Swiss bisques risk fines for live dives


Very recently, Switzerland banned the practice of boiling lobsters whilst alive (whilst the lobsters are alive, not whilst you, the lobster-boiler, is alive). The same thing was banned in New Zealand in 1999, which inspired the Prince song "1999," which, notoriously, is about lobsters throwing themselves a sexy New Zealand lobster-boiling-alive ban themed party. Forgive me, I've gone astray. 

So, if you find yourself on or around the streets of Switzerland with a particularly acute crustacean craving anytime soon, be careful you don't accidentally boil your live lobster in front of any Swiss fish police. The punishment for doing so will set you back a certain amount of Swiss francs, the fish police will make all of your secret Swiss bank accounts somewhat less secret, and, if you ever thenceforth start a world war, they might decide not to be so neutral this time.

I know I won't be in trouble with the fish police anytime soon as I am no fan of seafood, and I avoid eating lobster at all costs. Mostly because of all the cost of lobster, but also because I have no clue how to open up a lobster and don't want to embarrass myself in front of all the other fine Red Lobster patrons by doing something as uncouth as trying to suck out lobster meat from its unbroken bum-shell area.

Thus ends the post. Really, if you think about it, all posts should end with the phrase "bum-shell area."

Super-hydrophobic exterior doses of kale


The 2016 Bioinspiration & Biomimetics article Why is it difficult to wash aphids off from superhydrophobic kale? answers the age old question, why is it difficult to wash aphids off of kale? Or is that more of a new age question?

It's because, as the name suggests, superhydrophobic kale has a superhydrophobic exterior, giving it the super power of fearing super water. As it turns out, cabbage aphids also have superhydrophobic exteriors, and when the aphids land on the kale, it's as the age old adage goes, "superhydrophobic exteriors attract superhydrophobic exteriors," and then it's as if the two superhydrophoical entities become one.

I've always said, there is no bond greater than that between a superhydrophobic kale and a superhydrophobic cabbage aphid. That is a bond that no water can ever break. But it turns out that a steady stream of air can. So... it's not actually that strong.

It's like the bond between the somnambulist and the somnambulist's cousin. Hosing them down won't help. Try air.


(Attitudes about food)

A while back, we had a quiz where you answered some questions about your opinions towards food (mostly burritos), and your answers supposedly indicated what layer of the atmosphere is most like your personality. Sheer brilliance is what it was. What follows is an in depth analysis of your, the Media Bucketeers', responses.

The first truly shocking result is that people are most likely to have no opinion on whether a burrito is a sandwich or not. REALLY? You're on the sandwich fence? You're the Switzerland of burritos? I find that bananas!

Thankfully, 45% of the popular vote went to burritos not being a sandwich, and only 20% of you wrongfully believing that we're living in some kind of bizarro world where a burrito is the same thing as a Reuben or a BLT or a PB and more PB.

 Out of the seven options presented for most important burrito topping, a lot of you (29%) went with the earnest answer and responded with Beans. 24% of you went with Pizza, which makes me think you're not taking food-based atmospheric internet personality quizzes seriously. For shame! Attempting to skew the results towards a personality match of stratosphere, 6% of respondents went with Stratosphere. (I doubt it worked--I'm fairly certain that personality type was decided pretty much at random.)

Now, when it comes to fish tacos, there was a clear 50/50 split. With half of the Media Bucketeers either being okay with or whole-fish-heartedly up for a plate of fish tacos, and the other half either vehemently opposed to or semi-vehemently not okay with having fish tacos.

A pie chart on fish taco persuasions. Or it could be a two vertical fish tacos glued together base to base chart. 

A pie chart on fish taco persuasions. Or it could be a two vertical fish tacos glued together base to base chart. 

That's okay. As long as it's not the kind of fish taco where instead of a taco shell they use a gutted lake trout to hold all the beans and pizza and lobster and whatnot. More people should probably be against fish as taco shells than for it.    

A Krang, a Shredder, and multiple papayae

Back in the day, journalists vied with one another to see who could slip the phrase "as if by an occult hand" past their copy editors and into publication. Today, a recently published paper I read has me wondering if food scientists are starting to try to sneak Ninja Turtles references into their publications.

In 2014, The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology published a paper entitled,

Assessment of three green papaya (Carica papaya Linn.) cultivars (‘Krang’, ‘Kaek Noul’, and ‘Kaek Dum’) for use as shredded fruit

Did you catch that? Shredded fruit? Who's doing all this "shredding" of "Krang"? Is it... SHREDDER!? I'm also pretty certain that "Kaek Noul" and "Kaek Dum" were the birth names of Bebop and Rocksteady, respectively.

The article has some fascinatingly telling phrases, such as, "few data confirm that ‘Krang’ papaya is suitable for processing into shreds." Swap some ellipses into that sentence and you have yourself, "few data confirm that ‘Krang’... is suitable for... shreds." Shreds being the adorable pet name Krang had for Shredder off camera.

Also, there was, "‘Krang’ flesh shreds showed larger cells," which is pretty self explanatory!

And the article also goes on to quote Raphael's classic catchphrase from episode 34 almost verbatim, "fruit flesh shreds of ‘Kaek Noul’ and ‘Kaek Dum’ scored higher than those of ‘Krang’ in a trained, ten-person panel test on a nine-point hedonic scale for overall acceptance!" Come on, guys, you're not even trying to hide it anymore!

So, let's keep this thing going! If you're a scientist and someday soon find yourself teetering on the eve of a paper submission, your ultimate goal must be to sneak in as many TMNT references as scientistly possible. Here are some suggestions,

  • "...that concluded in the month of April [O'Neil et al., 1989]."
  • "...and the morphology of individual droplets splinter into various subcategories, named after notable Renaissance-era turtles."
  • "As previously discussed, the strata formations were simultaneously tubular and cowabunga."

A complete-ish list of all mustard jokes

What follows this paragraph is a compendium of all mustard related jokes known to the humans of this planet. Hold on to your condiment hats because this is going to take all the patience you can mustard!

  • I like my men how I like my mustard: Hot, grainy, and yellow. Like, somewhat jaundiced.
  • You can only call it Dijon mustard gas if you're attacking Dijon.
  • Patient: Doctor, you have something on your collar. Doctor: It mustard been some mustard I ate that subsequently spilled. (NOTE: that joke was written in the 14th century, long before jokes were required to be funny (but just after doctors were invented).)
  • Exactly how prepared, really, is prepared mustard? He says he's prepared, but every time I go to make a sandwich he yells at me, "dammit, JTT! I told you to give me a minute!" (I told my mustard that I'm JTT. Shhhh!)
  • Grey Poupon is neither grey nor... nope, forget that one...
  • While the two cantaloupe varieties that we typically enjoy are muskmelons, not all muskmelons are cantaloupes.

I have no explanation for that last one.