Friday, April 13, 2007

Yet Another Balancing Act

I learned this little routine - not actually a trick, because there is no slight-of-hand - back when I was a just a kid. This means, of course, it's been around a while, so many of you may already know it. You can't just do it anytime - you have to have the right utensils handy. But it's a good eye-popper for those who are easily marveled ;-)


Okay, let's start with the props:
- One drinking glass (it must be glass, not plastic or paper).
- One spoon.
- One fork.
*The fork should be the same weight - or close to - as the spoon.
- One toothpick.
- One lighter (or a match).

The execution:
First, interlock the spoon and fork as shown in the photo, below - with the two inner fork prongs below the spoon (as you are looking at it), and the outside prongs on top.

Next, insert the toothpick so that the spoon and fork are balanced. You may need to adjust your spoon/fork assembly to get the proper balance. You will then need to balance the toothpick on the rim of the glass. (Your glass can be smaller than the one pictured, as long as it can hold the weight of the spoon/fork assembly without tipping.) Try to get the spoon/fork assembly as far out as possible, to add to the dramatic effect.

Now, some people marvel at the mere balancing act itself. But we're not finished!

Take your lighter (or match) and light the inside end of the toothpick, as shown in the photo, below. The toothpick should burn all the way to the rim of the glass and extinguish on its own when it gets there. (You can tap away any charred embers.)


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At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Catherine said...

The question or problem can be "Can a toothpick balance a fork and a spoon at the same time if it was on a glass cup?". Something like that


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