What does 3,000 Alka-Seltzer Tablets, 3,000 film canisters and Steve Spangler have in common with the Ellen DeGeneres Show?
Steve demonstrated the explosive power of carbon dioxide when thousands of film canisters rained down on the Ellen set Wednesday. Cameras were covered, Ellen dressed in a rain coat, safety goggles and a hard hat and even Tony had an umbrella for protection. To say Steve blew the roof off of the Ellen Show is saying Mentos and Diet Coke make a small mess.
On February, 29, 2012, Leap Day, Steve Spangler made his 13th appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. As always, he brought some of his favorite, explosive and nail biting experiments. Ellen, who never wants to know what Steve is doing before the show, refused to stand in front of a swinging bowling ball. (We can’t imagine why.) The swinging bowling ball demonstrated potential and kinetic energy. Lauren, Ellen’s staff writer, stood in front of the swinging ball and hoped it didn’t come back and hit her in the face. Next, Steve showed Ellen the fast and easy way to crush soda cans and a 5 gallon drum.
Whenever we’re fortunate enough to have the producers from the Ellen DeGeneres Show call our office, we know that the next few days are going to be wild. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the producers are very hands-on when it comes to selecting the preliminary list of science demos and listening to our ideas for ways to allow Ellen to get involved with each experiment. We spend most of the time talking about the big finale for each segment… and I think that the audience is going to be surprised when they see what’s going to happen… to them! This is beyond a doubt the biggest audience participation stunt we’ve ever done on the show. The show is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2nd. Find out when the Ellen DeGeneres Show is on in your area.
Halloween Science and the Ellen DeGeneres Show seem to go hand in hand. I was excited to get the call from Ellen’s producers last week with an invite to be a guest on her ever-popular Halloween Show. We’ve practiced and practiced our new demos for the show (no, we can’t spill the beans right now), and I think we’ll have a few surprises for her and the studio audience. Of course, everyone tunes in to see Ellen’s costume. My only hope is that it’s not flammable… and that’s all I can say.
Find out when the Ellen DeGeneres Show is on in your area.
We’re back from the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California with lots of fun stories from our latest appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. When I say ‘we’… I mean ‘we’ because there’s no way I could pull these segments off by myself. Jeff Brooks, Carly Reed and Lisa Brooks traveled with me and worked hard backstage and on the outside location shoot to make everything run smoothly. Unlike other talk shows, the people at the Ellen Show are used to pulling off big stunts… but even this one had everyone a little on edge because no one really knew what was going to happen to all of those ping pong balls. Watch the video…
Cloud in a Bottle – a really visual way of creating a water vapor cloud instantly in a 2-liter bottle.
The second demo was a Dust Explosion using a very fine spore called Lycopodium, a fine yellow powder derived from the spores of Lycopodium clavatum (stag’s horn club moss, running ground pine). By itself, the powder is not flammable. When the fine powder is dispersed in the air and each particle is surrounded by oxygen, it’s very flammable…and the fire ball is huge.
We wrapped up the studio portion of the segment talking about the expansive nature of liquid nitrogen which boils at room temperature. If liquid nitrogen is contained while it’s desperately trying to expand, you get an explosion. The technical term for the reaction is a BLEVE – boiling liquid expansion liquid explosion. We came up with a way to illustrate this in the studio using a 55 gallon steel drum and a mess of ping pong balls. The look on Ellen’s face at the end is worth the price of all the work (and hoops we had to jump through) to do the demo.
I came back after the commercial break to do one more liquid nitrogen demo outside where we shot a rubber trash can about 75 feet into the air. The producers loved the video of us practicing the demo in our parking lot and wanted to recreate it outside on the Warner Bros. lot. Again, thanks to Jeff, Lisa and Carly for working with the props team at the studio to make this happen.
Here are just a few of the behind the scenes pictures. Hope you enjoy the final product which airs on Monday, April 26, 2010.