Coffeehouse observation No. 335 – Well, they’re not a rock band

Ten or so Latino guys – all in traditional costumes and carrying musical instruments –  just came into the coffeehouse (which is attached to a theater) and one of the brighter bulbs here just asked: “You a mariachi band?” … Well, duh! They’re not a rock band, Einstein.

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Scientists crack the physics of coffee rings | NPR.org

A lot of simple things in science turn out to be quite complicated. Take, for example, coffee: You may have noticed that a spilled drop of coffee doesn’t dry as a brown blob, but rather as a clear blob with a dark ring around the edge.

It’s taken physicists more than a decade to figure out why this effect, known technically as “the coffee ring effect,” happens. But now they think they have an answer.

The scientists who cracked the problem weren’t initially studying the coffee ring effect at all. Peter Yunker and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania were studying how different-shaped particles — like spheres, egg-shaped, or even more elongated particles — pack together when the liquid they are in evaporates.

So first they looked at what happened when liquids with spherical particles evaporated; these formed a ring like coffee does.

“But when we evaporated the drop with the elongated particles, instead of forming a ring, they were spread out across the entire area covered by the drop,” Yunker says.

This was the aha moment: Maybe it was the shape of the particles that were responsible for the coffee ring effect. Coffee does have particles in it, but Yunker didn’t know whether they were spherical or not.

So he did what any good scientist would do: “We went down to the building coffee machine, put 35 cents in, got a cup of coffee, went back upstairs to the microscope, put it on a slide, took a look, and, at least on the micron scale, the particles that we saw were spherical in shape,” he says.

Click to listen to or read the rest of the story by NPR’s by Joe Palca.

Coffeehouse observation No. 334 – Paparazzi have invaded the coffeehouse!

Here I am minding my own business with my friend Brenda when the first photographic attack is launched. (Photo by Craig Sanders)

Here I am minding my own business with my friend Brenda when the first photographic attack is launched. (Photo by Craig Sanders)

There I was minding my own business when there was a commotion and camera flashes started going off in my face.

“Great!” I immediately thought to myself. “The paparazzi have tracked me down to my coffeehouse, my sanctuary! This is all I freakin’ need!”

OK, perhaps paparazzi never follow me around. I have no fame, no fortune, so why would paparazzi follow lil’ ol’ me around?

They wouldn’t.

As it turned out, the so-called commotion – which was not a commotion at all – was due to the arrival of former co-workers, Record reporter Jennifer Torres and Record photo editor Craig Sanders. They were in the coffeehouse to meet the subject of a feature story that Jennifer was writing.

So, while Jennifer chatted with the feature subject, Craig and I chatted and he snapped a couple of shots. And, of course, I mugged for the camera.

Here I am launching my counter offensive. (Photo by Craig Sanders)

Here I am launching my counter offensive. (Photo by Craig Sanders)

And here I am launching my last-ditch effort to fight back the paparazzi horde. (Photo by Craig Sanders)

And here I am launching my last-ditch effort to fight back the paparazzi horde. (Photo by Craig Sanders)

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Coffeehouse observation No. 333 – Wishing coffee boosted the IQ

If only coffee made us as smart as beer makes us dumb.

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Aha! Jokes Fun Pages Addicted to Coffee

Aha! Jokes Fun Pages Addicted to Coffee.

[I actually do or have done a couple of these. … No, seriously! — KM]

Published in: on August 18, 2011 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Lack of climate data in Smucker’s CSR report brings investor action | GreenBiz.com

Climate change will be one of the issues to be debated at tomorrow’s annual General Meeting of the Smucker’s food conglomerate. The company, which derives 40 percent of its revenue from its Folger’s coffee business, has on its proxy ballot a shareowner resolution submitted by Calvert Investments and Trillium Asset Management, which, according to a press release, calls for “detailed disclosure by the company about climate-related risks to the Folgers Coffee and other brands.”

The resolution, which was filed in March, predated the publication of company’s 38-page 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report. The report, according to the press release, “contained only one page devoted to coffee and none to climate change.”

Click for the rest of Robert Kropp’s story on GreenBiz.com originally printed on SocialFunds.com.

 

 

 

Coffeehouse observation No. 332 – Lunch is a nice surprise at the coffeehouse

Nice surprise earlier today – lunch delivered to me at the coffeehouse. Chicken Greek wrap, fresh fruit and some Kettle chips. It was perfect.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 331 – Ghostly coffeehouse experience

The quiet sanctuary of the coffeehouse was disturbed the other evening when a local paranormal society parked itself in the seats next to mine. The only ghosts I want in my coffeehouse are those of my most recent coffee. … And why do they call going around in the dark “investigations”? Really?

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Coffeehouse observation No. 330 – Jazzy music in the coffeehouse

Ooold style jazz in the coffeehouse. Soo, nice!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 329 – Did you say something?

Blah, blah, blah, blah, coffee, blah, blah, blah, blah, coffee, blah, blah, blah, blah, coffee …

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