Watch a Tennis Racket Smash Jell-O in Super Slow-Mo

Jell-O is an American institution, something so endlessly fascinating that you just can’t stop playing with it.

The Jell-O marketing team is well aware of this. The brand had all but gone under in the 1990s, but with the introduction of Jigglers—which are, essentially, toys made of food—Jell-O turned the ship around.

Tapping into our collective desire to play with our food, a recent Jell-O advertisement showed a brick of green Jell-O being diced into tidy lime stripes by a swinging tennis racket. Was it real? Was it Photoshop? Does Jell-O really do that? The people needed to know.

Enter the Slo Mo Guys, two goofy Brits armed with a very, very expensive camera that they use to film slow-motion splashes, smashes, and explosions. The appeal of videos like “Rubber Bands vs. Watermelon” and “Football to the Face” are oddly compelling, and a slow-mo Jell-O (or "jelly," in Brit-speak) video is no different:

Jell-O is a wacky substance, neither liquid nor solid. When gelatin particles are mixed into water, the resulting blob is called a colloidal gel. The structure and flexibility of the gel make it both wobbly and resilient, which is why it’s possible to suspend banana slices in your Jell-O mold. (Before smashing it with a tennis racket, of course.)

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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