Mark is a Coke Fiend, like I am. That’s the kawaii-safe kind of Coke, mind you. My best friend from childhood and I had the same kind of Coke-Pepsi rivalry that Mark describes with his brother – in my case, I preferrred Coke not for the marketing but because Pepsi is just too sweet. There’s a bitter edge to Coke that gives it real flavor.
Truth be told though, I barely drink authentic Coke anymore. About three years ago I made the switch to Diet Coke, and subsequently lost ten pounds. The sugar was the culprit of course, but it wasn’t weight loss that motivated me – rather, it was that the sugar high and ensuing crash was swamping the desired physiological response of the caffeine. Simply put, Coke would put me to sleep rather than give me a boost. Switching to Diet made a big difference, and the associated drop in weight was just icing on the cake, so to speak.
Lately, I’ve been entranced with Diet Coke with Splenda. I love Splenda. It’s single-handedly allowed me to free myself of sugar’s utter dominance in most of my foods and coffee. It really is astounding just how much sugar you really are eating on a daily basis. I also like Coke Zero, which has an amusing “taste infringement” ad campaign (I’ve got a pic of a billboard to upload later). Mark refers to Passover Coke which is sweetened with pure cane sugar rather than corn syrup; that would probably be worth trying but is not really compatible with my sugarfree regime.
Intriguingly, I just noticed a few days ago that there’s a new Coke product on the shelves: Diet Coke Plus. It’s your standard Diet Coke but it’s got vitamin and mineral additives. Clearly a niche product but being the Coke connoisseur that I think I am, I’ll pick up a 12pack later this weekend. Must stay on top of things, after all.
via Mark, this fantastic flight of fancy, replete with graphs, deserves a standing ovation. Excerpt:
The launch tube for the burritos lies just under the tunnel mouth and looks like what it is: an enormous gun. Every four seconds a ‘slug’ of ten burritos, white with frost, ratchets into the breech. A moment later it flies into the tunnel with a loud hiss of compressed gas, and the lights dim briefly as banks of powerful electromagnets accelerate the burritos to over two hundred miles an hour. By the time they pass Stockton three minutes later the burritos will be traveling faster than the Concorde, floating on an invisible magnetic cushion as they plunge into the lithosphere.
Cavanaugh realized that the intense heat of the transit that had so beleaguered mail service would actually work to his advantage in a burrito tunnel. The burritos could be stored frozen on the Western end and arrive fully heated through in New Jersey. Furthermore, advances in electrical engineering meant that containers would no longer have to be propelled by compressed gas. The burritos already came conveniently wrapped in aluminum foil – it would be trivial to accelerate them with powerful magnets.
It’s the attention to physics detail that makes this thing great. Alas, I can’t put it in my “stranger than fiction” category, but I can dream…
Via Slashfood, an excellent use of university resources:
When it comes to tongues, melting chocolate is better than a passionate kiss, scientists have found.
Dr Lewis said: “There is no doubt that chocolate beats kissing hands down when it comes to providing a long-lasting body and brain buzz.
“A buzz that, in many cases, lasted four times as long as the most passionate kiss.”
He said substances in chocolate were already known to have a psychoactive effect, but that allowing it to melt on your tongue could be the secret to maximising the buzz.
The volunteers, all aged in their 20s, had electrodes attached to their scalps and wore heart monitors during the two tests.
The researchers compared their resting heart rates with those during the chocolate and kissing tests.
Speaking as a scientist myself, I have to confess that my research is pretty dull in comparison.
In other highly relevant and correlated news, IT workers will gladly surrender their system passwords for chocolate and a smile.
This just in: caffeine may help prevent Parkinson’s disease:
A new case study published […] in the Archives of Neurology has examined the prevalence of PD, smoking, caffeine, and NSAID usage in 356 patients and 317 of their family members. The study, conducted by a team at Duke University Medical Center, found that although there was no link between PD and NSAID usage, both smoking and caffeine intake were inversely related to PD.
I hven’t bothered to grab the original study off PubMed yet but an Ars Technica reader did post the results from the paper, so I’ve copied them into extended entry if you’re interested.
of course, caffeine might well have long term health effects that make Parkinson’s seem tame; certainly that is the case with smoking. But as a justification for my third cup already this morning, this news works for me.
Continue reading “Drink to long health”
Slashfood’s coffee-blogging is right up my alley. A good friend recently introduced me to the delights of Red Bull, but when I tried to buy some at a local Kroger I got major sticker shock. So for now my routine is brewed coffee at home or the office, with the occasional treat of Starbucks when good company presents itself.
Still, I labor under no illusions that the barista corps have any love lost for me or my triple venti blended nonfat dolce (with no whipped cream, thank you) pretensions. Check out this righteous rant at Romenesko’s Starbucks Gossip blog – one of my favorite excerpts:
Quit bitching about the names of everything. Yes, there is a “tall” size. No, it’s not the smallest size – that would be the “short.” Somewhere along the line, it got dropped from the menu, but can still be ordered. It doesn’t make much sense to me either, but I didn’t come up with the nomenclature for this s%$t. Order by the names on the menu, because I’ve had people ask for a “medium coffee” and get inexplicably pissed off when I give them a grande. Which is a medium coffee.
If you order a Frappuccino, I will hate you even more.
What would happen if I tried to order a half-double decaffeinated half cap (with a twist of lemon)?
First, define your “cup”, be it a coffee mug, a ceramic teacup, a styrofoam glass, whatever. A good rule of thumb is three tea bags per “cup”, which might seem excessive but actually works out just fine because we will use one cup of water and one cup of milk per “cup” of chai. Chai is best shared.
Continue reading “Chai”
Go get your fix this afternoon…
On March 21st, the first day of spring, Dunkin’ will “put winter on ice” with their first ever Free Iced Coffee Day. All day long, Dunkin’ Donuts locations all over the US will be giving away free 16-ounce iced coffees. Their iced coffees are “double brewed” for smoothness and come in nine different flavors, in addition to regular coffee.