Proven By Science

Oct 09

CRISP PACKET COPY 3: Walkers Jamaican Jerk Chicken Crisps

FT + Proven By Science + Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 3,245 views

DSC00439An occasional series where we mock the nonsense written on crisp packets.

“It takes a more adventurous homegrown spud to volunteer for our sizzling Jamaican Jerk Chicken. Some spuds simply ‘dreaded’ not being picked so they went back to their roots (man!) to prove their worth. But the ones in this bag just chilled out ‘cos they knew they ware far better than the rest of the others.”

Well done Walkers, skirting accusations of racism and cultural stereotyping in three needless sentences to add nothing to a bag of crisps that tastes just like you mixed up the roast chicken powder with the picked onion powder.

Oct 09

Accidental Food Science: What Happens To Quavers

Proven By Science2 comments • 1,205 views

As part of my job, I am the recipient of lost property, contents of unused lockers and the like at a university. These usually sit on a shelf until claimed, however yesterday I was contacted regarding the contents of a locker which the student no longer wanted. “Give the contents away” he said from Dubai. So I went through the books to distribute to new students, and thought I would claim as my payment a packet of Quavers. Lovely, lovely quavers, the cheese corn puff curl which both crunches and is insubstantial. A hard mans Skip, a weak mans crisp. Moreish in all the best ways.

The locker had been in use recently I had assumed by the phonecall, accidentally left full at the end of September. Unfortunately the same could not be said of the Quavers. After eating the first one, I noticed something wasn’t right. Checking ont he packet I discovered the truth. The Quavers had an expiry date of the 30/12/08. They were ten months out of date. So what happens to cheesy Quavers after they have expired?

They taste of Humbol Messerschmitt Grey Enamel Paint. Who knew?*

*Note, I know what this paint tastes like from an accidental brush sucking moment as a child when painting an airfix kit.

Aug 09

Food Science Day 4: Live Blog

FT + Proven By Science + Pumpkin Publog3 comments • 674 views

8:25pm Om nom nom, they expanded and were covered in melted Mars bars and stuffed with ice cream and and… I think we are too drunk and too full to say any more tonight. More photos to come, not sure about scientific content of the day but food and drink was had by all. Hooray!

7.20pm Final science of the day, Cis is seeing how much choux pastry wll expand. Diameter buns from 1cm to 10cm have been piped onto the baking tray. Will they expand or will they POP!!!!

6.10 pmLawks – Meg is making a giant Kit Kat. Melted chocolate can be very messy! Oh and Cis and Moggy have turned up talking about doing something with Choux pastry. I keep saying Choux puns aren’t necessary but…


Jun 09

Subtle BBC News Eammon Holmes Dig

FT + Proven By Science6 comments • 339 views

There is a remarkably unremarkable piece of news on the BBC website. Apparently according to that old favourite “A MEDICAL EXPERT” the appearance of so many fat people on TV normalises obesity. Or as BBC News Health section put it: Fat Stars ‘Make Obesity Normal’ (their scare quotes). One assumes this is much like the way that thin stars normalises thinness and causes anorexia VIA THE SAME MEDIA. Nevertheless the EXPERT is an EXPERT, which we can prove by a few pull quotes from him:

Professor McMahon, a expert on keyhole surgery, said: “The increasing profile of larger celebrities, for example James Corden, Eamonn Holmes, Ruth Jones and Beth Ditto, means that being overweight is now perceived as being ‘normal’ in the eyes of the public.

“We talk about the dangers of skinny media images, but the problem actually swings both ways.”

Hold up. Eammon Holmes? Since when has he been seen as a crusader for corpulence?


Jun 09

Metaneologicistical Edenmares

FT + Proven By Science2 comments • 161 views

So if a neologism is coined ever 98 minutes, say certain lexicographers, the English language will hit One Million Words TODAY! It surely behooves us at Freakytrigger to
a) pooh pooh this statistic
b) whilst at the same time coining the millionth word.

a) Actually the poohpoohing has already been done by The Guardian, the Guardianilists managing to elicitate this damninquote:

Professor David Crystal, professor of linguistics at Bangor University, called the idea “the biggest load of rubbish I’ve heard in years”. He said: “It is total nonsense. English reached 1 million words years ago. It’s like someone standing by the side of the road counting cars, and when they get to 1 million pronouncing that to be the millionth car in the world. It’s extraordinary.”

b) Well now that’s cleared up, what should that millionth word in English be.


Jun 09

IPC Sub-Editors Dictate Our Nation’s Youth(‘s festival footwear)

Blog 7 + FT + Proven By Science/3 comments • 415 views


Graun journalist spends all day reading and fails to really read the glastowatch story she links to which shows a screencap from metcheck when it said that SEVERAL MILES of rain would fall per day, temperatures would top 2000°C and the wind would be over 1000mph….

Also Science dude in the original Times story is relatively reserved, basically there’s this weather pattern that happens kind of at the end of June, but really isn’t that predictable and it’s not really a real monsoon, really…

The forecast will DO ME FINE to be honest (it currently says no rain after monday night, overcast but reasonably warm all weekend)

May 09

the law of comments-thread toxicity (some developments)

FT + Proven By Science///3 comments • 508 views

knitleralex harrowell of the yorkshire ranter proposes godwin score as a measure of a thread’s usefulness

daniel davies of dsquared digest proposes a better buzzer-causer than h!tler-mention

(useful pointer: the thread that alex and dsquared are actually commenting in is not itself especially relevant to this issue…)

Apr 09

FT Word Threat Level Pandemic Watch

FT + Proven By Science + The Brown Wedge2 comments • 262 views

Yes yes, swine flu. We are all wearing masks and batmanning the barricades against piggy pox. The news is all a flutter and how will we survive with the panicked prognostications of all major news outlets.

However the vectors of the spread of a disease are nothing over the spread of jokes, memes and neologisms. So here are a couple of case studies for you to keep your eye out for.

A) WINE FLU: This would be an example of a joke disease which will burn out very quickly once everyone has heard it, but if Have I Got News For You or The News Quiz get it quick enough will get an OK laugh. The basic formulation is as follows:
“I woke up this morning with nausea and splitting headache. I think it might be Wine Flu”
Do you see? Its a play on words mistaking Swine Flu (actual disease) with Wine Flu, a made up term referring to a hangover.

THREAT LEVEL: High. Its a pretty simple joke after all. Luckily it should burn out by this time next week.


Raspberry Berate

FT + Proven By Science1 comment • 195 views

An interesting blog post about the recent discovery that our galaxy “smells of raspberries” (and rum, though whether man rum or lady rum is unspecified).

The blog asks: given the irrelevance of that ‘fact’ to astronomy, should it have been reported? The German astronomers are quick to distance themselves from the raspberry herring: but if the angle doesn’t obscure the story (galaxy contains very complex molecules), then where’s the harm? The people who only take away the raspberry factoid probably wouldn’t have encountered – or absorbed much of – a drier, flavour-free story. They’re the informational equivalent of the people who download a track illegally which they would never have bought anyway: any loss they’ve caused is purely rhetorical.

Apr 09

The Top Five Reasons I WILL Follow You On Twitter

Blog 7 + FT + Proven By Science3 comments • 730 views


For some reason I keep getting suckered into clicking through tinyURLs to things like this old Mashable piece, in which someone lists their reasons for NOT following people on Twitter and then all the comments crew slap each other on the back for realising that Twitter is like “a business networking event”. Since business networking events are some of the grimmest and most insincere occasions on earth it seems odd to want to recreate that vibe online without even a complimentary vol au vent, but each to their own.

Reading it though I thought some positivity was needed. So here are the reasons why I would follow back a complete stranger on Twitter. Of course I should point out that there’s no reason said stranger would follow me in the first place: beardy blokes working in social media are no scarce resource online! But in the event that a slip of the finger lands @tomewing on your list here’s what I’m looking for.