I was listening to an Ebert & Roper Podcast the other day. In this particular episode, they were reviewing the movie Duck Season and Roper made mention of the fact that in the movie a boy sticks his finger in his Coke as it’s being poured to keep it from overflowing. Ebert acted as if everyone should know this trick and attested to it’s effectiveness, not just with soda, but beer as well. Maybe this was common knowledge to Ebert’s generation, but this was the first I had ever heard of fit.
Later that afternoon, I was pouring myself a Diet Coke from a two liter bottle and since it was a fresh bottle, there was a lot of foam rising to the top. Suddenly remembering the trick mentioned in the podcast, I quickly stuck my finger in the glass and much to my surprise, it worked! :O Not only that, I could keep pouring the cola beverage and the fizz never crested the top of the glass. I’m sure there’s a reasonable and no doubt scientific reason for why this works, but given all my many years of pouring Coke into a glass, I’m here to tell you — it looked like magic.
Since then I’ve been sticking my finger in my carbonated beverages everytime I pour and I know it may look a bit bizarre to people who haven’t heard of this nifty little trick, but it works so splendidly. Yet that begs the question, was I the only one who never heard of this before? Please post a comment and let me know.
You may not be the only one, but maybe close. I remember (when I drank such stuff) I would touch my finger to the ever rising mass of foam and it would halt its progress and retreat – I don’t remember ever getting instruction to do it though. As a kid I never really thought too much about it. But now I would assume is a surface tension type of thing. The bubbles are dependent on the surface tension of the protein/sugar solution to remain intact. If an impurity is introduced (and your finger is ripe with impurities) then the foam breaks down.
That’s my 2 cent Mr. Wizard explanation.