Good News/Bad News, Internet: Your Broom Will Stand Up on Its Own Any Day of the Year

Nikolaeva Elena, iStock via Getty Images
Nikolaeva Elena, iStock via Getty Images

Internet users around world broke out their cleaning supplies on Monday to take part in the "Broom Challenge." According to the viral tweet that kicked off the trend, NASA claimed February 10 is the one day of the year a broom can stand up on its own, thanks to some quirk of the Earth's gravitational pull. The many people who copied the trick proved balancing a broom is indeed possible, but every other part of the tweet was false.

As USA Today reports, you can make a broom stand up straight any day of the year, and it appears that NASA never claimed otherwise. The phenomenon isn't the result of witchcraft or some rare alignment of the planets; it has everything to do with the broom's design.

A typical broom's center of gravity falls between the base of its handle and the top of its head. This low center of gravity gives a broom stability, and if you prop one up on its bristles, it should have no trouble staying upright—no matter where the planets are in the sky.

The challenge went viral recently, but it's been around in some form or another for many years. If you balanced eggs on the spring equinox in elementary school, that trick was also based on a lie. Like brooms, eggs can stand up on their end all year round, and they also owe their stability to a low center of gravity.

[h/t USA Today]

The ChopBox Smart Cutting Board Has a Food Scale, Timer, and Knife Sharper Built Right Into It

ChopBox
ChopBox

When it comes to furnishing your kitchen with all of the appliances necessary to cook night in and night out, you’ll probably find yourself running out of counter space in a hurry. The ChopBox, which is available on Indiegogo and dubs itself “The World’s First Smart Cutting Board,” looks to fix that by cramming a bunch of kitchen necessities right into one cutting board.

In addition to giving you a knife-resistant bamboo surface to slice and dice on, the ChopBox features a built-in digital scale that weighs up to 6.6 pounds of food, a nine-hour kitchen timer, and two knife sharpeners. It also sports a groove on its surface to catch any liquid runoff that may be produced by the food and has a second pull-out cutting board that doubles as a serving tray.

There’s a 254nm UVC light featured on the board, which the company says “is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria" after a minute of exposure. If you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to cleanliness, the ChopBox is completely waterproof (but not dishwasher-safe) so you can wash and scrub to your heart’s content without worry. 

According to the company, a single one-hour charge will give you 30 days of battery life, and can be recharged through a Micro USB port.

The ChopBox reached its $10,000 crowdfunding goal just 10 minutes after launching its campaign, but you can still contribute at different tiers. Once it’s officially released, the ChopBox will retail for $200, but you can get one for $100 if you pledge now. You can purchase the ChopBox on Indiegogo here.

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How the Trapper Keeper Trapped the Hearts of '80s and '90s Kids

Courtesy of Cinzia Reale-Castello
Courtesy of Cinzia Reale-Castello

No matter when or where you grew up, back-to-school shopping typically revolved around two things: clothing and school supplies. And if you’re an adult of a certain age, you probably had a Trapper Keeper on that latter list of must-buy items.

Like the stickers, skins, and cases that adorn your smartphones and laptops today, Trapper Keepers were a way for kids to express their individual personalities. The three-ring binders dominated classrooms in the '80s and '90s, and featured a vast array of designs—from colorful Lisa Frank illustrations to photos of cool cars and popular celebrities—that allowed kids to customize their organizational tools. 

In this episode of "Throwback," we're ripping open the Velcro cover and digging into the history of the Trapper Keeper. You can watch the full episode below.

Be sure to head here and subscribe so you don't miss an episode of "Throwback," where we explore the fascinating stories behind some of the greatest toys and trends from your childhood.