Animal rights and microwave hot spots

by Stephanie Chasteen on October 31, 2009

I blogged a while back about mapping out the hot spots in your microwave with fax paper, or marshmallows or chocolate chips.  (Your food is not heated at the “nodes”, or cool spots, which is why we have those rotating plates).

Here is a decidedly un-yummy (but undeniably creative) take on that activity (as sent to my old teacher mentor):

I had a student read somewhere that you could use a cockroach to map out the hot spots. His home experiment (to my delight and of course horror) was to ink up the feet of several cockroaches and let them run around inside the microwave and produce a graph of x-y foot prints which mapped out the cold regions. It was working quite well he wrote in his experimental report – that was until his mother ascertained what he was doing. Gave him 8/10 for his report BUT took one mark off for not seeking an animal ethics and equipment approval from his mum.

{ 1 comment }

Tom November 3, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I don’t think it was animal ethics that was a problem, it was the ethics of putting them in the microwave, and possibly not killing them. I suspect “No cockroaches were harmed in this experiment” gets the failing grade from mom.

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