Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sometimes A Thing Is As Good As Advertised

Um. Yes. Those are soap bubbles. And yes, they're pink. Vividly pink. Amazingly pink. Trust me: you cannot achieve this effect with food colouring, or for that matter, any other quirks of chemistry you happen to have up your sleeve. These bubbles are something new and amazing.

I believe I mentioned a while back that I aimed to score Super Dad Points on the Mau-Mau's birthday by acquiring a small stock of Unobtanium: coloured soap bubbles so new to the market they're not actually available in Australia as yet. Courtesy of my boon friend Bigskygirl, I managed to have two packets of Zubbles sent over, and they arrived just in time for today's big event -- the Mau-Mau's fourth birthday.

She got a hell of a haul, courtesy of parents, grandparents, cousins, and far-off USAnian friends, but it was those bubbles that drew the most attention. Seriously, folks: they're farkin' amazing.

I read about Zubbles a few years back, on the web. At that time, the people behind it thought they'd go to market within six months. It took them several years, but they're finally here - and what they've created is little short of miraculous.

The bubbles are perfect, and beautiful. Sure, you can only get pink and blue at this point, but both the colours are strong and vivid. Most amazingly, they do not stain. Not at all. In fact, within a few seconds of the bubbles splashing onto a vulnerable surface, most of the colour fades. The rest disappears with gentle rubbing.

It's like magic. We splattered cerise bubble-stuff all over the white walls, just for the fun of making the stains vanish. The Mau-Mau got it all over her hands and face and clothing - and it simply wiped away.

I don't do 'corporate shill', but I am always impressed by good design, good ideas, and products which do exactly as advertised. Zubbles are delightful. They are astonishing. They are beautiful and ephemeral and marvellous as soap-bubbles have always been... only now, they come in brilliant, dreamlike colours.

Start putting your small change in a jar. You can't get Zubbles in Oz yet, and I've probably snubbed a few laws by receiving the stuff as a gift... but fuck it. There's little enough magic in the world. If you've got kids, or if you've ever been a kid, you owe it to yourself to get hold of some of this stuff...


  1. Those bubbles are fantastic!

    And the ladies in your family are gorgeous. :)

  2. I want bubbles like those!!

    And yes, the Flinthart girls are gorgeous. :D

    Is there not supposed to be sound? I've been having issues with sound on my laptop lately.

  3. Wow, what the hell are they made of? Or is that a closely guarded trade secret?

  4. Science Works Melbourne has them in stock, probably by a similar arrangement to the one you employed, well maybe not BigSkygirl as such.

  5. Doc Yob: the article I read four years back was cagy about the chemistry. They talked more about the approaches that didn't work. My impression is that there is some seriously patentable science kicking around behind the scenes here. If you're really interested - and I agree, it's an incredibly interesting phenomenon - I'd say start with their website, and read onwards through the Web as best you can.

    Barnesm: Science Works Melbourne? Wow! Those lads are fast movers. Good to know someone else has done it, though, because it implies maybe I'm not going to be arrested as a terrorist.

    The rest of you: buy Zubbles. These people deserve to make money out of what they've done, and the rest of us deserve a rainbow of coloured bubbles, so the company has to stay solvent!

  6. Not going to pretend I understand two fifths of bugger all of this, but here's their patent application:
    Looks like they've patented a bunch of combinations of surfactants and colourants, possibly to cover their bases for future developments/improvements, possibly to throw a few red herrings into the mix for anyone looking to develop similar technology.

  7. Interesting. The one thing I couldn't find, buzzing through that mass of chemistry, was an explanation of how they manage the vanishing trick. The use of surfactants to suspend colouring agents in the bubble structure is logical, and could be developed through trial and error. But... that bit where the colour simply disappears with a little bit of rubbing? Whoa. That's something altogether different.

    As for the ladies of Clan Flinthart... well, yes. Nat was and is an eye-opener, and the Mau-Mau has (hopefully) inherited the right set of genes there.

  8. Oh mah bubbles! I would've been in heaven as a young lass. And I'm also in agreement about how you're surrounded by adorable gals!

  9. They are awesome! I must secure some for The Little Bloke. He likes bubbles too.

  10. Mau Mau seem to have your wild hair :)

  11. Yes Bart I reckon she's a righteous Femme Flint.

  12. mmmm bubbles.
    Can I have Mau mau when you've finished your go?

    Hey FH
    I've got a synopsis & 1st 3 chapters of spec-fic I don't know shit about. I quoted $45 per hour to appraise. You up for it? He's an author I repped when I was an agent - totally not mad - lovely bloke who takes criticism as it is meant to be taken - constructively.
    Let me know and it's yours. Just want's to know if it is worth pursuing.