Where’s Mr. Wizard When You Need Him?

When I was growing up and television was in its early days, there was a show on Saturday mornings called Mr. Wizard.  Frankly, it wasn’t one of my favorite shows because it was all about Mr. Wizard doing experiments with everyday items and then explaining the science of why it worked.  One I remember was putting a burning match in a glass bottle and then putting a hard boiled egg on top of the bottle. As the fire on the match used up the air in the bottle, the egg (without its shell, of course) was sucked into the bottle.  Some of the experiments were interesting, but I was not a very scientifically minded kid, so I was more interested in cartoons.

But when Hubby and I were at a restaurant recently, something that happened made me think of Mr. Wizard.

When Hubby poured his root beer into the frosted mug, we watched in amazement as a thin cylinder of ice began rising up from the mug.

We don’t know why this happened, but assume it had something to do with the temperature of the root beer when it was poured in in contrast to the temperature of the frosted glass.

Even though we didn’t know why it happened, it was fun to see it.  And I was a little sorry when it melted a short time later.

Mr. Wizard, if you’re still out there, have your people call my people and let’s do lunch so we can talk about this, okay?

12 Responses to Where’s Mr. Wizard When You Need Him?

  1. Linda says:

    Ah, yes. I remember that show. Actually, I think it was called “Meet Mr. Wizard.” It was one of my brother’s favorite shows. Not mine, though. I was with you on the cartoons.

    That was an interesting phenomenon with the ice and the root beer. Did your server have any comment on it? So nice that you had your camera with you and could document it here for us. ;)

  2. ellebee says:

    That is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Seriously, Mr. Wizard or Bill Nye the Science Guy needs to weigh in on this! :)

  3. Sandra says:

    Linda — Cartoons rocked! But let me just say how impressed I am that you used “phenomenon”. Are you sure you were one of us cartoon kids? That just seems like a word a science kid would use. :)

    Yes, we showed it to our server and she said she’d never seen it happen before. And, yes, it was one of those times when I was really glad I had the camera in my purse.

    Ellebee — I agree. It would be really interesting to hear it explained.

  4. Dave says:

    That was interesting Sandra. I can’t imagine why it did that but would like to know why – Dave

  5. Jim Stegall says:

    Sandra:
    I’m not Mr. Wizard, even though my wife did wake me last night to the chirping to a malfunctioning smoke alarm. Solution? Since it was wired to the house, I just disconnected a wire so we could get some shuteye until morning.
    However, I think the explanation is very simple to the ice rising to the top in the mug. What happens when you drop a piece of ice into water? It floats to the top. Why? Air is trapped in the ice. Thus, the band of ice clinging to the mug reacted to the pressure from the liquid, causing it to break loose from the glass and float to the top. Thus, you have a “Root Beer Float.” — Jim

  6. Susan says:

    Hi Sandra,
    My husband says that ice is less dense than the root beer so it floats to the top. Since the glass was obviously very cold the ice formed there at the edges. He also says it was pretty neat the way it did that. Glad you had your camera ready!

  7. Hilary says:

    I think Jim is indeed Mr. Wizard. ;)

    I’m glad you had your camera with you so that you could capture the moment.

  8. Barb Fischer says:

    This is one more reason why I enjoy you so much…
    you are always prepared; i.e. camera in purse!!
    …and then…you have a most interesting post, cause Hubby ordered a Root Beer!!!

  9. arlene1027 says:

    Love your blog, would definitely add you to my blogroll!

  10. Sandra says:

    Jim — Smart and funny too!! Thank you for an explanation that sounds very reasonable to me. And I didn’t realize until you pointed it out that Hubby actually had not just the root beer he ordered, but a “root beer float”! :)

    Susan — Your Jim’s explanation sounds reasonable too. I’m just glad that I have readers who know this kind of stuff! :)

    Hilary — I have to say that there have been quite a few times when I have been very glad I had a camera at hand, but it does make my purse a little heavy. When one friend picked up my purse to hand it to me, I guess thinking of Hubby’s former profession, asked me if I was carrying a gun! :)

    Barb — Thanks for being a faithful reader, commenter and friend! :)

    Arlene — Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say. :)

  11. Hilary says:

    “…asked me if I was carrying a gun! ”

    Close enough. You’re a sharp shooter with the camera.

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