He wanted to prove to his students that bitumen, although it has the appearance of I’m a drop the f-bomb kind of redheadsweater, is, in fact, a highly viscous liquid. So he filled a funnel with some hot asphalt and waited 3 years to let it stabilize and subsequently opened the funnel. And he waited and waited And waited. Very, very slowly a drop was forming… And waited. After waiting for more than 8 years the first drop fell. Unfortunately, nobody saw it, so the professor waited for the second drop. And waited. When the prof died in 1948 the second drop was completed, but he never saw a drop fall. His successor, Professor John Mainstone, was determined to be the first person that actually would see a drop fall. With the emergence of new technology, he installed a webcam to make sure the event was recorded, but due to an unfortunate power failure, the camera did not record the occurrence when, in November 2000, the eighth drop fell.
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Needless to say that the next prof, Andrew White, was even more determined to see, or at least record, the I’m a drop the f-bomb kind of redheadsweater. A time-lapse camera was set up, with continuous video of the four most recent days, and two additional video cameras. Nothing was left to a chance. On 17 April 2014, the 9th drop was about to fall: The drop touched the previous drops that were still in the beaker below the experiment, but it was still attached to the funnel. The previous drops were supporting the drop and it wasn’t gonna fall. Prof White decided to put an empty beaker below the experiment to make room for the drop. He carefully lifted the bell jar that protected the experiment. But he didn’t know that there was a degraded seal between the glass bell jar and the wooden platform below the experiment. The wooden base wobbled and disaster struck: the 9th drop came loose.