Nathan Alter lives in Albuquerque with his wife and kids. He currently develops in C#/.NET, but is learning all the time and has enjoyed computers since programming in Basic on an Atari 400 as a teenager. He started blogging in 1999.
Me: “Palladium is a rare metal used mostly in catalytic converters.”
Vanessa: “What’s a catalytic converter for anyway?”
Me: “I’m not exactly sure.”
Vanessa: “Great…so when I go to the mechanic and they say they need to replace the catalytic converter, I can say, ‘I don’t know what that is, but did you know that catalytic converters use a rare metal called palladium?'”
I went to Nationwide Candy here in Albuquerque a little while back hoping to find a big ole box o’ chocolate covered coffee beans. It’s a warehouse-style candy store. Didn’t find any but they had choco rocks, candy legos, huge bags of Toxic Waste (whatever that is). In general, you need to call ahead to see if they have something.
“Several hermit crab species, both terrestrial and marine, have been observed forming a vacancy chain to exchange shells. When an individual crab finds a new empty shell it will leave its own shell and inspect the vacant shell for size. If the shell is found to be too large, the crab goes back to its own shell and then waits by the vacant shell for anything up to 8 hours. As new crabs arrive they also inspect the shell and, if it is too big, wait with the others, forming a group of up to 20 individuals, holding onto each other in a line from the largest to the smallest crab. As soon as a crab arrives that is the right size for the vacant shell and claims it, leaving its old shell vacant, then all the crabs in the queue swiftly exchange shells in sequence, each one moving up to the next size.”
It’s a crazy art/sci fi mystery house in Santa Fe. Some parts of it were very Santa Fe…overall, it was very interesting to go through…like seeing hundreds of quirky pieces of art and electronics put together with an overarching story. My only recommendation is that if possible, don’t go on a weekend. It was so crowded that we could barely move in many spots and could barely hear some very quiet audio cues in the story. Here is a dramatic reenactment.
There are so many food mysteries out there, but here are a couple for today.
Do you like beef? So you’d probably like hot beef tea? That’s the idea behind Britain’s Bovril anyway. You drink it during winter soccer games.
And you’ll find this one in Filipino bakeries. “Look! We’ve made a delicious sweet and buttery muffin! What could we top it with? Cinnamon? Cocoa powder? Honey? I know! GRATED CHEESE!” What? Next thing you know, they’ll be putting hot dog slices in their spaghetti. (They do.)