Actually, Your Shit Might Not Stink—If You’re Surrounded by Your People

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But a sweaty human by any other college-affiliation than your own might smell far more sour.

In two experiments, researchers found that college students asked to sniff sweaty t-shirts were significantly more disgusted if they thought the funk originated from someone at a rival school rather than their own. The findings, reported Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlight the importance of social groupings in our perceptions. Namely, social groups help make individuals more tolerant of personal pew—improving team work—as well as create perceived barriers to collaboration with non-group members.

Source: Actually, your shit might not stink—if you’re surrounded by your people

Mine?  It depends on what I ate 😉

Sandalwood Odor Could Be a Treatment for Leukemia

Olfactory receptors are not limited to your nose. You have them all over your body, including your blood. Now, synthetic sandalwood has been shown to promote cell death in cancer cells for patients with a certain kind of leukemia. This could open the door for a whole new kind of treatment.

Source: Sandalwood Odor Could Be a Treatment for Leukemia

It’s been known to cause cell death in my nose, too 😉

It’s extremely specific to that one type of cancer, which is understandable – cancer really is just a catch-all for unregulated cell growth.  Different locations have different responses to therapy.

The Asparagus-Urine Smell Is Surprisingly Controversial

Most people know about the strange smell that asparagus gives off after it has been, ahem, processed by some humans. Yet other humans aren’t able to smell the odor at all. That makes asparagus an unusual marker for the intricacies of genetic variation.

Source: The Asparagus-Urine Smell Is Surprisingly Controversial

Banish Fridge Funk with a Cotton Ball and Vanilla Extract

We’re not too proud to admit that sometimes our kitchens can get a little…funky. From blackberry caramel sauce to soy-glazed chicken thighs to homemade ramen, sometimes even the most intoxicating scents can linger. After a day or two of “Hey, what’s that smell?” we realize that somewhere along the way, last night’s dinner has become today’s awful stench.

And hey: There’s no shame in admitting we’ve got a problem. It’s all in how you handle it. We here at Bon Appétit prefer to take care of business the old-fashioned way. Sure, harsh chemicals might work in cleaning up a mess, but they leave behind a scent that, in our opinion, can be just as bad as that questionable kimchi. So we rounded up our best folk remedies for ridding your kitchen of even the weirdest, worst smells. Here are our favorites…

Source: How to Get Rid of Kitchen Smells with Natural Remedies

Is it embarrassing to admit that 90 percent of the time taking out the trash fixes the problem? 😉

Don’t try the cotton balls/vanilla extract anywhere near your ice maker, or all ice will have a little bit of vanilla extract in it.

Rid Your Kitchen of Seafood Smells with This Aromatic Tea

Theories on how to eliminate the smell of fish (#fishsmell) from your kitchen abound. There are those awful aerosol air fresheners, sickly scented candles, and of course there’s always the option of saying screw it and moving into a new home.

But there’s an easier, less dramatic way: #fishsmell tea.

Source: The Quick Shortcut to a Better Smelling Kitchen

Ugh, reminds me of the time my father had kippers.  If I’d only known then, what I know now…

Why Food Tastes so Bland on an Airplane (and How to Make It Better)

Whether you eat the in-flight meal or pack your own favorite snacks, food tastes pretty bland when you munch on it at 10,000 feet. Here’s why.

Source: Why Does Food Eaten on an Airplane Taste so Blah?

This was actually an episode of “Next Iron Chef” several years back. The contestants had to make a first-class airline meal with the catch being that they had to over-flavor everything to make sure that it actually tasted good once they were up in the air. Very cool stuff.

How Colour Changes What We Taste

If you don’t like the wine you’re drinking, don’t buy a new bottle; just change the lighting. Research suggests that the taste we perceive is about more than just taste and even smell. Color can change the taste of food.

Source: How Colour Changes What We Taste

I’d discussed something similar with co-workers, about brain tricks where we assume things based on learned patterns.  For example – what colour are these: blue, green, black.  The topic came up because of a riddle that was posted in the lunch room:

You’re in a room with two other people, a display, and a locked exit.

  1. The display reads “12”, and the first person faces the display to say “6”.  The door opens to allow the first person out.  Once the person left, the display changed to “6”.
  2. The second person gets up to face the display to say “3”.  The door allows the second person out, and the display updates to read “3”.
  3. It’s your turn, so you face the display to say “1.5”.  The display informs you that you are incorrect.

The answer lies in the number of letters in the written form of the number:

  1. 12 = twelve, which is 6 characters…
  2. 6 = six, which is 3 characters…

A key part of the riddle was to list the numbers in numeric format, because written would visibly present the answer.