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Boil Water in A Paper Cup

January 23, 2010
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I don’t suppose that this is a new trick to many of you, but just in case you didn’t know, I’ll let you in on the secret.  It’s possible, even simple, to boil water in a paper cup.  You can do it yourself like this:

1.  Take a paper cup (not waxed or plastic or anything, just paper) and fill it with water.

2.  Apply heat.  I suggest using your stove (with the cup in a small pot just in case it tips over), but I’ve heard it works just as well with open flame, i.e. a lighter or a candle.

3.  BE CAREFUL.  The cup may not burn, but your fingers could.  Use common sense, and make sure there’s no way you can spill the hot water on yourself or set yourself on fire.

4.  The water will boil, but the cup won’t burn.  It works, I think, because the water turns to steam before it can get hot enough to let the paper burn.

5.  Admire the fact that you’ve learned something new, and possibly profitable.  (Hey, Jimmy!  I bet you a dollar I can hold this paper cup over a candle and it won’t burn.)

6.  Dispose of cup (unless you want to make yourself some instant hot cocoa.)  Turn off heat, or blow out the candle or whatever.

**IF YOU’RE NOT OF LEGAL AGE, THEN DO NOT DO THIS WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION.  Because, you know, hot stuff is dangerous. **

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