Mentos and Diet Coke?!

Have you heard about the mentos and Diet coke craze that's been going on around the internet lately? I for one have just heard about it, which is remarkable considering the amount of time I spend looking for random stuff.

This mentos thing is pretty weird though. The way it works is this: Take a 2L bottle of Diet coke (I'm not sure why it's doesn't really need to be, I imagine) and drop about 4 or 5 mentos inside the diet coke bottle...and stand back. You'll suddenly have an eruption of coke. And I'm not talking a baking soda and vinegar overflow...I'm talking Old Faithful, geyser still. It will probably shoot up in the air about 10 feet. If you heave the bottle at the ground, the bottle itself will shoot up in the air. I kid not, just google up Diet Coke and Mentos and you'll see what I mean.

You may be wondering why this happens. Chemical reaction perhaps? Wrong. I did a little research and found that this occurs actually by a physical process. Just as I suspected, there is nothing in mentos or the coke that does this. I think that people like to be specific, because it seems much cooler to think this is a phenomena distinct to Mentos and Diet coke. If you ever drop a salt crystal in your coke you'll notice two things: i) as the salt crystal drops to the bottom, it leaves behind it a peculiar stream of bubbles, and ii) your coke now tastes bad. (Har har, I sound like a poorly written grade 10 science book.) The cause of these bubbles is the jagged shape of the salt crystal, which is basically tearing the bubbles from the liquid. Coke's highly pressurized with gas, and any type of friction removes these bubbles. You get bubbles in the first place because of the not-so-smooth inner surface of the glass you're pouring into. A mentos is a very jagged object, very rough in surface, and so it releases a tonne of bubbles. With its weight, rough surface it causes any highly pressurized and gasified liquid to explode like a geyser.

The reason I'm bringing up the Mentos and Diet Coke thing is because I feel like writing about the newly found novelty of the new internet.

Now I know that I'm days away from turning 22, and don't quite qualify as "old." Well, maybe to some... Yet I have been in existence for long enough to see the various phases of the internet. Or rather, I'll say the popularized-internet.

I had come across networking, and emailing and so on. But it wasn't until Intel gave us the Pentium that the internet really became anything worth noticing. And even then, there wasn't much worth noticing. Then browsers became more capable, connections became faster, and suddenly you had websites with actual images, and then java, and then flash, etc etc.

The dot-com boom of the internet was a great time. While I wasn't old enough to reap the benefits of it in the form of a multi-million dollar career, I did reap the benefits as a consumer.

I got free stuff. Free stickers, posters, pictures, a free spectrascope, free mugs, magazines, and free internet. I miss those days. When the internet was a true novelty of opportunity. There was all this technology at your finger tips, all ideas were original and 12 year old kids were coming up with them. 

Then the boom happened, and then collapsed.

We're now in the post-apocalyptic times of the e-age. There's more stuff, faster stuff, better stuff, fancier stuff, but the novelty has worn. There is nothing new, just stuff that looks better. Why are websites like Ebaum's World so popular? It's nothing more than a collection of funny videos, flash cartoons, funny pictures, funny games, all on one site. I remember finding Ebaums World in its early stages, before all the banners and pop-ups plagued the site, back when you could go through all the funny things in about half an hour.

Or when I saw the first bloggs. There was still a sort of "new" thing happening, even though it had been done in many other forms before hand. I remember in 1999 hearing how there were more websites than people on the world. I myself have had far too many websites that I can count. Starting back in 98 when I unoriginally gave myself the internet nickname 'Spiderboy' and had a MaxPages website. All the HTML was built in, you just had to supply the content, and specify colours, etc. Then Maxpages stopped allowing images which were not locally hosted. So I switched over to Geocities.

By then I had 2 websites, Spiderboy, and my 'Ultimate Beatles Page' because at the time I fealt the internet required another website about the Beatles. I gave those two up eventually and started up another site I called 'A Bird of Paradox' and updated it every once in a while. Then I had a few mildly popular sites with people from all parts of the world visiting... Then there was another personal site, I called A Day in the Life, which then became a blogg, which then became another website I simply called "Alishah Novin's Webpage" which I've since had to remove as my free university hosting is coming to a close now that I'm graduating. Now this latest incarnation.

My point is that the new "trend" for the internet is funny/crazy videos. There are so many different websites offering videos, from Google Videos, to Ebaums world. That is what the internet has become, someone doing something, filming it, and allowing millions to watch it. The worst is that when someone actually makes something funny and original, in about 2 days everyone has seen it, and there are about 158 copies. The internet is being treated as nothing more than a very large database of America's Funniest Home Videos (sans Bog Sagat).

It's a bummer that the idea of such a fantastic tool is becoming a medium focused towards mostly entertainment. It makes sense, of course - but with all the flash games, funny videos, flash cartoons, jokes, etc - it's taking away the piece of the internet I always loved: the promise of something unique.


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