Sunday, September 23, 2007

There can only be one ... ketchup!

Excerpt from an interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell of Tipping Point fame:
There are five known fundamental tastes in the human palate: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. Umami is the proteiny, full-bodied taste of ... cooked tomato. "Umami adds body," Gary Beauchamp, who heads the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, says. "If you add it to a soup, it makes the soup seem like it's thicker—it gives it sensory heft. It turns a soup from salt water into a food." When Heinz moved to ripe tomatoes and increased the percentage of tomato solids, he made ketchup, first and foremost, a potent source of umami. Then he dramatically increased the concentration of vinegar, so that his ketchup had twice the acidity of most other ketchups; now ketchup was sour, another of the fundamental tastes. The post-benzoate ketchups also doubled the concentration of sugar—so now ketchup was also sweet—and all along ketchup had been salty and bitter. These are not trivial issues. ... Salt and sugar and umami are primal signals about the food we are eating—about how dense it is in calories, for example, or, in the case of umami, about the presence of proteins and amino acids. What Heinz had done was come up with a condiment that pushed all five of these primal buttons. The taste of Heinz's ketchup began at the tip of the tongue, where our receptors for sweet and salty first appear, moved along the sides, where sour notes seem the strongest, then hit the back of the tongue, for umami and bitter, in one long crescendo. How many things in the supermarket run the sensory spectrum like this?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Installing a new external hard drive

First change the jumper to Master. It is usually set to Cable Select for internal hard drives.

Then for Windows 2000/XP, do the following:
  • Right click on My Computer
  • Choose Manage (This will open the Computer Management window).
  • Go to the Storage category and select Disk Management
  • Right click the new drive (usually listed as Hard Disk 1) and "initialize"
  • You now have the option to partition and format the drive.
  • The default settings of Primary Partition and NTFS- Quick Format are recommended for most users.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Change a traffic light at will

Kipkay has a video on metacafe that shows how to change a traffic light at will:
Press the cross button 3 times quickly,
2 long presses,
1 short,
2 long,
3 short.