‘Reactions’ Explains the Science of Why Sweet Things Taste Sweet

The latest episode of the web series Reactions (previously) by the American Chemical Society explains the science of why sweet things taste sweet. The episode features chemist Darcy Gentleman, who explains how sweet molecules fit into taste receptors in our mouths. Gentleman also explains that the commonly used artificial sweetener aspartame is more closely related to meat than it is to sugar.

Facebook Launches Rooms, An App for Creating Simple Places for Discussing Various Topics

Facebook Rooms

Facebook has launched Rooms, an app for creating simple places for discussing various topics. The app is meant to provide a “third place” that is distinct and separate from the current Internet climate. Users can select their own handles for each “room” they’re involved in, and can easily invite others using special codes. Rooms is currently available on iOS.

Facebook Rooms

Facebook Rooms

Facebook Rooms

images via Facebook Newsroom

Dangerous Popsicles, Frozen Treats Shaped Like Cacti and Deadly Pathogens

Dangerous Popsicles is a collection of fearsome popsicles shaped like cacti and deadly pathogens. Designer Wei Li created the treats, first 3D printing the forms, and then making silicon popsicle molds. The popsicles are presented as an experiment in “user-unfriendliness.” Li has posted instructions on how to make your own Dangerous Popsicles on Instructables.

Dangerous Popsicles create a unique sensory experience. Before tasting with your tongue, you first taste with your eyes and mind. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti are enough to stimulate your senses, even before your first taste.

Dangerous Popsicles

Dangerous Popsicles

Dangerous Popsicles10

photos via Wei Li

via The Fox Is Black

Aaron Sorkin Explains His Choice to Cast Christian Bale to Play Steve Jobs in Upcoming Biopic

“We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range, and that’s Chris Bale.”

In a recent interview with Bloomberg Television, director Aaron Sorkin explained his choice to cast actor Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic of the late Apple co-founder. The film is based on the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and will begin shooting in the next few months.

‘Playa Dust: Collected Stories From Burning Man’, A New Book of Essays on the Burning Man Festival

Playa Dust by Samantha Krukowski

Playa Dust: Collected Stories from Burning Man is a compilation of essays on the Burning Man festival by a broad cross-section of artists, writers, sociologists, and others who take part in the festival or document and study it. The book is edited by artist, author, and educator Samantha Krukowski. It is available for purchase online.

Burning Man’s in-your-face, counterculture vibe has meant that the festival has always been something of a media darling. But when the event sold out for the first time in 2011, there was a marked increase in the commentary about its history, current status and future. When, in 2012, a new random lottery system for tickets left so many long-time attendees ticketless, that commentary deepened. Questions about the evolution, meaning and value of Burning Man as an experiment in community, self-sufficiency and anti-capitalism are being raised, and Playa Dust seeks to answer them.

images via Samantha Krukowski

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips