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Grab a coffee and spend some times perusing our blog.

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.

The other day we received a call from a man in Victoria wanting to desperately make a booking in a few months time because he heard we booked out well in advance. He went on to explain that his local radio announcer was on air raving about an amazing dining experience he had in Yandina. People were phoning in, sharing their experience with Spirit House — so he thought he better get in quick. We tracked down the radio station and managed to get a copy of the talkback show. It’s so nice to hear that people throughout Australia have fond memories of Spirit House:

The Courier Mail good food guide is out and the Spirit House has retained one hat which is a great accolade for the floor and kitchen staff who work so tirelessly to deliver a unique food experience.

The Spirit House Restaurant

In 1994 a group of three speleologists discovered something incredible in a cave in France that was last visited by humans nearly 30,000 years ago. The walls of the cave are covered in fantastic and perfectly preserved paintings of animals with amazing artistic detail. The walls contain pictures of around 13 different species with some animals never seen before in ice age paintings – including lions, panthers and rhinos. There are remnants of bones and arguably the world’s oldest prefectly preserved foot prints.

German documentary maker, Werner Herzog, was given special permission to film in the caves with huge restrictions. The gases in the cave are toxic so he and his crew were only allowed to stay for a few hours at a time. They had to wear special suits and were confined to a two foot wide path. Herzog had a custom designed 3D camera made to better bring to cinemas the feel of the drawings and the cave. He was only allowed a crew of three people and they had to use special LED which gave off no heat.

The documentary is receiving rave reviews and you can see a trailer for it below:

Cave of Forgotten Dreams from Nate Calloway on Vimeo.

Water boils at 100 ° c right? But what happens when a water droplet hits an extremely hot pan – say at 190° ? Shot at 3000 fps, this video shows a water droplet skipping across the pan. In fact, the water droplet can last for some time because as it hits the pan, a small layer of vapour comes between the pan and droplet, effectively protecting it from evaporation.

At temperatures lower than 195 ° the water disappears with a hiss.

If you’ve ever been stuck in a queue wondering why all the other lines move faster – an engineer has the answer and surprisingly the theory starts with ye olde telephone switchboards:

Paul Butler, an intern at facebook, decided to map the connections between ten million or so facebookers. I won’t go into the details of the how he did it but the map of the world you’re seeing above is made up of the densities of connections between friends in different cities and countries. In other words, you’d expect strong facebook friend connections within a city and between capitals so that is reflected in the map with bright spots and brighter connecting lines.
Relationships between countries are done with curved lines. It’s interesting for me to see Australia’s strong connection to Indonesia – especially coming out of Perth.
You can read more about this fascinating project and view a high res version of the map from facebook notes page.

Here’s what the world would look like if it the population of each nation correlated to the physical land size.

Australia moves to Spain- Pakistan’s population correlates to Australia’s physical size on the map. Indonesia takes up the size of China while China’s population correlates to the size of Russia.

Here’s the large version of the population map.

Every morning on our tag-along tours I stop for a Thai Iced Tea at our local street vendor. Sickly sweet with condensed milk and orange in colour from tamarind husks, I thought this drink was pretty amazing – until I saw this:

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