Thursday, November 22, 2007

x365: 42 of 365: shelley g.

Ask Shelley. She knew. She knew a good many things, but best of all, she knew the secret of Wint-O-Green Life Savers and the blue sparks that crackled from your teeth when you chewed them in the dark. One afternoon, when her parents were in the living room, she took me into a closet in the basement. In the airless dark we pressed our bodies against each other, Life Savers in our mouths, and shot sparks across the gap.


wench said...

now that's a cool secret - how is it done? i love pop rocks!

palinode said...

wench - Really, there's no secret. Go into the bathroom or wherever a mirror is handy, turn off the lights and start crunching a Wint-O-Green Life Saver. You should see little blue sparks.

The effect is called triboluminescence. When the sugar crystals are split, they sort into positive and negative charges. As the bits of crystal separate, the charges try to reunite, which produces a spark. The spark is usually ultraviolet, but the wintergreen oil produces a fluorescent light. Whammo!

palinode said...

And I too love pop rocks.

reddirtroad said...

Hmm, I had NO idea, but you can bet I'll be buying some soon to try it out.

Great post.

witchypoo said...

I'm going to buy them both and mix them.
I was always reckless that way.

palinode said...

reddirtroad - It's best done with a partner.

witchypoo - Your recklessness will bring you to a sticky end. Who can stop you, though? No one. You're too reckless for stopping! You'll be all sparks and pops!

I have no idea what I'm talking about.

lotus07 said...

The simple pleasures of youth and candy.... seems that it was better when it was forbidden and little bit dirty.