Scientist takes the ALS challenge to the extreme with a bucket of Liquid Nitrogen

The internet has been stuffed full of both ordinary folk and celebs doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge over the last couple of weeks. So all we have left to hit the headlines are some very famous yet unlikely ALS challengers or those who will take the Ice Bucket to the extreme in some way. This falls into the latter category.

Doing the ALS LN2 challenge

Doing the ALS LN2 challenge

Moe Qureshi, a chemist based at the University of Toronto, decided to give the ALS Ice Bucket challenge a chilling twist by swapping out the iced water for a bucket of liquid nitrogen. That does sound rather dangerous and indeed, the video comes with a health warning of the ‘don’t try this at home’ type. We are told that LN2 can give people frostbite or even kill them via asphyxia – in a flash.

Moe and NurdRage, one of my favourite YouTube channels, collaborated on this ‘project’ and donated $100 to the ALS ‘Lou Gehrig’s disease’ cause. The demonstration was also partly to benefit ‘Science’, said Moe.

We were told, just before Moe nervously doused himself with what looked to be over a litre of LN2, that he would be protected by a scientific phenomenon known as the Leidenfrost Effect. As Moe douses himself in the liquid which is as cold as -196ºC (-321°F) you see him shuffling quickly to make sure that any concentrations of the liquid don’t settle on his head/body and cause frostbite. He and his T-shirt seem to ‘smoke’ for about 20 seconds and he says it’s “much much colder than ice water”.

The end of the video shows that this wasn’t Moe’s first LN2 dousing as he had to practice at least once before the final take! Well done Moe!

Mark Tyson

Mark has worked for a number of years as a newshound on other technology news websites. He decided to write for Tech Assimilate thanks to this web site's open embracing vision of the fascinating world of personal technology. Mark has also worked in the printing and advertising industries for tens of years previously.

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