Livin' on the MDedge

Chernobyl vodka, music-enhanced cheese, and bong bacteria


Cheers, comrades

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In the eternal words of Dr. Ian Malcolm, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” While he was talking about resurrecting dinosaurs, today we’re applying it to making Chernobyl vodka.

Excuse me? Yes, that’s right – an international team of scientists decided to combine the two most famous elements from the former U.S.S.R. As if taking shots isn’t hard enough, let’s make ’em radioactive.

The (potentially glowing) spirit was produced from rye grown in the exclusion zone, the area immediately surrounding the entombed power plant that was off limits to humans for decades. The (potentially drunk) research team decided to create their nuclear moonshine to show the now-tiny levels of radiation that live in soil and crops near Chernobyl today. After distilling the liquor, they reported there was no Chernobyl-related radioactivity in the bottle.

We want to believe them, but we don’t fancy sprouting a third hand after a night of partying. Perhaps it’s best to keep that one far, far back on the shelf.

Play that funky music, cheddar

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It’s the most important experiment of all time: How does music affect cheese?

The vital research was conducted in Switzerland (but, in a surprising twist, not with Swiss cheese) and examined how the flavorful microorganisms in cheese react to sound waves. Nine wheels of Emmental were exposed to five different genres of music, including such hits as Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” “Jazz (We’ve Got)” by A Tribe Called Quest, and Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”

After 6 months of music exposure, food technologists then taste-tested the cheese (we’re sending our resumes in immediately for this job) and found that the cheeses that listened to music were overall more mild than the control cheese, which sadly was given no music at all.

A panel of Swiss chefs also conducted a blind taste of the various cheeses, and overwhelmingly agreed that the cheeses that listened to hip-hop music were better than the rest.

Hosting a dinner party soon? Drag that wheel of Brie out of the fridge and play it some Jay-Z. Your guests will thank you.

Dude, where’s my disinfectant?

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What’s the dirtiest, most bacteria-covered thing you can think of? Dog’s food bowl? Dumpster? Public toilet seat?

Think again.

Our friends at Moose Labs, maker of the MouthPeace (“Providing excellent germ protection when sharing bongs”) and other fine smoking products, decided to take a break from their extensive product testing and do some science instead.

They used a Hygiena Luminometer in conjunction with adenosine triphosphate swabs to determine the bacterial contamination of cannabis pipes and some other, more mundane surfaces, which produced a measurement in relative light units (RLUs). A pipe was provided to participants at two social consumption cannabis events in California and then swabbed several times through 100 uses.

Additional swabbing took place at a number of real-world locations, and as the company noted, “it was difficult to find a neutral object in daily life that was as contaminated as a cannabis pipe.”

Before we look at the data, here’s an observation: There is one object on the list that people put their mouths on (we hope) and one that dogs put their mouths on.

And now, some average bacterial measurements:


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