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Ten Tetris Treats

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Some people play with their food, while others make a game out of cooking -literally! Tetris is great for all kinds of food preparation because it's simple, recognizable, colorful, popular, and fun. Some of these you can try out yourself!

1. Block Cookies

A batch of colorful cookies were made from dough shaped into Tetris blocks before they were baked by andromache. The icing is enhanced by a thin outline to accentuate the Tetris shapes. Photograph by Flickr user mache.

2. Pixel Cookies

Close-up on some of the cookies

Artist Eva Funderburgh mostly works in ceramics, but also made cookies with Tetris blocks built right inside! It's part of her pixel cookies project, in which she explains through photographs how it's done. How fun is it? Well, you start with a Play-Doh extruder. Really. Photograph by Flickr user Eva Funderburgh.

3. Pancakes

Jim at Jim's Pancakes says he's not good at Tetris pancakes. What he means is that he's not good at winning the game, as you can see from the gaps, but he is excellent at making Tetris pancakes!

4. Bento Box

Bento Tuesday

A bento box by Night-thing uses cut vegetables on a bed of rice to inspire young gamers to eat their lunch! Photograph by Flickr user Night-thing.

5. Truffles

Baker and DeviantART member Ana Fuji makes all kinds of geeky food art, including truffles decorated with edible Tetris blocks. Too bad the recipe isn't included!

6. Tetris Brownies

Fraske Designs posted instructions for making Tetris brownies. Make your brownies thinner than normal, and color small batches of frosting to set them off. The hard part is cutting the shapes, but at least you can eat your mistakes!

7. Waffles

Since waffles are already made in a grid, it should be relatively easy to cut out pieces to make a game of Waffle Tetris! The addition of syrup would make a real mess, though.

8. Ice Cubes

You can get a pliable silicone rubber Tetris-shape ice cube tray and form blocks of the various block shapes. Take the time to color your water and make the shapes in different colors for an impressive addition to a video game-themed birthday party.

9. Gingerbread

Joakim's gingerbread tetris (with pac-man)

Joakim cut a batch of gingerbread into Tetris shapes and, just in case someone didn't catch the video game theme, added a Pac-Man to the middle! Another picture shows the cutting process. Photograph by Flickr user Craig Morey.

10. Tetris Wedding Cake

La tarta

This clever Tetris cake was served in 2008. According to the photographer, the top of the "video screen" is to the right, so what we see is the groom figure waiting for his bride to arrive sitting on a falling tile! That idea "just fits." Photograph by Flickr user bea & txema.

Bonus: Gummi Bears

As a bonus, here's a video by Sam Q. Kim that uses Gummi Bears to recreate various video games (including Tetris) in stop-motion form. Ten pounds of Gummis were used, and then eaten.

This post is about video game-themed food. If you want to read about food-themed video games, see Playing with Your Food: Fast Food Videogames.

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2017 Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Research on How Crocodiles Affect Gambling and Other Odd Studies
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The Ig Nobel Prizes are back, and this year's winning selection of odd scientific research topics is as weird as ever. As The Guardian reports, the 27th annual awards of highly improbable studies "that first make people laugh, then make them think" were handed out on September 14 at a theater at Harvard University. The awards, sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research, honor research you never would have thought someone would take the time (or the funding) to study, much less would be published.

The 2017 highlights include a study on whether cats can be both a liquid and a solid at the same time and one on whether the presence of a live crocodile can impact the behavior of gamblers. Below, we present the winners from each of the 10 categories, each weirder and more delightful than the last.

PHYSICS

"For using fluid dynamics to probe the question 'Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?'"

Winner: Marc-Antoine Fardin

Study: "On the Rheology of Cats," published in Rheology Bulletin [PDF]

ECONOMICS

"For their experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person's willingness to gamble."

Winners: Matthew J. Rockloff and Nancy Greer

Study: "Never Smile at a Crocodile: Betting on Electronic Gaming Machines is Intensified by Reptile-Induced Arousal," published in the Journal of Gambling Studies

ANATOMY

"For his medical research study 'Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?'"

Winner: James A. Heathcote

Study: "Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?" published in the BMJ

BIOLOGY

"For their discovery of a female penis, and a male vagina, in a cave insect."

Winners: Kazunori Yoshizawa, Rodrigo L. Ferreira, Yoshitaka Kamimura, and Charles Lienhard (who delivered their acceptance speech via video from inside a cave)

Study: "Female Penis, Male Vagina and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect," published in Current Biology

FLUID DYNAMICS

"For studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee."

Winner: Jiwon Han

Study: "A Study on the Coffee Spilling Phenomena in the Low Impulse Regime," published in Achievements in the Life Sciences

NUTRITION

"For the first scientific report of human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat."

Winners: Fernanda Ito, Enrico Bernard, and Rodrigo A. Torres

Study: "What is for Dinner? First Report of Human Blood in the Diet of the Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat Diphylla ecaudata," published in Acta Chiropterologica

MEDICINE

"For using advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese."

Winners: Jean-Pierre Royet, David Meunier, Nicolas Torquet, Anne-Marie Mouly, and Tao Jiang

Study: "The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study," published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

COGNITION

"For demonstrating that many identical twins cannot tell themselves apart visually."

Winners: Matteo Martini, Ilaria Bufalari, Maria Antonietta Stazi, and Salvatore Maria Aglioti

Study: "Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins," published in PLOS One

OBSTETRICS

"For showing that a developing human fetus responds more strongly to music that is played electromechanically inside the mother's vagina than to music that is played electromechanically on the mother's belly."

Winners: Marisa López-Teijón, Álex García-Faura, Alberto Prats-Galino, and Luis Pallarés Aniorte

Study: "Fetal Facial Expression in Response to Intravaginal Music Emission,” published in Ultrasound

PEACE PRIZE

"For demonstrating that regular playing of a didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring."

Winners: Milo A. Puhan, Alex Suarez, Christian Lo Cascio, Alfred Zahn, Markus Heitz, and Otto Braendli

Study: "Didgeridoo Playing as Alternative Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome: Randomised Controlled Trial," published by the BMJ

Congratulations, all.

[h/t The Guardian]

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Food
Step Inside the World's Worst-Smelling Factory at Your Own Risk
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Great Big Story, Youtube

Have you ever taken a good whiff of canned surströmming? If so, you likely haven't forgotten it. This fermented Baltic herring has been widely noted as the world's worst-smelling food—and it might just give durian a run for its money. That said, we'll let you imagine for a moment just how pungent a factory full of this Swedish delicacy must be.

Enter: Oskars, a major producer of surströmming, located in Söråker, Sweden. Locals claim they can smell the cannery from 1000 feet away, and that might not be an exaggeration. The 20 teenagers tasked with canning the herring by hand every summer must resort to rubbing Tiger Balm under their noses or plugging them altogether.

So what is it that gives surströmming such a distinct, nauseating fragrance? That can be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that the herring sits in large vats of salt and water for between eight and 10 weeks. Jan Söderström, the second-generation owner of Oskars, tells Great Big Story that there's a clear difference between rotten and fermented—and that surströmming is fermented.

Whatever the preferred descriptor, one thing is certain: You shouldn't be sauntering into this Swedish factory unless you're getting paid to be there.

Watch the full video from Great Big Story below:

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