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Lava Mug

Bubbling blorbling coffee warmness.
 
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Or tea, for you commonwealthers.

The basic idea behind this is the same as your standard heated coffee mug - plug it in, heat your coffee; unplug it, drink your coffee.

With one difference.

Rather than those boring, unattractive black plastic sides, the Lava Mug has a small heating element beneath hollow glass sides, and a plastic rim. Encased in that glass is a water/alcohol mixture that mimics a lava lamp. I suggest mildly-salty water and colored cynnamyl alcohol, just because.

The Lava Mug, then, serves two purposes. When heating (before pouring in your coffee) the darned thing is pretty entertaining to watch, and distracts you from work and your boss's incessant screeching. When drinking, it's still pretty entertaining, cuz the coffee keeps it warm and will aid in the blobbulating.

Second, once unplugged and filled, the glass-encased fluids tell you if you're coffee's gone cold: if it has, there's no more floating blobs, and you won't be surprised by cold coffee when you haven't been paying attention. If it's still warm, then drinking coffee remains entertaining.

The plastic rim protects your delicate lips from being burned on the glass or plastic (lucite?) sides, and of course there'd be a handle.

shapu, Aug 12 2004

DIY Lava Lamps http://www.oozinggoo.com/howto.html
Link name says it all. [shapu, Oct 05 2004]

Lava Glass http://www.halfbake...m/idea/Lava_20Glass
I would say redundant [FarmerJohn, Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       Sounds like fun for the easily amused (like yours truly) and functional--especially when the AC vent is blowing freezing air right above one's desk and turns said person's (yes, that's me, too) coffee into a popcicle in seconds.
Machiavelli, Aug 12 2004
  

       Yes, but the differing heat properties cause it to separate during heating. I checked out how to make a lava lamp prior to posting, and that's where I came up with the mix ingredients.   

       I've always loved those plasma lamps, by the way. Other than the method of entertainment, this has a thermometric side.
shapu, Aug 12 2004
  

       The mix of the "lava" could be just about anything. We can use our imagination, right? +
swimr, Aug 12 2004
  

       Apparently, yeah, they separate. I won't beg for a bun (here) but that's what I read. Almost all DIY liquid motion lamps use an alcohol for the goo.   

       Frankly, I don't understand it either. Boggles the hell out of me, but if there's one group of people I trust, it's lighting geeks.   

       EDIT: I shied away from wax because the apparently the heating time is slower.   

       EDIT again: Some others use mineral oil, but the heating would again be slightly slower.   

       EDIT cubed: What the heck's an imaginat...aw, dangit.
shapu, Aug 12 2004
  

       I thought it was alcohol as the "liquid" and mineral oil as the "blob"?   

       Unless it's a special case for cynnamyl alcohol, water and all alcohols are miscible and will form a solution (aka an alcoholic beverage, rubbing alcohol, etc)   

       Cool mug idea though, +
eulachon, Aug 12 2004
  

       FJ, I see your link, but I remain convinced that the mug is superior, as it would be entirely self-contained. Just need a cord on a spool, like other self-warming mugs and heaters - having convection heaters all over your office would reduce the number of places you can put your head down and take a nap with the door closed.
shapu, Aug 17 2004
  

       Ahhh...so noted. Please ignore sentence 3 of the fourth paragraph, re: recommendations. That goes for all y'all.
shapu, Aug 17 2004
  

       With the slight objection that I already have something that distracts me from work and my boss that's more interesting than your mug, good idea.
wagster, Aug 17 2004
  

       [wags], your distraction wouldn't happen to be a viciously addictive thing disguised as a lovely little website called the HalfBakery, would it? What? Oh yeah...mine neither.
Machiavelli, Aug 18 2004
  

       Interesting. If you could work out a way to create coffe-cup watermarks which would be dynamic and lava-patterned then you could be onto an all-time best idea!
dobtabulous, Aug 18 2004
  
      
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