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Thread: Really trivial stuff that amuses you...

  1. #12031
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    One of my favorite teachers was a chemistry professor who told us that his hobby was cooking. He said that chemists were always better cooks than the liberal arts folk, because we knew how to follow directions!
    I'm "liberal arts folk," and I'm perfectly capable of following directions. In some ways, though, I'm better at making bread than one of my friends because I know that, sometimes, the directions only take you so far. You can't have a specific amount of flour in your bread recipe and have it turn out right every time. You need to add flour until the dough feels right.
    _____________________________________________
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  2. #12032
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    Lots of chemistry (and lots of cooking) can involve following instructions, but both can also involve improvising. Maybe its that chemist know when to follow instructions, and when not to. Or maybe it is just our familiarity with the processes involved: mixing, heat transfer, judging completeness of reactions, etc.
    Speaking of trivial, amusing, and science-y cooking: I like soft boiled eggs and usually make one for my Saturday breakfast. While I am flexible on this point, my preference is for the white to be completely set, yet tender, while the yolk should set like a soft-to-medium custard. However, I don't always get the same results from the same cooking time. So, I recently began an eggs-periment of own.

    I'm taking more care with the cooking method...same pot every time; 1200 ml of water; burner reduced to a particular setting after the water comes to a boil; etc. For data, I'm recording the weight and initial temperature of the eggs and the cook time, of course. I'm also immersing the eggs in an ice bath to minimize continued cooking from residual heat. Doneness of both the white and yolk is then ranked using a 0–10 scale representing the percentage of doneness. Zero is essentially raw, 10 is completely cooked, and the additional value of 11 is applied to overcooking to any degree.

    The Wife rolls her eyes at my antics but I'm having a bit of fun with it. I'll share more when I have more.
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  3. #12033
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I'm "liberal arts folk," and I'm perfectly capable of following directions. In some ways, though, I'm better at making bread than one of my friends because I know that, sometimes, the directions only take you so far. You can't have a specific amount of flour in your bread recipe and have it turn out right every time. You need to add flour until the dough feels right.
    I'm aware that the creative cooking is more art than science. That's why I stick to the formula stuff, for which there are explicit instructions.

  4. #12034
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Speaking of trivial, amusing, and science-y cooking: I like soft boiled eggs and usually make one for my Saturday breakfast. While I am flexible on this point, my preference is for the white to be completely set, yet tender, while the yolk should set like a soft-to-medium custard. However, I don't always get the same results from the same cooking time. So, I recently began an eggs-periment of own.

    I'm taking more care with the cooking method...same pot every time; 1200 ml of water; burner reduced to a particular setting after the water comes to a boil; etc. For data, I'm recording the weight and initial temperature of the eggs and the cook time, of course. I'm also immersing the eggs in an ice bath to minimize continued cooking from residual heat. Doneness of both the white and yolk is then ranked using a 0–10 scale representing the percentage of doneness. Zero is essentially raw, 10 is completely cooked, and the additional value of 11 is applied to overcooking to any degree.

    The Wife rolls her eyes at my antics but I'm having a bit of fun with it. I'll share more when I have more.
    You probably need to add the number of minutes since the egg was laid, and the amount of time it spent in and out of refrigeration and at what temperatures. Also ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure.
    I despise raw egg white, which reminds me of nasal mucus, but want my yolks runny. I seldom get an egg that makes me happy. I'll settle for hard-boiled.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  5. #12035
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Speaking of trivial, amusing, and science-y cooking: I like soft boiled eggs and usually make one for my Saturday breakfast. While I am flexible on this point, my preference is for the white to be completely set, yet tender, while the yolk should set like a soft-to-medium custard. However, I don't always get the same results from the same cooking time. So, I recently began an eggs-periment of own.

    I'm taking more care with the cooking method...same pot every time; 1200 ml of water; burner reduced to a particular setting after the water comes to a boil; etc. For data, I'm recording the weight and initial temperature of the eggs and the cook time, of course. I'm also immersing the eggs in an ice bath to minimize continued cooking from residual heat. Doneness of both the white and yolk is then ranked using a 0–10 scale representing the percentage of doneness. Zero is essentially raw, 10 is completely cooked, and the additional value of 11 is applied to overcooking to any degree.

    The Wife rolls her eyes at my antics but I'm having a bit of fun with it. I'll share more when I have more.
    You win the geek award of the day.
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  6. #12036
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Speaking of trivial, amusing, and science-y cooking: I like soft boiled eggs and usually make one for my Saturday breakfast. While I am flexible on this point, my preference is for the white to be completely set, yet tender, while the yolk should set like a soft-to-medium custard. However, I don't always get the same results from the same cooking time. So, I recently began an eggs-periment of own.

    I'm taking more care with the cooking method...same pot every time; 1200 ml of water; burner reduced to a particular setting after the water comes to a boil; etc. For data, I'm recording the weight and initial temperature of the eggs and the cook time, of course. I'm also immersing the eggs in an ice bath to minimize continued cooking from residual heat. Doneness of both the white and yolk is then ranked using a 0–10 scale representing the percentage of doneness. Zero is essentially raw, 10 is completely cooked, and the additional value of 11 is applied to overcooking to any degree.

    The Wife rolls her eyes at my antics but I'm having a bit of fun with it. I'll share more when I have more.
    My grandfather taught me, when boiling eggs, to splash the hot water on the egg, lift it on a spoon away from the steam, and time the appearance of dry patches. No dry patches in, say, six seconds is still very soft. Dry patch in one to two seconds is hard boiled, yolk set, dry patch in four seconds is a good soft boil.

    This method works on the varying sizes of hens eggs. I still use it.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  7. #12037
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I'm "liberal arts folk," and I'm perfectly capable of following directions. In some ways, though, I'm better at making bread than one of my friends because I know that, sometimes, the directions only take you so far. You can't have a specific amount of flour in your bread recipe and have it turn out right every time. You need to add flour until the dough feels right.
    In that case, I would say the instructions are bad. It’s perfectly fine to have instructions to add flour until the desired consistency is reached rather than giving a specific amount.


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  8. #12038
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    Speaking of trivial, amusing, and science-y cooking: I like soft boiled eggs and usually make one for my Saturday breakfast. While I am flexible on this point, my preference is for the white to be completely set, yet tender, while the yolk should set like a soft-to-medium custard. However, I don't always get the same results from the same cooking time. So, I recently began an eggs-periment of own.
    Sounds cool. I like the same type of egg, and usually get a decent effect by boiling them for 3.5 minutes, but yes, the results are not consistent. If you d on some good statistical tests, you might be able to publish it in the Annals of Improbable Research.


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  9. #12039
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    In that case, I would say the instructions are bad. It’s perfectly fine to have instructions to add flour until the desired consistency is reached rather than giving a specific amount.
    My friend has a hard time dealing with that. Most bread recipes give a range of how much flour to use--I think the one I used in college said "6 to 7 1/2 cups," for instance--and it took him a long time to really understand that and get in the habit.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  10. #12040
    The brother in law decided work on his boat this week, last year he said he was going name it the sea 19.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
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  11. #12041
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    The brother in law decided work on his boat this week, last year he said he was going name it the sea 19.
    If he named it the Sea 14 it would seem dated.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  12. #12042
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    If he named it the Sea 14 it would seem dated.


    I so tope, I mean hope, this was the last such joke, otherwise the humor might decay.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  13. #12043
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  14. #12044
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post


    I so tope, I mean hope, this was the last such joke, otherwise the humor might decay.
    In 5730 years the joke would be only half as funny.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  15. #12045
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    For more than 20 years, the weekly issue of Science that arrives in my mailbox has been shipped in a plastic bag with a paper mailing label either stuck to the front cover or just slipped inside the bag. Voting packages and occasional regionally relevant stuff is shipped in a paper envelope. So I went to the post office today and there was a large paper envelope in the box. "Hmm, a voting package, maybe I'll just toss it". But inside was the magazine, a special edition. The theme on the cover is "Our Plastics Dilemma".

    Maybe not so trivial.

    ETA: There may have been a time when it wasn't shipped in a bag at all - just the magazine with a label stuck to the cover.

  16. #12046
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    National Geographic has also switched from a plastic sleeve to some sort of paper. I don't always read them. But having subsribed for 65 years or so, I'm reluctant to stop.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  17. #12047
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    For more than 20 years, the weekly issue of Science that arrives in my mailbox has been shipped in a plastic bag with a paper mailing label either stuck to the front cover or just slipped inside the bag. Voting packages and occasional regionally relevant stuff is shipped in a paper envelope. So I went to the post office today and there was a large paper envelope in the box. "Hmm, a voting package, maybe I'll just toss it". But inside was the magazine, a special edition. The theme on the cover is "Our Plastics Dilemma".

    Maybe not so trivial.

    ETA: There may have been a time when it wasn't shipped in a bag at all - just the magazine with a label stuck to the cover.
    I wonder if part of it was that they recognized the irony of shipping an issue on "Our Plastics Dilemma" in a plastic bag.

    Most of the magazines I get are just the magazine with the label on the cover and that works just fine.
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  18. #12048
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    My newspaper is delivered in a plastic bag.

    Editorially, they've been pushing hard on environmental issues, so many people have pointed out their own bag. Turns out to be a hard problem to solve due to cost and availability of replacements.

    (Even in the bag, my paper can be wet by the time I get it on a rainy day, so simply going paper won't help much).

    Luckily my employer collects soft plastics for (it claims) recycling, so I try to take my bags in there.
    Last edited by pzkpfw; 2021-Jul-19 at 03:30 AM. Reason: strike that
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  19. #12049
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I wonder if part of it was that they recognized the irony of shipping an issue on "Our Plastics Dilemma" in a plastic bag.
    That's exactly what I thought when I saw the cover.

  20. #12050
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Luckily my employer collects soft plastics for (it claims) recycling, so I try to take my bags in there.
    I wonder about that. There was an interesting video on YouTube about plastic recycling, unfortunately I forgot the name. The subject was about why China stopped accepting plastic waste a few years back. The gist of it was that with the US and a number of other countries, cargo ships taking goods to the other countries would return to China mostly empty, so bulk transport costs to China were very low. And in China, there was plastics demand and with low labor costs recycling plastics was marginally economic. However, it was so marginal, there was incentive to illegally dump waste they couldn’t use, increasing local pollution. Also, there were worker injuries in the dirty job that meant added health care costs to China. Ultimately, when the externalities were considered, it wasn’t worth it to them and the government stopped allowing the transport of plastic waste.

    In the US, the cost of plastic recycling is much higher, so after it couldn’t be sent to China for the most part it gets sent to landfills now. Although some other asian countries do still accept plastic waste.

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  21. #12051
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    I received an email this morning that begins as follows:

    Hello{firstName}
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  22. #12052
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I received an email this morning that begins as follows:

    Hello{firstName}


    I always love that personal touch.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  23. #12053
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I received an email this morning that begins as follows:

    Hello{firstName}
    Mind if I call you 1st, for short?
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  24. #12054
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    Reminds me somehow of this wonderful XKCD!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #12055
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    YouTube just fed me an ad for a permanently installed holiday lighting system. They mentioned many advantages, but failed to mention the one nearest and dearest to my heart. Also my back and leg.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #12056
    After beig a sleep for several hours amd there has benn several days of cloud cover waking up and realizing it is already time for another full moon.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  27. #12057
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Reminds me somehow of this wonderful XKCD!
    And that reminds me of the nightmares created by people using (in order of increasing hellishness) spaces, dots, special signs etc in file and folder names. The result is 10% of my code doing the thing it was designed to do, and 90% capturing all the nastiness that follows from loading those names into code.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  28. #12058
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    This came up in our neighborhood watch Facebook group today:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bear Aware.jpg 
Views:	83 
Size:	115.1 KB 
ID:	26331

    One gets used to certain things after living here a while, so they're taken as 'business as usual' without much conscious thought. Every once in a while, though, something stands out more than usual: something that reminds me how much we differ from most places in the Lower 48.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  29. #12059
    This morning before the auction I went to the local hardware store and picked some rust remover and spray paint for a set file cabinets I pick up at the last auction. While unpacking the stuff today there was a set of blue file cabinets, maybe my niece needs a set.

    There was a couple on the road who lived here for over forty years and sold there house about 7 years ago, now their daughter bought a house just 6 houses closer to town. I saw a moving truck there today could be them moving in or the old owners moving out almost went to say hi and welcome to the neighborhood.
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
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  30. #12060
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    Milwaukee tools has a line of power tools called "Fuel". They are battery powered.

    Then again, we have a cat called "Bunny".
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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