solar cells from powdered donuts and starbucks passion tea

I am not a chemist, so it would take me at least an hour to verify that the following has some basis in actual science, and even then I wouldn’t be able to really tell you for sure that this is kosher. But anyone who has access to a rudimentary lab setup should be able to reproduce the experiment.

I don’t think they were serious about the “lightning setting” on the multimeter, though.

twinkie of doom

On my trip to San Francisco last weekend ((btw, I went to San Francisco this past weekend)) I encountered one of these for the first time:


That’s a fried twinkie, purchased at the Santa Cruz boardwalk. And I confess I couldn’t take more than two bites of it before admitting defeat. I still need to try fried Oreos at some point, though…

burrito fanboi

food with integrity

Fast Company has a brief little profile on Chipotle, focusing on the company founder’s strict policy of serving only humane and naturally-raised meat. The article notes that Chipotle has some trouble meeting its supply needs due to its strict requirements. However, it seems that Chipotle is a vector for change within the industry:

“We want to influence the supply chain in the United States,” he says — comes at a cost. It’s difficult to buy 52 million pounds of the good stuff. Humane providers tend to be small and are already at capacity. Ells recently began retaining small suppliers in Canada, increasing his shipping costs. Chipotle has to pay a premium for Ells’s passion, and so do his customers (the average burrito is now $6 to $7). “In an economic environment where the consumer is cautious about spending money,” analyst Haskell says, “we’re cautious about higher-cost concepts like this.”

Surprisingly, Chipotle’s answer may lie in the competition. Burger King and Wendy’s, the No. 2 and No. 5 U.S. chains, respectively, recently began to explore humane-pork options. Their needs will likely create more supply options. “Chipotle is a major vector of change in its industry,” says professor Rollin. Adds Wolf, the industry expert: “Restaurants at every level better hurry up and make sure there isn’t poison in their food.” He continues, “Chipotle makes great food and serves it. Genius!” Make better burritos, open more restaurants — what a concept.

My Chipotle


Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 813 Cal from Fat 267
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 48%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Trans Fat 0g  

Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 2153mg 90%
Total Carbs 90g 30%
Dietary Fiber 13g 52%
Sugars 5g  

Protein 42g  

Vitamin A 0% • Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% • Iron 0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
INGREDIENTS: 13″ Tortilla,Rice,Steak (4oz),Red (Hot) Salsa,Lettuce,Guacamole (4oz)

There aren’t any in casual driving distance from Marshfield, alas. Moving to Madison in June though 🙂

caffeine protects your brain

good for my brain in more ways than oneSeems that caffeine has neuroprotective effects beyond just keeping the lights switched on upstairs:

Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking the damage cholesterol can inflict on the body, research suggests.

The drink has already been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and a study by a US team for the Journal of Neuroinflammation may explain why.

A vital barrier between the brain and the main blood supply of rabbits fed a fat-rich diet was protected in those given a caffeine supplement.
“Caffeine appears to block several of the disruptive effects of cholesterol that make the blood-brain barrier leaky,” said Dr Jonathan Geiger, who led the study.

“High levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, perhaps by compromising the protective nature of the blood brain barrier.

“Caffeine is a safe and readily available drug and its ability to stabilise the blood brain barrier means it could have an important part to play in therapies against neurological disorders.”

hepped up on goofballs

I find this sort of thing fascinating.

With candy sales banned on school campuses, sugar pushers are the latest trend at local schools. Backpacks are filled with Snickers and Twinkees for all sweet tooths willing to pay the price.

“It’s created a little underground economy, with businessmen selling everything from a pack of skittles to an energy drink,” said Jim Nason, principal at Hook Junior High School in Victorville.

This has become a lucrative business, Nason said, and those kids are walking around campus with upwards of $40 in their pockets and disrupting class to make a sale.

the candy black market thrives!

via Freakonomics blog, naturally.