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What's That Stuff? Well, the Web site provided by Chemical and Engineering News answers this question on many of those everyday items that are just a bit curious. For example, Silly Putty is a dilatant compound, which means it has an inverse thixotropy--that is, as a viscous suspension or gel, it becomes solid under the influence of pressure. The site explains the history and characteristics of this and over twenty other substances such as sunscreen, cheese whiz, baseballs, fluoride, new car smell, ink, lipstick, bug spray, and licorice. The individual articles are non-technical for the most part and are presented in fun way that students will enjoy. Also, if a readers curiosity is sparked, many of the pages offer links to outside sources of additional information.
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