Foul day. No, I did not stay up last night, but I did awaken just before midnight and got to listen to a few muffled thuds before I dozed back off. The gym is closed today – any excuse is evidently good enough to avoid work – so I made do with the stationary bicycle in my study. That makes the bright points, namely getting to listen to science podcast episodes.
The first was a short bit about the filing of patents on toothbrushes and the problems of designing toothbrushes. The discussion of the latter confirmed what I suspected, that the mechanics needed for properly brushing teeth exceeds what is possible within degrees-of- freedom for a single toothbrush. I also suspect similar is the situation with toothpaste. And I learned, both pleasingly and appallingly, that most potents on toothbrushes are cosmetic and commercial.
I myself use three toothbrushes, one electric – a Braun – and two manuals, the latter primarily for spots between teeth. And often I think that is too many. Certainly twenty years ago that would have been an unchallenged thought.
Next, was a nice podcast episode on cooking. It started with a slur-compliment to Richard Wrangem (sp?) at Fair Hahvahd who advances the theory that cooking is why humans have intelligence. From there it was a riot of info-atoms. It seems that the cooking pot was also instrumental in changing things, shortly after it was developed about 10 KYA (coinciding approximately with the end of the Younger Dryas?) human dentition changed from being edge on in front to overlapping. And like toothbrushes, the “perfect” cooking pan is not possible – more desirements than degrees-of-freedom.
FD SCP and I have several pots and pans. My favorite is a SCANPAN (R) that I got on sale years ago and dearly enjoy for frying egg white for fried egg sandwiches. We should like more but they never seem to be on sale enough any more. I also have to wonder if the Earl of Sandwich ate fried egg sandwiches? They would have to be hard fried to not drip on the playing cards. But I fin fried egg sandwiches – soft fried – work best on toasted english muffins. The craters absorb the runny.
Thirdly, an episode on leftovers. I was thrilled to find out that the expiration dates on foodstuffs, with notably exceptions of dairy and flesh, have only to do with flavor deterioration rather than safety. The whole date thing is a scheme by the food manufacturers to waste food and get more cash flow.
Now if I can only get FD SCP to listen to that podcast?
And lastly, I listened to a new podcast [Link] from the New Yawk Times. The subject was science kits/toys then and now, mirroring an article. I have to admit to being appalled by the whole thing. Science kits were mediocre in my day – except the American Basic Science Club kits! – but they are abysmal today. No chemicals in the chemistry sets? So far as I can tell science kits have ceased to be the learning vector of nerds and introverts and have become some extrovertist social engineering activity for bogs and extroverts. In fact, the podcasters proudly bragged that the modern science kits were not for nerds and introverts! Evidently, the war on religion is also on science if we are trying to kill off all of tomorrow’s scientists.
Is his more evidence of the new feudalism?
Rain came in last night and is pattering still. I must venture into it and distribute seed for the tree mammals and the dinosaur descendants. And then settle down to what will probably be a wretched day.