A Leidenfrost droplet impregnated with hydrophilic beads hovers on a thin film of its own vapor. The Leidenfrost effect occurs when a liquid touches a solid surface much, much hotter than its boiling point. Instead of boiling entirely away, part of the liquid vaporizes and the remaining liquid survives for extended periods while the vapor layer insulates it from the hot surface. Hydrophilic beads inserted into Leidenfrost water droplets initially sink and are completely enveloped by the liquid. But, as the drop evaporates, the beads self-organize, forming a monolayer that coats the surface of the drop. The outer surface of the beads drys out, trapping the beads and causing the evaporation rate to slow because less liquid is exposed. (Photo credit: L. Maquet et al.; research paper - pdf)


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ミュウツー 02 on Flickr.
The ever-increasing pace at which we consume images is undoubtedly intesified by websites such as Tumblr and Instagram. On social networks such as these, the extent of our reflection upon each image is limited by the narrow margin of time it takes for it to appear at the bottom of our feed and disappear beyond the top margin of the browser window. Using a mouse-wheel, this may take a maximum of a few seconds, but when using a Macbook's trackpad or swiping on an iphone this window of opportunity is reduced even further, oftentimes to less than a second. This tempo effectively strips images of the content they were intended to embody; through this process of aestheticization they are neutralized and nullified. This Tumblr theme was created with the aim to disrupt this rhythm and force reflection. That said, it is more of a symbolic gesture than anything else. Right now the theme only handles image and text posts, but if you are interested, you can download the html here.