

Problems

  • Palcohol certainly makes it easy for kids (and others) to carry alcohol around, and also to move it into places where it isn’t allowed (football games and concerts), which is definitely not desirable.
  • Also, the powder is highly flammable. Who wants a bomb in their pocket?
  • Another really bad thing about it is that it can easily kill you. Snorting can damage your mucous membrane. Also, since it is alcohol in high concentration, you can easily overdose on powdered alcohol and pass out.
  • The nightmare of every person, date rape, well, that just got a lot easier. Scary! How easy would it be for a creep to slip this powder into a drink of an unsuspecting victim – This is also Lacy’s primary concern (watch the video below).
  • So many new laws need to be in place before it gets available for public.

The patent to create powdered alcohol was published long back, in the 70s, but it is only now that they have got a federal approval. However, the Fed’s approval was taken back due to some issues. It is interesting to note that several other countries like Japan, Netherlands and Germany already have such products that are being sold in the market. How do the authorities in those countries  deal with this menace!

Nevertheless, Palcohol, a new and improved way to get drunk is here. It’s not going back.

Good news (?) is that it can be made at home. Read this PopSci article for the recipe.

I see only problems with Palcohol. I don’t think it needs to be in the retail market. What do you say?

Scientific Ways to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer

By Anupum Pant

Suppose, someone gives you a beautiful bouquet, celebrating a very important day of your’s, say your 50th wedding anniversary – A rare event these days. Wouldn’t it make you happier if these precious flowers last longer, even if it is just “slightly longer”? If you are a person like me who is easily moved, seeing flowers last longer would certainly make you happier!

Here are a few simple scientifically proven ways you could try that would make your cut flowers last slightly longer.

Sprite or 7-Up

Well, to make a flower last for about 3 days,  of course you could cut off an inch of the stem, clean it and put it in plain water. But there is also a little addition you can do to the water to keep them blooming for a few more days.

Add some amount of sprite or 7-Up to the water. Yes, that’s it. I know, some would consider it an urban legend or a forwarded email story, trust me, it actually works. Continue reading Scientific Ways to Make Cut Flowers Last Longer