Sunday, June 10, 2007

If you believed they put a man on the moon

   The other day I was preparing dinner...

  

   You can see that we were having fish. Tilapia, in fact. There is a container of breadcrumbs waiting to coat the fillets, which, as you can see, have been lightly seasoned. Prior to breading, they must be dredged in beaten egg, of course. This is not going to be 'beer batter' fish. The beer is just because cheffin' is hard work. The recipe does not call for rootbeer either. That's just an empty can left over from lunch. The recipe does include lemon, dill, and jarlsberg cheese (not pictured).
   But, wait, you say. Is there something odd about that egg? Well, here, have a look from a different angle...



   Want a closer look?



   Jumpin' Jehosephat, Jasper! That there egg is a-standing on its end. It must be that there Vernal Equinox thingy goin' on right now. That's when all the eggs around the world can be stood on end real easy like. Right?

   Actually not. The Vernal
Equinox, or the first day of spring, occurred on March 21st this year, almost three months ago. The Summer Solstice is approaching, but it was still a full two weeks away when I took this picture on June 8th. So how did I get the egg to balance on end? You can stop looking for wires, or double sided tape, or strategically placed mirrors. I just stood the egg on its end.
   It really isn't that hard to do. Try it for yourself. It just takes a little bit of patient fiddling. Oh, and a cooperative egg. If the first one you try won't stand up, try another one. You see, eggs aren't really perfectly smooth. Run your finger along one. You'll feel rough spots, and sometimes little tiny bumps. If those bumps occur near the end ofthe egg, they can act as little supports, allowing the egg to stand on end. I opened a fresh dozen, and the second one I took out easily stood up. It even stayed standing up as I opened and closed drawers and cupboard doors beneath it.
  
Many people believe that it is only possible to stand an egg on end on the Vernal Equinox, or at least on one of the Equinoxes. Why is this common urban legend so prevalent? I have no idea, although, I suppose it has much to do with the fact that, most people have never tried to stand an egg on end, or even really thought about it very much.

   Why did I stand an egg on its end? Just to see if I could. Why did I photograph it, and write about it here? Anyone who has ever forwarded me an email containing a hoax virus warning or urban legend knows the answer to that question. I simply can't resist debunking obviously silly stories that get propagated because the majority of people in the world lack even the most simplistic critical thinking skills.
   For more on
egg standing, and other silly, astronomy and science related hoohaw, visit Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy web page.

14 comments:

oddb0dkins said...

Cool, I'm off to give it a go right now. Incidentally have you tried throwing an egg into the air and letting it land on, say, grass? Apparently, it doesn't break. I say 'apparently' because I've never tried it but my brother tells me he has and it's true. So if it doesn't work, blame him.
B. x

hewasolddog299 said...

I like using three grains of salt, myself...

dpoem said...

Wait a minute.  You have root beer in Canada?  Next, you'll be telling me you have the right to vote.  

By the way, I love that beer glass.  

-Dan
http://journals.aol.com/dpoem/TheWisdomofaDistractedMind/

easuess said...

Hmmm. Ever think about being a guest host on that Myth Busters show? You're a man of many talents.

http://2writehands.blogspot.com

barryleiba said...

And here's the Snopes page about this:
http://www.snopes.com/science/equinox.asp

But do tell: what do you do with tilapia than involves jarlesberg?

tenyearnap said...

I like those blue dishes and bowls. By the way, if I don't wash my counters for a couple days, anything will stick to them. Eww. --Cin

dpoem said...

Dude!  I just noticed that I've got the same dishwasher as you...  I hate that %$#&-ing thing.  Does yours have that stupid, poorly-designed silverware basket that's always falling open or getting in the way of the soap dispenser?  

-Dan
http://journals.aol.com/dpoem/TheWisdomofaDistractedMind/

princesssaurora said...

He he he... I like Cin's comment best... lol!!  And Dan, yes, he has root beer, but apparently just the crappy 'Mug' brand.  As a self proclaimed root beer connoisseur, I know.  No 'quality' root beer comes in cans... only bottles.  See Stewarts, Saranac and Boylans.

be well,
Dawn
http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

princesssaurora said...

ps... Paul... you rock!  I can't wait to do that for my kids too!  They will be amazed!

be well,
Dawn
http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

dpoem said...

Hey!  What's in the yellow container?  Is that a cup o' noodles cooked in the broth of the shattered dreams of children?

-Dan
http://journals.aol.com/dpoem/TheWisdomofaDistractedMind/

frankandmary said...

Jumpin' Jehosephat, Jasper! <~~ I thought that was going to be followed by: LOOK, THE EGG HAS A BABY BUDDHA WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES DEPICTED ON IT.
What a let down. ~ Mary

plittle said...

Dan, you made me spit out my coffee when I read your comment about the dishwasher. We had the silverware basket replaced under warranty within a month of buying the thing. They accidentally shipped us two replacements. I didn't say anything, and quietly tucked the second one into a closet. It'll come in handy sooner or later.

Also, that yellow container is the bread crumbs.
-Paul

dpoem said...

Well, if the bread crumbs are in that yellow container, then what the hell is up with that science project you've got going on in the jar beside the root beer?

-Dan

plittle said...

That's sugar.
-Paul