Archive for May, 2012
My son is really into the TV show Mythbusters on the Discovery channel. So for his 6th birthday party he wanted to have a Mythbusters party. The birthday party ended up being a pretty standard 90 minute party with some Mythbusters like experiments and a special Mythbusters cake.
Here are the experiments that we did:
- Mentos and Diet coke. This one is very impressive because it shoots a lot higher than you would think. I recommend getting this device which is designed for this experiment, it makes it a lot simpler to get the Mentos into the bottle quickly.
- Baking sode and vinegar volcano. Include some red food coloring so it looks like lava. A lot of kids had seen this one before, but they still really liked it.
- Test to see how much a helium balloon can lift. Well apparently they can’t lift very much. But at least each kid got to take a balloon home after the party.
The cake turned our really well. My wife is just an amateur cake maker, but a lot of the parents though the cake was professionally made. Here are some tips:
- Get some fondant. I’d never heard of this before, but it is like a dense, brightly colored frosting that you can make things out of. You can blend it together to make things look nice (this is how the blue and yellow stripes are made).
- Use some red fondant to wrap up some red candles in a bundle. This looks like sticks of dynamite. But be aware that when you light them the flames will be much bigger and burn quicker than a single candle. So be ready to blow them out quickly.
- We found some traffic cone candles at the store that looked pretty nice on the cake.
- The cake topper is a Jamie bobblehead which you can get here (look down the page and they have the other characters if you want a different one). These are pretty expensive for a bobblehead but they are high quality. After the cake is cut you can save the bobblehead as a decoration.
Here are some pictures of the cake:
Occasionally I’ll download an MKV file that I want to watch on my Xbox 360. Unfortunately the Xbox 360 doesn’t support the MKV format natively. I tried a few conversion programs but they either took hours to run or just didn’t work. I finally found a simple and quick way to play these files which I describe below. This has been tested on the Xbox 360, but you should be able to play these files on the PS3 too.
- Obtain a large USB memory stick
- Download and install Rebox.NET.
- Run Rebox.NET
- Click the “Matroska” button and select your MKV file.
- Click the “MP4″ button and select the drive letter for your USB stick.
- Click the green button in the lower left corner. This will start the conversion process.
- Once the conversion process is complete then insert the USB stick into your Xbox 360 or PS3.
- Play the file on your console like usual, it should play perfectly.
Rebox.NET runs very fast because it doesn’t re-encode the video like some other programs. All it does is repackage the audio and video into the MP4 format so that consoles can play the file.