Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Your chance to vote on February's project

February has been a slow month for the Secret Laboratory. I have several serious projects on the go but there will not be any results until late March at the earliest. Therefore, as infill, I have decided to test the intellectual orientation of my readership. You may vote upon the following three last minute projects for February, the most popular of which will be published here.
  1. Decidable Predicates. How to decide whether numbers possess a given property.
  2. How to make that yummy honeycomb stuff they put in Crunchie bars.
  3. What actually happens if you shoot an aerosol can of "Silly Party String" with an air pistol.
You may vote 1, 2 or 3 by responding to this post.


  1. Having recently watched a programme about infinity I fear that Number 1 would cause me further brain damage if contemplated too soon afterwards so I must pass on that one.

    Making honeycomb holds no mystery for me as I made it as a child so I must discount Number 2.

    My vote then has to go to number 3. I wonder if the different colours of silly string have different properties when shot with a variety of firearms or smashed at with a pickaxe. Fake snow also ...

  2. In addition, I would like to know just how silly 'silly party string' actually is.

  3. It's very silly. It's silly to the power of silly, squared and then some, rounded down but with extra zeroes for pizazz. I'll order some extra colours, hitty objects and report results.

  4. 1) This can be easily verified by looking at the Land Registry.

    2) You cant make that stuff in crunchie bars. Its made by bees,silly.

    Which leads me to vote for,

    3) As abuse of aerosol cans can be dangerous and destructive, I suggest you get as many cans as you can. build a great big fire, and chuck em all in.
    Stand well back.
    Try and have a large quantity of water available in case you catch fire. Film the results and put em on YouTube. Good luck. AP

  5. What is Intellectrial Ormanentation anyway?

  6. well we know the silly string works in principle after the wasps incident. when i started reading no 1 i came over all bunnies and kittens, so it'll have to be 2 i spose. couldn't you try 'how many bubble's in (small) bubble wrap i can puncture in 60mins'.

  7. I'm going to play it safe and go with No.2

    1 cup sugar
    1 cup dark corn syrup
    1 tablespoon vinegar
    1 tablespoon baking soda

    Use a large, heavy saucepan since the mixture expands when you add the soda. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Cook and stir until the sugar melts. Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, until a thermometer reaches 300°F (hard-crack stage).

    Remove from the heat and stir in baking soda. (The mixture will bubble and expand.) Quickly pour into the prepared pan (so that mixture stops cooking and doesn't burn). Cool. Lift honeycombe and break into pieces.

  8. Honeycomb all the way!


  9. No contest! Number 1 is the only challenge for the SL - however, 3 would be more fun - is there a practical application for either?
    2 is tempting but Millvache(wikipedia,F. Craddock,N. Moleworthy et al)have it sorted.
    So,let's eagerly anticipate the SL's answer to..........?????

  10. Decidable predicates the only challenge? Would you like me to throw in Undecidable predicates into the bargain? Or those tricky semi-decidables?

    No - it's beginning to look like No.3 is the favourite option! There's still a few days to go yet though - vote now!

  11. @The Cosmic Thinktank

    As a child I was a little B...

  12. Incidentally, my cat votes number 3.

  13. Un & semi!! Now you're talkin!!
    Bring it on! No 1 !!got to be.

  14. Having given these potential projects some considerable thought, can you not attack all 3?

  15. I've thought again, and vote for any project that dosn't involve cruelty to cobras.
    If you go stickin' your helmet in a bag of 'em, you could scare 'em all to death !

  16. 3 is the magic number.

  17. 1 I don't get what you're on about at all and don't want to.

    2 sounds boring and factory people are always doing it, just look at Emmerdale!!!

    3 might end in some sort of mess and mess is good, go for it! You've got to video it though and dayglo pink is my fave if we're talking colour!

  18. Well said James! Number three is what it's going to be! Dayglo pink everywhere. I'm just waiting for the vidcam now. We're going to attempt super-fast capture for super-slowmo replay.

  19. How many aerosols will be involved in this venture?