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Fun stuff from around the web

Grab a coffee and spend some times perusing our blog.

Super-cute video of a baby flipping through a magazine and finding it frustrating that the pages swipe ok but the images don’t respond to finger gestures, nor can she scroll.



There is science behind why chillies are hot and our new favourite youtube scientist, powerm1985, eats an incredibly hot scotch bonnett and while his mouth and brain melts he attempts to explain the science behind what is happening.

Before we get to the video here’s a brief explanation – basically the chilli molecule capsaicinoid is picked up by the same receptor we use to taste vanilla. But the capsaicinoid tricks the neurons in the taste receptor sending a signal to the brain saying something is on fire. So the brain increases the heart rate, starts you sweating and increases endorphins etc. Interestingly, capsaicinoid is not water soluble which is why drinking water does nothing to reduce the burning sensation.

Now there’s an evolutionary reason for this. Birds are not affected by chillis at all. They can eat chillis all day long and not be affected by the heat. Only mammals feel the heat. A theory for this is mammals have teeth and tend to grind/destroy seeds – which is not very good if you’re a plant trying to spread yourself around. Birds, however, don’t have teeth and thus the seeds pass through the bird coming out intact. We could extend this explanation out further by suggesting humans may hate the burning sensation but we LOVE the endorphins our brain releases after eating them. So in a funny way, chillis have ensured their survival by creating something humans like and want to cultivate which works out well for both species – I’m not a scientist but it is an elegant explanation as to why we haven’t rid the earth of chilli plants if we found them so disagreeable.

Here’s the video with a scientist on fire trying to explain it all to you:



You’d think we all see and perceive colours the same – after all, blue is blue right? This fascinating clip from a BBC documentary shows how language affects the way we understand colour.
Quite amazing:



According the the notes, the squid is dead and the sodium in the soya sauce reacts with the nerves in the squid causing it to dance. Probably not something we’ll put on the Spirit House menu – it’s macabre and fascinating all at the same time.



Here’s a great video that explains the relationships, tastes and peeling tips for a wide variety of Asian tropical fruits:


Can’t wait to visit the Or Kor Tor market on our next tagalong food tour of Thailand to buy some.



Grab the kleenex – here are two of my favourite Thai life insurance ads.

This one gets really philosophical – I love it:

Damn allergies :-)



Thai ads can be very clever – here’s a great series of ads for Cheers Beer:

I’m going to do some digging and try to find you how Thais do insurance ads – there won’t be a dry eye in the house.



The answer to the obsessive compulsive cook in your life.
Now when the recipe says ‘ cut into 1cm cubes’ or at 45 degree angles, this chopping board is the dream
kitchen gadget.

Interestingly, cutting things to a uniform size does actually mean the items will all cook uniformly and may actually make you a better chef.

Buy the OCD Chef Cutting Board from the neatorama shop.



A few weeks ago 3AW featured Spirit House on a talkback segment about ‘ magical places’ – they were swamped with callers from Victoria who’d been here and raved about their experience. As a follow up, they contacted Helen for an interview to find out the history and inspiration behind the Spirit House – so grab a cup of coffee and let Helen explain a bit of the Spirit House story.



Back in 2009 Dr. Robert Lustig gave a lecture called: ‘Sugar, the bitter truth’ this was posted to youtube a year later and was a scientifically heavy 1.5 hour long video that you’d think not many people would sit through. But this video went viral gaining over 1,000,000 viewers. Packed with amazing research and biochemistry Dr. Lustig argued that a calorie is not a calorie.

In short, your body handles 120 calories in two slices of white bread very differently to 120 calories in a can of soft drink or beer. Dr. Lustig’s particular area of expertise is childhood obesity. Back in the 70s it was argued that our high fat diets were making us fatter which has been the prevailing wisdom for the past 30 years – but what everyone had overlooked that our diets were much higher in sugar – particularly fructose.
To cut a long lecture very short, the body uses up glucose very efficiently (sugar found in bread etc.), but turns most of the calories found in fructose and glucose into fat. The big problem is high fructose corn syrup which is found in just about everything. Basically, he argues, if you cut out the fructose you’ll cut out the fat which is why the Atkins and Japanese diets work so well – they’re very low in sugars. There’s more to the lecture than ‘fat’ – he demonstrates how sugar/fructose create problems like diabetes, hypertension etc. all diseases that have also increased since the 70s.

You can watch this fascinating video below but I’ve also linked directly the biochemsitry and interesting part here.



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