"The wonderful thing about science," writes Robert Wolke in What Einstein Told His Cook (Norton, $29.95), "is that it can even explain things that nobody needs to know." Wolke's 320-page book proves his point on more than one page, but it's excellent snacking material nonetheless. A few examples below.
Where does all the blood come from
in a rare steak?
oxygen in the muscles, not the blood.
Why does blowing on food cool it?
Blowing whisks away newly evaporated molecules to make room for others. Faster evaporation means faster cooling.
Are green potatoes really poisonous?
Yep. The green spots contain solanine (a toxic relative of nicotine), cocaine, and morphine. Not that you're likely to O.D. You'd have to eat your weight in green potato chips to experience any ill effects.
Does belching contribute to global