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I have a new diet I just tried. It's Bananas & coconuts.

I did not loose much weight, but you should see me climb trees !!

FYI--by convention, energy content in food is measured in Calories, where 1 Calorie = 1000 calories or 1 kilocalorie. Note the capitalization.

Do not despair--there are ways to make the Thermodynamics Diet easier to adhere to! According to the Incredibly Picky Eater's Diet, most manufactured and processed food makes one feel nauseous because one is all too aware of how much sodium, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and other unsavory additives go into the packaged food sold in the center of the supermarket. The upside to this diet is that one eats high-quality homecooked food; the downside is that the diet demands more effort in terms of shopping for whole foods and then cooking them.

A subset of the Incredibly Picky Eater's Diet is the Chocolate Snob Diet. If one is not much of a chocolate addict, this will be less effective. But if you are, here's how it works: buy a box of extremely high quality chocolates (La Maison du Chocolat, Michael Recchiuti, and Vosges are three recommended brands). Eat a single chocolate. When you're back in your office the next day passing by the candy bowl in the kitchen filled with Hershey's miniatures, taste one. Discover that it's got the texture and flavor of plastic and spit it out. This may require several iterations to train the neural circuitry properly. Eventually one should be completely weaned off of rubbishy chocolate, and the prohibitive cost of purchasing fine chocolates frequently will prevent one from overdosing on the good stuff. Instead, one will properly appreciate quality chocolate less frequently (and therefore less calorically) but more mindfully and joyfully than the Hershey's experience can ever be.

A final option is the Make Your Food Unappetizing Diet. My husband discovered this one by accident one day when he was at a local hamburger restaurant and knocked his Coke over into his french fries. He wound up consuming fewer calories at that meal as a result.

I'm not sure the Chocolate Snob Diet would work for me. Deanna Troi and I have very few things in common, but one of them is that neither of us has met a chocolate we didn't like. (insert wistful sigh here)

Just to vent my personal frustrations for a moment: having two units whose names differ only by capitalization and sound exactly alike when said aloud is the stupidest thing imaginable. "Calorie" and "calorie"? No wonder the world is full of misery, human institutions are collapsing and thousands of species are going extinct! Can't we at least grow up a little and adopt a prefix, saying "kilocalorie" instead of the capital-C "food Calorie"? Computers got people used to the "kilo-" prefix, and those of us with slow Internet connections still use it (there's that pesky difference between 1000 and 1024, but never mind!). I know the United States will never go metric, but the rest of the world might have more respect for the U.S. if it took this baby step in the right direction.

I just made a quick check over the groceries on my shelf, here in sunny Lyon, France, the erstwhile capital of Roman Gaul and birthplace of the Emperor Claudius. Here, an "americain" is either a bumbling tourist or a sandwich made with ground beef and fried potatoes (a perfect symbiosis of hamburger and french fries, with all sorts of linguistic irony). The energy content of all my foods are given in "kcal" and some strange unit called "kJ". According to my dijon mustard, 612 "kJ" is 146.5 kcal (or "food Calories"). Hmmm, what could this "kJ" be?

The completely artificial, incredibly toxic but mm-mm tasty sodas one gets out of the vending machines here are made with sugar, incidentally, and not high fructose corn syrup. I suppose this is due to the absence of a powerful corn lobby. You can taste the difference. It's something I'll miss.

And when they say "spicy mustard", boy, they don't lie. Whew. . . .

I was going to rant about the stupidity of the calorie vs Calorie designation, but you did it for me. kcals make so much more sense. (I'll take a guess and say a kJ is a kiloJoule. I don't actually know, but it seems likely.)

I confess, I am a Chocolate Snob. Specifically, I prefer high-end, all-organic, very dark varieties, precisely because (as Kristin pointed out) it is so tasty and rich that one really can't eat more than a couple of small squares without starting to feel a little icky from the sugar overload. :)

Yep, I can confirm that kJ is kilojoule. I have no idea what the relationship between those and kilocalories might be, but let's see: the 58gram Twix bar that I just ate (see kirstin's resemblance to Deanna Troi above - couldn't agree more!) has 143 kcal per 29 grams. That's pretty misleading right there; I'm not going to stop at one Twick, I definitely ate both Twix. It also has 601 kJ per 29 grams (1 Twick). It appears that one kJ is equal to 0.2388459 kcals, or 0.9478134 British Thermal Units or 0.0002168224 kilos of TNT

According to this calculator thingie, I would need 45 minutes of brisk walking to burn that off. It's a good thing I didn't have the Snickers bar.

Good old Wikipedia:

I especially like the definition involving beer. A kilojoule would be hoisting about half a pint, I guess.

It seems very a propos that one who lives in merry olde England would think of kilojoules in terms of hoisting half-pints... :)

Careful! Do you mean the work necessary to hoist half a pint up from the bar against gravity (weight times height), or the energy gained by breaking down the beer inside one's body? If the latter were less than the former, one could drink without consequence. (-:

Ah, if only that were true, and included all the many consequences of drinking beer. It only applies to the work done lifting the half pint, I think, and only in a purely hypothetical sense.

I saw the press release from JLab over at, and wondered what happens to the byproducts after you "burn" the subcutaneous fat. Does the body expel it, or does it just sit there? It seems to me that small deposits like acne or perhaps in the arteries might be successfully handled by this technique, but pot bellies probably not.

In the days of global warming I was thinking about the same idea of harnessing the energy being wasted by human beings at GYM and use it for some purpose. Even though the amount of energy is small it would be real good contribution from the individuals who have consumed excess calories !

Also I suggest people who walk on the thread mill and waste energy to walk down to your office instead of using ur cars when ever it is possible


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so, eat 2 big macs, wait a week and go to the 'lab' and have a laser burn off the fat, hey? somehow that seems to fit in our "want-it-now-and-want-it-FAST" society but what are we robbing oueselves of by not doing it the old fashion way? we simply don't want to work for what we want anymore.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.