thumbnail of Newton's Apple; No. 1004
Hide -
<v Speaker 1>[music begins] You're invited to a monster of a bear. <v Speaker 2>Maybe this is too scary to watch. <v Wolf creature>Don't you dare cut that ?vial?. <v Speaker 1>Everybody's comin'. <v Speaker 3>Are we there yet? <v Speaker 2>We throw a heck of a party. <v Speaker 4>Congratulations on making science fun throughout 10 years. <v Narrator>Newton's Apple is made possible by a grant from 3M encouraging innovative <v Narrator>ways of looking at the world around us. <v Narrator>3M: innovation working for you. <v Narrator>[dramatic music] [buzzing].
<v Narrator>[applause] And now here's your host, David Heil. <v David Heil>Thank you all. <v David Heil>Welcome to Newton's Apple, the program that answers your questions about science, <v David Heil>technology and the world around us. <v David Heil>Our first question comes from John Carl in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, who writes, "How <v David Heil>do they pull off those great monster transformations in the movies?" Good question. <v David Heil>We sent field reporter Peggy Knapp to Los Angeles to investigate how Hollywood creates <v David Heil>those high tech horrors. <v Peggy Knapp>Who's your favorite old-time movie star? <v Peggy Knapp>Nelson Eddy, Jeanette Macdonald, Wallace Beery? <v Peggy Knapp>One of my favorites is Lon Chaney Sr., the man of a thousand faces, really. <v Peggy Knapp>Chaney became his characters because he insisted on doing his own makeup. <v Peggy Knapp>Nobody does their own makeup anymore. <v Peggy Knapp>When he became the hunchback in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Chaney wore a 42 pound <v Peggy Knapp>rubber hump on his back that shrank him from 5'10" to 4'1". <v Peggy Knapp>As the Phantom in the Phantom of the Opera, rumor has it, Chaney <v Peggy Knapp>wore fishhooks inside of his nostrils and under his bottom eyelids to pull back <v Peggy Knapp>his nose and bulge out his eyes and make his face look like a skull.
<v Peggy Knapp>You got to admire the guy. <v Peggy Knapp>And not only did Chaney play the parts, he concocted his own makeup through countless <v Peggy Knapp>scientific experiments [shrieking]. <v Peggy Knapp>Today, experimentation continuous with creations like Freddy Krueger in Nightmare <v Peggy Knapp>on Elm Street 4 and Slimer in Ghostbusters. <v Peggy Knapp>If you look behind the masks, you'll see makeup artist Steve Johnson, whose expertise <v Peggy Knapp>comes from a lifetime of curiosity. <v Steve Johnson>...was a real creative kid and I liked monster movies and uh I just started playing <v Steve Johnson>around with the stuff, getting books, any books I can get my hands on. <v Steve Johnson>And um I think it's kind of a natural progression when you're a kid to be doing this kind <v Steve Johnson>of stuff, because when you do this kind of restructuring of your face and <v Steve Johnson>masquerade, you can have so much fun with it. <v Steve Johnson>You totally lose all inhibition. <v Peggy Knapp>At Steve Johnson's XFX studio, you'll see faces only a mother could love. <v Steve Johnson>To do a fantasy creature like this, um we first of all have to know a lot about anatomy. <v Steve Johnson>Uh we have to think about the skull underneath.
<v Steve Johnson>Um we have to wonder how the muscles are gonna stretch back as it makes a fierce <v Steve Johnson>expression, and then we have to know what expression to give it in order to evoke fear <v Steve Johnson>from the people that are seeing it. And there are a lot of things that are pretty much <v Steve Johnson>commonsensical. If you see a mouth with big scary teeth, you're gonna be afraid of that. <v Steve Johnson>But one of the reasons kind of is, I mean, it can- you can trace that kind of back to the <v Steve Johnson>animal kingdom. Um if you ever look at your dog real close and do like this, they don't <v Steve Johnson>like it, because that's kind of a standoff thing with animals a lot of times. <v Steve Johnson>And it's the same thing with people. <v Peggy Knapp>So it's the pearly whites that make our skin crawl. <v Peggy Knapp>And here's another angle on monsters. <v Steve Johnson>45 degree angles frighten people, for some reason. <v Peggy Knapp>On a face? <v Steve Johnson>Shar- on a face. Sharp, pointed things. If you notice this, the brows are going in at 45 <v Steve Johnson>degree angles. That makes him look mean. <v Steve Johnson>Actually, the whole face is structured at a 45. <v Steve Johnson>The way the chin is pointed this way and the ears go back up here, there are 45 degree <v Steve Johnson>angles all over this thing. <v Peggy Knapp>Want to see something really scary? [music begins] Well, hang on as Steve and his <v Peggy Knapp>assistant transform me into a gruesome, I mean horrifying, creature.
<v Steve Johnson>The first step of this particular makeup is to put the back of the wig on. <v Peggy Knapp>That was easy. But the whole process is going to take four hours. <v Peggy Knapp>Next, I was fitted with a thin, rubbery mask. <v Peggy Knapp>In the biz, it's called an appliance. <v Steve Johnson>...the appliance- we call it an appliance because we apply it to the face. <v Steve Johnson>It's a soft, flexible rubber piece um that we gradually, bit by bit, apply to your face. <v Steve Johnson>And it becomes a new uh- new face blended with your skin eventually. <v Steve Johnson>So the first part we usually do with something- with a piece like <v Steve Johnson>this that's big, is we'll anchor it for the center and work outward. <v Peggy Knapp>They attach the mask with a strong bonding glue that doctors use as a medical adhesive. <v Steve Johnson>The interesting thing about this particular design, in my opinion, is it takes <v Steve Johnson>advantage of some aspects of your face, your nose, your mouth, and <v Steve Johnson>most of the really expressive areas of your face are either not covered by the rubber <v Steve Johnson>piece or very thinly covered by the rubber feet- piece. <v Steve Johnson>And that to me is what makes it a real makeup rather than a mask glued to your face,
<v Steve Johnson>incorporates your personality and your expressions with the new ones, <v Steve Johnson>which is much more exciting than just gluing a brand new face on you. <v Peggy Knapp>One hour down and three to go. <v Peggy Knapp>Now we begin the painting process. <v Steve Johnson>I'm building up layers of color that will indicate or give the illusion that you're <v Steve Johnson>seeing into the skin as you do real skin. <v Steve Johnson>Skin does not just reflect light when it hits, it absorbs a lot of it. <v Steve Johnson>It's translucent. So we have to do our best to kind of <v Steve Johnson>fool the camera into thinking the rubber is translucent and the only way to do that is to <v Steve Johnson>paint a lot of different layers over it, almost an impressionistic kind of look that may <v Steve Johnson>not look very realistic to the eye, but once it's uh translated onto film, <v Steve Johnson>it works out pretty well. <v Peggy Knapp>So the dark red color you put on first is the blood that you would see under the skin? <v Steve Johnson>Exactly. That's exactly right. <v Peggy Knapp>For a complete monster look, we must accessorize. <v Steve Johnson>Okay, we're almost finished. But there's more things that are gonna really make this look <v Steve Johnson>good, and one is the teeth um and the second is the lenses.
<v Steve Johnson>Now the teeth are gonna make- make it look a lot more frightening because it's gonna <v Steve Johnson>force your lips into more of an open configuration. <v Peggy Knapp>Before we reach the magic monster moment, let's review. <v Peggy Knapp>[music begins] <v Peggy Knapp>[Knapp growls] I've always wanted to do that. [creepy music]. <v Speaker>[mirror shattering] <v Narrator 2>[playful music] Hey yo, street smart. Hey yo, street smart. <v Narrator 3>How much dust does an average home collect in a year?
<v Person 1>I would guess uh five pounds worth. <v Person 2>I would say a couple pounds. <v Person 3>Four vacuum cleaner bags full [laughs]. <v Narrator 3>It's about 40 pounds. The composition of this household annoyance is any solid <v Narrator 3>matter that can be carried by the wind. <v Narrator 3>It's not all bad. The weight of a dust particle helps rain fall to the ground. <v Narrator 3>Dust in the air also contributes to beautiful colors in twilight, something to think <v Narrator 3>about when you've dusted for the hundredth time. <v Narrator 2>Street smart. <v David Heil>Our next question comes from Eric Kading of Romeo, Michigan, who wants to know how do <v David Heil>CFCs destroy the ozone? <v David Heil>It's an important question, and this contraption here is helping scientists answer it. <v David Heil>It's a model of the actual device attached to satellites orbiting the Earth, and it <v David Heil>measures the amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere. <v David Heil>But why are we so concerned about the ozone level? <v David Heil>Here to help us answer that question is Dave Robson. <v David Heil>He's the editor of Chem Matters magazine. <v David Heil>Welcome to the show, Dave. <v Dave Robson>Thank you. <v David Heil>Now what are we doing in the kitchen? We have a question about chemistry, not cooking.
<v Dave Robson>Well, kitchen's a good place to learn about CFCs, because your refrigerator has a fair <v Dave Robson>amount of CFCs, as does uh the air conditioner in your car, and this air conditioner <v Dave Robson>has chlorofluorocarbons running through these tubes. <v Dave Robson>It's the material that does the actual cooling. <v David Heil>So it's the coolant. <v Dave Robson>That's right. And there's some applications that you probably know about that we don't <v Dave Robson>use any more. Aerosol cans used to be the propellant in there, but it's been banned from <v Dave Robson>most aerosol cans. Foam, plastic materials, the bubbles were made with CFCs. <v Dave Robson>That application of CFCs is being discontinued now. <v David Heil>OK. Let's step back for just a moment. What exactly is a CFC? <v Dave Robson>Well, that's why I got the fruit out here. Here's the orange that represents an atom of <v Dave Robson>carbon. An atom of fluorine. <v Dave Robson>Some chlorine. We'll put three of those around. <v Dave Robson>And when we group it like that, that's a typical molecule of CFC. <v David Heil>Chloro-fluoro-carbon. <v Dave Robson>Right, small molecule. Mhm. <v David Heil>Okay, great. Now, I understand the chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, the question also has to <v David Heil>do with ozone. What's ozone? <v Dave Robson>All right. Oxygen- <v David Heil>Back to the fruit basket. <v Dave Robson>Okay. There's one oxygen, two, and now you have, you know this one...
<v David Heil>Uh O2, which is breathable oxygen. <v Dave Robson>That's the stuff that we need for-. <v David Heil>Okay. <v Dave Robson>-for life. But if we put on a third one, we end up with O3, which is ozone. <v Dave Robson>This is an alternate form of oxygen, which you don't want to associate with because it's <v Dave Robson>toxic and very aggressive material. <v Dave Robson>Uh there's some in nature due to formation in- in lightning storms, but mostly it's uh <v Dave Robson>manmade now. Uh it's one of the pollutants in auto exhaust. <v David Heil>Now this is getting confusing. If uh ozone is so bad for us, why are we worried about <v David Heil>depleting the ozone in the atmosphere? <v Dave Robson>Well, ozone is bad for us here, but it's not bad for us in the upper atmosphere. <v Dave Robson>I've got a diagram of the atmosphere over here. <v Dave Robson>Come on over and take a look and I think wecan clarify that. <v David Heil>Alright. <v Dave Robson>Okay Dave, here's a nice illustration of the bottom two layers of the atmosphere. <v Dave Robson>Here's the troposphere where all of our weather takes place with clouds and rain. <v David Heil>This is where life exists. <v Dave Robson> That's right. And this is where ozone is toxic. <v Dave Robson>Up here is a stratosphere which goes from 10 kilometers up to maybe 50 kilometers, and up <v Dave Robson>here, ozone forms a layer which blocks ultraviolet light. <v Dave Robson>It protects us from it. And ultraviolet, remember, can destroy DNA and cause skin cancer
<v Dave Robson>and a lot of other harmful effects. <v David Heil>So it truly is making a protective layer up here. <v Dave Robson>Exactly. <v David Heil>You know, it- it occurs to me that this is a very large air mass up here. <v David Heil>Why would a few escaping CFCs give us any trouble up here? <v Dave Robson>Well, on- on this diagram, it looks big, but come on over to the globe here and we'll- <v Dave Robson>we'll uh do another comparison. How thick do you think, on this globe, how thick do you <v Dave Robson>think the atmosphere should be modeled? <v David Heil>Uh I would guess that it's a couple inches at least around the whole globe. <v Dave Robson>That's what I used to think. And- and do you have a sheet of paper? <v David Heil>Yeah I still have the ?inaudible?. <v Dave Robson>And the numbers show that- that our guesses on that are way off. <v Dave Robson>If you take a sheet of paper, typical writing paper and lay it down like that, the <v Dave Robson>thickness of the sheet of paper is the right depth for- to model the thickness of the <v Dave Robson>atmosphere. <v David Heil>No kidding. It's that thin of a layer? <v Dave Robson>That's right. It's very, very delicate. Now, I can show you some things that are going on <v Dave Robson>up in the stratosphere. If you'll come up my stratospheric ladder. <v David Heil>How high are we going to have to go here? <v Dave Robson>Uh only um 20 kilometers. <v David Heil>That's like 12 miles. <v Dave Robson>12 miles, okay. Let's get started.
<v David Heil>Are we there yet? <v Dave Robson>I think we're about halfway. <v Dave Robson>Welcome to the stratosphere. <v David Heil>Well, thank you, Dave. I didn't expect to be sharing it with jugglers. <v Dave Robson>Well, we brought these jugglers up here to represent molecules and you'll see their <v Dave Robson>apples are really representing oxygen atoms. <v David Heil>Okay. <v Dave Robson>And when a juggler holds two oxygen atoms, that represents an O2 molecule. <v David Heil>Which would be the oxygen we normally breathe in the lower atmosphere? <v Dave Robson>That's right. <v David Heil>Okay. <v Dave Robson>There's plenty of it up here as well. And when they're holding three, that represents <v Dave Robson>ozone. <v David Heil>All right. So is there a normal exchange going on in the upper atmosphere all the time? <v Dave Robson>That's what the juggling is all about, O2 to O3, O3 to O2, that goes on normally. <v Dave Robson>The key to it is ultraviolet light from the sun is necessary. <v Dave Robson>It strikes the O3 and causes an oxygen to split off. <v Dave Robson>But that absorbs the ultraviolet ray so it doesn't go on down to the earth. <v David Heil>So that's the protective coating we were talking about earlier. <v Dave Robson>That's exactly right. <v David Heil>Now where do CFCs fit into this equation? <v Dave Robson>Well, you remember when we were down in the kitchen, we had a molecule of uh CFC- <v David Heil>Right. Okay <v Dave Robson>-and here, it's drifted on up here. If you'll take that one. <v Dave Robson>A- a ray of ultraviolet light will strike this molecule and split off
<v Dave Robson>a chlorine atom. <v David Heil>Okay. So I end up with a free chlorine. <v Dave Robson>That's right. Now, when that's tossed into the oxygen equation, it changes everything. <v Dave Robson>That was an ozone before. <v Dave Robson>Now it's ozone with chlorine and in a moment it'll fall apart and pieces will come flying <v Dave Robson>down then. <v David Heil>Oh out comes the chlorine. <v Dave Robson>And then another oxygen will drift by, and first thing you know- <v David Heil>Okay. <v Dave Robson>-now, what do you have? <v David Heil>I've got uh two oxygens and a chlorine. <v Dave Robson>Okay. I'm gonna take the chlorine. And now you have only... <v David Heil>O2, I guess. <v Dave Robson>Ordinary oxygen. <v David Heil>In fact that's all we've got up here now. <v Dave Robson>Ordinary oxygen, and that's all there is. So the O3 has been rapidly-depleted down <v Dave Robson>to O2, and that's the way the chlorine destroys the ozone layer. <v David Heil>Now could that chlorine go on and do that to even more ozone molecules? <v Dave Robson>It could go back into the juggling and do it again. <v Dave Robson>This could go through a hundred thousand cycles before it was tied up in some other <v Dave Robson>?inaudible?. <v David Heil>Wow, you can see why there really is a problem with that stuff. <v Dave Robson>That's right. <v David Heil>Now, why is it that we're only seeing this above the continent of Antarctica? <v Dave Robson>Well, that's not the only place, but it's most severe there. <v Dave Robson>[soft music] At the South Pole, there are special conditions. <v Dave Robson>You have strong winds that go in a circle and trap a cold mass of air. <v Dave Robson>There's no sunlight for the long winter.
<v Dave Robson>Ice crystals form in the upper atmosphere, and it's cold enough that these ice crystals <v Dave Robson>tie up nitrogen in the form of frozen nitric acid. <v Dave Robson>[bubbling] Now, normally, nitrogen binds the chlorine to stop it from attacking ozone, <v Dave Robson>but this freezing process actually frees some of the chlorine atoms in gaseous form. <v Dave Robson>In the spring, the sun hits the chlorine atoms. <v Dave Robson>They become energized. That makes them more reactive, and so they eat up a lot of ozone <v Dave Robson>very quickly. Now, the ozone hole is the name that we've given to this process <v Dave Robson>that thins the ozone in the stratosphere. <v Dave Robson>As the spring progresses, the sun gets higher, vaporizes the ice crystals, <v Dave Robson>and that frees the nitrogen and the ozone destruction slows down. <v David Heil>Okay, now how is it that scientists are able to see or keep track of that depleted ozone? <v Dave Robson>Well, they use satellite imaging and each time a satellite passes, it takes a couple of <v Dave Robson>measurements and takes- takes some more, and it's eventually assembled into- into nice <v Dave Robson>color pictures, and we have some of those now [soft music]. <v David Heil>Okay. <v Dave Robson>Starting in 1979, here's the South Pole. <v Dave Robson>Now, the lowest ozone level measurements are represented in red, and we notice-
<v David Heil>You can see that red area's just increasing over time. <v Dave Robson>Right. This is over a decade or more. <v Dave Robson>It grows substantially. <v David Heil>Now, obviously, the CFCs that we've already released into the atmosphere, we <v David Heil>can't do anything about it. <v Dave Robson>That's right. <v David Heil>So the ozone is going to be broken down as a result of those already. <v Dave Robson>There will be more depletion no matter what. <v David Heil>What can we do to prevent further depletion? <v Dave Robson>Uh looking ahead a decade or two, you can help things then by your refrigerator and air <v Dave Robson>conditioner that you have now have CFCs, don't let them get out. <v Dave Robson>When you replace that with a new one, don't just throw it away. <v David Heil>Uh huh. <v Dave Robson>Make sure it's recycled. <v David Heil>Okay. <v Dave Robson>And especially your auto air conditioner, they tend to be leaky and they have CFCs-. <v David Heil>So keep them maintained so they don't leak. <v Dave Robson>That's right. And use a repair shop which recycles them rather than opening it up and <v Dave Robson>venting them when they repair it. <v David Heil>And you should check that out with them in advance I guess. <v Dave Robson>Exactly. <v David Heil>Dave, thanks so much for clearing up the question about CFCs in the ozone. <v David Heil>Thanks to the jugglers for keeping all this oxygen up in the air. <v David Heil>If we can get out of the stratosphere here, we'll be right back [applause]. <v Speaker>[dramatic music]
<v David Heil>[playful music] If you have a science question that you would like answered on Newton's <v David Heil>Apple, write us. Send your question to Newton's Apple, 172 <v David Heil>East 4th Street, Box 1000, St. Paul, Minnesota, <v David Heil>55101. Remember, our show depends on your questions. <v Bob>[swing music] Hey, Peggy. <v Peggy Knapp>Bob, what are you doing in there? <v Bob>Why are objects in your side mirror closer than they appear? <v Peggy Knapp>Good question, Bob. There's actually a couple of reasons. <v Peggy Knapp>The first one is your brain. <v Peggy Knapp>Bob, that's a little close. <v Peggy Knapp>Ah fooled you, didn't I? You zoomed in close on me with the lens of the camera, but you <v Peggy Knapp>were physically far away from me. <v Peggy Knapp>That's where your brain comes in. Because one of the ways it's learned to judge distance
<v Peggy Knapp>is by the size of the object it sees. If an object we recognize appears <v Peggy Knapp>small, like those cars, then your brain tells you they're far away. <v Peggy Knapp>Since they are, it usually works pretty well. <v Peggy Knapp>But your brain is easily fooled, Bob. <v Peggy Knapp>See, when we trick it, like with the camera and you see me as close up, you assume <v Peggy Knapp>you are close up. Not the right answer, Bob. <v Peggy Knapp>So how does a mirror fool the brain? <v Peggy Knapp>Well, it sort of depends on what kind of mirror you're looking into. <v Peggy Knapp>See, most mirrors are like the rearview mirror here, which is flat. <v Peggy Knapp>So objects reflected in it are the same size as we're used to. <v Peggy Knapp>But take a look at that side mirror over there. <v Peggy Knapp>Oh, well, actually, I think I have an extra one here somewhere. <v Peggy Knapp>Yeah. Here it is. See, it isn't flat at all, but curved outward. <v Peggy Knapp>It's called a convex mirror, and it allows you to see more of the road than if it were a <v Peggy Knapp>flat mirror. How? <v Peggy Knapp>Well imagine you're....hang on there, Bob. <v Peggy Knapp>The way your brain's been acting, who knows where we'd end up? <v Peggy Knapp>Now, this- this is a perfect place.
<v Peggy Knapp>[edgy music] Excuse me, science reporter coming through. This is official business. <v Peggy Knapp>Back up, man. This is science. <v Patron>Science? Hm. <v Peggy Knapp>[snickers] Okay. This here is our regular flat mirror, and this ball is <v Peggy Knapp>a light ray that bounces off of it. <v Peggy Knapp>It's actually easier to see if you look at it from above. <v Peggy Knapp>I'm not even gonna ask how you got up there. <v Peggy Knapp>Notice that our light ray bounces off at exactly the same angle that it hits the flat <v Peggy Knapp>mirror, and where it stops is what you'd see in the mirror from this angle, <v Peggy Knapp>right about where the ball is now. <v Peggy Knapp>Now watch what happens when we bounce a light ray off a curved mirror. <v Peggy Knapp>Hole in one! Oh, wrong game. Anyway, you'll notice that the light ray started <v Peggy Knapp>off about the same as before, but it ended up much wider, allowing us <v Peggy Knapp>to see the end of the table. <v Peggy Knapp>So my side mirror is picking up light rays farther out, letting me see a wider
<v Peggy Knapp>picture than a flat mirror. Now this comes in very handy when you're changing lanes and <v Peggy Knapp>also because it's attached to your car, but it's also where your brain is tricked because <v Peggy Knapp>your brain, in it's constant effort to identify everything, tries to fit the convex <v Peggy Knapp>mirror's wider picture into the flat mirror scale that it's used to. <v Peggy Knapp>It's like taking a larger picture and scrunching it into a small frame. <v Peggy Knapp>The end result to your brain is that things look smaller and therefore farther away. <v Peggy Knapp>The mirror has successfully fooled your brain, but because you can still read, this <v Peggy Knapp>message tells the more logical part of your brain that the objects in the mirror are <v Peggy Knapp>closer than they appear [edgy music]. <v Peggy Knapp>And if those guys are closer than they appear, uh it's time to go, Bob. <v Peggy Knapp>It's time to go fast. <v Narrator 4>[fanfare music] Welcome to this week's Science Try-It. <v Narrator 4>I think you'll really fall for today's game. <v Narrator 4>The players include a sheet of paper and a book larger than the <v Narrator 4>paper. <v Narrator 5>And there's the whistle.
<v Narrator 4>The paper and the book are held at the same height and they're dropped. <v Narrator 5>The book reached the table first. <v Narrator 4>Now the paper's placed on top of the book. They're raised to the same height and let go. <v Narrator 4>But wait, a time-out's been called. <v Narrator 4>Let's go to the super science breakdown. <v Narrator 5>Gravity pulls on all objects equally, but air resistance slows down <v Narrator 5>the paper's fall. <v Narrator 4>Will placing the paper on the book eliminate air resistance on the paper? <v Narrator 5>To find out, you'll have to try it [crowd awe]. <v David Heil>Ah. There's nothing like fresh-brewed iced tea to quench your <v David Heil>thirst on a hot summer day. But the ?lemon? <v David Heil>this day and age is what to put in your iced tea. <v David Heil>You use natural sugars, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners. <v David Heil>Here to help me sort all this out is our resident medical expert, Dr. Bruce Dan. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well hey, Dave. <v David Heil>Welcome back to the show, Bruce. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, welcome to the Newtons County Fair and some lemon tea there for you. <v Booth attendant>More tea. <v David Heil>I'll take a refill. <v Booth attendant>There ya go. <v David Heil>That's fine. Thanks.
<v David Heil>Mm-mm! Very sour, Bruce. <v Booth attendant>Bet you need some sugar for that. <v David Heil>Definitely [laughs]. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Sorry about that. You got to sweeten the tea a little bit. <v David Heil>Wow. Now when we uh- when we open up these little containers, obviously the granular <v David Heil>sugar comes out. But where does sugar actually come from in the beginning? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, that's- that's refined sugar. It comes from places like sugar cane, or in this <v Dr. Bruce Dan>country you use a lot of sugar beets to get it from, and, of course, comes in different <v Dr. Bruce Dan>fruits and concentrated forms of different types of sugar, and of course, <v Dr. Bruce Dan>places like you wouldn't think: milk, milk sugar, lactose, is in there. <v Dave Robson>Much better with sweetener. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well the sweetener you're using is common table sugar. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>That's called sucrose, which is a combination of two different sugars. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Sugar is a carbohydrate, one of the three macronutrients we talked about before: <v Dr. Bruce Dan>proteins, fats and carbohydrates. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>It's an energy source for the body, and strikingly, only the brain, the only organ in the <v Dr. Bruce Dan>body that has to have sugar for energy, can't use it from any other source. <v David Heil>Hmm. Now, isn't sugar a quick source of energy? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>It is, especially from candy. <v David Heil>It burns very fast? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Yeah that's right, come over here, let me show you. At our county fair, we have lots of <v Dr. Bruce Dan>candy, including, of course- <v David Heil>What would a county fair be without cotton candy? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Yeah I think- <v David Heil>This is just spun granulated sugar, right? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Air-spun sucrose, common table sugar. But it has the property of being very uh-
<v David Heil>Sweet and very sweet, sticky sweet. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>[laughs] Idn't that great? <v David Heil>Now how is it that we taste or sense that sweetness? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Ah, we taste it, of course, with our tongue, David. And of course, we have a map of our <v Dr. Bruce Dan>tongue here [audience laughs] with the taste buds, the bitter, the sour, the salt, and <v Dr. Bruce Dan>most importantly, the sweet. <v David Heil>Right on the tip. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>It's right at the tip of the tongue and the taste buds are really chemical receptors. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>They act very much like a key that fits into a lock that turns on a signal to the brain <v Dr. Bruce Dan>and lets us know we're tasting something sweet. <v David Heil>Now Bruce, obviously we should all regulate the amount of sugar that we're intaking at <v David Heil>any given time, but aren't there some people who really have to watch their sugar intake? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, diabetics do and they have to have an alternative. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Let me show you what that is. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well David, here's some of the alternatives I was talking about. <v Booth attendant 2>Hi, may I help you? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, we're just browsing right now. Thanks a lot. <v Booth attendant 2>Oh, okay. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>These are sort of more recognizable things in our-. <v David Heil>So these are diet pops, here- <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Sure. <v David Heil>So in the diet pop we would have what, an artificial sweetener, in this case, NutraSweet <v David Heil>is the brand name. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>A sugar substitute called aspartame, is its real name. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And uh actually it's two amino acids joined together chemically. <v David Heil>Now how do you get twoo amino acids to taste sweet like sugar? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Ah, remember we talked with the key in the lock theory about the receptor. <v David Heil>On the tip of our tongue.
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>Right. Sugar fits in the receptor. Well this particular key fits better in the lock. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Matter of fact, aspartame is about 200 times as sweet as common sugar. <v David Heil>The artificial sweetener. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Right. <v David Heil>Wow, so you probably wouldn't even need as much of the artificial sweetener then. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>That's exactly- now let me show you a demonstration. Let me grab one can, and you da- <v Dr. Bruce Dan>grab the diet version. <v David Heil>Diet version of the same pop, okay. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Now stick it in the bottom of this water, to the bottom, and let go. <v David Heil>Wow dem- the diet ones floating. Why is that? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, because you've let- used less of the sugar substitute, it's uh less dense and it <v Dr. Bruce Dan>floats. <v David Heil>Wow, that's a great demonstration. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And that's particularly for aspartame. Matter of fact, there's some other sugar <v Dr. Bruce Dan>substitutes commonly used, for example, uh saccharin's been used about 100 years. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>It's about 300 times as sweet as sugar. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And in Europe, they like to use a sugar substitute called acesulphame K, but they all <v Dr. Bruce Dan>work on the same principle of being sweeter than sugar, and they don't have as many <v Dr. Bruce Dan>calories. <v David Heil>Now Bruce, they may be sweeter than sugar. But do they last as long? <v David Heil>Cause you know sugar, you can put on the shelf for years. <v David Heil>Does something like NutraSweet hold up? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, NutraSweet in the liquid form can last, depending on the temperature and the <v Dr. Bruce Dan>acidity, up to oh 6 months. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>For solid uh formulations like uh gelatins and puddings, it can last up to
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>2 years. <v David Heil>Well this brings up a good point. Can you actually bake with sugar substitutes? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, you can bake with the saccharin. You can bake with the acesuplhame K. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>But as far as uh NutraSweet, aspartame, let me show you. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Come right this way. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>David, welcome to the Newton's apple pie eating contest. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Now step right in there. <v David Heil>Right inside there. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Join some of our contestants that we've invited down from the studio audience. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>They've got their bibs on. Why don't you put yours on? <v David Heil>Okay, I'll get dressed up here. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Now this is a special pie eating contest, and I'll tell you what we've done. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>We have secretly switched for sugar, a sugar substitute, namely aspartame. <v David Heil>So one of these pies doesn't have sugar in it? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Right, and the object is for you to guess which one by eating them. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>So that's the object of this contest, got to guess which pie. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Who's got the real sugar and which one has the sugar substitute? <v David Heil>And nobody really knows by looking at them. They all look like the same kind of pie, don't they? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well they do, that's right. Maybe they taste a little different. <v David Heil>Although, Bruce, uh I'm not sure I trust you. So I'm going to make sure that I just uh <v David Heil>switch mine with- sir, would you mind uh trading pies with me? <v David Heil>This probably was your favorite, but I'm going to do that just to be sure I've got a pie <v David Heil>like everybody else. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>All right. Well, everybody knows the rules. We're gonna eat the pies, but you can't use
<v Dr. Bruce Dan>your hands. Put your hands behind your back. When I say go, the first one to discover <v Dr. Bruce Dan>which one's got the NutraSweet in it wins. On your mark. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Get set. Go [carnival music]. <v David Heil>This is really bland. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Oh, well, I know why, David. You've got the pie- <v David Heil>Nobody else? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>That's right, you've got the one with the NutraSweet in it. <v David Heil>Egh. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well, there's a reason, David. You know, when we cook the pie, we heated it up. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>And when you- when you heat up NutraSweet, it decomposes the molecule and it loses all <v Dr. Bruce Dan>its sweetness. So you've got a pie that really doesn't have any sweetness to it. <v David Heil>So you really can't bake with that stuff can you? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>That's right. <v David Heil> I think I woulda much would've preferred one of the sweet ones like these other guys <v David Heil>have. <v Dr. Bruce Dan>Well if you wanna pie, you've got one, David. <v David Heil>[audience laughs] Wait a minute. <v David Heil>I guess I did sort of ask for that, didn't I Bruce? <v Dr. Bruce Dan>[laughs] What can I say? <v David Heil>Yeah well, thanks a lot, Bruce. That was really great. <v David Heil>[clears throat] Before anything else happens to me, I think I'm going to invite the <v David Heil>audience to come on down, get your own taste of pie.
<v David Heil>As far as I'm concerned, the segment's over. [laughs] In fact, that's all the time we've <v David Heil>got for now. We'll see you next week on Newton's Apple. <v Narrator>Newton's Apple is made possible by a grant from 3M and its employees, <v Narrator>dedicated to innovative thinking and scientific learning. <v Narrator>3M: innovation working for you [music].
Newton's Apple
Episode Number
No. 1004
Producing Organization
KTCA-TV (Television station : Saint Paul, Minn.)
Contributing Organization
Twin Cities Public Television (St. Paul, Minnesota)
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-77-35t77b2v).
Series Description
"NEWTON'S APPLE celebrates curiosity and experiential learning in children of all ages, as well as adults, while presenting a full range of science topics generated by viewers' questions. The fun-filled and adventurous half-hour series uses a hands-on, personalized approach to science, providing easy-to-understand explanations and making learning about science accessible and fun. "At NEWTON'S APPLE, our task is to extend invitations for learning. Because exploration is an on-going, ever-changing process, NEWTON'S APPLE seeks to spark children's natural curiosity about the world around them, opening the door to further scientific exploration and discovery. As part of our commitment to furthering science education, KTCA-TV, in a special collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association, developed classroom educational materials for use with the NEWTON'S APPLE programs, and distributed 40,000 of these packets free of charge to science teachers nationwide. "Shows submitted as examples of NEWTON'S APPLE: Shows #1004 and #1005 are good representatives of the variety of topics covered in most episodes. Shows #1001 and #1006 are 'specials' where the entire half-hour program is devoted to one subject area, e.g., a behind-the-scenes look at how NEWTON'S APPLE is made, and an odyssey to Antarctica with series host David Heil. "**Also, please see accompanying materials, including educational packet referred to above**."-- 1992 Peabody Awards entry form In this episode, Heil takes questions submitted by viewers as opportunities to explain different science lessons. Peggy Knapp explores the process by which monster makeup is created and why it works, culminating in her own transformation courtesy of makeup artist Steve Johnson. Dave Robson explains how CFCs work and the destructive effects they have on the ozone layer, as well as why we need ozone. In a field segment, Knapp shows why objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, and finally, Dr. Bruce Dan uses a county fair setting to illustrate how different sweeteners work.
Broadcast Date
Created Date
Asset type
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Producer: Hudson, Richard
Producing Organization: KTCA-TV (Television station : Saint Paul, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Twin Cities Public Television (KTCA-TV)
Identifier: cpb-aacip-89510ed0998 (Filename)
Format: 1 inch videotape
Generation: Dub
Duration: 00:27:51
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-2d05697ff2e (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 0:26:40
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Newton's Apple; No. 1004,” 1992-10-03, Twin Cities Public Television, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2022,
MLA: “Newton's Apple; No. 1004.” 1992-10-03. Twin Cities Public Television, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2022. <>.
APA: Newton's Apple; No. 1004. Boston, MA: Twin Cities Public Television, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from