Thursday, December 27, 2012

Frying Calamari in Batter

Our Christmas Eve dinner consists of a variety fish and pasta of which I claim no credit or preparing.  I was watching my sister-in-law, Pattaya, fry calamari and was of course interested in understanding what the heck was going on as she was dipping each piece in flour and then into a yummy batter.  She explained (and then demonstrated as shown in the 1st couple of seconds of the video) that the batter simply drips off the calamari and therefore dips it into the flour first as it makes the batter sticks better.

This makes sense as calamari is quite slippery due to its oily nature.  Flour, being a fine powder made from grain contains starches which stick to most liquids and allows the batter to stick to the calamari.  The end result was delicious!  Also thanks to my sister and my wife for making this dinner possible.


Thursday, December 20, 2012


In the Northern Hemisphere the winter solstice occurs when the Sun is at its greatest distance from the earth's equator and falls on either December 21 or 22 when the sun shines directly over the tropic of Capricorn.  The summer solstice occurs on June either June 20 or 21 when the sun shines directly the tropic of Cancer.  In the Southern Hemisphere the solstices are reversed.

The winter solstice also represents the shortest day of the year while the summer solstice represent the longest day of the year.  Many cultures and religions have festivals, celebrations, and gatherings around this time of year.  Keeping track of the time of year is not a new invention as it was extremely important for crop production and such.  Many archaeological sites are identified with keeping track of the summer and winter solstice.  One of the most famous being Stonehenge in England.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Interesting View of the Sun

Though it is never advisable to look directly at the sun, the other day while leaving SHS my colleague, Mike Sirowich, noticed the unusual view of the sun being partially blocked by fog and some low-lying clouds.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Newton!

You knew Isaac Newton had to show up sooner or later so I figured December would be good since he was born on Christmas Day in 1642 (or was he?) according to the calendar used in England at the time.  England had not adopted the Gregorian calendar yet which would list his birthday as January 4, 1643.  Newton was born in Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire county in England and is arguably the most influential scientist the who ever lived.  In his 1687 book the PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion know known as Newton's Three Laws.  In the field of optics he built the first built the first working reflecting telescope and discovered white light to be combination of the many colors of visible spectrum.  In the field of mathematics, he along with  Gottfried Leibniz, is credited for the discovery of differential and integral calculus.

In the later years, Newton became a member of Parliament and also secured a post at the  Royal Mint.  In 1699 he became Master of the Mint and held on to this position until his death.  He took this position very seriously as counterfeiting was considered high treason punishable by hanging and then being drawn and quartered.  Newton was made president of the  Royal Society in 1703 and knighted in 1705.  He died in London in 1727 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

wikipedia: Isaac Newton