Isn't it a pain when you forget to stir your soup and it scorches? Or when you're trying to play Madden whilst hungry, but you need both hands on the controller? Ben Heckendorn, game device modder extraordinaire, came up with some solutions. Watch the videos past the jump.
You've built your own carbonator; now start mineralizing
By Peter SmithPosted 06.15.2012 at 3:38 pm 3 Comments
The mineral composition of water varies subtly, almost imperceptibly, from place to place. Variation in bedrock makes the effervescent springs at Vergeze, France, where Hannibal allegedly found a refreshing drink after crossing the Alps, different from the sulfuric liquid bubbling up out of the ground at Saratoga Springs, New York. Sulfates near Burton, England impart a distinctive minerality to the region’s pale ales. And connoisseurs pay top dollar for these differences.
Tacos are the best. Broken taco shells from the box (if I am too lazy to fry up some fresh ones) are not the best. Taco shells must be handled with care, from beginning to end.
This machine, one of many interesting food production machines from a California company called Heat and Control, toasts tortillas, fries them, folds them and pushes them down a conveyor belt with gentle robotic precision. Finally, humans nudge them together into a neat stack for secure packaging.
It's easy to take for granted how marvelously our senses work together to give definition to the world around us. Having the ability to see, for example, is one excuse to make every movie a 3D movie; being able to feel means there will always be a future for textiles. But what about when we sense another one of our senses, like being able to hear how our food tastes. It's a real psychedelic mind-bender and when it comes to satiating ears, New York-based sound installation artist Liz Phillips is the Julia Child of avant-garde musicians.
If your friends and family are anything like mine, you've observed that home beverage carbonation is experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately. Perhaps you've seen the increasingly ubiquitous Sodastream machine on a countertop near you—or, more likely, heard its syncopated honk and pop-fizz release from across the room, announcing another fresh liter of water made bubbly.
"Turn it just like this," the uniformed instructor tells the alert crew of trainee astronauts gathered around the workspace. "And then this next piece twists in the other direction." The first trainee approaches the table.
The instructor, Rupert Spies, is reassuring. "Or, if you don't want épi de blé, you could just leave the dough as a regular baguette."
We are at Cornell University, in a culinary classroom, where nine elite trainees are preparing for a simulated space mission. They are spending a week here learning how to cook on Mars. Today's lesson is on baking bread and pizza from scratch.
One of the most fascinating threads running through The Kitchen As Laboratory, a collection of essays edited by a trio of food scientists and published earlier this year, is the application of rigorous testing and measurement to a realm that has classically been very subjective. In the test pictured above, after egg yolks are poached at a constant temperature for a varying number of minutes, a rheometer is used to precisely measure the resulting texture, in pascal-seconds.
By Darrell HuffPosted 06.15.2012 at 9:45 am 7 Comments
This article originally appeared in the April 1956 issue of Popular Science. You can explore more of our archives--stretching back 140 years--here.
"Put that hamburger back in the refrigerator before it spoils," my wife advised. "What're you doing, dreaming?"
Whether conducted by an industrial farming outfit or a small, independent farmer, agriculture is all about yield. Per-acre production makes or break the year, and taken at the macro level it impacts global markets and can lead to humanitarian crises. And while agriculture already happens at the field-by-field level, David Dorhout wants to make agriculture even more precise. Think: plant-by-plant farming, optimized on a seed-by-seed basis.
Who can manage such a precise, immense workload? Why, the diminutive hexapod robot named Prospero, of course.
By Martin MannPosted 06.14.2012 at 6:30 pm 5 Comments
This article originally appeared in the April 1961 issue of Popular Science. You can explore more of our archives--stretching back 140 years--here.Git along, little hippo. The romantic days of the open range may come back--in Africa, and with a native twist. Great herds of elephants, hippopotamuses, and eland, rounded up by dark-skinned wranglers (hippoboys?), [2012 note: eeeeeep] could supply desperately needed meat for the fast-growing, hungry continent.