Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Grassroots Bubble Blog of Wonderment

In an attempt to find a cheap, fun, exciting and cheap activity for children (or adults if you're having one of those nostalgic days) to do at our Flag Day Fun event, we came across bubbles. Bubbles, as I have now discovered through various informative online encyclopedias, are vessels created by Renaissance philosophers (also known as "wizards") to trap and deport moon men from the violently peaceful planet of Zoloft Antidepressant. Not to mention they're really, really fun to play with. So, why not get a bunch of bubbles and let the children (or adult-children) have their fun.

I was given the task of finding out which would be cheaper, buying factory made bubble formula or making our own. This would require an experiment.

Step 1: Get a formula to make bubbles
Step 2: Get the ingredients
Step 3: Put the ingredients together
Step 4: Eat that turkey sandwich sitting in the fridge that you've been thinking so much about for the last three hours that you finally started hallucinating that it was literally calling your name
Step 5: Test our bubbles against factory bubbles

After searching several shopping websites for the cheapest price on factory made bubbles, I found that the best price would be about $8.50 for 100 oz. of Mr. Bubbles blowing bubbles. There are probably cheaper prices in actual stores (considering $3.50 of the above price was shipping) but time was of the essence, and I didn't have much gas.

Now to look for a formula to make, and as a side note, the Internet is a marvelous thing. Not only did I discover a good bubble formula, but I found out that the seemingly extinct art of the bubble clown was still in practice. The bubble clown, Casey Carle as he likes to be called, had a website with a formula on it. Of course it wasn't his personal formula, but he gave good reasons why this formula should work anyway. After a long journey around a downtown shopping center, I was able to acquire the ingredients, a bucket to make it in, and some factory made bubbles, all for a little less than ten bucks. For those of you at home that are following along, and didn't use the hyperlink in Casey's name, the ingredients are: distilled water, glycerin, and Dawn dish washing soap.

Half-Time Score:
Factory Made: Approximately $8.50
Homemade: (Minus the cost of the bucket and factory made) Approximately $8

Following the instructions of Casey "Bubble Clown" Carle, I threw all of the ingredients into my bucket and stirred for a little while. Our final product was the picture to the left. In comparing the texture of our strange concoction to that of the factory made bubbles, ours was a little watery. It also seemed that the Dawn was sinking to the bottom of the bucket.

In order to compare our Frankenstein-esque concoction to the factory made stuff, we first had to actually use the factory stuff, to see what it looked like. The picture to the left shows a nice steady stream of bubbles. The only bad thing about these bubbles, is that they pop very easily.

Next we tried ours. Each and every time we tried it, we only got one or two bubbles, not even an 8th of what we got from the factory made stuff. The strange thing about our stuff though, is that they were super strong. They still popped, but they needed a pretty good poke to do so. We started to wonder what we could do to make our bubbles multiply. In a comparison between mixtures, we noticed that our bubble solution was not as goopy as the factory stuff. "How can we make it more goopy?" we asked ourselves. So I poured a little bit of our solution into its own cup and added more soap. This worked a little, but all it really did was increase our one bubble to four.

In a last resort to try and save our concoction, Brenda pulled out a giant bubble wand and dipped it in. The result was a huge bubble that, since it was made using our super strong bubble mix, wouldn't pop very easily.

Our experiment complete, we decided that it would be more fun to buy a bunch of factory bubbles, but keep our mixture so that we could use it for bigger bubbles.

Come join us for Flag Day Fun (with bubbles), Sunday June 14th, on the corner of South Elm and McGee streets in Greensboro.

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