Archive for 2010/03/17

Just in time for St Patrick’s Day! According to, the black stuff disobeys the laws of physics. Science has finally figured out just why Guinness is so different. Unlike other brews, the bubbles in Guinness go down rather than up.

They used a super-fast camera that magnified the bubbles to 1000 percent of their normal size and zoomed in on their behaviour. They found that the bubbles rose rapidly at the center of the glass, pulling the surrounding liquid with them and setting up a circulating current while the outlying bubbles moved downwards.

Senior researcher Dr Andrew Alexander, who lectures in chemical physics at the University of Edinburgh, said he had wanted to do this experiment since drinking Guinness as a student. “I’d wanted to try and capture the bubbles going down as I had obviously wondered whether it really did happen, having drunk a few Guinness during my time at university, or whether it was an optical illusion created by the waves in the drink that don’t contain any bubbles. Nobody had carried out the experiment before. Guinness is good for this experiment as the bubbles are small, due to being released at high pressure by the widget and therefore easily pushed around. The circulation cells in the glass provide the same effect like you see in a tornado. The gas in the bubbles is also important. In lager beers, the gas is carbon dioxide which is more easily dissolved into the liquid. The gas in Guinness bubbles is nitrogen – not so easily dissolved and therefore not prone to grow larger. Finally, the contrast between the dark liquid and the light cream bubbles make the bubbles much easier to see.”

I’m pleased they have finally solved this mystery in time for St Patrick’s Day when many people will no doubt be enjoying a pint or ten.

Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a yearly holiday celebrated on 17 March.
It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland’s culture.


Here’s a picture of the most racist Canadian hockey team ever, The Swastikas.

No, not really.

Before it became associated with the Nazis, swastikas had been used for hundreds of years as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The Windsor Swastikas adopted the, now controversial, logo as early as 1905. According to ancient people who actually saw them play, the Swastikas were flashy, exciting, entertaining, and very seldom beaten. It’s only a really weird coincidence that they once lost to the Inglourious Basterds in the amateur world championships.

Zach Galifianakis has a series of videos on the Funny or Die website titled “Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis” where he conducts staged interviews with popular celebrities between two potted ferns. He has interviewed Jimmy Kimmel, Michael Cera, Jon Hamm, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Bradley Cooper, Conan O’Brien, and Ben Stiller. His interview style consists of typical interview questions, bizarre non sequiturs and inappropriate and sometimes sexual questions and comments, at one point attempting to tickle Michael Cera and force Cera to tickle him.

Episode 6: with Charlize Theron.

One three-inch shrimp happily swimming under 600 feet of ice, 12.5 miles from open water–has shattered all scientists’ theories on life-harbouring environments. An amazing discovery that opens the possibility of complex extraterrestrial life in our Solar System. According to, those are the words of NASA’s Robert Bindschadler.

Until now, scientists thought that only microbial life could live under these conditions. Stacy Kim – one of the biologists in NASA’s ice science team – says that they don’t really have a clue about what is happening down there, but that it is highly improbable that these animals swam all the way from open water. Kim affirms that it’s unlikely that this is an statistical anomaly, and thinks that there should be plenty of complex life forms down there, even while they don’t have a clue about how these creatures could survive under these conditions. According to her, there’s no chance that, by drilling that single hole in West Antarctica, they could have found two creatures coming from the open sea located 12.5 miles away.

The most important consequence of this finding, however, is the impact on the search for complex life forms in other planets and moons in our own Solar System. Could this mean that we would be able find complex lifeforms under the seas of Europa? We don’t know, but at least now this may be a possibility. The most important question, however, is: Would the shrimps in Europa get pissed off when they learn that we like to eat Earth shrimps grilled with sea salt?

By the way, there is a difference between Shrimp and Prawns. Shrimp are slightly smaller. Prawns are in the suborder Dendobranchiata, while shrimp are classified as Pleocyemata. Also, I have heard that Shrimp are way more arrogant and suffer from Napoleon Complex due to their size.

There are eerie parrallels here to the District 9 film. Prawns. Aliens. Nasa investigations. I’m worried.

Wikus Van De Merwe: “Get your fokkin’ tentacle out of my face! Fokkin’ Prawns!
Kobus Venter: “I can’t believe I’m being paid to do this. I love watching you prawns die.