Today’s Illustration: “Oobleck”

  • The word was originally used in the book “Bartholomew and the Oobleck.”
  • The word was originally a funny non-sense word.
  • Today, a mixture has become identified by the word “Oobleck.”
  • Oobleck is a “non-newtonian fluid,” in that it is both a liquid and a solid.
  • When at rest, it is a liquid, and you can pour it.
  • When pressure is applied, it becomes a solid.
  • When it is left to rest again, it becomes a liquid.
  • When you grab it with your hands, it initially acts like a liquid and oozes through your hands.
  • Apply pressure to it as a whole, and you can even walk on it.
  • You can make it at home (Here is this year’s science project idea — Non-Newtonian Physics).
  • Recipe:
    – 1 cup water
    – 1.5-2 cups corn starch
    – a few drops of food coloring of your choice (It was green in the Dr. Seus book.)
  • “Applying pressure to the mixture increases its viscosity (thickness). A quick tap on the surface of Oobleck will make it feel hard, because it forces the cornstarch particles together. But dip your hand slowly into the mix, and see what happens—your fingers slide in as easily as through water. Moving slowly gives the cornstarch particles time to move out of the way.” [2]

. . . . .

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • patience
  • unity
  • together
  • fellowship
  • family
  • trials
  • pressure
  • stubbornness
  • self-awareness
  • peace
  • temptation

. . . . . 

Sermonic Example:

(Use whatever details and information you find useful.)

Many of us are very familiar with the works of Dr. Seuse.  In one of his books, he introduced the word “Oobleck.”  It was a nonsense word at the time, used to describe a sticky green substance that was falling from the sky.

“Oobleck” has since become one of the words that now appear in our dictionary, but the word is not used as originally created.  It is now used to describe a “non-Newtonian fluid” that kids have fun playing with at home.  Your and your child may have made some “oobleck” in your kitchen.

It is a non-Newtonian fluid, which at rest is a liquid, and under pressure is a solid.  Leave it in a bowl, and you can pour it out.  Apply pressure to it — punch it —  and it instantly becomes a solid.  That is what makes it such fun to play with.

It is a mixture, when at rest, will ooze through your hands, and a mixture you can walk on if you apply sudden pressure.

It is a mixture of cornstarch and water, with usually a little food coloring added for effect.  The molecules in the cornstarch will not slip past each other easily when under any force, unlike water.  Instead, they attach to each other and create a solid.  Let them relax again, and move your fingers or hand through the substances slowly, and it will act like a slime.

Oobleck –Aat rest it is fluid. Put it under pressure, and it is resistant. Punch it, and it instantly becomes a solid!

That kitchen fun is not only an example of “non-Newtonian physics,” but it is also an example of how we as believers can misunderstand ourselves.  We can easily see ourselves as followers of our Lord when things are at rest in our lives.  But just add some pressure, and we can become very resistant.  We can believe that we are pretty good Christians, as we seek to live out what we know of our Lord, until some pressure situation shows up — some stress is applied, some difficult situation in life tries our patience. . . . .

. . . . . 

Ohter Information & Links:



“Learn More: Physics

  • In a solid, the molecules are tightly packed and vibrate in place. In a liquid, the molecules slip past each other, allowing liquids to flow. But have you ever noticed some liquids flow faster than others? Think about water versus honey. What makes them flow differently?
  • You can find out by rubbing your hands together quickly. What do you feel? That heat is from friction, or force that holds back the movement of a sliding object. As the molecules in a liquid slide past each other, they generate friction, too. The more friction they generate, the slower they move. Why is that? The force of the friction is holding back their movement, effectively slowing them down.
  • The friction between molecules in a liquid is called viscosity. The more viscous a liquid, the more energy it takes for it to flow. High visocity liquids, like honey or corn syrup, also tend to be thicker.
  • So what about oobleck? Oobleck is called a non-Newtonian fluid because it breaks the rules of Newtonian viscosity. On Earth, they’ll always be subject to the laws of gravity and the laws of motion Newton described. But the viscosity of oobleck, or the interactions and friction between the molecules, changes based on force you apply to applied to it.”

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