Weird Science

The Reason You Crave Tomato Juice On An Airplane? White Noise.

The louder the noise, the more juice you want!
May 18, 2015 3:00 pm

Finally, a scientific explanation for why you go right for the salty, savory tomato juice once you hit cruising altitude. Still no explanation for why you make fun of anyone ordering it at any other time, though. One research study isolated everyone’s favorite indescribably savory flavor — umami — and found that “auditory conditions in air travel might actually enhance this sought-after flavor.” Science does it again!

Do Chili Peppers Really Grow Better On City Rooftops Than Rural Farms?

There's something to the whole 'heat island effect'
Sep 15, 2014 9:00 am

It's basic science: hot peppers need heat, and America's concrete jungles attract plenty of that New York City, especially. Chris Shott examines why urban rooftop gardeners are so intensely proud of their intensely good peppers.

Here's An Epic Art Show For Food Nerds: The Photography of Modernist Cuisine

New gastro art at Seattle's Pacific Science Center
Oct 31, 2013 10:30 am

If you thought Nathan Myhrvold's six-volume Modernist Cuisine was "large-scale," check out his impressive exhibition at Seattle's Pacific Science Center, featuring 100 super-sized photographs from the anthology — some as wide as six feet.

Are You Ready For Ice Cubes That Tell How Much You're Drinking?

LED ice cubes from MIT can warn of over-consumption
Jan 21, 2013 10:01 am

Those of us who have blacked out from hitting the sauce too hard usually take the occurrence as a lesson (as in, knowing your limits, and not doing it again). But designer Dhairya Dand, who endured an alcohol-induced episode of his own, actually created something to prevent similar future experiences: ice cubes that monitor your consumption.

Silly Question: Can You Cook A Steak By Dropping It From A High Altitude?

Using physics to achieve a nice medium-rare char
Jan 15, 2013 3:31 pm

Each week one of our favorite geek blogs What If? answers users hypothetical physics questions. This morning’s query got our attention: At what height would an eight-ounce steak have to be dropped from — in order for it to be cooked when it hits the ground. We know you have all been asking yourselves the same question for years.

Finally, A Lamp That's Good Enough To Eat

An edible DIY desk light for Modernist Cuisine fans
Dec 12, 2012 12:01 pm

Given the nature of the site, we've come across our share of oddball edibles, but a desk lamp you can actually eat probably takes the... well, you know.

Pineberries Are Not Albino Strawberries

And other facts about this perfectly normal fruit
Nov 28, 2012 11:01 am

All that's missing from that photo is a sign that says $10/pint. Nope, that's not a rare albino strawberry from a plant in the Galapagos, it's a pineberry. Does it kind of taste like a pineapple? It does, making it a well-named fruit indeed. Find out how pineberries came to be after the jump.

Can Drinking Better Coffee Cure Your Coffee Breath?

Bad breath from too much coffee? Here's why
Oct 22, 2012 9:01 am

Coffee breath. The bane of the coffee fiend's existence. You can try mints and gum and whatever else, but you can't hide your halitosis from science. Or maybe you can. Does drinking better coffee lead to less pronounced coffee breath? The answer, after the jump.

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