Word of the Week
Recoil (ree-coil): To spring back to a starting point. From the French word reculer, meaning "to go back".
This week I wanted to celebrate the invention of a little thing we use regularly but have probably never given very much thought to. Can you solve my riddle?
I come in different colors. I am stretchy. I am always circular. I can be used in all sorts of different ways. I come in many sizes. I am elastic. What am I?
A rubber band! On March 17, 1845, Stephen Perry created the very first rubber band. Considering rubber wasn't invented until 1839, that's pretty amazing. 176 years later, and we all continue to use them daily. I picture them in offices all around the world. It's normal to first visualize a rubber band that you use to hold things together, but there are so many other uses! Can you think of some?
They can be used for braces!
Remember those moon shoes? Those were big rubber bands, made for bouncing.
A lot of hair ties have rubber bands underneath their material.
You can make a tie-dyed shirt with them.
They can be used to make a toy guitar out of a tissue box.
You can use them for all kinds tricks (magic included).
They can be made into a ball. . .but you'll need quite a few of them to get a good bounce!
Can you guess how much the world's largest rubber band ball weighs?
According to the Guinness Book of World Records. . .9,032 POUNDS! It was completed in Florida in 2008 and is made up of 700,000 rubber bands. Talk about a big collection! It stands at about 6 1/2 feet tall and took roughly 4 years to complete. Here's a picture I found on their website to put that into perspective.
While rubber bands are typically used in practical ways, I thought we needed to celebrate them in a fun but less extreme way than trying to break that world record).
I decided to show you a fun, little trick using two paper cups, three rubber bands, and a little technique! HAPPY ST PADDY'S DAY! Just because that wasn't this week's theme, you didn't think I forgot. Did you? I decorated my cups with a little green for good luck. My "Lucky Launcher" is the base cup. It just sits on the table. My shamrock cup has two rubber band stretched around it from top to bottom. They make an "X". A third rubber band was placed around the cup, near the rim, to help hold the bands in place.
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! Carefully push the open end of the cup with the rubber bands crossing down onto the bottom of the base cup. Be sure to keep your fingers around the rim of the cup. If you hold the cup anywhere else, your launch is less successful. When you're ready, let go, and watch your cup fly! I think this would be a fun competition. . .try with a friend and see whose cup goes further!
Here's how mine turned out!
I hope you have a new found appreciation for rubber bands. If you're still looking for fun, there are some pretty neat magic tricks to try that don't require anything but a rubber band. I would have shared some, but my hands don't move quickly enough for them to look neat.
Until next time!