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How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-04-01 06:02:31
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Avalanche research aids search for tastier ice cream

biz001Avalanche experts are helping to study how ice cream's structure changes when it is stored in a household freezer. Samples of ice cream have been scanned with an X-ray machine more typically used to study the ice crystals which are key to avalanche formation. Nestle is hoping to reveal the exact conditions under which ice crystals merge and grow.

When the crystals get big enough they change the texture of ice cream and alter how it feels when it is eaten. The study of ice crystal formation has been carried out with the help of scientists at the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos, Switzerland.

The X-ray tomography machine at the institute is one of the few that can take images of tiny structures at sub-zero temperatures. "Previously, we could not look inside ice cream without destroying the sample in the process," said Nestle food scientist Dr Cedric Dubois. Via the research, summarised in a paper published in the journal Soft Matter, Nestle hopes to find a way to combat the gradual degradation of taste ice cream often suffers. As with many foods, the structure of ice cream is the key to the way it tastes.


And the Oddest Book Title of the Year Is …

biz002There were plenty of odd book titles last year, such as Estonian Sock Patterns All Over the World and A Taxonomy of Office Chairs. But the winner of the Diagram prize for strangest book title of the year is Cooking with Poo, reports the Guardian. Actually, Cooking with Poo is not as bizarre as it sounds—the "poo" in this case is Thai for crab, and happens to be the nickname of author Saiyuud Diwong, who runs a very popular Thai cooking program in Bangkok.

Other "best" bad titles included The Great Singapore Penis Panic and Mr. Andoh's Pennine Diary: Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge. "Given that this year the three most voted-for works contain the words 'poo,' 'sexer,' and 'penis' in the title, it appears that this year's prize will go down in history as a blue year," said Horace Bent, the keeper of the 34-year-old award.


Stamford student charged with choking teacher

A Stamford Academy student was arrested Wednesday and charged with trying to strangle a teacher with his own necktie, police said. Police believe Shaquille Leon Waldron-Gray, 18, of Stamford got into an argument with one of his teachers about the number of times he was late for class. They say  the argument escalated until Waldron-Gray attempted to strangle the teacher, eventually fleeing the school when police were called.

Witnesses led police to a Bedford Street Parking Garage, where the suspect was found and arrested, police said. Before he was taken into custody the suspect tried to punch one of the officers, but missed, police said. Waldron-Gray was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution, third-degree assault, first-degree threatening, second-degree strangulation and disorderly conduct, police said. He was unable to post $2,500 bond, and appeared in court Thursday morning, police said. The victim told police he would drive himself to the hospital later Wednesday to have his injuries checked. 


Bigfoot sleuth stomped for leading tour on federal lands without permit

biz004A man who led tour groups on a hunt for Bigfoot met up with the long arm of the law instead, and got fined for doing business on federal lands without a permit. Matt Pruitt was leading a group expedition for The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization at the Buffalo National River Park in Arkansas in February when he and his group of 31 people were stopped by two park rangers. Pruitt was slapped with a hefty $525 fine for a lack of a commercial use permit. The organization typically charges as much as $500 to go along on searches for the mythical creature in various locations across North America. That's between the group and the gullible -- unless they're conducting their hunt on federal land.

“He was given money by people to lead them on an expedition,” Karen Bradford, chief ranger at Buffalo National River Park, told FoxNews.com. “When you complete any sort of transaction you become a concessionaire and need the proper permit.” Pruitt conceded in a posting on his blog that he didn't do enough research on rules and regulations. “After scouting that location and having been very impressed with the area, I decided to conduct the expedition there. I immediately scoured their website to see if I needed any specific permits or passes to conduct such an effort there,” Pruitt wrote. “I assumed that I had fully acquainted myself with the necessary information related to the usage rules and regulations of the park. I was wrong, and I paid for that mistake.”

Pruitt paid the fine online Friday according to local reports in Arkansas. "It was a fairly innocent mistake,” Pruitt said to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “At first they were very concerned that we were filming, that we were trying to get away with commercial filming without a permit. Once those concerns were satiated, there were other concerns." The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization often films expeditions as part of the Animal Planet Series, "Finding Bigfoot." Pruitt’s expedition at Buffalo National River Park was not being filmed.

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