6 Real World Food Experiments, Just to See if We Can.

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Last week we heard the results of an experiment in double dipping. Prof. Paul L. Dawson of Clemson University wanted to test the conventional wisdom that redipping a chip after you've bitten some off will spread germs in the community dip. Of course, he had state-of-the-art equipment and plenty of students for his experiment, which found up to 10,000 bacteria can be transferred to the dip by each double-dipper. But people who have no such resources do their own experiments every day.

1. Nailing Jelly to a Wall

You've heard the phrase "like nailing jelly to the wall" to describe a difficult task. Graeme Cole decided to find out exactly how difficult it was to nail jelly (or Jello for Americans) to a wall. He chronicled his experiment step-by-step with pictures.

2. Does Toast Always Land Butter Side Down?

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Does toast really tend to fall jelly side down more often than dry side down? The Cockeyed.com Science Club put that old idea to the test! They toasted and buttered two entire loaves of bread and dropped each piece. The first loaf had a 20% "survival" rate, meaning the toast landed butter side up. The second loaf, to which they added honey, jam, or Nutella to each piece of toast, only had a 5% survival rate!

Continue reading for more people who tried it out.

3. Will Pineapple Remove Fingerprints?

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Thomas Scott heard that pineapple will remove your fingerprints. From your fingers. He was inspired to test this theory, and recorded the experience on video. The results showed that not all home experiments are altogether safe. Sometimes it's better to learn from the experience of others.

4. Grilled Cheese Made with an Iron

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Roy and Laura were impressed by the grilled cheese sandwiches made with a steam iron in the movie Benny and Joon, and wondered if the technique could be duplicated by "ordinary folks in an ordinary kitchen." They recreated the scene and documented the process in pictures. Their conclusion? The "wool" setting is best.

5. Frying an Egg in a Computer

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Trubador set up a heat sink inside his computer, and fried an egg, just to show us that it can be done. It took a little longer than using a stove, but the results were edible!

6. Combined Oil Cooling and Deep Frying

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Sc4freak began with one experiment and ended up with something completely different.

I had recently read a few articles on submersion cooling, where you take your computer and dump it into a tub of non-electrically-conductive oil. It seemed to work really well, and was cheap. So I saw it as a type of poor man's water-cooling. I bought a large aluminium oven tray and 9 litres of canola oil.

Yes, he submerged his motherboard in cooking oil. The computer worked just fine. But he was hungry and had used all the cooking oil. The solution? Put the fries in the cooling tray with the motherboard! He heated the oil, cooked the fries, and kept playing Quake to see how long the computer would function.

Have you ever heard some nugget of "conventional wisdom" that you wanted to test in the real world? Or better yet, have you ever actually tried such a test?

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February 4, 2008 - 11:21pm
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