Archive for the 'Food' Category
A couple of days ago, one of the PopSci.com edit staff asked me if it was possible to brew a beer in time for election day. That’s related to one of the most-often encountered questions I get about homebrewing: How long does it take to make beer? My standard answer is “approximately six weeks,” because here at BeerSci we tend to brew styles that benefit from that schedule, and we have a limited amount of space for non-essential equipment such as giant cylinders of CO2.
But it is entirely possible to brew a beer in seven days …
Among those polled, scientists and lab techs were found to be the heaviest coffee drinkers in the country. Anyone who works, or has worked, in science will likely find this result unsurprising. Science, after all, is a 24-hour job. Experiments often run on timelines that are in every way at odds with the circadian rhythms of a normal human being — or any other creature, for that matter. Many scientists work under crushing pressure to publish results before competing labs or research groups. Limited funding requires researchers to put in countless hours writing grant proposals when they could be doing science. (It’s not that they’re writing grants instead of doing science, by the way. They’re writing grants and doing science.)
Not me, though. I’ve never liked coffee and have cut way back on the caffeine thing.
[S]cience has finally come up with an explanation for what comes naturally to most home cooks: Eggs crack best around their equators, says MIT mechanical engineer Pedro Reis, because of their geometry. He and a young colleague, Arnaud Lazarus, have just published a paper in Physical Review Letters demonstrating a link between an eggshell’s geometry (it belongs to a class of shapes known as ovoids) and a mechanical property called rigidity—the quality that, along with strength, determines how much force an object can withstand before it cracks.
I really want this to be real, and not just a viral ad campaign.
… but their website doesn’t say anything about being able to actually buy this. Just the video.
Thieves in the Canadian province of Quebec may have pulled off the sweetest heist of all time, siphoning off a reservoir of maple syrup from a warehouse and cleverly covering up their caper to evade detection, an industry group said on Friday.
Physics and Physicists: “Sticky physics of joy: On the dissolution of spherical candies”
From the paper’s abstract
Assuming a constant mass-decrease per unit-surface and -time we provide a very simplistic model for the dissolution process of spherical candies. The aim is to investigate the quantitative behavior of the dissolution process throughout the act of eating the candy.
The first commenter grabbed the “low-hanging fruit” response:
Blaise Pascal said…
It appears that this is the right paper (or at least, the right researchers) to answer the important question in this field:
How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Previous published experimental trials yielded an answer of 3 (W. Owl, 1970), but I believe the experimental protocol was flawed.
No eror bars on that result, either.
Odds are you sometimes think about calories. They are among the most often counted things in the universe. When the calorie was originally conceived it was in the context of human work. More calories meant more capacity for work, more chemical fire with which to get the job done, coal in the human stove. Fat, it has been estimated, has nine calories per gram, carbohydrates and proteins just four; fiber is sometimes counted separately and gets awarded a piddling two. Every box of every food you have ever bought is labeled based on these estimates, too bad then that they are so often wrong.
So last week I posted a bit about Han-Solo-in-Carbonite ice trays, and ordered one (along with some NERF armament). I didn’t have any chocolate around to try that suggestion, but I was able to make some pats of butter, which would be fun if you had a Star Wars dinner party. Or something. Spread on some Millennium Falcon-shaped English muffins!
Not sure what the best technique is. This was softened and scraped into the mold and then zapped in the microwave for 10 seconds, because I wasn’t sure the butter was quite soft enough to fill the body features.