'Wired' on Serious Eats

Prank: How to Mix an Exploding Cocktail

Wired has an amusing recipe for a Manhattan-esque cocktail it calls The Manhattan Project. You would be correct in assuming that this is a drink of literally explosive proportions. It involves freezing Mentos into ice cubes and including them in a mixture of Diet Coke, rye whiskey, a splash of vermouth, and a couple dashes of bitters. Whether anyone would nurse that concoction long enough for the ice to melt around the Mentos is a question scientists haven't answered yet. [via Neatorama]... More

The Science of Ice in Sodas

Pixelgarten Deciding how much ice to put into your soda usually comes down to personal preference, some people like a lot and some none at all. Wired Magazine takes a more scientific approach to the issue, breaking down the cold, hard data. The Wired team went to their local cineplex and bought three Cokes with varying amounts of ice, here's what they found: No Ice, Please Temperature- 40° F Volume of Liquid- 31 oz Cost per Degree of Chilling- N/A Total Cost for Cold- 0¢ Verdict- Not fridge-frosty, but at 40 degrees you can't call it tepid. Easy On The Cubes Temperature- 36° F Volume of Liquid- 28 oz Cost per Degree of Chilling- 9.8¢ Total Cost for Cold-... More

Forget Smoothies: Maybe the $11,000 Clover Machine Will Save Starbucks?

Starbucks has been hurting recently, but if anything can save this flagging chain, it could be an $11,000 Clover coffee machine. The stuff of dreams for hardcore java addicts, the Clover has the potential to steer the coffee giant back to great coffee basics and, for once, justify the high prices. As Wired reports, Starbucks discreetly purchased and installed a few Clovers at various Seattle and Boston stores in the summer of 2007, charging $3.05 for a cup of the fancy Clover brew. After thumbs-up came from testers, Starbucks purchased Clover's makers, the Coffee Equipment Company, and now won't sell any more machines to independent cafés. With plans to install 80 of them across the country this year, Starbucks has... More

Viral Videos of Cellphones Popping Popcorn Kernels: Debunked!

Have you seen the cellphones popping popcorn kernel videos? They've been viewed more than a million times since they were uploaded last week. If not, here's a summary of the captivating 45 seconds: three friends encircle several popcorn kernels with their cells, the phones receive calls and the kernels do their popcorn thing, popping away. Lest you get overly excited, Wired bursts your bubble and debunks it. University of Virginia physics professor and How Everything Works: Making Physics Out of the Ordinary author Louis Bloomfield told Wired that the trick is a physical impossibility.... More

'Wired' Analyzes an Oven Cleaner

Just in case anyone was lying awake wondering about the chemistry of clean ovens, Wired Magazine explains each individual ingredient in sprayable oven cleaner Easy-Off's most heavy-duty product. The article is primarily useful as a warning not to inhale the stuff.... More

Why Can't You Get a Good Slice Outside New York City? 'Wired' Magazine Says It's the Water

What makes these slices so good? From the latest issue of Wired: "Water," [Mario] Batali says. "Water is huge. It's probably one of California's biggest problems with pizza." Water binds the dough's few ingredients. Nearly every chemical reaction that produces flavor occurs in water, says Chris Loss, a food scientist with the Culinary Institute of America. "So, naturally, the minerals and chemicals in it will affect every aspect of the way something tastes." Batali himself encounters the water problem at his upscale New York restaurant Del Posto, where he makes traditional Italian food. The tap water in Manhattan is... More

Caffeine Hack

Wired's latest issue features "12 Hacks That Will Amp Up Your Brainpower." Number two on the list is about the right way to consume coffee: For optimal brain gain, regular tea breaks, as favored in the UK, are more effective than a 20-ounce French roast... Throughout the day, your noodle fills up with adenosine, a chemical thought to cause mental fatigue. Caffeine blocks the brain's adenosine receptors, countering the chemical's dulling effects. To maximize alertness and minimize jitters, keep those receptors covered with frequent small doses — like a mug of low-caf tea or half a cup of joe — rather than a onetime blast.... More

The Meat of Tomorrow

Wired covers a three-day meeting of the In Vitro Meat Consortium in Ås, Norway, detailing the possibility of test tube meat. Cheaper to produce and more environmentally friendly, in vitro meat production may arrive in grocery stores within 5 to 10 years: "The general consensus is that minced meat or ground meat products -- sausage, chicken nuggets, hamburgers -- those are within technical reach. We have the technology to make those things at scale with existing technology." The New York Times' Dot Earth blog also covers the meeting: A paper presented at the meeting concluded that, for the moment, the costs of cultured meat can’t come close yet to competing with, say, unsubsidized chicken. The paper noted the reality... More

Wired's Molecular Gastronomy FAQ

From Wired's Molecular Gastronomy FAQ: Is that extremely cool or extremely lame? I can't decide. Well, it costs about 250 bucks for a meal. That might throw it one way or the other for you. On the other hand, it often involves lasers, and it has been mathematically proven that everything with lasers is cool.... More

Creepy Halloween Candy

Instead of giving out Snickers bars and Hershey Kisses, why not pop edible candy scabs or poop-shaped chocolate into your trick-or-treaters' bags? Check out Wired's list of the creepiest, craziest Halloween candies for more ideas. Kids will eat anything!... More

Lunch at 'Wired' Magazine: Local, Organic, $4

Google cafeterias are legendary for offering an orgy of delicious, local, organic, free-for-employees eats. But did you know that another Bay Area–based tech-oriented company, Wired magazine, has been serving local, organically grown food since 1997? For the past ten years Wired chef Phil Ferrato has been cooking breakfast and lunch for the magazine employees, which costs them $2 for breakfast (on Fridays it includes Fatted Calf bacon!) and $4 for lunch. Read all the delicious details on the Ethicurean.... More

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