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While You're Waiting for the Food to Come
by Eric Muller, Illustrated by Eldon Doty


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Find out which soda makes the best float, diet or regular.

- One unopened can of regular soda
- One unopened can of diet soda (same brand as the regular soda)
- Two clear pitchers each filled about half way with water containing no ice

The Recipe:

1) When you order your drinks, ask the waiter or waitress not to open the cans. Oh yeah, make sure to tell him/her that you're really thirsty and would like a pitcher of water, too. No, make that two pitchers of water.

2) Place one can in one pitcher and the other can in the second pitcher. That's it. Look where the cans go. Do theystay up and float or do they go down and sink?

Food for Thought:

Everything being Equal, the diet drink floats and the regular (sugared) drink sinks. Are you surprised? Well consider this: both cans are the same size (volume- 12 fl. oz. or 355 ml.) and are filled with the same amount of artificially flavored liquid. However, they do not contain the same amount of matter. Based on experiment, we see that one can is slightly heavier. How can this be? Read the ingredient label on each can and find out!

When you read the ingredient list, you discover that one of your sodas has sugar and the other has a sugar substitute called or Aspartame. Pure Aspartame is two hundred times sweeter tasting than sugar. So you don‚t need as much aspartame as you do sugar to make something sweet. By weight, there is a lot more sugar in the regular drink than Aspartame in the diet drink. If you add up the amount of weight of the aluminum can, the liquid, and the air at the top of the can, the regular drink weighs more and sinks.

Copyright 1998 Eric Muller
While You're Waiting for the Food to Come"

Original copyright of While You're Waiting for the Food to Come 1995 Eric Muller

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