Category:
Food

Chocolate Teapots

Back in 2001, Simon Bradshaw and his colleagues published a tongue-in-cheek article in Plotka analyzing the utility of a chocolate teapot. They were inspired by the phrase (common in the UK) that something is as "useful as a chocolate teapot." Their conclusion was that chocolate teapots are indeed not very useful since they leak everywhere, and therefore they "serve as an excellent baseline of uselessness against which to compare other, similarly dysfunctional, items."

The article became a minor classic of scientific humor. (Yeah, science humor tends to be a bit nerdy) and was replicated by other researchers.

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More recently, the Naked Scientists (authors of Crisp Packet Fireworks) decided that the problem was that the teapot was too thin. If you make the chocolate thick enough, it'll hold the hot water and brew tea. But how thick? Two centimeters proved to be enough. They note:
When chocolate melts it doesn't become totally liquid immediately, it remains quite viscous. Unless you apply a fairly large force to the melted chocolate, it seems to sit there. Chocolate is also mostly made of fat, which is a good thermal insulator (whales use blubber as a form of insulation). This means that the molten chocolate near the hot water protects the less molten chocolate below it, insulating it from the heat of the water. Also, it takes a significant amount of energy to melt chocolate, so it will take a significant amount of time to move heat into the solid chocolate, thus slowing its melting.

The main structural design defects were the lid, which melted, and the spout, which collapsed after the tea was poured.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 03, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Science

Albino Pretzel

Can you explain how one pretzel in a bag of pretzel sticks would end up white? I can't.

Via J-Walk, who offers this theory: "In the pretzel cooking factory, a new employee found an uncooked pretzel on the floor and tossed it into the pot soon before the others were done. Little did he/she know that you shouldn't do that."

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Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 31, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Food

Follies of the Mad Men #18

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[From Life for April 3 1964.]

Because nothing says "breakfast time!" like marshmallows roasting on skewers.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 30, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Food, 1960s

Follies of the Mad Men #16

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[From Life for May 22 1964.]

Eeeyeeuw! Can you imagine going for a delicious, delicious piece of white chocolate, and ending up with a mouthful of margarine?!?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 28, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Food, Frauds, Cons and Scams, 1960s

Baconhenge

While others are off at church on a Sunday, why not stay in and have a pagan breakfast celebration, with Baconhenge.

Let Baconhenge be the site of your seasonal celebration! Let bacon stand in for the sacrificed Year King, French toast for the Grain Goddess, the eggs in the frittata for the Cosmic Egg, and the vegetables for the bountiful Earth on which we live.

Ingredients include 12 pieces of french toast, a pound of bacon, a potato, onion, mushrooms, and a dozen eggs. I can't wait to try it! (via J-Walk)

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 25, 2008 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Religion, Landmarks

Worst. Crackers. Ever!

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Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 21, 2008 - Comments (20)
Category: Animals, Business, Products, Food, Inventions, Stupidity, 1960s

Cornman

When every legitimate superhero property has finally been brought to the screen, perhaps we'll see a remake of CORNMAN.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Aug 20, 2008 - Comments (12)
Category: Food, Humor, Parody, Movies, Science Fiction, Superheroes

Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy

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For no perceptible reason, I woke up this morning thinking about Bonomo's Turkish Taffy, a childhood treat I have not pondered in decades. After waxing nostalgic (despite Nostalgic's objections to being waxed), I began to wonder:

If this candy were still being manufactured today, would its allusively Muslim name doom it?





Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 19, 2008 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Pop Culture, Advertising, 1950s, 1960s

Follies of the Mad Men #10

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[From Good Housekeeping for December 1958]

Here's part of the reason why we're a nation of fatties today. "Lose weight the hard way? No thanks! I'll just compress my flab and strap it in with manmade materials!"

And why is it that the only women ever shown in girdle ads are already so trim and underweight that they aren't the real customers?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 11, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Fashion, Food, Torture, Fetishes, 1950s, Women

Magic Cheese Chips

They admit it's "decidedly unusual," but I think it would sure beat stuffing envelopes. "Simply drop into hot grease and they're ready to eat -- big, tasty, crispy, delicious!" Question: What makes them magic?

From the July, 1934 issue of Modern Mechanix. (via J-Walk)

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Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 05, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Food, 1930s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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