So I added applesauce and the cake was good. So good that I knew Jess would never know I'd made the substitute. He got home to the surprise of chocolate cake.
"Really? The cake is good, but now that you mention it, I can tell. This cake is a little lighter than regular cake."
Enter the placebo effect. My example above isn't perfect but let me explain.
A placebo is defined as: an innocuous or inert medication; given as a pacifier or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug
So why does a placebo work when it's actually nothing? Or in the cake case...why does Jess think his cake is just as delicious just because I've told him I've made no change (or reverse placebo). Well, in the cake case, maybe the cake was just delicious. But in real life, why do inert medications (in most instances the placebo is just a sugar tablet) tend to make people think the medication they were told they were taking was working (e.g., making their joint pain better or their heart burn lessened)? This tends to suggest to me that the power of the mind is great. Our brain has a power over our well-being. What do you think? What does the placebo effect suggest to you about human physiology?
And I just finished The Lost Symbol. It takes place in DC. Jess and I are looking forward to visiting the places mentioned in the book. We laughed about taking visitors on a "Lost Symbol" tour, then we found out there really is one in town. Our tour would be better though cause it would be free.
Have you filled out your form?
I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about putting all of our names and birthdates down on paper and sending it off, you know, with all the identity theft going around. But then the message on the envelope reminded me, "YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW." And it just so happens that if you don't fill it out, a Census 2010 employee will probably show up at your house and ask you who you are and when you were born. That's how they used to do it every 10 years, right?
Enjoy. This stuff only comes around every 10 years.
Turns out the science is pretty basic. First, why does a pot boil over in the first place? The answer: too much heat mixed with pasta water (aka water made thicker from the pasta residue). This heat creates lots of bubbles and the heavier water mixture doesn't burst like plain water because it's heaver (surface tension is greater). Since it takes more heat to break pasta water bubbles, the additional bubbles that are created by the continual heat get backed up in the pot and then you've got a boil over.
Now for the wooden spoon. Think of pasta water in two situations:
1. When you allow pasta to boil in a pot without anything on top, the boiling water has heated up the pot (a good conductor of heat) and the air surrounding it. The water is free to boil at it leisure, allowing heat to escape through the bubbles. It gets hot inside those bubbles.
2. When you place a wooden spoon on top of the pot, there's a very low heat conductor sitting on top of your pot. When the boiling water gets closer to the spoon, it shys away from the cool object (transfers or looses heat to the cool wooden spoon). In addition, the spoon breaks up the bubbles once they get to the top (remember surface tension), thereby preventing a boil over.
I would think that if you let the water boil long enough, and that'd be a long time, the wooden spoon would heat up just as hot as the boiling water and the water would boil over. But I'm not sure. It seems like that would take a while (and no one boils their pasta that long...think pasta mush). I also think the water would be gone by the time the wooden spoon heated up. Maybe I should try it and report back.
See this link for more info on what materials conduct heat best (and worst).Photo of boiling water via whatscookingamerica.net
What's more is that I subscribe to REAL SIMPLE. I dig this magazine, and I'm enjoying the layout, design, new ideas, and recipes it presents. But it's also got me thinking that I should buy purse organizers and blue eye shadow. I don't own a purse and I don't wear eye shadow. To add to this, Martha Stewart Living is getting sent to us too. And I don't know why. I never signed up for it, but we keep getting it, and I keep reading it. All the while taking in it's 70 out of 168 pages of advertisements.
To make matters worse, I am within walking distance of several shops. Target is one of them. Filene's Basement another. World Market, Old Navy, Barnes & Noble. Oh yes, and the road I live on is a straight 7 minute walk to the mall. A full service mall, complete with a Gap, Banana Republic, Borders, H&M. Yesterday as I was leaving the place I thought to myself, "This is wonderful. Oliver and I can walk here on nice days this spring."I need a park. I need a project. I need to not need.
Ringing it in with the Tiger
Jess rollin' in the Chinese New Year dough
Ash attempting the art of Chinese Calligraphy
Brain? Liver? Lungs? Actually, the biggest organ in your body is your skin. When your "epidermis is showing," your dermis and subcutaneous layers are also hard at work protecting, cooling, and/or keeping your body warm.
Is this too elementary? Come back next week for another rockin' fact.
1. The lip synching talent of the performer is sub-par at best and therefore quite enjoyable.
2. The arm movement choreography is one of a kind.
3. The 1976 decor, fashion, and hair style can't be beat.
4. The tune is catchy.
5. You can watch this video over and over again and find something new to laugh at every time.
With that I give you the Russian version of The Lawrence Welk Show.