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Nathanael Fortune
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Your ship strikes an unseen, unexpected iceberg and sinks. This I understand. But accelerating towards an iceberg you've been warned to avoid? Do we think all our obstacles will just melt away? 

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This blog post is the  first is an series I hope to write on how we might use experiments and demonstrationsto better teach the physics of global warming. This blog post discusses why just telling people there's a problem often doesn't work. 

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knowing how long it takes for a response aids in making progress! 
You might expect bacteria or sperm to swim more slowly through viscous fluids than through water, but goopy liquids also provide something to push against. Simulations explain the ideal balance for maximum speed.

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upside down hothouse? 

WOW! Taking tomato planting to a whole new level

#tomatoes   via imgur
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Message left by an anonymous woman on my Smith College office voice mail this morning: "I'm sorry, I was trying to reach WMUA to talk about radishes. But, I DO LOVE physics." As do we all. Radishes aren't so bad, either!  Just another day here in the physics department. 

What's a waffle making Dad to do when his children become vegans? After several mishaps, here's my now very popular recipe for whole wheat waffles with fresh or frozen fruit, plus the original recipe for comparison.

Vegan version:

Start heating the waffle iron NOW!

Fruit:
1/2 cup well mashed overripe bananas, fresh or frozen.
1/2 cup of well mashed berries (or cooked apples)
Cook briefly in microwave, then stir and mash with fork, set aside.

Wet ingredients:
1 1/2 cup plain almond or coconut milk (or vanilla soy milk)
6 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla soy or extra bananas)

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (if regular non pastry flour, you'll need to add more liquid later)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp potato starch

Mix the liquids. Mix the dry ingredients separately, then stir into the liquid. Finally, add the mashed fruit. Use gravy ladle or ice cream scoop to pour into waffle iron sections. Cook and enjoy with maple syrup (sprinkle with coconut or chopped walnuts if desired).

Original recipe had 2 eggs, just 1 cup milk, just 3 TBS oil, 3 TSP baking powder (same), plus 2 tsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. No fruit, just sugar. I decided to leave out the salt as I think its purpose was to react with the egg. Some of the extra almond milk is to help balance the extra fruit, keeping the batter from getting too thick.

Note: Replacing cow's milk was easy: use almond milk, coconut milk, anything that will emulsify. Eggs were more of a challenge to replace because they play more than one role in the recipe. Many cookbooks suggest replacing eggs with a combination of potato (or arrowroot) starch and baking powder --- 1 1/2 tsp starch + 1/2 tsp baking powder for 2 eggs--- plus water, but there's already a lot of baking powder in waffles, so adding more tends to make the waffles bitter, and the water doesn't have the consistency of a yolk. I settled on a combination of oil, almond milk, and starch. 
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