Saturday, December 22, 2012

Coffee Extraction

Coffee Extraction:

In brief, ideal yield is widely agreed to be 20%±2% (18%–22%), while ideal strength (for brewed coffee) varies between 1.25%±.10% (1.15%–1.35%) in American standards, to 1.40%±.10% (1.30%–1.50%) in Norwegian standards, with European standards falling in the middle at 1.20%–1.45%). This is most easily achieved with a brewing ratio of 55 g/L (55 grams of coffee per 1 L of water) in American standards, to 63 g/L in Norwegian standards, yielding approximately 14–16 grams of coffee for a standard 240 ml (8 oz) cup.

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Friday, December 21, 2012



It has the unusual property that it either tastes very bitter or is virtually tasteless, depending on the genetic makeup of the taster. The ability to taste PTC is a dominant genetic trait, and the test to determine PTC sensitivity is one of the most commonly used genetic tests on humans.

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Thanks for the shout out. (Love these guys.) (via The Doximity...

Thanks for the shout out. (Love these guys.)

(via The Doximity App in the iTunes Store)

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

The History Of Coffee

The History Of Coffee:

“Coffee is said to have come to Brazil in the hands of Francisco de Mello Palheta who was sent by the emperor to French Guiana for the purpose of obtaining coffee seedlings. But the French were not willing to share and Palheta was unsuccessful. However, he was said to have been so handsomely engaging that the French Governor’s wife was captivated. As a going-away gift, she presented him with a large bouquet of flowers. Buried inside he found enough coffee seeds to begin what is today a billion-dollar industry.”

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chasing the Perfect Cup of Coffee with Science

Chasing the Perfect Cup of Coffee with Science:

“This coffee sucks. It’s the second cup I’ve made in a row. It’s sour and grassy. It should taste like red grapes and strawberry. I know exactly how bad it is, and I haven’t even tasted it yet.”

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Friday, December 14, 2012

uchicagoadmissions: Indiana Jones Mystery Package We don’t...


Indiana Jones Mystery Package

We don’t really even know how to start this post. Yesterday we received a package addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”. We sort-of shrugged it off and put it in our bin of mail for student workers to sort and deliver to the right faculty member— we get the wrong mail a lot.

Little did we know what we were looking at. When our student mail worker snapped out of his finals-tired haze and realized who Dr. Jones was, we were sort of in luck: this package wasn’t meant for a random professor in the Stat department. It is addressed to “Indiana” Jones.

What we know: The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of “University of Chicago Professor” Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks only sort of like this one, but almost exactly like this one, so much so that we thought it might have been the one that was for sale on Ebay had we not seen some telling inconsistencies in cover color and “Ex Libris” page (and distinct lack of sword). The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included. It’s clear that it is mostly, but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered all of the “handwriting” and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting. 

What we don’t know: Why this came to us. The package does not actually have real stamps on it— the outside of the package was crinkly and dirty as if it came through the mail, but the stamps themselves are pasted on and look like they have been photocopied. There is no US postage on the package, but we did receive it in a bin of mail, and it is addressed to the physical address of our building, Rosenwald Hall, which has a distinctly different address from any other buildings where it might be appropriate to send it (Haskell Hall or the Oriental Institute Museum). However, although now home to the Econ department and College Admissions, Rosenwald Hall used to be the home to our departments of geology and geography

If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome? If you’re a member of the University community and this belongs to you or you’ve gotten one like it before, PLEASE tell us how you acquired it, and whether or not yours came with a description— or if we’re making a big deal out of the fact that you accidentally slipped a gift for a friend in to the inter-university mail system. If you are an Indiana Jones enthusiast and have any idea who may have sent this to us or who made it, let us know that, too. 

We know this sounds like a joke/hoax… it’s not (at least, from our end).  Any hints, ideas, thoughts, or explanations are appreciated. We’ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but it’s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere else— or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history.

Internet: help us out. If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information about this, feel free to post far and wide and e-mail any answers, clues, ideas, thoughts, or musings to  (yes, we did set up an email account just to deal with this thing). 

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jayparkinsonmd: We just launched our new Sherpaa site this...


We just launched our new Sherpaa site this morning. It’s really beautiful with crystal clear messaging and we’re quite proud of it. Head on over to the site and poke around.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blue/brown genetic mosaicism of the iris (sectoral heterochromia...

Blue/brown genetic mosaicism of the iris (sectoral heterochromia iridum).

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Monday, December 10, 2012

claytoncubitt I’m in the middle of Manhattan. The only...

claytoncubitt I’m in the middle of Manhattan. The only sound is birds. 21m

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Blown-glass medical models David Pescovitz, If...

Blown-glass medical models
David Pescovitz,

If you loved me, you’d buy me this all-glass com­plete brain artery model from Far­low Sci­en­tif­ic Glass­blow­ing. It’s $4,000. At least I didn’t ask for the full-body com­plete artery model!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

lebody: Le corpus humain et grandeur naturelle planches...


Le corpus humain et grandeur naturelle planches coloriées et superposées, avec texte explicatif- Julien Bouglé, 1899.

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Life is a game.

Life is a game.:

“In Cow Clicker, you literally click one cow every six hours to collect Mooney, which lets you buy other cows to click on.”

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Image Quiz Ajay K. Singh, MBBS, FRCP, MBA,...

Image Quiz
Ajay K. Singh, MBBS, FRCP, MBA,

What’s the diagnosis?

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

nyanning: Design for Corner Lithography/ “The structure...


Design for Corner Lithography/

The structure pictured below is a “microscopic pyramid,” New Scientist explains, “a cage for a living cell, constructed to better observe cells in their natural 3D environment, as opposed to the usual flat plane of a Petri dish.

It was constructed “by depositing nitrides over silicon pits. When most of the material is peeled away, a small amount of material remains in the corners to create a pyramid.”

This is called corner lithography, a technique used for creating the “cell trapping device” seen above.

The Giza-like, seemingly alien geometry of the pyramidal cage compared to the wild and barely containable spheroid burr of the cell itself is remarkable. The literally monstrous vitality of the cell caught inside the imposed order of the pyramid offers us an image of two fundamentally opposed methods of material organization in conflict with one another, a collision of orders as if the Gothic met the Doric or the Baroque met the Romanesque. 

Interestingly, though, at least according to New Scientist, “Because the pyramids have holes in the sides and are close together, the cells can interact for the most part as they naturally do.” In other words, these apparently oppositional modes—the fuzzy and the straight—incredibly, even miraculously, don’t interfere with one another at all.

Functionally speaking, it’s as if, from the cell’s perspective, the pyramid isn’t even there.


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