Why People Vomit

We don’t mean the triggers — though that could be a fun post — but the actual physical process. What is it about our physiology that occasionally makes our tummy say, “Come on up, Chuck”?

Vomiting is an important function. It rids your body of potential toxins or health hazards. In fact, there’s a specific area of your brain that gives your stomach its marching orders.

The urge to purge is a multi-step process: the chemoreceptor trigger center is connected directly to the vomiting center in the brain, and is the first to know when something’s amiss. It could be a touch of motion sickness, a foul odor, or that leftover Pad Thai that smelled sort of iffy but looked OK. We feel the beginnings of nausea, and are given the opportunity make corrections if we can (stop riding the roller coaster, or make our next round a club soda). Depending on what’s causing the unrest, our digestion slows down. If the cause of our distress is something toxic, like potential botulism, the upper portion of the stomach will start convulsing, while its lower exit snaps shut. There’s no way out but up, and it’s time for that mad dash to the bathroom for the inevitable.

If the nausea has a mental origin as opposed to a physical one (such as a bad smell, a bumpy plane ride, or an emotional shock), we’ll feel queasy for a while. Usually, the brain will communicate with the stomach to indicate that there’s no danger involved, and the nauseous feeling will slowly fade away on its own. Everyone has a different tolerance level when it comes to nausea, but one thing experts do agree upon: as unpleasant as throwing up is, you’ll feel much better afterward, thanks to the endorphins that are released in the process.

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The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess
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Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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Bone Collector
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