5-Second Rule

“Researchers at the University of Illinois say the so-called ‘5-Second Rule’ isn’t a myth. They say when you drop food on the floor, it’s still safe to eat if you pick it up within five seconds… By the way, if you try getting rid of germs on your food by blowing on it or dusting it off, you’re wasting your time. It doesn’t work.” WAFF 48 News


“After 30 years without a major design overhaul, the 51-year-old fast-food giant is adopting a hip new look. The world’s largest hamburger chain is redesigning its 30,000 eateries around the globe in a 21st century makeover of unprecedented scale… What will the new McDonald’s look like? ‘Think iPod: clean lines, simplicity’ … The signature mansard roof? … It’s being replaced by a flat roof topped by a newly designed, contemporary, golden sloping curve. Ronald McDonald appears safe: The mascot was given a leaner, sportier look just last year. And the iconic twin golden arches will still play a big role in the branding.” BusinessWeek


Dijon mustard

“Many years ago, one mustard dominated the supermarket shelves: French’s… It was a yellow mustard, made from ground white mustard seed with turmeric and vinegar, which gave it a mild, slightly metallic taste. If you looked hard in the grocery store, you might find something in the specialty-foods section called Grey Poupon, which was Dijon mustard, made from the more pungent brown mustard seed… Then one day the Heublein Company, which owned Grey Poupon, discovered something remarkable: if you gave people a mustard taste test, a significant number had only to try Grey Poupon once to switch from yellow mustard. In the food world that almost never happens; even among the most successful food brands, only about one in a hundred have that kind of conversion rate. Grey Poupon was magic.” Malcom Gladwell, on the “Ketchup Conundrum”

Two billion people

“At the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a serious scare about an imminent Malthusian crisis: the world’s rapidly expanding population was coming up against the limits of agricultural productivity… Earl Butz, Nixon’s Secretary of Agriculture, was despised by organic farmers, but he might not have been wrong when he said, in 1971, that if America returned to organic methods ‘someone must decide which fifty million of our people will starve!’ According to a more recent estimate, if synthetic fertilizers suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth, about two billion people would perish.” Steven Shapin, on the cost of sustainably grown and locally produced organic food

Because it’s really big

“I want a sundae so big, they’ll called it a ‘mondae.’” Stan, at The Sugar

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Fourthmeal: The meal between dinner and breakfast.” Taco Bell

SQL Cookbook

“SELECT eggs (*) AS ingredients
FROM Refrigerator
INSERT INTO my_fryingpan (eggs1, butter1)
UPDATE my_table SET toast = ‘lightly browned’
INSERT hole INTO toast
MERGE eggs INTO toast
SELECT Eggs, Toast)
CREATE Breakfast eggy_toast
DELETE FROM my_table WHERE plate = ‘N’” digitaldc, MySQL Cookbook

Filipino table etiquette punished at local school

“The case of 7-year-old Luc Cagadoc has become front-page news in his parents’ native Philippines and a Quebec-based rights group says it will haul a suburban Montreal school before the provincial human rights commission after it repeatedly disciplined the slight, bespectacled boy because he allegedly ‘eats like a pig.’ The Philippines’ ambassador to Canada issued a statement of support for Cagadoc’s family and Montreal’s Filipino community, which he said was rightly offended by the school’s reaction to the way the boy eats… the traditional Filipino method of using a fork to mush food into a spoon before swallowing the contents.” Toronto Star, A1

Iron Chef America

“Lee said that when the first American version of Iron Chef was being developed, producers spoke with him about being the Asian chef for the pilot episode. The idea excited Lee, who loves to compete. But they ended up casting Roy Yamaguchi, ‘because he had more restaurants.’” Columnist Simon Houpt, after interviewing Toronto chef Susur Lee

Susur Lee

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Harper doesn’t eat babies

“I worked with Stephen Harper for five years and never once did he in that time eat a baby.” Gerry Nicholls, vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition

Prime Minister Stephen Harper