While moving to Pluto would cause drastic “weight loss”…

…it won’t do a thing for your mass.

The science museum where I work (<3!) has a scale that displays how much you would weigh on various astronomical bodies. I was standing nearby when a family from the UK stepped on, and one of the mothers expressed mild dismay that the display didn’t show both pounds and kilograms. I just had to jump in.

The display would be very uninformative if it displayed kilograms, as the number would be the same for every single planet. While pounds are a unit of force (like the Newton), kilograms are a measure of mass, not weight.

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I rarely win at Carcassonne…

….and I think I know why.

I’ve mentioned several times that the SigFig and I enjoy playing tabletop games. What I don’t think I’ve mentioned is the fact that I lose most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy playing games. I’m just not the greatest strategist, and I think it’s because I’m used to thinking scientifically rather than strategically.

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SiS Quickie: Repeatability is Delicious…

…and soggy French toast is not.

Like fried rice, French toast is a dish that the SigFig and I both enjoy. We had a lot of eggs that we needed to use up, so I told him I’d make a batch. He asked me if I knew how. I made French toast once or twice back in college.

So of course I said yes.

The result was an unmitigated disaster.

The lesson to be learned here is that good food, like good science, must be repeatable. You can’t run an experiment once, get the results you want, and say that you’re done. You also can’t run an experiment several times, get drastically different results every time, and cherry-pick which data you draw your conclusions from. A scientific experiment has to be run several times, producing consistent results, in order for those results to be valid. The fact that I’ve made successful French toast once or twice does not, in fact, mean that I “know” how to make it. I’ll have to try again a few times- and succeed in all of those attempts- before I can reasonably make that claim.

All that being said, I’d still like to think that the results had less to do with my (lack of) culinary ability and more to do with the fact that the bread wasn’t thick enough.

Sriracha (Chips) in Suburbia?

AKA Observation vs. Inference.

Lay’s has recently introduced a limited edition run of potato chips in three flavors: Sriracha, Cheesy Garlic Bread, and Chicken and Waffles. The idea is that people will try these flavors and vote on which one should become a permanent flavor.

I love Sriracha. Only The Oatmeal can describe how much I love Sriracha. So I asked people what stores they’d managed to find them at and began my quest.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an empty shelf in the potato chip aisle before, let alone two. Yet there before me were several cubic feet of disappointment.

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When I cook unscientifically…

…it ends up sticking to the pan.

The SigFig and I moved in together last month, and meals have been…interesting. We’re on very different work schedules and he’s kind of a picky eater, so we often fend for ourselves in the kitchen. I like cooking, though, and I’ve been trying to put together meals that we both enjoy. One of the dishes that falls into this category is also one that I’d never cooked before I moved in: fried rice.

My first few attempts were decent, but none of them were quite right. (Bear in mind that the SigFig and I both have Asian mothers, thus any fried rice I make could never measure up to either of their versions.) I felt that my rice wasn’t frying up evenly; it was probably too clumpy going in and I don’t think I was moving it around enough in the pan.

On my most recent venture I wanted to remedy these issues, but in my attempt I committed a major scientific no-no:

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