Coke & Mento Geysers: How?

Coke & Mento Geysers: How?

We’ve all seen it – drop a mint mento into a bottle of Diet Coke and it creates the most incredible eruptions of foam. But what is the science behind it?


It is mainly due to ‘nucleation’.  This is when the carbon dioxide in the Coke is attracted to the Mentos. The pressure created then sends the Coke bubbles soaring into orbit (or something like that)…

Nucleation is deemed by scientists as a physical reaction, not a chemical reaction. The carbon dioxide is squeezed into the drink to make it fizzy, and since it is trying to escape, it is pulled towards any lumps – the Mentos, in this case.

Nucleation can happen on anything – shards of glass, specks of dust etc. However, Mentos work well because each individual sweet is covered with over 30 layers of sugar (don’t tell your dentist), so that provides many nucleation sites for bubbles to form. Mentos then sink, so all the carbon dioxide is attracted and forms bubbles in all the little gaps all the way to the bottom. The bubbles turn to foam, and the pressure becomes too much for the bottom to handle…


But there are, as in any scientific idea, some questions. Why does it have to be Diet Coke? Well, it doesn’t have to, but Diet Coke is less sugary than normal Coke, so when the geyser is formed, the goo won’t be all sugary when it splatters all over you. Also, the sweeteners add to the pressure in the drink.

And what else works? In fact, if you drop anything into a fizzy drink it fizzes a little, but the Mento & Coke combo is very effective!

One more thing – what will happen if you drink Coke and then eat Mentos? It certainly won’t be pleasant, but it probably won’t cause you to splurge out geysers all over the place. This is due to a number of things – firstly, the majority of the fizz goes away as you drink. When the bubbles are formed in your stomach, it expands slightly. Your stomach won’t explode, as it is quite skilled in the art of… erm, releasing gas. Despite this, it wouldn’t be any fun, so stick to nucleation in your back garden for now!

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What makes something a red card?

What makes something a red card?

Recently there have been a lot of controversial decisions as to whether to send people off the pitch. But what remains unclear to the majority of football fans is: What makes a red card a red card? I’ve been finding it out…
First we need to be clear what we are dealing with. Fouls and misconducts. A fouls is something deemed by the referee to be against the football law. They result in a free kick or penalty. They can only be committed by a player on the pitch whilst the ball is in play. The foul can only be committed against an opposition player – striking a teammate, for example, is a misconduct.


A misconduct is an action deemed by the referee to warrant a yellow or red card. A misconduct is a bit like the opposite of a foul – it an be committed by any player, at any time, no matter if it’s during a game or not. A misconduct can also be a foul. Also, ‘unsporting behaviour’ can result in a yellow card (as shown below). This infringement perhaps doesn’t appear in the rules of the game but is against the spirit of the game.

The following would result in a direct free kick / penalty:
Kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
Trips or attempts to trip an opponent
Jumps at an opponent
Charges an opponent
Strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
Pushes an opponent
Tackles an opponent
Holds an opponent
Spits at an opponent
Handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
Touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing etc)

And the following would result in an indirect free kick:

When a goalkeeper, inside his own penalty area:

controls the ball with his hands for more than six seconds before releasing it from his possession

touches the ball again with his hands after he has released it from his possession and before it has touched another player

touches the ball with his hands after it has been deliberately kicked to him by a team-mate (the back-pass rule)

touches the ball with his hands after he has received it directly from a throw-in taken by a team-mate

When any player in the opinion of the referee:

plays in a dangerous manner

impedes the progress of an opponent

prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands

But that is quite enough about fouls, let’s move on to the interesting part… Misconducts:

As I said earlier, a misconduct is an act by a player during play or before/after that results in a booking or sending off. Below is a list of things that would result in a yellow or red card and I will go into them in detail after:

A yellow card is given for:

Anything that can be deemed as unsporting behaviour;
Dissent by word or action;
Persistent infringement of the laws, for example, a series of fouls;
Delaying the restart of play;
Not retreating the required distance at a free-kick or corner;
Entering or re-entering the pitch without the referee’s permission;
Deliberately leaving the pitch without the referee’s permission;

And a red card is given for the following:

Serious foul play;
Violent conduct, such as throwing a punch;
Spitting at an opponent or another person;
A player other than the goalkeeper denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball;
Denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to an opponent moving towards the player’s goal by an offence punishable by a free-kick or a penalty kick;
Using offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures;
Receiving a second caution in the match;

I’ll start with the yellow cards. Firstly, the issue of unsporting behaviour. This could be a trip, or holding someone back, or a handball etc. Then we have dissent – pretty self-explanatory. Next – persistent fouling. That’s the bit where the ref points at every single one of those places where Mascherano has fouled someone and has had enough already! Delaying the start of play is by blocking off a free kick taker to stop them taking a quick free kick. Similar to that is not retreating the required distance. Finally we have the moving in and/or out of the pitch without asking the ref – basically, the referee is the boss, so don’t mess with him!

Now it gets tasty, and we’re on to the proper reason behind this post: the red cards.

Serious foul play – the professional foul. High boots, studs showing, two footed tackle etc – you know where that one’s going! Thats the big one that we’ll move on to later. Violent conduct is against the law of course. Spitting is also naturally not allowed… Eh, Johnny Evans?! Deliberate handball to deny a goal – again, no way Jose (Mourinho)! We don’t want players stealing the goalkeeper’s job, do we? Denying a goal scoring opportunity – basically when you are the last defender to tackle the striker and you bring him down. Abusive actions or words is pretty obvious. And, of course, yellow plus yellow equals red! A* in maths!

Serious foul play is not always as simple as it seems – look at this video from the recent Manchester derby:

That tackle is a case of serious foul play – its a high boot, studs showing an its a wild and dangerous tackle. However, Mark Clattenburg chose to give the Belgian centre back a caution instead of a dismissal. Why? Thanks to Jenna from Play The Adavantage who gave me these reasons:
1. Kompany was probably hurt as he clutched his thigh at the start of the tackle and then at half time went off injured.
2. He apologised after, knew he’d messed up at it wasn’t deliberate – however, it doesn’t have to be if the ref thinks it is dangerous play, that’s important.
3. Finally, he does actually get the ball!
She has plenty more things to say on the incident, so CLICK HERE!
What that decision proves is that there are many factors that come into the decision making for the referee and it is never easy to make the correct decision – what Mark Clattenburg did kept the derby at 11 v 11, but that shouldn’t have a bearing on his decision. Anyhow, referees have the ability to use their common sense and humane sense – they don’t have to stick by the rule books as they saw that Kompany was clearly in pain before he came flying in.

Also, Clattenburg spent a while consulting his assistant. That is good as it gives a range of opinions. My opinion is that on another day that would have been a blatant red card. Kompany was a very lucky boy, but I don’t think Clatts made a poor decision. And that is what I’ve found with many decisions – it could go either way. I believe that football is an entertaining sport that despite all the focus on money is still about the enjoyment factor. If the game can be kept at 11 v 11 it is better to watch so if there is a 50/50 call to make, please don’t produce a red card!

To be honest, I think the way that decisions are down to one man is a bit of a shambles. There should either be stricter guidelines as to just what is classified as a dismissal – OR they should bring in a video referee. But that’s for another post…

Red cards change games. And apparently there are many different ways to get one. But seemingly it isn’t quite as obvious as it at first looks. However, at the end of the day, if you get sent off, you’ve nearly always done something wrong – perhaps damaged the reputation of your team or even the game itself. But the FA can right the wrong decisions. You can appeal to have a red card overturned. And the FA can punish you where the referee didn’t. Whilst all this madness is going on in the referee’s headset, let Phil Dowd get stressed, and just sit back and enjoy the game. And try not to scream when Luis Suarez bites another person at the Camp Nou. It’s gonna happen some time soon…

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Incredible Exclusive: McDonald’s Plan Launch of Fast Food Spacecraft – April Fools Day Special

Incredible Exclusive: McDonald’s Plan Launch of Fast Food Spacecraft – April Fools Day Special

In an unprecedented advance in technology, The McDonald’s Corporation has announced the planned launch of a fast food spacecraft into orbit, named McMilky Way. 

McDonald 1

The fast food chain has gone global in recent years but that is seemingly not enough for them! Steve Easterbrook, President and CEO, today released an exclusive statement to say;

This project has been in the making for years now. We are delighted to get the green light from NASA and will be working vigorously towards making this dream reality.

The plan is to launch a shuttle, quite like the ISS [International Space Station] with a restaurant-style interior. This will be supplied by daily food-bearing rockets launched from our HQ in Texas.

We plan to launch in conjunction with the space holiday programmes being devised by NASA to give space travelers our wonderful, efficient dining experience universally.

We will expand from the moon out towards Mars and will hope to have sun-baked burgers with you in the year 2094 . This is a long-term project which will revolutionise the way we eat, explore and enjoy life on this planet and on  others.

The first branch of the McMilky Way project is expected to be here in the year 2047. Until then, for intergalactic cuisine, you’ll have to settle for a Mars Bar!

The news has been met with delight from astronauts and fast-food addicts, and it is predicted that soon the whole world will catch the McMilky Way fever and will be queuing up to book an anti-gravity table.

Is this what the wonderful plan will look like?

Is this what the wonderful plan will look like?

Even celebrities have had their say! Popstar Bruno Mars said:

I myself am a huge McDonald’s fan, and am delighted by this advance in fast food technology.

The Voice UK judge Sir Tom Jones had this to say:

I like McDonald’s. It was founded by Richard and Maurice McDonald. You know, I met them once…


McDonald 3

The above picture has been released by the Lunar Health Foundation. Spokesman David Johnson today said:

We can’t let this company barge onto the scene on our moon and poison the craters with it’s disgusting and unhealthy products! This plan is a catastrophe waiting to happen. I strongly believe that if we introduce our alien friends to any type of human food, it should be a fresh, healthy salad with a low fat dressing from Tesco.

This project has mixed views but it is clear to see that though Russia got the first man in orbit, America are to have the first fast food restaurant hurtling around our planet – surely a much bigger feat!

McDonald 4

Happy April Fool's Day!

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Their Behaviour Has No Place In Our Game

Their Behaviour Has No Place In Our Game

I was horrified and shocked to hear the behaviour of some Chelsea fans on the Paris Metro on Tuesday Evening.


A group of Chelsea fans, travelling to a football match against Paris Saint Germain in the Champions League, appeared to shout abusive chants at a black man trying to board the Metro, and then seemed to push him off twice. A film of the incident was given to the Guardian newspaper who published the story and shocked the world.

If there were a group of Parisian fans on the London Underground travelling to a game at Stamford Bridge and they did the same to a commuter in London, think what the reaction would be! The police and Chelsea said they would be taking the event very seriously, and that the offenders would face bans and possibly a prison sentence.

I feel a ban is not good enough. It needs to be a lifelong ban, possibly from all stadiums. The fans deserve their punishments for tarnishing the reputation of the beautiful game.


Football brings people together, and unites people. Think about what happened in the trenches over 100 years ago; the Christmas Truce. For over 150 years, English football has been inspiring and entertaining for the young and old. We can’t let these people change that.

They aren’t true football fans. They are people associated with a team (who have plenty of players who are foreign), but they aren’t fans. Football fans live and breathe for the game, and would never do anything to tarnish it. Anyone accused of this horrible crime deserves punishment for ruining our sport.

This isn’t the only case about racism in football. Football and racism should not be in the same sentence.

Football means the same in every language. Just because it is spelt differently, doesn’t give us any right to question it. It’s not about your appearance. Football is about who you are inside, which team you are loyal to, and most importantly, what you can do with your feet.


Pele, the best player ever to play football.


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Leaving Primary School

It’s a weird sensation, being school-less. When you’ve left school and are about to go to a new one, when you’ve no idea what the future will hold…

dr seuss

On one hand, you are sad about leaving your Primary School. Maybe you feel ready to leave, but will miss it. Or maybe you feel liberated the moment you step out the front gate. Or maybe you want to stay with what you feel comfortable with, what you’re used to. It can be emotional or it can even be worrying. Anyway, you will always feel at least a flicker of sadness and a flicker of apprehension for the future.

leaving school

On the other hand, you are thinking about Secondary school. A new challenge, a new adventure, a new journey. Maybe more independence and more freedom, or more fun and more interesting. Or perhaps you are worried, about getting lost, about being the new kids. You will always go from being the oldest to the youngest and it WILL feel strange.


And then you have the time in between. Maybe a time to relax, to calm down from the bustle of school life. Or maybe you worry about a few weeks time, when you are starting school. Or maybe you force it out of your mind, enjoy the holidays and rest and don’t let anything concern you.

summer holiday

Whatever you do, however you feel, it’s a tough time, an emotional time, but the most important time of your life so far.

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What Does ‘Brace, Brace’ Mean?

You’ve just entered a plane and made yourself comfortable. “Please listen to the safety procedures, even if you are a frequent flyer. On your safety card, there is an image of a person holding their head. Please adopt this position when you hear the command ‘Brace, Brace'”. But what does this really mean???

brace positions

A lot of countries adopt their own version of this position, used to ‘brace’ yourself for the impact of a plane crash. Here are a few of many:

Placing the head on, or as close as possible to, the surface it is most likely to strike. (For example,the seat in front.)

Having the passenger lean over to some degree.

Placing the feet flat on the floor.


In the United Kingdom, following the Kegworth air disaster in 1989, the UK Civil Aviation Authority looked into the best position possible to protect yourself.

The brace position as chosen for airlines in the UK for passengers is based on work analysing Kegworth. It is slightly different from that in the United States and some other countries. Passengers should place their feet and knees together with their feet on the floor and tucked behind their knees to avoid legs being broken against the seat in front. They should bend as far forward as possible, resting their head against the seat in front and place their hands on the back of their head, with the hands one on top of another. Their elbows should then be brought inwards. This protects the head from debris. The head should be as far below the top of the seats as possible to prevent injury from any collapsing overhead compartments.


The brace position for the United States is similar to that of the UK, but rather than placing the hands on the back of the head, passengers are told to place them on the top of the seat in front, one hand holding the other wrist and resting the head in the space between the arms. If the seat in front is not within reach then passengers are advised to either grab their ankles or place their hands under their legs and grab the other arm.

brace positions2

During the “Miracle on the Hudson” flight on January 15, 2009, there were fewer than three minutes to land U.S. Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River and the only words the passengers heard from the pilot were “Brace for Impact”. Flight attendants chanted, “Brace! Brace! Heads down! Stay down!” and all 155 people on board survived with no life-threatening injuries.


All this talk of aeroplanes leads to the tragedy of flight MH370. It never reached Beijing, it’s planned destination, from Kuala Lumpur. Instead, it was found many miles away from it’s route, south-west of Australia. There remains many clues undiscovered leading to just how it got there, but it’s unlikely that their were any survivors. A tragedy never seen before…




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Nelson Mandela – A Tribute


I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.

Nelson Mandela

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

Nelson Mandela

The man who brought peace to South Africa.

A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

Nelson Mandela

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Nelson Mandela

The man who inspired many.

After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

Nelson Mandela

Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.

Nelson Mandela

The man who was imprisoned for over 27 years and lived for 95 years, spreading peace throughout South Africa. The man who influenced today’s society. The man who made peace between people. 

The man who died on Thursday 5th December 2013.

Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.

Nelson Mandela

mandela tribute