Academia and foods: stale snacks and unusual investigation

Whether or not you like it or not, the festive season is approaching. Quickly, we will be eating all kinds of tasty factors that are genuinely undesirable for us, and drinking in quantities that would be considered problematic at any other time of the year. But this week we shall settle for some tasty morsels from academia’s pantry of nonsense.

Christmas could be a time for indulgence, but most PhD students are broke and survive on a diet plan of junk food. If you uncover oneself with only half a bag of stale crisps in your workplace – as I have on many occassions – there is a easy way to flip them into an interesting snack. Perform crisp noises whilst you consume and you can trick your brain into believing that they are fresh, crisp, and scrumptious. Yum.

Admittedly this demands some work, and you would be well recommended to make the most of the abundant possibilities for totally free meals in academia alternatively. The Refreshments will be provided site will give you a very good overview of what’s on provide.

Studying soup bowls

Soup bowl
How much soup could you manage? Photograph: Michael Neelon/Alamy

I hope that in the future, workplace canteens will be equipped with the bowls utilized in this study, which investigated the effect that consuming soup from a self-replenishing bowl has on your appetite.

The bowls quietly refilled themselves above a twenty-minute time period and researchers measured whether or not participants ate a lot more.

I prepare to patent a network of self-replenishing ramen bowls for PhD offices. Ramen noodles, incidentally, are severe organization: this kid was awarded a spot in a prime US university since they had been so impressed with his admissions essay on the subject.

Health-related literature: meals-connected incidents

Now for the disgusting bit. As you may imagine, medical literature is rife with accounts of unusual foods-connected incidents. Possibly the worst I’ve observed is the case of a Korean female who skilled a tingling sensation in her mouth following eating squid. Picture her horror when she was informed that this was induced by “parasite-like sperm bags” that had attached themselves to the inside of her cheeks. Wonderful.

And bear in mind when your mother and father told you not to perform with your meals? There was good purpose for this. A single report documents the case of a man with “lipoid pneumonia”, triggered by injecting olive oil into locations he shouldn’t have, while yet another demonstrates that even a salami can be harmful in the wrong hands. “Rectal salami” could be the most evocative paper title ever.

pigs in blankets
Pigs in blankets: beneficial for folks with nosebleeds? Photograph: Martin Turzak /Alamy

Must you locate oneself in the midst of a life-threatening nosebleed at Christmas dinner, nonetheless, do truly feel free of charge to unwrap your pigs from their blankets and fashion a “nasal tampon” to stem the bleeding.

Especially odd is the rich literature on the swallowing of whole live fish. You’d consider we’d have figured out the difference between dwell fish and dead fish (also recognized as seafood) by now, however I located at least four reviews of this error. A single is entitled Return of the killer fish, and I can’t assist but think that this is far more a case of stupid human than killer fish.

To finish up on the subject of foods, I carry you two of my favourite satisfied coincidences. The very first is a study on the chemical composition of the flavour of popcorn. The lead author is a single Mr Ron Buttery. The 2nd is a paper on the fungi utilized in cheese making, written by none other than Mr Kevin Cheeseman. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

Best PhD-themed cake I’ve seen this week

This cake, made for a marine biology and ecology student, displays all of the organisms she identified even though snorkelling and collecting samples during her PhD.

And now for one thing completely different

It’s been a whilst since I reported on the Twittersphere, but #AcademicsInHats is worth mentioning. What started as an off the cuff remark led to a hashtag proposal and a wave of photographs of academics in their best headwear.

There had been purple hats, chefs hats, witches hats, grumpy hats and helmets. One particular academic took “hats” really virtually, donning three, then seven, although a bit of photoshopping turned yet another into a pirate. A splinter group emerged, lead by academics with tattoos, although #AcademicsWithTats is but to make quite the very same response.

Got a snazzy hat? A super-great tat? Get concerned! Win a prize (maybe)! Tweet me @AcademiaObscura.

Enter the Guardian university awards 2015 and join the larger schooling network for far more comment, examination and job possibilities, direct to your inbox. Stick to us on Twitter @gdnhighered.

Leave a Reply