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December 3, 2019

The ejection of the star S5-HVS1 from the center of our galaxy

Long, fast story short, by Dennis Overbye writing in the New York Times:

Astronomers recently discovered a star whizzing out of the center of our galaxy at the seriously blinding speed of four million miles an hour.

The astronomers hypothesize that the runaway star was once part of a double-star system that came too close to the black hole Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way.

One of the pair fell in, and the other was sling-shotted away at hyper speed. 

The star, which goes by the typically inscrutable name S5-HVS1, is currently about 29,000 light-years from Earth, streaking through the Grus, or Crane, constellation in the southern sky.

The dance with S5-HVS1 unfolded about 5 million years ago.

The astronomers estimate that in about 100 million years the star will have exited the Milky Way entirely.

Out there, drifting among the other galaxies of the Local Group, far from the crowded circumstances of its birth, the star called S5-HVS1 will exhaust its thermonuclear fuel in about 2 billion years, blow up and die, alone.

December 3, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

How to remember 0 and division

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[via Reality Carnival]

December 3, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Apple AirPods Pro Large Tips

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I ordered

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a

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spare set

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just in case.

December 3, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sign of the Apocalypse: Twinkies Cereal

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Reviewed by Emily Heil in the Washington Post as follows:

New Twinkies cereal tastes like a spoonful of sugary nostalgia — and never gets soggy

In the mathematics of current food marketing, one plus one is somehow more than two.

At least that's an explanation for the ever-increasing mania for mashups of popular brands: Doritos to form the shells of Taco Bell tacos! Pizza Hut pizzas in the shape of... Cheez-Its!

The latest in this lineage of food-world centaurs is Twinkies cereal, a potentially unholy alliance between snack company Hostess, the maker of the iconic spongy "cream"-laced sweet, and Post, which has been filling the bowls of sugar-craving children since before Saturday morning cartoons (or TVs, for that matter) were even a thing.

The resulting cereal is puffy bits of corn flour sculpted into miniaturized versions of the log-shaped Twinkies that the companies, in joint marketing materials, promise (or threaten, depending on your tastes) "replicates the distinctive taste and familiar oblong shape of the golden-colored snack cake, delivering delightful sweetness in every bite."

The boxes, with their cartoonish image of a giant bowl full of the breakfast item (its milk inexplicably splashing out of the sides), will hit grocery store shelves in late December, the companies say.

But they sent us an early sample to taste.

And taste we did, dear reader.

We readied our spoons — and because the companies insisted the cereal was also meant to be enjoyed "outside the bowl," we also popped some, sans dairy.

The verdict, your honor?

As a hand-to-mouth snack, we didn't like them much. They left a cheese-puff-like dust on our hands, and the pungent scent of butterscotch was a little too much.

But add some milk and the cereal was pretty good, albeit nearly sweet enough to serve as breakfast for Will Ferrell's strung-out-on-glucose Buddy the Elf.

The cereal's makers weren’t kidding about that "sweetness in every bite."

The first two ingredients listed are dextrose (corn-derived sugar) and regular sugar.

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Each serving contains 16 grams of added sugars, which is about a third of the daily recommended sweet stuff, but at least that's less than the 19 grams you'd get from eating an actual Twinkie.

December 3, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Picklestone

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From the website:

A fun and beautiful way to make pickles

Pickles, or tsukemono, are the unsung heroes of Japanese cuisine.

Now there's a revolutionary new tool that builds on our predecessors' traditional methods.

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The Picklestone consists of a glass bin, a hinoki wooden press that is attached to a stone, and a wooden lid.

The stone is made from aji-ishi (庵治石), a type of high quality granite excavated in Kagawa prefecture and nicknamed "diamond granite" for its remarkably fine grain, crystal-like hardness, and lustrous gleam.

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It gets its rare speckled pattern from a small amount of black mica that is part of its composition.

Attached to the stone is a piece of hinoki wood, which rests on top of your pickles and adds a subtle woody flavor.

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To make pickles, simply add your vegetables and pickle brine (typically salt, chili pepper, and konbu kelp) to the jar and lower the Picklestone down.

Place the wooden lid over the bin and let the stone do its work.

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The compact container is designed to fit right into the liquids shelf of your refrigerator next to the milk and juice.

It's everything a modern-day pickler would need.

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Features and Details:

• Materials: Aji-ishi stone, hinoki wood, cotton rope, bamboo lid, silicone rubber, glass container

• Dimensions: 115/Small: 2.5"Ø x 7.4"H; 220/Large): 3.6"Ø x 8.6"H

• English instructions and recipes included

• Designed by Tomonori Tanaka

Two

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sizes:

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$140-$190 (vegetables not included).

December 3, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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