The (Scientific) Truth about Double Dipping

If you're curious whether or not you should be indulging in the communal cheese dip at this year's Super Bowl party, one scientist has some answers for you.

Whether or not the infamous George Costanza "double-dipping at a funeral scene" had an impact on your snacking habits, according to this terrific NY Times piece, the clip definitely affected Prof. Paul L. Dawson. A food microbiologist at Clemson University, Dawson commissioned a study on double-dipping largely because he was skeptical that redipping a chip could be bad for you. The results surprised him.

According to the study, "three to six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater's mouth to the remaining dip." Dawson's conclusion: that while double dipping won't kill you, you should take a look around the room before bathing your tortilla in party sauce. Said Dawson, "The way I would put it is, before you have some dip at a party, look around and ask yourself, would I be willing to kiss everyone here? Because you don't know who might be double dipping, and those who do are sharing their saliva with you."
So, beware readers. If you want to see more on the study, or Dawson's other Seinfeld related insights, click here. Thanks Lizzie!

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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