Mythbusters: Busted! – Farewell to Kari, Tory and Grant

In a video announcement after last night’s show, Mythbusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman announced that Kari Byron, Tory Bellici and Grant Imahara would not be returning to the show next season. Adam & Jamie said that they were ‘going back to their origins’ as the only hosts next season, while Kari tweeted that

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It’s not Synesthesia, Water Really does Sound Hot or Cold

Picture of Hot Water being poured into a teacup

NPR’s All Things considered had an interesting piece last week about the work of Condiment Junkie – a British ‘creative agency specialising in sensory branding’. The firm which specializes in sound design, has done research to see if (and more importantly how) people can tell the difference between hot and cold beverages being poured, to make a beer sound colder, or in the case of Twining’s make the tea sound piping hot on their commercials.

In their research they found that 96% of participants could tell the difference. NPR’s own informal web poll (now closed) found that 80% correctly identified the ‘cold’ audio and 90% the ‘hot’ audio.

The follow-up piece digs briefly into what exactly makes the sounds so identifiable.

Cold water is more viscous, or sticky, than hot water. That’s what makes that high pitched ringing, and it’s what tells your brain ‘This water is cold!’ before you even take a sip.

(Photo Credit – Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside by Daniel Novta under Creative Commons Attribution License)

Using Fire to Visualize Music – A 2D Ruben’s Tube

A Ruben’s Tube is a gas pipe with multiple holes along the way which is used to demonstrate the principle of standing waves. When a suitable frequency is found, areas of high and low pressure (the nodes and antinodes) affect the flow of gas out of the pipe and therefore the height of the flame.

Below is a video demonstrating a 2D planar version of a Ruben’s Tube which makes a fantastic music visualizer!