08 January 2005

The lava lamp

Though it looks really simple, the lava lamp is actually a delicate balancing act of two substances (one is solid, the other liquid) that have similar densities. But when their environment is heated up (via a lamp at the bottom on the container), the solid substance's molecules expand, and in this state it becomes less dense than the surrounding fluid. Hence it rises to the top of the container. However, as it distances itself from the heat source, it cools off and eventually descends to the bottom. This effect is repeated over time, the globules rising and descending, merging and dispersing, a mezmerizing dance in space.

The delicate combination of substances can be replicated at home. A simple Google search for "lava lamp" will reveal several sites about this 60s novelty item. However, it is very difficult to replicate, and may even cost more than buying the actual thing.

This was part of my request to my gift-giver in our kris-kringle last December. Have I mentioned I'm a sucker for novelty items? This lava lamp is a cool gift suggestion, a unique alternative to the usual tabletop items, photo frames, accessories and clothing.

15 comments:

  1. mukhang okay nga hitsura. May pagka zen pa ang dating.

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  2. Hello Tito Rolly! I didn't think of it that way. But sometimes I'd just stare and look at the globules burst forth and glide... relaxing in a zen kind of way.

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  3. Nice Lava Lamp! I want one too! And the plasma ball...

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  4. Where do you get these stuff? Me science store na ba sa mall ngayon? I'd love to get these for myself, too...and it doesn't have to be Christmas. Hehehe. :)

    Regarding your water-drinking question, the 8-12 glasses-per-day recommendation is to be treated just like that ---- a recommendation ---- and this is always a case-to-case basis. This means whatever water drinking recommendation you get will depend on what particular condition you have. Of course, the normal per day is around the 6-8 glasses of water range.

    The article you read is correct. If you are a normal person, our body will often tell us when we need water --- when we get thirsty. It is a normal neurophysiologic mechanism. ;)

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  5. Hello eClair! You must love novelty items too: things that only has a decorative purpose and can mean more clutter in the house :-). I love both items too.

    Hello Doc Emer! Actually these things were originally available only in specialty shops and can easily cost over 2,000 pesos each. So when I saw these in the "tiangge" at the Park Square 1 at ridiculously lower prices, I was ecstatic. But my practical wife would definitely object to my buying them. So I asked them in our company kris kringle activity. And I got both! :-)

    Thanks Doc for the reply on my water intake question. I appreciate it.

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  6. this is another cool item! and u have them both as gifts? (envious --->amie)

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  7. Yes Amie! I do hope it's a sign of good things to come for 2005.

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  8. How cheaper are they in Park Square 1?^_^ I have always wanted a plasma ball. I had my sort of practicum in Science Centrum, back in high school and they had one. It's a nifty thing^_^

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  9. I love the Lava Lamp! They are very relaxing to watch, especially with music.

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  10. Hello eClair! It's around 600-700 in Park Square 1. And if you have good negotiating skills, perhaps you can knock off a couple more pesos from the price!

    Hello Mark! I placed the lava lamp originally on my office table. But I ended up watching the blobs swim effortlessly over extended times and was indeed quite mesmerizing. It was nice, but it took away some of my work time so I brought it home instead.

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  11. hi watson!
    uy! ganun pala ng principle behind the lava lamp...kala ko, it's oil and water...
    naalala ko tuloy yung fuschia pink lava lamp na regalo ni angie kay oscar (shark tales!) hehehe...yun! gusto ko nang ganun!

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  12. hi! my husband is dying to have a plasma ball. do you have any idea where to buy one. Here lang sana located sa metro manila.


    thanks.

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  13. hi. my husband is dying to have a plasma ball. do u know where to buy one? here lang sana located sa metro manila.

    thanks

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  14. yeah, hi. available ba lagi yung lava lamp and plasma ball sa park square 1? dun pa kaya yun? buy sana kami eh.


    tnx po.

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  15. hi. thank you anyway... i found a plasma ball already in ebay.ph about 4" in diameter that costs 800pesos. it's better na kasi sa ebay worldwide it costs around 10-20$ excluding the shipping cost. he is also selling a lava lamp that costs around 600-700pesos.

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