American in Spain

Diet Coke Magic

January 30, 2008
Diet Coke Magic 2

As I sit at my desk typing this, I'm facing east. This is why I'm often distracted by the sunset sirens callingmetophotographthem from the window behind me. When I was living in England, my desk faced south, and the sun would come in from a window in front of me. I miss that.

What follows are some photos from the archive bin taken on my desk in England, the first two in November of 2004, and the rest in March of 2005. As an aspartame junkie and someone who is constantly playing absentmindedly with objects on his desk, it came to my attention that Diet Coke cans, at least those manufactured in the UK, have a bizarre property. They are really very easy to balance, and quite stable when balanced, on the ridge of their lower rim. It can't be done with a full can or an empty can, but there is a fairly wide range of intermediate volumes that provide stable equilibrium when the can is placed on its edge like this. In retrospect, I'm surprised I didn't get out a graduated cylinder and measure the exact thresholds of this nutrasweet spot.

Behold! Diet Coke Magic 1

Clearly Diet Coke contains the secret ingredient needed to create antigravity.

Diet Coke Magic 2

Disturbing, isn't it? Don't be frightened. I won't hurt you with my powers.

And now back to the theme of sunlight. I recall photographing these can reflections several times, but these are the only photos I can find of them.

Diet Coke Reflection 1

You can almost read the word "COKE" there. It's like a natural captcha.

Diet Coke Reflection 2

Here I can just barely make out the toll-free number to call to complain about all the anti-graviton particles in my beverage.

Diet Coke Reflection 3

Close-up of just the reflection.

DISCLAIMER: The author of this post takes no responsibility for any accidental spillage that occurs while trying to replicate the phenomena described.