Mobius Bagel

December 7, 2009

How to cut a bagel into interlocking halves.


“I have the stripes, but where is the zebra?”

October 29, 2009

piglickerHi Everyone.  Sorry I haven’t posted anything in the long time.  My apology is a post that even longer and more meandering than usual.

I’m at Indiana University for the Biocomplexity X workshop on Quantitative Tissue Biology and Virtual Tissues.  It’s been great — perhaps because there are many physicists converted to biology.  There have been several talks that touched on non-linear elasticity, though most people’s background is in foams and not granular matter.   Rene Doursat gave an especially good talk today on agent-based models of morphogenesis in which he mentioned another alleged quotation, attributed to Alan Turing, who made either the titular comment or said “The stripes are easy, it’s the horse part that troubles me!” in reference to the ability of certain systems of equations to create seemingly biologically-relevant patterns without necessarily providing biological insight.  Brad has Read the rest of this entry »


Our Shrinking World

July 24, 2009

The schools of Duke and Coastal Carolina continue to get closer together. The first overtures were made when I went from graduate school in the Triangle to a job in the Grand Strand. Since, the link has remained strong. John and Ann visited in the spring to speak to my physics seminar classes, and I’ll be venturing back up to Duke very soon to collaborate with my former advisor, both activities I hope will become standing. An extensive interstate system will simplify the route between home cities. But perhaps the most important link between the two happened just this past week: CCU just got its very first Jimmy John’s.

Read the rest of this entry »


Less is Enough?

March 2, 2009

Just read a news story about a blogger who is trying to get by eating fresh and healthy food but spend no mare than a dollar a day for thirty days.  The blog is called “Less is Enough” and it appears as if there’s a little bit of wiggle room in terms of several days budget can be spent at once.  Given portion sizes in the U.S. and the inability to buy one egg (or one rib for that matter) I don’t think that’s unreasonable.  The blogger started off with an empty pantry and has so far made it through twenty days.  I don’t think I would have mentioned it, but she includes pictures of her food and some of the meals looks marvelous, including the Idaho Sunrise:

Cheap and tasty looking meal

Cheap and tasty looking meal -- The Idaho Sunrise

Basically it’s a twice-baked potato with an egg on top.  Maybe I’m just hungry (though I had a chili cheese burger prepared by one of the few cooks in the EPA cafeteria who braved yet another snowy day) but it definitely looks filling and cheap as all get out.  Good eats?  I’ll have to find out.

At any rate, I’ve added Less is Enough to the blog roll…


20 foods that are good for you and 10 that are just horrible

May 24, 2008

Brian’s new picture at the top of the blog (from a sequence entitled “Eating Turkey Legs at the 2007 NC State Fair with Brian and John”) got me thinking about a cool story I found on Digg last month.  In the vein of Deep Fried Atrocities, Divine Caroline has Ten Foods You’ll Find, Eat, and Regret at the State Fair.  It’s a pretty good list, including deep-fried spaghetti and meatballs (pictured) and a new offering from the man who brought us deep-fried Coke — deep-fried chocolate chip cookie dough.  No doubt that he’s a cardiologist.

At the same time, the Digg gods have also brought us 20 Common Cooking Ingredients that Act Like Medicines.  Many of my favorites were on the list, but it looks like I’ll have to find a way to include more ginger, rosemary, cloves, and kale in my diet.  Either that or write a funk sequel to a certain Simon and Garfunkle album.  My favorite on the list was good old horseradish which, given my love of rare steak, I rely on heavily for its antibiotic properties.  I have been known to talk a certain (then) girlfriend into trying horseradish on crackers for severe congestion.


Carolina “Classic”

April 26, 2008

There are some things about North Carolina almost everyone knows, such as tobacco, basketball, and NASCAR. Then there are things that you only learn if you live here for a while; e.g. coleslaw is a condiment.

That’s right, any self-respecting North Carolinian restaurant serves a tiny cup of coleslaw on the side with every sandwich (and many other orders) so that you can put it on your sandwich if you care to. It actually works quite well because the cole slaw here is the best I’ve ever had: unlike its Midwestern brethren it contains only a bit of mayonnaise, and unlike the local barbecue it’s light on the vinegar.

Coleslaw features prominently in Carolina-style burgers, which also have chili, chopped onion, and mustard. Even Wendy’s has a fast-food version that is sold regionally. Apparently there is some sort of difference between coleslaw and “slaw,” but either way I find them to be delicious.

Another, more interesting North Carolina “quirk” has to do with how I’ve used quotation marks in these last two sentences. Read the rest of this entry »


Eating the Whole Goddamn Bag

March 6, 2008

Way back in September 1999 The Onion ran a story “Scientists Discover Gene Responsible For Eating Whole Goddamn Bag Of Chips.” Much of the gag hinged on the idea that there was a single reason, other than, perhaps, willpower, responsible for eating an entire bag of chips in one sitting. As a person who has always found snack food hard to resist, I really identified with the story, no matter how ludicrous. Despite my skepticism for simple explanations for complex behaviors, I do think there is one factor out there that might not just be responsible for eating the whole bag of chips, but for a lot of the obesity epidemic in general.

Behold monosodium glutamate. That’s right, according to a recent piece in the New York Times, everyone’s favorite excitotoxin (and bane of Ann and many other migraine sufferers‘ existence) is present in five separate forms in Nacho Cheese Flavored Doritos. Five separate flavor enhancers! Read the rest of this entry »