Thursday, 19 February 2009

Eat the unopened mussels too
― and save mussels from over-fishing

From an experiment in order to bust the stubborn myth that unopened mussels are dangerous to eat...

[S]ome 11.5 per cent of mussels remained closed after a so-called "normal" cooking time.

When [forced] open with a knife, every single one was both adequately cooked and safe to eat.

So, [...] even if the adductor muscles refuse to bow to the heat, the meat is still safe to eat.

But [when cooked] for a further 90 seconds, about one-seventh of them still remained shut.

And in the mussels that finally did open, thanks to the overcooking, the meat was now shrunken and tough.

The best way to check the safety of mussels is to check them before you cook them.

Mussels have such a small mass that if they are invaded by a pathogen or germ, they will be overwhelmed almost immediately, and will smell bad.

If we use the experimental evidence, and stop throwing out cooked mussels that stubbornly refuse to open, we can stop wasting each year some 370 tonnes of perfectly good seafood worth around $3 million.

So use a little brain muscle, and put the mussel where your mouth is.

by Karl S. Kruszelnicki
from 'Mussel myth an open and shut case'
on ABC Science (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Why you cannot see the Great Wall from the Moon

Not even the best of human eyes at a simple glace could see the Great Wall of China from Space. The impossibility is due to the limitation of the human eye when it comes to seeing small diffusing objects. The relevant parameter is not the Wall’s length (about 7300 km), but its width, which is usually less than 6 m.

[...] To illustrate this with a simple example, looking at the Great Wall from a distance of 160 km would be the same as looking at a 2 cm diameter cable from more than half a kilometre away! No matter how good the atmospheric conditions, lighting and contrast are — unless the object was self-illuminated or it reflected the sun as a small mirror — it would be totally impossible to see this cable (or, for similar reasons, the Great Wall) at a simple glance, because the eye would need a visual acuity greater than approximately 20/3, which is 7.7 times the normal visual acuity, and more than three times the maximum acuity reached by a falcon, an eagle, or a human eye.
[...] [I]t would be even less likely to see the Great Wall from the moon, situated at a minimum distance of 350,000 km, because the visual acuity would have to be 17,000 times (!) better than that of the normal human eye (in this case it would amount to seeing the cable from a distance of more than 1000 km).
[...] As a simple exercise, Google Earth© can be used to see the Wall at lat.=40.48234, lon.=116.180592 if one is close enough to the ground. However, once you are more than 40 miles away, it cannot be seen. This simple experiment does not really answer the question since the visualization of the Wall will depends not only on our vision, but also on the satelite image resolution, our computer screen, etc. Despite this, it can be observed that, at a height of 40 miles, the Wall is not visible but the landing runway of the Yongning Airport, located about 4 miles WNW to the Wall, is.
Moreover, if the Great Wall was visible from Space, then, contrary to common claims, it would not be the only visible manmade object since astronauts would also enjoy the view of the Pyramids of Egypt, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, and probably their own house in case it is more than 6 m wide and long.

Norberto López-Gil
Ciencias de la Visión, Universidad de Murcia

from 'Is it Really Possible to See the Great Wall of China from Space with a Naked Eye?', Journal of Optometry 2008;1:3-4

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Hatten Är Din (Hatt Baby)
― När arabiska låtar som svenska

Mera information om denna klassiska Net-skämten på The Continuing Saga

Holt Grant Holt nach Köln

z.H.v. Herrn Christoph Daum ― Betr.: Stürmerkandidat im letzten Moment

Sehr geehrter Herr Daum

Als FC-Fan habe ich natürlich die Personalsituation beim FC gefolgt, und hatte das Gefühl, dass Ihnen ein Goalgetter zumindest anfangs der Rückrunde fehlen könnte.

Rein Zufällig bin ich auf ein englischer Stürmer namens Grant Holt gestoßen. Was besonders auffällt, ist daß er in 28 Spielen in dieser Saison ganze 20 Tore erziehlt hat; 2 von 5 Toren seines Vereins Shrewsbury Town, der in Englands League Two spielt, sind Grant Holt zugeschrieben.

Mehr Details auf

Nur ein Tipp, falls Sie vor der Schließung des Wintertransferfensters doch noch einen Joker verpflichten möchten.

Alles gute für die Rückrunde ― ich werde soviel dabei sein wie es mir überhaupt möglich ist. Karten für Bielefeld und Bayern hab' ich bereits.

Mit FCreundlichen Grüßen
Bjørn Clasen
FC-Mitglied, Luxemburg

Antwort vom 26. Januar

Guten Tag Herr Clasen,

vielen Dank für Ihre nette E-Mail.

Gerne haben wir Ihren Hinweis an unsere Scouting-Abteilung weitergeleitet. Wir bitten Sie jedoch um Verständnis, dass wir uns an Personaldiskussionen in der Öffentlichkeit nicht beteiligen können. Unser aktueller Kader genießt zudem unser absolutes Vertrauen. Wir gehen fest davon aus, dass es unseren Spielern gelingen wird, die nötigen Punkte in der Rückrunde zu holen. Unterstützen Sie sie auch weiterhin.
Wir sind stolz auf solche treue Anhänger, wie Sie zählen zu können! Bleiben Sie uns treu!

Herzliche Grüße
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