Like 9gag, sometimes BuzzFeed can be informative too. So, for the time I stay away for a weekend trip, here’s an interesting video I came across.
Just for the record: The surface of your skin has more bacteria than there are people on Earth.
For years we’ve been subconsciously conditioned to think of something cool when the word ‘ice’ is heard. But, does ice always has to be cool? How much more interesting, than water-ice, can ice be?
What is it?
The name: Hot ice isn’t solidified water, it isn’t anything even close to water. Neither is hot ice, hot. It is just a common name for Sodium Acetate Trihydrate. At room temperature, this substance looks like ice crystals and if heated, it starts turning into a transparent liquid. Since, the ice like crystals are formed at a relatively hotter temperature than water-ice, it is called hot ice.
Everything freezes. While metals ‘freeze’ at extremely high temperatures and carbon dioxide freezes at extremely low temperature, Sodium acetate freezes at 54 degrees centigrade. But, that is hardly anything interesting about it. There is more.
Touch water and turn it to ice
Think about water: Cooling water, beyond its freezing point without it getting solidified, can be done and it is called ‘super-cooling‘. This can be done by not letting water (distilled water) find any ‘nucleation points’ or simply by using an extremely clean tray to freeze it. Now, water remains in a liquid state despite being cooled under 0 degree centigrade. At such a state, if water is disturbed, say using your finger, a chain reaction starts and the water freezes almost instantly. But, doing it is tough.
Making hot ice at home – The same thing that happens with super-cooled water, can happen with sodium acetate. Touch the liquid sodium acetate and it magically turns to ice, it is indeed a fascinating process to watch (watch in the video below). And can be done fairly easily. Moreover, you are not at a danger of getting poisoned in any way. This is the reason it is used to make hot ice. It can be made at home using vinegar, baking soda and a steel vessel.
Pope John XXI was the only pope ever, who had an illustrious medical career alongside his work as a theologian. He was also a fruitful writer, who wrote on subjects like logic, physics, philosophy and medicine. Before being elected as a Pope, he served as personal physician to Pope Gregory.
In medicine, he contributed towards great advances in female reproductive system and wrote about a few remarkably effective methods of birth control, during times when the Catholic Church condemned contraception. He also taught medicine at the University of Siena.
As men with thoughts ahead of their time are always labeled as heretics, John was also called a magician after his death. His death was announced to have been caused by “an act of god”.
The unfortunate accident
His brief papacy [of 8 months, 1276-77] ended with a tragic accident:
As a man of the science, he dabbled in astronomy and had a special room built in the papal palace. He loved spending hours in this special room, where he could observe the stars at night. It was in this room, where he sustained severe injuries, when the roof of his palace collapsed. He died six days later (on May 20, 1277).
Stephen Hawking’s interpretation
In 1277, Pope John XXI’s declared ‘laws of nature’ to be heresy because they conflicted with God’s omnipotence. Several years later, Hawking and Mlodinow, with their book, The Grand Design, caused quite a stir when they wrote – “Pope John was killed by the effects of the law of gravity a few months later when the roof of his palace fell in on him“.
Bonus Death Fact: Jack Daniel, the founder of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey distillery, died in very peculiar manner:
Unable to open the safe in his office, Mr. Jack kicked it in frustration. This blow broke his toe and infection set in, leading to his untimely death in 1911. – [Source]