How a Pythagoras Cup works


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/27/how-a-pythagoras-cup-works.html


#2

Periodic Videos is tied with Trailers From Hell for my favorite thing on YouTube.


#3

“Look, I got all the wine! And now I’m going to die sooner. Damn. Oh well, bottoms up!”


#4

So…Neil is the science lab equivalent of Wild Kingdom’s Jim Fowler. He wrestles the mercury while Martyn sits in the jeep eating Doritos.


#5

I was not expecting where he’d go with the mercury. My first thought was “of COURSE it will go through”… but then I saw his point about the “water wets the glass” and the difference with the mercury, and then the final sequence. NICE.


#6

My thoughts exactly.


#7

The ancient greeks were kind of brilliant, I’m coming to think.

Why did that upward trend change, anyways?


#8

Geez, it’s just the same principle as a flush toilet


#9

Know what I like most about Sir Poliakoff?
He’s as old as he is, and he’s still intensely curious about all manner of things.


#10

I have seen plenty of YouTube videos, but this may have been the first U-Tube video I’ve ever seen.


#11

Seems like a regular glass would also have a self-limiting quality.


#12

…but did it come after the diving bell


#13

Yes, but a regular glass, when overfilled, will only lose the amount that it is overfilled by.

A Pythagoras Cup, when overfilled, loses almost the entire contents of the glass.


#14

“If Pythagoras’ students had been clever they would have put in a bit of mercury first”. . .

No, if his students had been clever they would have plugged the hole with their finger, or (like modern college students) shotgunned the wine as soon as it started coming out the hole.


#15

I need a currency which works like this!


#16

Aye, today I learned that Pythagoras inadvertently invented shotgunning and mercury poisoning. And he didn’t even have an iPad. The Hellenes were some crazy productive people. However, I’m beginning to see why lifespans declined within a few generations of Pythagoras.


#17

Maybe that was Mr. Lawrence’s real goal…


#18

You want the Plutonium Standard?


#19

Hence Pythagoras’ best known invention, the beer bong.


#20

I am not sure what either of you are getting at, either because I am slow or trying to multitask now. But what was thinking of is a currency that actively resists hoarding.