All Posts In News

This Balletic Beer-Can-Making Video May Make Your Heart Leap

by in News, March 1st, 2015

Hops on PointeBallerinas have their leaps; beer has its hops. Nevertheless, beer cans and ballet dancers would seem to have little in common — until you watch this unexpectedly graceful video about the making of aluminum beer cans.

After taking their bows in the factory, these cans will go on to contain Hops on Pointe beer, a pale lager (6.7 percent alcohol) created by Wellington, New Zealand, brewery Garage Project for the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

The Garage Project calls its beer and ballet pairing, originally bottled, “an unusual pas de deux,” noting that it “teases the boundaries between high and low culture.”

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What Makes Coffee Smell So Good? An Infographic Makes Scents of It

by in Drinks, News, February 28th, 2015

What Makes Coffee Smell So Good?Mmmm … the aroma of coffee. Even some people who don’t drink it enjoy coffee’s heady scent. And those of us who are coffee drinkers may respond to the smell of a freshly brewed pot with a love that can be embarrassing in its fervor.

Why do we adore it so? Past research has indicated that just the smell of coffee sends a wake-up call to the brain and reduces the stress of sleep deprivation, and now there’s an infographic that parses the chemistry of coffee’s aromatic appeal.

“There are a number of different ways in which coffee’s aroma compounds are created,” Compound Interest, the chemistry blog that created the infographic, explains. It adds that the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and sugars that makes browned foods like seared steak so delicious, “is a big contributor here, the reaction between proteins and sugars in the coffee beans producing a range of products.” What’s more, the site notes, “degradation and decomposition of other compounds in the coffee beans can also produce aroma compounds.” Brewing also plays a role.

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Chrissy Teigen Gives Glory to John Legend’s Egg Sandwiches

by in News, February 27th, 2015

Egg SandwichAnyone who watched the Academy Awards on Sunday night knows singer-songwriter John Legend (aka John Stephens) and rapper Common (Lonnie Lynn) killed it with their rousing performance of “Glory,” from the film Selma, sparking a standing ovation from the audience and leaving some celebrity faces streaked with tears. Then they slayed it all over again when they collected their golden statuettes for Best Original Song.

But what you may not know is that Legend is also apparently handy with the morning meal.

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How Many Licks to the Center of a Lollipop? The Answer, Revealed

by in News, February 21st, 2015

LollipopsYou know the old commercial: How many times would you have to lick a lollipop in order to reach the coveted center of a Tootsie Pop? One, two, (crunch) three? Although it ended with the wistful assertion that “the world may never know,” science has finally provided an answer: about 1,000.

Cleverly avoiding the vexing issue of the premature bite, researchers at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Florida State University immersed hard candy in a water current, formulated a theory for how flows cause dissolving and shrinking, and made a few calculations to come up with their lollipop-lick estimate.

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Is This the World’s Most-Expensive Peanut Butter?

by in News, February 19th, 2015

Standard Reference Material No. 2387How much do you pay for a typical jar of peanut butter? Three or four bucks, maybe five? For super-typical peanut butter, though, you can expect to pay a bit more: $761 for three six-ounce jars, which works out to be about $254 per jar.

That’s how much the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, charges for its pasty PB known as “Standard Reference Material No. 2387.” And if you want to know what’s so unusual about the government agency’s peanut butter, aside from its catchy name, the answer is: nothing. Nothing at all. Which is precisely the point.

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What Makes Popcorn Go ‘Pop’?

by in News, February 17th, 2015

PopcornHere are a few of the things most of us know about popcorn:

1. We love the way it tastes and smells.
2. We especially love it while we’re watching a movie.
3. Sometimes, when we’re feeling decadent, we like it with butter.
4. Other times, when we’re feeling more virtuous, we enjoy it more or less straight up.
5. There’s nothing quite so distinctive as the sound it makes when it pops.

Here’s one thing you probably didn’t know: why it makes that distinctive popping sound when it pops.

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Say Halo to Beyoncé’s New Home-Delivery Meal Service

by in News, February 15th, 2015

BeyonceDream of having a body like Beyoncé’s? Well, dream on, dreamgirls. But now, at least, you can follow her diet regime and have it delivered to your door.

The most-nominated woman in Grammy Awards history (calm down, Kanye) has just launched a vegan home-delivery meal service, 22 Days Nutrition, in partnership with her trainer and exercise physiologist Marco Borges. The meal program, based on Borges’ “22 Days Nutrition challenge,” which Beyoncé and Jay-Z embarked on back in the winter of 2013, is based on the idea that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, meaning that, on day 22, you’ve more or less locked in a good habit (put a ring on it!) or kicked a bad habit to the curb.

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You’ll Heart These Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Food on a Tiny Date

by in Holidays, News, February 14th, 2015

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How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day today?

You could cook an elegant meal for your special someone, your family or your sweet self. You could sit around and eat a big box of bonbons. You could go out to a fancy restaurant — or a not-so-fancy one. Or you could let two tiny hamsters do the celebrating for you.

Seriously, there is so much to love about this absurdly adorable video of tiny hamsters going on a tiny date, taking a tiny gondola to a place called Tiny Tony’s Restaurant. (“Tonight’s special: Perciatelli Pasta with Red Quinoa Meat Balls,” reads a tiny hand-lettered sign perched on a tiny easel.)

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What Do You Get When You Cross a Doughnut with a Babka? A Doughka!

by in News, February 12th, 2015

La NewyorkinaThe best food mash-ups are the kind that make you think, “Wait, that wasn’t already a thing?” Because it seems like they should have been there all your life.

Into that category one might place the “doughka,” a doughnut/babka hybrid recently whipped up by Fany Gerson, chef and owner of La Newyorkina, an artisanal Mexican icy-treat-and-sweeterie, and Dough, a handmade-doughnut destination, both in New York City.

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Hershey Wants to Make Your 3D Chocolate Dreams Come True

by in News, February 8th, 2015

3D SystemsThere’s nothing like the face of a kid eating a Hershey bar, or so the old jingle goes. But imagine that kid’s face checking out a 3D-printed version of his own face eating a Hershey bar. Whoa, meta!

The cast-in-cocoa possibilities are endless, thanks to the CocoJet 3D printer, a 3D chocolate printer introduced by 3D Systems and The Hershey Company last month at CES. Users can choose dark, milk or white chocolate and then watch as it is liquidly streamed into a preprogrammed design or a shape of their own choosing. Bespoke chocolate cards and customized cake toppers may be only the beginning.

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