The Experimental Launch & Lava Lamp

Lava Lamp
La la la! What a happy way to start. Our daughter is still on holidays this week and has been stubbornly focused on making a lava lamp, which was an experiment in a science book (La Science s'├ęclate de Yannick Bergeron) she received for Christmas. I must admit. The DIY lamp was cool, so I thought that I'd share it with you.

(See experiment below.)

The Day's Visual Picks (

Spousal unit and I have also been busy with an experiment of our own, a new blog, The Day's Visual Picks, which will be launched on Sunday, January 9. Because there are so many written blogs out there, we thought that people might be tired of reading and just want to see something new and exciting. Don't worry! This blog will continue.

Illustration by Jack Dylan
We share a lot of common interests in art, but we both have specific areas that interest us individually. I'll be taking my environmental interest with me to our new viz blog to find artists who use recycled materials and raise awareness about environmental issues in addition to finding visual art created by women because, as you are all aware, women are underrepresented in the arts. I'll also have my eyes peeled to feature local artists, both male and female. If you see anything of interest, please drop us a line.

The new site looks great, and our traffic has increased by 900% since January 1. Anyone subscribing by e-mail will have a chance to win a commissioned concert announcement for Arcade Fire by Jack Dylan.

Other Groovy Experiment: the Lava Lamp


a can opener
large coffee tin
metal scissors
electric lamp with a flexible neck with a 40W bulb
electrical tape
a crate or bin with holes (we used a tangerine box)
aluminum plate
1 litre clear glass bottle
a bottle of baby oil
food colouring (we chose red)
antacid tablets

1. Remove the bottom of the coffee can with a can opener.
2. With the metal scissors, cut a hole in the side of the coffee can that is big enough to accommodate the lamp neck and put the electrical tape on the sharp edges.
3. Set the tangerine crate down. Place the lamp next to it. Bend the lamp neck backwards until it rests on the crate with the lamp pointing upwards. Place the can over the lamp head.
4. Place the aluminum pie plate over the coffee can. Take the scissors and poke holes in the plate for the light to shine through. Switch on the lamp.
5. Take the bottle. Fill the bottle three-quarters full with baby oil and the last quarter with water.
6. Add the food colouring.
7. Place the full bottle on the aluminum pie plate. You may have to make some more holes under the bottle so there is sufficient light shining through.
8. Add the antacid tablets.

Now, shut off the lights and watch the chemical reaction and experience the lava-like experience.

Yeah! Now view the film (1min 4secs)




John-WArd Leighton | January 8, 2011 at 6:10 AM

is that the DUDE thundering around in the background?


Heather | January 8, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Yes, it is, and our daughter is the one saying SHHHHH!

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