Friday, November 30, 2007

The Science of The Pirates of the Caribbean

I love it when two of the things that I'm passionate about merges. It has happened a few times before, such as when it was discovered that Enrico Fermi actually used words and characters from the Winnie the Pooh (OK, so that isn't exactly Disney) to label some of his work, or the physics in Pixar's animation.

So here's another example. It appears that Western Illinois University has been organizing a science night for the public. It is usually themed, and this time, it is a presentation of the science coming out of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Thursday's event featured movie clips from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies with related experiments, such as the physics of the movie's fight scenes, mystery ships, weight distribution and even a few small explosions using simple ingredients such as Diet Coke and Mentos candy.

One student made a rocket sled propelled by a fire extinguisher, while another used an inhaled gas to deepen two students voices more to a "pirate" tone. The final event was the favorite as liquid nitrogen was mixed with heavy cream and other ingredients to make ice cream for the crowd.

I suppose you gotta try everything you can to make science entertaining to the public.