In the new issue of Oxford American magazine, writer Gideon Lewis-Kraus immerses himself in the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting. At this upscale gathering, connoisseurs rate the subtleties of various bottled waters. It's a delightful premise for a feature story, and Lewis-Kraus handles it masterfully. From the article:
Europeans drink water for what’s in it, for its minerality, while Americans tend to drink water for what’s not in it. As water commutes through the earth’s crust, it “acquires a personality” or “develops a style.” Magnesium might give water one particular flavor, while potassium–which Arthur pronounces “botazhium”–might give it a different flavor. Silica can make a water feel silky. The Japanese like young water, water that has not spent years streaming through geological filters like aquifers. One can be trained to be more perceptive about water. One really can be trained to be more perceptive about water. The results vary little from year to year, which lends some credence to these proceedings.
On the tables in front of us are pink “trial” judging sheets. Across the top run a series of boxes for water numbers, and down the side is the set of criteria we’ll be using....
Overall Impressions is scored out of fourteen points, which makes the total available points for each entrant an eyebrow-raising forty-nine. The fourteen-point scale is provided to us on an attached sheet. It was developed by a food scientist at UC Berkeley named William Bruvold. In the ’60s, he pioneered experiments in the acceptability levels of total dissolved solids in water, and he used his students as subjects; he incrementally increased the turbidity of the sample until the water came to resemble Turkish coffee and his students refused to drink it.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]