Friday, January 15, 2010

Preventing that crying over spilled milk

While on a holiday trip, we stopped at a Burger King.  We purchased milk for the kids, and a bottle is shown below.

One of the kids tipped over the bottle and the milk started to pour onto the floor.  I immediately reached for the bottle to stop the spill.  This was a mistake for two reasons: first, the act of righting the milk spilled more on the floor, and second, most restaurants replace spilled beverages for free.

I would imagine, that in 50-100 years, some beverages will be "spill-proof" and prevent such accidents.  Once a bottle is tipped over, some trigger will lock up a fluid.  The only current technologies that would "freeze" a liquid and prevent it from leaving the bottle are magetorheological (MR) fluids or electrorheological (ER) fluids.  It's not possible to use MR or ER technology right now, since those materials are not fit for consumption.

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