Good Night, Flummeries

Thank you for participating in today's QOTD. If you missed it, here it is: What's the Cruelest Thing People Said About Your Car? This concept car is reason #41,634 why Pontiac should still be in business; it's actually an ute. (more after the jump)

If you're tired of "the 2015 Mustang looks like a (insert car name here)" posts but can't come up with a clever comment, I made this GIF for you to use. :P

Good Night, Flummeries

Baking tip: If you're a fan of savoury baked goods, this tip may come in handy. Have you ever wondered why onions make you cry when you cut them? Here's why: onions contain sulphenic acid (not sulphuric acid) and enzymes, and they stay separated in the cells. When you cut onions with a serrated knife or a dull chef's knife, the dull edge crushes the cells, thus allowing sulphenic acid and enzymes react to each other to produce syn-propanethial-S-oxide, an unpleasant smelling volatile gas, with the help of oxygen that is present. When the gas reaches your eyes, it reacts with the water in your eyes to produce sulphuric acid (not sulphenic acid). The acidity irritates the nerves in your eyes, thus triggering the lachrymal glands to produce more tears to dilute the acidity. Ja, sulphuric acid in your eyes! Oh, relax, will you? The concentration of the acid is too low to cause any damage to your eyes.

There are several ways to avoid crying at the inevitable tragedy of cutting an onion into a million pieces, like how Zeus killed his father Kronos:

  • Sharpen your chef's knife and cut away. The sharp edge divides the cells instead of crushing them.
  • Wear a diving goggles if you like to look like an idiot in your kitchen (who doesn't?).
  • Breathe through your mouth (not recommended; germs can fly from your mouth to your food when you exhale).
  • Light a candle and set it near your cutting board then proceed to cutting the onions. The gas will move away from your eyes towards the candle's flame. The gas isn't flammable.
  • Chew a stick of gum while cutting (not recommended; gums have too many unhealthy artificial additives).
  • Put onions in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before cutting. It'll slow down the chemical reaction between sulphenic acid and enzymes.

Oopsie daisy, looks like Food Science has arrived early. Blimey, science is a beautiful thing.

Have a good night, Opponauts of the western hemisphere, cheers! :)

Good Night, Flummeries

(Top photo: 1999 Pontiac Salsa Concept; bottom photo: flummery)