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How to Win the Oreo Twist Game Every Single Time

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Oreo cookies are full of mysteries, not the least of which is the design of the wafer itself. But for many of us who’ve sat on either side of a cream-filled Oreo and twisted to see who got more of the delicious insides, another question has prevailed: What strategy, if any, can one apply to the game? We now have an answer, and it only took three Princeton University aerospace engineers to figure it out.

As Gizmodo reports, John Cannarella, Dan Quinn, and Joshua Spechler were graduate students in 2014 when they first started to consider the question surrounding the world’s most famous sandwich cookie. They did a bit of research and, when they found that no one had tackled the question, set to work hunting for an answer.

"It’s interesting from an engineering standpoint since the cookie is similar to many modern composites: a strong brittle layer (the wafer) for strength coupled with a weaker ductile layer (the cream) for toughness," Cannarella told Quartz. "Shatterproof glass and batteries are other good examples of material systems that are mechanically analogous to Oreos."

Sure, yeah, OK. But it’s also really important for winning playground face-offs in the '90s.

To get a better sense of the physics at play, the team analyzed the cookie, putting it through rigorous experiments involving both robotic testers and real-life participants. They went through thousands of Oreos and, in the end, made a discovery that will help you win your cookie war every time: In any given box of Oreos, the cream ends up on the same side for every single cookie.

In other words, if you’re headed into battle, test a cookie from the box ahead of time. If you pull one out, twist it, and the cream is on side closest to the back of the box, that will be true for every cookie, in every row.

While Nabisco isn’t forthcoming about the cookie-making process, Quartz notes that a 2010 episode of How It’s Made has an illuminating look at the process behind Newman-O’s, which in turn helps to shed some light on the manufacturing methodology of Oreos. To assemble the sandwich cookies, a machine applies a dollop of cream onto one cookie and then finishes it with another. The physicists guess that the first wafer probably has a better hold on the cream (though there’s no way to be sure) and that ends up being the victory cookie in the twist game.

And there you have it. Go forth and share a cookie. Oh and we’re not necessarily saying you should employ the test cookie method to win, that would be cheating. We’re just the messengers here.

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

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Watch Astronauts Assemble Pizza in Space
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Most everyone enjoys a good pizza party: Even astronauts living aboard the International Space Station.

As this video from NASA shows, assembling pizza in zero gravity is not only possible, it also has delicious results. The inspiration for the pizza feast came from Paolo Nespoli, an Italian astronaut who was craving one of his home country’s national dishes while working on the ISS. NASA’s program manager for the space station, Kirk Shireman, sympathized with his colleague and ordered pizzas to be delivered to the station.

NASA took a little longer responding to the request than your typical corner pizzeria might. The pizzas were delivered via the Orbital ATK capsule, and once they arrived, the ingredients had to be assembled by hand. The components didn’t differ too much from regular pizzas on Earth: Flatbread, tomato sauce, and cheese served as the base, and pepperoni, pesto, olives, and anchovy paste made up the toppings. Before heating them up, the astronauts had some fun with their creations, twirling them around like "flying saucers of the edible kind,” according to astronaut Randy Bresnik.

In case the pizza party wasn’t already a success, it also coincided with movie night on the International Space Station.

[h/t KHQ Q6]

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Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Christmas Candy in Each State, Mapped
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CandyStore.com

For those who didn’t get their full candy fix last Halloween, the holiday season provides plenty of opportunities to indulge. From candy canes to chocolate Santas, there’s something for everyone—but before splurging on sweet stocking stuffers, check out the interactive map below. Created by bulk candy retailer CandyStore.com, it breaks down the top three favorite candies in each state.

To determine which Christmas treats were the most popular, the team at CandyStore.com surveyed over 50,000 customers and spoke with major candy manufacturers and distributors. Not surprisingly, candy canes were a hit in numerous states, including Washington, Delaware, Vermont, Georgia, Maine, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. California, Nevada, West Virginia, and Kansas residents, however, got into the seasonal spirit with peppermint bark. North Dakota residents preferred chocolate Santas. And Alabama, Michigan, and Utah liked Jelly Belly’s Reindeer Corn.

Christmas candy sales in America are projected to rake in nearly $2 billion for confectioners, according to an estimate provided by the National Confectionary Association. Spend your holiday bonus wisely on treats everyone will appreciate by checking out CandyStore.com’s full results below.

Source: CandyStore.com

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