I’m taking the Harvard edX online course called Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science for the next 10 weeks. So far I’m already a whole week behind, and when I finally got around to facing week 1, I suddenly realized there was a ton of math involved (oh, Harvard!). And, I don’t just mean the “2+2” kind of math. Oh no. This math definitely requires a calculator, and has you plugging in “10 to the power of…” and solving equations that yield numbers with like 12 zeros. I had forgotten where the “10 to the power of…” button was on my calculator. I had to use Avogadro’s number at some point, which is 6.02×1023. I haven’t had to used Avogadro’s number in about 10 years…. In case you are curious, Avogadro’s number is a constant that allows you to convert the moles of a substance to the number of molecules.
By the way, if you have a second and you are curious to see what the inside of my kitchen notebook is and how I organize my work, check out my Kitchen Geekery post on Food Bloggers of Canada! Also, I dared to write about the genetic modification of apples to render them non-browning last month on The Kitchn, and guess what? They aren’t infused with “genetic poison”, though some of the commenters still think otherwise even after all my efforts to try and explain the detailed genetics behind it all. If I could dedicate myself to stopping the anti-science movement that is happening in the world, I honestly would because most scientists aren’t out to destroy the universe, contrary to popular belief.
So, I leave you with this brilliant quote from Frankie (the ever brilliant Lily Tomlin) from an episode of Grace and Frankie: “I gained another pound today, but I think it’s a pound of knowledge”. Oh yes, Frankie. I honestly try to convince myself this every month when I see the numbers on the scale creeping up, but at least in June, since I had to use Avogadro’s number and a scientific calculator, that pound gained must have been in smarts and brain power, not body mass. I say we discuss this further while enjoying a homemade summer pie. Right?
Happy Canada Day!
Image source & recipe: raspberry amaretti semifreddo
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