Yesterday, we had our first Holiday office party since 2019. It was wonderful to get everyone back together, share some delicious food, and exchange some gifts. But we also did something totally new and unique: George, who joined Keystone as a developer earlier this year, brought in some liquid nitrogen, and led us in a science experiment! 

We started off with a demonstration of the super-cold liquid's properties, with Katharina (our newest Customer Support Specialist) submerging a rubber ball, freezing it to the point that its once-flexible molecules were too densely packed to bounce back. Instead, when she dropped the ball, it broke apart with a loud crack!

[Video description: George dons heavy-duty protective gloves, and picks up a bottle of liquid nitrogen as he explains its properties. The Keystone staff, mostly dressed in festive holiday outfits, are gathered in a circle to watch. The nitrogen steams and boils as soon as it hits the bowl. George helps Katharina gear up in the gloves and safety goggles, then gives her a rubber bouncy ball to hold with long metal tongs. Katharina carefully dunks the ball in the nitrogen, holding it under as the liquid boils around it. Once the boiling subsides, she pulls it out, holds it straight in front of her, and drops it on a metal plate. On impact, the ball splits into three even chunks.]

Once the ball returned to room temperature, the pieces were once again soft and squishy. But the best part of the experiment was up next: ICE CREAM!!!

As the liquid nitrogen was poured into the much warmer bowl of milk and sugar, the ingredients were rapidly chilled, and the nitrogen boiled off, keeping everything light and fluffy. Within minutes, we had delicious, freshly-made soft serve! 

[Video description: a long table holds two bowls with a chocolatey liquid in them. Katy and Mitake take turns stirring one bowl, while James and John C. work on the other. They are all wearing rubber gloves and safety glasses. While explaining what to do, George helps each pair get set up with a folded napkin to hold the metal bowl with, since those bowls are about to get very cold. The nitrogen is stored in tall thermoses, just like you might use for coffee or soup. More chocolate is added, and once the ingredients are ready, James and Mitake start pouring in the nitrogen. So much white fog steams up, that you can no longer see the other contents of the bowls, and James, Mitake, and George have to keep fanning the bowls for Katy and John to see what they're stirring. Gradually, the liquid mix in the bowls thickens and ices up into soft serve.]

While we can't invite all of you to the office for dessert, we hope that you all will have the chance to share some holiday joy and wonder of your own--whether it comes in the form of a science experiment, a gift exchange, or just a chance to catch up with friends and family.

From all of us to all of you, Happy Holidays!

[Video description: a collage of close-up photos of the ice cream making process surround a video clip from another angle. The photos show the table with everyone preparing to make the ice cream, the Keystone staff gathered around filming or watching, bowls being held tight and stirred just as the ingredients start to form up, and finally a bowl of delicious-looking chocolate ice cream.]

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Keystone Systems, Inc.
8016 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27612