Cof­fee stains on your shirt? A sim­ple so­lu­tion

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

I’M one of those peo­ple who is per­pet­u­ally, some­how, cov­ered in cof­fee. Af­ter about 30 sec­onds in my cup, my cof­fee in­evitably comes out of it, turn­ing the whole thing into a drip­ping mess.

So I was in­trigued when I saw a re­cently pub­lished study, which gives a sci­en­tific ex­pla­na­tion of why you spill cof­fee – and how you might ac­tu­ally keep it in your cup.

The re­search was done by South Korean physics stu­dent Ji­won Han, who did the study while com­pet­ing in a physics re­search tour­na­ment in Thailand. Han stud­ied the mo­tion of cof­fee us­ing os­cil­la­tors, a me­chan­i­cal ma­chine that shakes the glass to sim­u­late the mo­tion of walk­ing. He also strapped an ac­celerom­e­ter to the top of his mug and walked around, to mea­sure the ex­act mo­tion the cup was go­ing through.

Han finds sev­eral so­lu­tions to the cof­fee-splash­ing prob­lem, although only a few of them are likely to be ac­cept­able in your of­fice. His first re­as­sur­ing con­clu­sion is that it’s not all your fault: It’s partly due to the shape of a cof­fee cup. At a nor­mal walk­ing speed, liq­uid held in a cof­fee cup tends to splash around much more than liq­uid in a wine glass. So there’s one so­lu­tion. If your of­fice is like mine, how­ever, drink­ing your cof­fee out of a wine glass at work might be frowned upon.

Han also tests out walk­ing back­ward, and finds that this ap­proach is also ef­fec­tive at de­creas­ing the move­ment of liq­uid in the cup. Yet walk­ing back­ward with cof­fee also presents its own prob­lems - like dras­ti­cally in­creas­ing “the chances of trip­ping on a stone or crash­ing into a pass­ing-by col­league who may also be walk­ing back­ward”, Han says.

So what’s the best so­lu­tion? The se­cret is that the splashes are partly be­cause of the ad­di­tional mo­tion that your wrist in­tro­duces to the cup when you walk. If you strapped your cof­fee around your waist, you’d be less likely to spill it, but that also seems strange and im­prac­ti­cal. So Han sug­gests the next best thing: car­ry­ing your cof­fee with a “claw” hand, in which you grip the rim of the cup from above. In this po­si­tion, there’s less move­ment of the wrist, greatly re­duc­ing the os­cil­la­tion in the liq­uid. He finds some other so­lu­tions too: Foam is very ef­fec­tive at damp­en­ing os­cil­la­tions on liq­uid. So you can or­der a cap­puc­cino. You could also, of course, just get a taller cup or use a lid.

To some, this might seem like very point­less re­search. But in a TED talk given last year, Han said the re­search has ap­pli­ca­tions in other as­pects of so­ci­ety as well – like how to pre­vent spilling oil from a fuel tank, for ex­am­ple. But for those in of­fices, it just might help keep cof­fee in your cup.

MYAT Kyawt con­sid­ers him­self con­tem­po­rary.

The vet­eran artist, who has de­liv­ered more than 15 solo shows over his ca­reer, is back with a new ex­hibit en­ti­tled My Life, My Art, run­ning through Septem­ber 2 at the Cloud 31 Gallery.

The show com­ple­ments his re­cent book re­lease, Con­tem­po­rary Life, Con­tem­po­rary Art, which in­cludes im­ages of his sketches and paint­ings as well as some of his orig­i­nal writ­ing.

“Though un­e­d­u­cated in the the­ory and meth­ods of con­tem­po­rary art, I painted what I saw,” he said, sit­ting in front of more than 30 of his sketches and 70 of his paint­ings at Cloud 31. “As I painted my art, the so­cial is­sues and po­lit­i­cal mat­ters of the day be­gan to in­flu­ence my per­spec­tives.”

“The chang­ing times changed my style as time went on, and I learned to ac­cept the dis­tur­bance as an in­spi­ra­tion for even more in­ven­tive scenes and sub­jects.”

Con­tem­po­rary Life, Con­tem­po­rary Art re­flects what he re­gards as his own self-trans­for­ma­tion as well. Myat Kyawt says he be­gan writ­ing the book in 2007, and in­cluded some ar­ti­cles he’s pub­lished in mag­a­zines over the years since. The ar­ti­cles were mis­sives on con­tem­po­rary art; to­gether, they form his a snap­shot of his take on the medium.

The books are avail­able at shops in Yangon, Man­dalay, Monywa and Taung­gyi.

Photo: Naing Wynn Htoon

My Life, My Art, which runs through Septem­ber 2 at Cloud 31 Gallery, is a con­tem­po­rary art ex­hibit de­tail­ing Myat Kyawt’s experiences over the past 10 years.

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