Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Egg Orientation, Flavorless Strawberries, Human Combustion

Matt:

When a hen lays an egg, which end comes out first? Settle our bet.

— Fat End and Pointed End, via email

Ever seen a pregnant hen? There’s an even better question. With hens and all other birds, you’ve got to look fast if you want to catch them in maternity clothes. So, say mama chicken is clucking around the barnyard, when a follicle matures in her ovary. It pops out and heads for the oviduct, a long tube that connects the hen’s insides to her outsides. If she’s been fooling around with a rooster, the ovum is fertilized at this point. But no rooster is required. If this hen is a little cog in the vast machinery of the grocery-store-egg laying industry, the egg goes unfertilized. The ovum keeps moving along the oviduct, where the albumen (the clear, gooey stuff around the yolk) is deposited. Next the shell membrane and the shell are laid down. The shell hardens as the egg moves toward its destination. About 24 hours after the whole process began, the egg pops out, fat end first. Considering the physics of egg laying, it’s more efficient for the hen’s muscles to push against the small end. Ouch.

Matt:

I have had strawberry ice cream shakes that have a rich, delicious strawberry flavor. But when I eat strawberries, they have very little taste and don’t seem to be strawberry flavored at all. What gives?

— Jerry Dixon, Santee

How sad. We have two things going on here, both of which make Grandma cry. She’s old enough to remember real food, and she really misses it. So, let’s look at your rich, delicious strawberry-flavored milk shake. It might not contain any strawberries at all. It just contains enough of 59 specific chemicals that food-flavor experts have determined will fool us into thinking we’re eating the real thing. (For example, amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, benzyl isobutyrate, ethyl cinnamate, methyl naphthyl ketone, ethyl heptanoate, 2-butanone, 4-methylacetophenone, and oh, my gosh, mint essential oil, rose, and rum ether. Yum!) The more of this glop we drink or eat, the more we use this fake taste as our benchmark for “rich, delicious strawberry flavor.” It’s not. It’s rich, delicious chemical and sugar flavor that seems to approximate what we remember as the real thing. Even if there are real strawberries in whatever you’re drinking, odds are the flavor has been enhanced with the chemical mixture. Real strawberries just aren’t strawberry enough to suit us. We want an intense, jolting taste experience.

The other thing that’s happening is on the strawberry’s end. Given the economics of fruit growing, the best berry is one that grows big and red really fast. No time to waste letting flavor develop. When we buy in the supermarket, we buy with our eyes, and fat and red are what we’re looking for. Unfortunately, any fruit’s flavor develops as it sits quietly on the plant, basking in the sun. What we often get in the grocery store are the corporate, gene-manipulated strawberries that look good, ship well, have a longer shelf life, but have no taste. There’s a chance that some kids have no idea what a real strawberry tastes like. Kid food is some of the most taste manipulated by the corporate goons.

The industrial tastemakers do admit there are two flavors that so far have eluded them. Cherry and grape. They have yet to come up with convincing substitutes. So, the swill that you drink that’s labeled “cherry” or “grape” is very distant from the real fruit taste; but if we drink a lot of it, then we begin to use the swill as our standard for real grape/cherry taste. Makes Grandma yearn for the old days, when you could put a TV dinner in the oven and know you were getting real flavors, not some cooked-up chemical cocktail.

Hey, Matt:

Is there such a thing as spontaneous human combustion? I saw a TV show about it, and it didn’t really give a straight answer. I know you will.

— Willis, via email

There’s been a lot of weasel-wording about this subject. We even contributed to the pointless debate a while ago. The research elves concluded there wasn’t any real evidence for the idea of people bursting into flame and dying. But maybe it’s time to revisit the subject. Seems somebody has set up an experiment that suggests people can catch on fire without a large heat source. Charred bodies have been found in locations where nothing else in the room was burned.

The scientists rounded up a dead pig, since pig skin and human skin are very similar. They wrapped it in cloth to simulate clothing. Then they set the pig on fire. It burned slowly for many hours, and the charring pattern matched that of people thought to be victims of spontaneous human combustion. The experimenters had opined that human bodies can burn slowly because of what they called the wick effect, similar to a candle. Except in the case of a body, the fuel is fat. So, a smoker konks out, catches clothing on fire with a cigarette, and smolders away. Glad the science guys finally settled the question.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Is Midway the new Soccer City?

Fresh chapter unfolds in San Diego's well-lobbied Sports Arena muddle

Matt:

When a hen lays an egg, which end comes out first? Settle our bet.

— Fat End and Pointed End, via email

Ever seen a pregnant hen? There’s an even better question. With hens and all other birds, you’ve got to look fast if you want to catch them in maternity clothes. So, say mama chicken is clucking around the barnyard, when a follicle matures in her ovary. It pops out and heads for the oviduct, a long tube that connects the hen’s insides to her outsides. If she’s been fooling around with a rooster, the ovum is fertilized at this point. But no rooster is required. If this hen is a little cog in the vast machinery of the grocery-store-egg laying industry, the egg goes unfertilized. The ovum keeps moving along the oviduct, where the albumen (the clear, gooey stuff around the yolk) is deposited. Next the shell membrane and the shell are laid down. The shell hardens as the egg moves toward its destination. About 24 hours after the whole process began, the egg pops out, fat end first. Considering the physics of egg laying, it’s more efficient for the hen’s muscles to push against the small end. Ouch.

Matt:

I have had strawberry ice cream shakes that have a rich, delicious strawberry flavor. But when I eat strawberries, they have very little taste and don’t seem to be strawberry flavored at all. What gives?

— Jerry Dixon, Santee

How sad. We have two things going on here, both of which make Grandma cry. She’s old enough to remember real food, and she really misses it. So, let’s look at your rich, delicious strawberry-flavored milk shake. It might not contain any strawberries at all. It just contains enough of 59 specific chemicals that food-flavor experts have determined will fool us into thinking we’re eating the real thing. (For example, amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, benzyl isobutyrate, ethyl cinnamate, methyl naphthyl ketone, ethyl heptanoate, 2-butanone, 4-methylacetophenone, and oh, my gosh, mint essential oil, rose, and rum ether. Yum!) The more of this glop we drink or eat, the more we use this fake taste as our benchmark for “rich, delicious strawberry flavor.” It’s not. It’s rich, delicious chemical and sugar flavor that seems to approximate what we remember as the real thing. Even if there are real strawberries in whatever you’re drinking, odds are the flavor has been enhanced with the chemical mixture. Real strawberries just aren’t strawberry enough to suit us. We want an intense, jolting taste experience.

The other thing that’s happening is on the strawberry’s end. Given the economics of fruit growing, the best berry is one that grows big and red really fast. No time to waste letting flavor develop. When we buy in the supermarket, we buy with our eyes, and fat and red are what we’re looking for. Unfortunately, any fruit’s flavor develops as it sits quietly on the plant, basking in the sun. What we often get in the grocery store are the corporate, gene-manipulated strawberries that look good, ship well, have a longer shelf life, but have no taste. There’s a chance that some kids have no idea what a real strawberry tastes like. Kid food is some of the most taste manipulated by the corporate goons.

The industrial tastemakers do admit there are two flavors that so far have eluded them. Cherry and grape. They have yet to come up with convincing substitutes. So, the swill that you drink that’s labeled “cherry” or “grape” is very distant from the real fruit taste; but if we drink a lot of it, then we begin to use the swill as our standard for real grape/cherry taste. Makes Grandma yearn for the old days, when you could put a TV dinner in the oven and know you were getting real flavors, not some cooked-up chemical cocktail.

Hey, Matt:

Is there such a thing as spontaneous human combustion? I saw a TV show about it, and it didn’t really give a straight answer. I know you will.

— Willis, via email

There’s been a lot of weasel-wording about this subject. We even contributed to the pointless debate a while ago. The research elves concluded there wasn’t any real evidence for the idea of people bursting into flame and dying. But maybe it’s time to revisit the subject. Seems somebody has set up an experiment that suggests people can catch on fire without a large heat source. Charred bodies have been found in locations where nothing else in the room was burned.

The scientists rounded up a dead pig, since pig skin and human skin are very similar. They wrapped it in cloth to simulate clothing. Then they set the pig on fire. It burned slowly for many hours, and the charring pattern matched that of people thought to be victims of spontaneous human combustion. The experimenters had opined that human bodies can burn slowly because of what they called the wick effect, similar to a candle. Except in the case of a body, the fuel is fat. So, a smoker konks out, catches clothing on fire with a cigarette, and smolders away. Glad the science guys finally settled the question.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Albert Brooks’ mockinfomercial introduction

The glad-handing human laugh track, assures his audience, “That was funny.”
Next Article

“I Come From the Andromeda Galaxy”

Alfred Howard, James Brady, Me, Myself and Eye, Orchid Mantis, Puttin’ on the Fritz
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close