Why does a flat pizza slice flop over unless you bend it into a curve? Thank Gaussian curvature, the 19th century mathematical principle that underpins everything from corrugated cardboard to eggshells to Pringles chips.
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Yesterday, I reviewed James Kolchaka's new graphic novel for kids, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza, which made my six year old daughter laugh until she cried (I liked it too).
Today, I'm delighted to bring you the first three chapters of Glorkian Warrior, an exclusive courtesy of publishers FirstSecond.
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I have never heard my daughter laugh as loud or as long as she did when I read her James Kochalka new kids' graphic novel, The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza. My six year old literally howled with laughter as I read this to her at bedtime, and kicked her legs in the air, and thumped the pillow -- tears of laughter rolled down her cheeks. After reading this to her twice at bedtime, I had to declare a moratorium on further bedtime reads because it wound her up too much to sleep.
I loved it too. The Glorkian Warrior is a dopey, destiny-seeking superhero who finds himself on a quest when he intercepts a wrong-number pizza-order and decides to deliver the leftover pizza in his fridge. His straight-man is his wisecracking, laser-zapping sentient backpack, which helps him fight off a giant mecha-suited doofus named Gonk, a mysterious pizza-snatching saucer-craft, and a magic robot in an impenetrable fortress.
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The "squared" in Pi(R)^2 means that the area of a pizza grows
exponentially polynomially in relation to its diameter. As an interactive graph on Planet Money demonstrates, pizza places generally underprice their bigger pies relative to the amount of food contained in each. This is probably because energy and labor inputs account for the largest slice of the pizza-baking ahem pie, and ingredients are way down on the balance-sheet. Whatever the reason, if you're interested in getting more food for less money, larger pies are almost always a substantially better deal.
74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza [Quoctrung Bui/Planet Money]
[Video Link] Sharla is a Canadian college student living in Japan. Here's a video she took that goes through the process of ordering a pizza to be delivered. It turns out you get a free gift when you order a pizza! (Via Dooby Brain)
Quebecois convenience store chain Couche-Tard has rolled out a new drink: the Pizzaghetti Sloche, a shave-ice drink that comes in both pizza and spaghetti flavors, which can be combined to customer specifications to make Pizzaghetti flavor. Couche-Tard's slogan for the drink is "love in a cup." Redditor plagues138 posted a photo of the actual Pizzaghetti Sloche machine in situ.
Sloche - Pizzaghetti
Here's a video showing off a publicity stunt in which Domino's delivers one of its "pizzas" using a drone (and, it appears, two or three cameradrones to document the event). The "pizza" is packed in an electrified, heated bag to keep it warm during the high altitude flight. Their publicity material promises a Domino's flight academy to train their deliverator corps to safely navigate the fast-food-filled skies and prevent midair collisions with flying Chinese takeouts, kebabs, curries, and package liquor delivery.
Introducing the Domino's DomiCopter!
(via Digg Videos)
A Brazilian ad agency has built a campaign for Domino's "Pizza" that uses a heat-sensitive coating on rented DVDs; when the disc is played, the heat from the player heats up the coating and causes it to emit a pizza-like odor; the coating also changes appearance and becomes a picture of a pizza with an ad for Domino's.
In partnership with 10 video rental stores in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the brand used rented DVDs as media. About 10 discs each of 10 different new release titles such as Argo, 007, Dread And Dark Knight were stamped with thermal ink and flavored varnish, both sensitive to the heat.
While people were watching the movie, the heat of the DVD player affected the disc. When the movie ended and they ejected the disc, they smelled pizza. They also saw pizza: the discs were printed to look like mini pies, and carried the message: "Did you enjoy the movie? The next one will be even better with a hot and delicious Domino's Pizza."
A DVD That Smells Like Domino's Pizza
A mechanical engineer (awesomely) named Anjan Contractor has won a NASA grant to prototype a 3D printer for food -- specifically pizza. It will lay down layers of food and flavor powder and melt them together; the powders are room-temperature stable for long periods and can be made from relatively abundant, sustainable foodstocks like insects and soylent green. He prototyped the concept with the 3D chocolate printer in the video above, and he holds out hope that food-printing could solve world hunger by allowing billions to feast on low-wastage, low-energy-input, low-carbon-footprint foods that are printed to order.
Contractor's printer is RepRap based, and is open source hardware; he promises to keep the plans open and free.
I suspect that there's a lot of nutritional subtleties lost when you turn food into processed elements that are recombined (in the same way that beta-carotene in carrots is reliably shown to have health benefits, while beta-carotene supplements are far more questionable). But as a form of food processing, it certainly is exciting!
Pizza is an obvious candidate for 3D printing because it can be printed in distinct layers, so it only requires the print head to extrude one substance at a time. Contractor’s “pizza printer” is still at the conceptual stage, and he will begin building it within two weeks. It works by first “printing” a layer of dough, which is baked at the same time it’s printed, by a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. Then it lays down a tomato base, “which is also stored in a powdered form, and then mixed with water and oil,” says Contractor.
Finally, the pizza is topped with the delicious-sounding “protein layer,” which could come from any source, including animals, milk or plants.
The audacious plan to end hunger with 3-D printed food
(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)
When a new pizza place opened up next door to my favorite happy mutant cafe in Salem, MA, I had to wander in. The delectable smells wafting out certainly helped nudge me through the doors. Inside, I found the place brimming with SF memorabilia, including a life-size Borgified Picard statue acting as maitre'd and framed pictures of all eleven Doctors, with an empty frame reserved for Number Twelve.
All the pies have excellent names. I am particularly fond of the Geidi Prime, and but I also love the vegan Twiki for its phenomenal eggplant. And what could better finish off dinner than the Zhaan, a blueberry-topped dessert pizza.
As it turns out, Flying Saucer Pizza Company is owned by the same folks that own the aforementioned Gulu Gulu Cafe next door, where the bar is festooned with comic action figures and they make the best freaking creme brulee lattes ever. Add this to the enormous Harrison's Comics right across the street, and you've got a little slice of mutant heaven.
Flying Saucer Pizza Company
As I watched competitive eater Takeru Kobeyashi consume a 12" Domino's pizza in one minute, I realized that I could probably do this, and that if it wasn't Domino's, I could probably do it twice. Not that I'm supposed to. Carbs don't agree with me. But if you need to dispose of evidence in pizza form, and Takeru Kobeyashi is busy, I might be your guy.
Takeru Kobeyashi Eats a whole Pizza In One Minute
John Lehmann, a photojournalist with the Globe and Mail is travelling through China and documenting his experiences on Tumblr. An article in the Globe highlights some of the best posts so far, including this: "A hotdog encrusted shrimp tempura pizza with mayonnaise" from a Pizza Hut.
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)