MIT Engineers Solve Modern Riddle

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Hard to imagine how the discussion got started, but engineers at MIT have solved one of the modern age’s most pressing problems: How do you get stuck ketchup out of the bottom of the bottle? Foolish waste of time you say? No, the inventors of the special coating claim it will save 1 million tons of the perfectly usable — but inaccessible — condiment.

The research was led by doctoral candidate, Dave Smith, whose team of researchers employed nanotechnology to invent LiquiGlide. The spray-on coating, composed of FDA approved materials, has many applications according to Smith which include food packaging for mayonnaise and ketchup as well as other industrial uses like lubricants for oil and gas pipelines and even car windshields.

LiquiGlide is unique because it’s “kind of a structured liquid,” Smith said. “It’s rigid like a solid, but it’s lubricated like a liquid.” Here’s the stuff in action:

Now, can they please start to work on keeping all those subscription cards from falling out of the magazines.

Source: msnbc

~Mark Esposito, GuestBlogger

36 thoughts on “MIT Engineers Solve Modern Riddle”

1. JCTheBigTree says:

You’ll never see it in your ketchup bottles as it would cost Heinz and the like more money to produce/procure their bottles AND they would end up selling less because most people throw the bottles out with 5-10% of ketchup left…if they can get it all out, Heinz and the like would sell 5-10% less while increasing their overhead.

2. Elaine,
That is an amazing young lady!

3. Off Topic:

Shourryya Ray, 16-Year-Old German Student, Dubbed ‘Genius’ For Cracking 350-Year-Old Isaac Newton Puzzle
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/27/shourryya-ray-16-year-old_n_1549172.html?ir=Teen&ref=topbar

Excerpt:
Shourryya Ray, a 16-year-old German student, has cracked a puzzle that has stumped mathematicians since Sir Isaac Newton first posed the problem more than 350 years ago.

Ray has won a research award and is hailed a genius for solving two fundamental particle dynamics theories that physicists have previously only been able to approximate by using computers with partial solutions. The teen’s solutions allow exact calculations of a trajectory under gravity and subject to air resistance. In other words, an item’s flight path can be calculated and predictions can be made of how the object will hit and bounce off a barrier. The two questions were first posed in the 17th and 19th centuries.

4. Anonymously Yours says:

AN,

At one time I’d probably said who cares….. But today with the uses of future technology….. It’s probably not a waste of money…..

5. Ben says:

Malisha said: “Later on, I saw a gadget that had two little grippers and a stabilizer (plastic with metal springs) that would hold the two ketchup bottles together.”

I read that the inventor of the device tried marketing it to distributors of catsup, shampoo, syrup, body wash, etc. There were no takers, because throwing out the “unreachable” part causes more sales. If you drain all of the product, you could wait a little longer to buy more.

6. Malisha says:

Starting in 1963 I worked in the diners that dotted Route 22 in New Jersey. At the end of the night, we would take all the ketchup bottles (which we used to call catsup bottles) over to one of the tables (which was cleaned last, thanks to this protected activity) and set the ones with less ketchup left in them on top of the ones that had more ketchup left in them, and let gravity (also approved by the FDA, in the Year One, when it was still only the FA) pull the lesser ketchup down into the greater ketchup and then we threw away (did not yet recycle) the remaining bottles after wiping them down with diluted ammonia. Oh the days. We did that by simple balancing, two bottles that were the same size, one on top of the other, and nobody walked near the “ketchup table” until the process was done, so as to prevent vibrations that might mess up the whole process. Later on, I saw a gadget that had two little grippers and a stabilizer (plastic with metal springs) that would hold the two ketchup bottles together. CLEVER!

Later we learned that Ketchup was a vegetable.

That’s all I have in the “Stories: subfile ketchup” file.

7. shano says:

Catsup is already full of HFCS, a toxic poison. Just say ‘NO’ .

8. bettykath says:

Was just thinking about the 3 Ps (pesticide, processing, preservatives) and reading labels, I thought I’d check the label of a catsup bottle. I don’t have one. Must be I already read the label. :O

9. rafflaw,

Now you can get wine in a box. I wonder if it comes with a vintage noting the exact date and time of day the wine was produced.

*****

“I had the “bright” idea in college to put cheap wine in cans because the wine was always warm by the time I finished the bottle and cans would get colder faster and stay colder longer.”

Evidently, you didn’t chug the wine in a bottle fast enough.

😉

10. Sprite 1, May 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

Can’t you just turn it upside down in the fridge? Works for me.
==========================
LOL! Take common sense where ever you go, never leave common sense at home.

11. Be careful Gene. You may get a response to your question. 🙂
I had the “bright” idea in college to put cheap wine in cans because the wine was always warm by the time I finished the bottle and cans would get colder faster and stay colder longer. I didn’t get any takers, but I did see some canned wine briefly several years later. Needless to say, it didn’t catch on.

12. pete says:

i guess for constipation they can make a suppository.

13. The fancy word for the problem with ketchup is “thixotropy”

FYI

14. leejcaroll says:

Saw Shark Tank TV show last night. One fellow came up with a way to clean out your old water bottle thermos for reuse, open them top and bottom with screw off lid, so simple yet took so long for someone to come up with it. Best thing no worry about the FDA and lobbyists and poisons.