Monday, April 11, 2011

The Six Best Things I Didn't Know I Wanted Until I Saw Them On TV, #5


Like number 4, I didn't see this one on TV, either, but dammit people, we're talking about inventions that save lives here, so I can't be bogged down in technicalities.

Technicalities like "technically, this invention does not save lives but I still want it."

Thing-I-Didn't-Know-I-Wanted Number 5 is:

Joulies.

Joulies, which I read about on a science-blog app that I have on my phone -- I read it over breakfast in the morning -- are like high-tech ice cubes, only they do the exact opposite of ice cubes. Which makes them not like ice cubes at all, I suppose, only it seems to me that they really are like ice cubes, only in reverse. I'll let you decide; here's how their website describes them:

Coffee Joulies are miniature thermodynamic heat storage devices. They cool your coffee by absorbing excess thermal energy when it is too hot. This energy is stored inside the Joulies. When your coffee reaches the right temperature, the Joulies slowly release this stored energy, keeping your coffee at the right temperature

You had me at miniature thermodynamic heat storage device. But for those of you who need convincing via video, they've got that, too:





Not convinced by diagrams and chamber music? PopSci has more information:

Each Joulie is a small metal shell filled with a phase-change material that melts at 140º Fahrenheit... So the Joulies absorb heat from the coffee till they reach 140º, and then start emitting heat. The effect (if you put in enough Joulies for your volume of beverage) is to maintain the coffee at the desired temperature for long enough to savor it.

Finally, science is doing something for me. I mean, what has science been up to, other than inventing velociraptors? Not a whole lot. It's about time, science. I was about to tell you that we should start seeing other disciplines. Sociology's been looking pretty hot lately.



Previous entries on the list:

1. The Incredible Gyro Bowl.

2. Pajama jeans.


3. The Play & Freeze Ice Cream Ball.

4. Quirky.com

Click here for more MiniBests.

1 comment:

Rogue Mutt said...

Wow, I should get some of those for at work to put in my tea. And it is good to see science finally solving real problems that face us ordinary schlubs.

If they really want to make money, put these in Starbucks and they'll make a mint.