Chosen One of the Day: DIY solar eclipse glasses

Contributed by
Aug 21, 2017

There aren’t many elementary school projects I can think of that actually carried over into useful life skills. I’ve never needed to fashion a magnet from a AA battery, or to make parachutes for my eggs, and still don’t know why I had to learn to play the recorder. I know the last one isn’t science related, but seriously, WHY DOES THAT THING EXIST?!?

One skill I do remember learning was how to make a solar eclipse viewer from a cereal box. In hindsight, I have no idea why we were taught this since it would be decades before we experience a total solar eclipse, but oddly the random project stuck with me. It was a little weird to read on the interwebs about people getting scammed buying bogus solar eclipse glasses when all they needed was a cereal box, tape, aluminum foil, and a pair of scissors. Plus, you can eat the cereal while watching the eclipse which is kinda a win/win. Personally, I’d much rather be seen rocking a box of fruity pebbles on my face than those cheap cardboard solar eclipse glasses. Movie theaters don’t even use those cheesey things for their 3D glasses anymore, so you’d think a big event like this would upgrade a bit.

I know the COOTD tends to be some weird, irreverent pop culture reference, but today it made sense to make the hero something that really can save the day (and your eyesight) since I'm 98% sure we're going to hear about at least 4 dipsh*ts that tried watching the eclipse with only their sunglasses on and now have permenant eye damage. So in case you did purchase 3D glasses, Space.com has some tips on how to safely view the event and to make sure the glasses you bought are the real deal.