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<   No. 2961   2011-03-06   >

Comic #2961

1 {scene: A hospital on Bune}
1 Paris: Hey Spanners. Just calling to let you know I found Iki Piki and Serron. I'm in the hospital with them, getting their organs replaced.
2 {scene change: the Legacy engine room}
2 Spanner: Um. Iki Piki and Serron are here at the ship.
2 Paris: {over phone} What? Are you sure it's them?
3 Serron: Hey Spanners! I'm going to put some of the antimatter into the water tank to brew up a batch of coffee! Want some?
4 Spanners: Pretty sure.

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This is of course an application of the new field of nuclear gastronomy.

Many of you may have heard of molecular gastronomy, the name often used to describe various new food preparation movements involving carefully controlled scientific preparation of food using precise temperatures or chemical compounds. It often produces strange sounding or appearing foods, including foams, gels, and things things that taste completely different to expectation.

Molecular gastronomy relies on chemical reactions in foodstuffs to produce its unique results. Being a physicist, one naturally thinks of kicking things up a notch... BAM! What if we prepared food using nuclear (or subatomic particle) reactions! Naturally, we'd end up with nuclear gastronomy.

As I write this, I've just done a Google search for the phrase "nuclear gastronomy", and Google returns just 23 hits. What's more, every single one is either just a random confluence of words, or people obviously writing about molecular gastronomy who seem to have gotten their words confused. So I hereby proclaim priority over the invention of "nuclear gastronomy"!

Furthermore, to provide some substance, here are some recipes:

Cherenkov Martini
Mix three parts gin, one part vermouth, garnish with a lump of strontium-90 on a toothpick. The beta particles emitted by the strontium will cause a pretty blue glow in the drink.

Salmon Poached in Uranium-235
Fillet salmon and seal in a plastic bag. Place in the coolant fluid of a water-cooled fission reactor. Remove control rods until the water boils. Remove fish. Do not forget to replace the control rods.

Alpha Steak
Take a prime cut of aged, grain-fed beef. Sear the surface by rubbing with americium-241. The alpha particles produced by the americium are absorbed by the surface layer of the steak, cooking it to perfection while leaving the inside rare and tender. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving to let any secondary isotopes produced by alpha bombardment to decay.

Serron's Antimatter Coffee
To a 1000 litre tank of water, add 2 nanograms of antihydrogen. This will release enough energy to boil the water instantly! Allow the expanding explosion of water to filter through ground coffee beans, roasted to taste.

Chocolate Chip Gold Vein Cookies
Cream 1 cup of sugar with 250 grams of butter. Add 2 eggs and a teaspoon of baking soda. Add a splash of vanilla extract and a drop of mercury-196. Mix in 2 cups of flour to form a soft dough, and a cup of chocolate chips. Bake in a slow neutron source for at least 8 hours to convert all the mercury into gold. The gold will appear as attractive shiny flecks through the cookies, and since it is inert these will be safely edible. Warning: Do not use other isotopes of mercury, as they will produce unstable gold isotopes which can decay into highly toxic thallium!

Figs Boson
Place fresh figs in a Large Hadron Collider and bombard with particles at energies above 5 TeV (teraelectronvolts). This may generate particles of Figs Boson, assuming that the Figs Boson exists.

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Last Modified: Sunday, 6 March 2011; 02:11:01 PST.
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