You may not need help determining if the beverage you are drinking is hot or cold, but some people might. Luckily, these coasters will tell you just what you need to know: red for hot, blue for cold. A light encapsulated inside the coaster changes to the appropriate color depending on the temperature of your drink.
Empirical evidence shows that there is a great need for temperature awareness in today's modern world. For example, we have specially designed beer packaging that tells us when the beer is cold (hint: it's when the mountains turn blue). And of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that famous McDonald's lawsuit regarding spilled hot coffee. These Smart Coasters are hermetically sealed and powered via a solar cell, so unlike your leg (which can get third-degree burns), they will be fine if you spill your drink on them.
The DIY coaster project is just one of many created by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories for the new cookbook/lab manual, The Hungry Scientist Handbook. Other projects from the team include Computer Chip Trivets, Crafty Fridge Magnets, and Edible Origami.
Put together by authors Patrick Buckley and Lily Binns, The Hungry Scientist Handbook is an idea that stemmed from a group dinner party. The result is an excellent example of what can happen when like minds get together and brainstorm. Other notable projects from the book include caramel lace lingerie and pomegranate wine. Clearly aimed for discerning and crafty adults. Good stuff.