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November 14, 2011

Oobleck: green slime from the mind of Dr. Seuss

Oobleck has to be one of the oddest outgrowths of literature I've ever seen, but the green slime looks like a blast to make in the kitchen.

The Instructables website says Oobleck is "a non-newtonian fluid. That is, it acts like a liquid when being poured, but like a solid when a force is acting on it. You can grab it and then it will ooze out of your hands. Make enough Oobleck and you can even walk on it!" (Or run, as in this YouTube video.)

Oobleck is named for the goo featured in Dr. Seuss' book, "Bartholomew and the Oobleck" (1949). It's a sequel of sorts to "The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins," (1938) and features King Derwin of Didd and his young subject. The King asks his magicians -- "men of groans and howls, mystic men who eat boiled owls" -- to summon something other than snow and rain from the sky, so they oblige with the green-ness that threatens to ruin his kingdom.

Not one of Dr. Seuss' most memorable books, but its impact lingers today, in kitchens around the world.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 1:00 PM | | Comments (0)

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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