Teenager Mike Senatore has taken the internet by storm this week thanks to the now viral video of him flipping a water bottle at his high school talent show in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The teen's flip trick follows in a long line of teenagers filming themselves performing trick shots and pretending to be Tom Cruise in Cocktail. Senatore told The Charlotte Observer he first performed the feat last year while bored in a chemistry class. He perfected the skill when things were slow at his job and planned the stunt for the whole school year.
But how do you do it?
I tried it myself, mimicking the movements used by the flippers in the videos. It's harder than it looks. I needed an expert, clearly. I needed Mike Senatore, but The Charlotte Observer had Mike Senatore. He told the paper Deer Park-brand bottles, filled to the "third divot," work best for this stunt.
A brief refresher in physics was in order. "It looks like a center of gravity issue where you spin the bottle, keeping the liquid on the bottom, and making the bottom of the bottle heavy so it tends to land on its bottom and stay there," Steve Bove, a physics teacher at Capitol High School in Olympia, Wash., told me.
With this in mind, I tried again. No luck. But seven tries in, I nailed it.
Here's how you can the master water bottle flipping technique to impress your friends this summer.
• Use a water bottle that's about a quarter full (eyeball it).
• Hold the bottle from its neck-and-cap area.
• Apply force and give it a little flick with the bottom of the bottle out and rotating away from you. Give it enough arc so that as the rotation is being completed, the water slushes back to the bottom, allowing the bottle to fall straight down.
That's how you bottle flip. Go forth and make all your water bottle experiences a lit one, I'll be over here practicing.
David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on Fusion.net—hop on. Got a tip? Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org