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  #681  
Old 03.06.2008, 20:54
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Utterly unrelated question... why does (commercial) yoghurt contain so many ingredients?

I would have thought it would require only milk + culture. However, the example N*stle pottle of yoghurt on my desk lists these ingredients: full milk, sugar, skimmed milk, fruit juice, milk protein, culture, carrot extract, aroma. Why so many different milk things?

Coop Bio yogurt only shows Milk and Milk powder and the coffee flavor type adds 10% sugar and .5% coffee extract.

but at least theres nothing listed in your yougurt that you can't pronounce.

>>>> just an observation from a NON scientist <<<
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  #682  
Old 03.06.2008, 23:02
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Are you sure it is carrot?

Carob extract is often used as thickening agent to make it to be more creamy. It is also a way have an higher water content in your yoghurt without feeling watery (carob just adsorbs water and get swollen).

The other additives - and to cut a long story short - are added to compensate for a poor fermentation of the milk. The way milk is heated is critical for quality of the yughurt. Inadequately heat-treated milk gives origin to poor texture. By adding skim milk powder, milk protein concentrates the body of the yughurt is fortified. Basically, you make a bad product look better, and save a lot of costs during the manufacture.
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  #683  
Old 03.06.2008, 23:11
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Re: Ask a Scientist

The milk protein (whey) will be there because it's cheap too - left over from cheese making. You can't use too much or you'd end up with an egg-white texture.

"Gum" (most often pectin, but also locust bean gum) doesn't have to be added. Here in France it's illegal to do that.

You can buy factor-made yoghurt set in the pot, just like home made. People don't buy much of it, though. So most is pumped in, usually with fruit preparation (jargon for the jam). Huge care is taken to pump it carefully, using accordeon-like devices, to preserve the texture.
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  #684  
Old 07.07.2008, 14:36
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Inspired by the latest waste disposal discussion:

How can plastic bags be recycled? Why aren't they widely collected in Switzerland?
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  #685  
Old 07.07.2008, 19:11
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Inspired by the latest waste disposal discussion:

How can plastic bags be recycled? Why aren't they widely collected in Switzerland?
Zurich city has a few special bins for plastic bags.

The Swiss waste incinerators can combust these bags and recover thermal energy for power generation. So it is OK to put those in the garbage bag. Unlike some other countries where the bags clog the garbage landfills.
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  #686  
Old 07.07.2008, 20:34
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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The Swiss waste incinerators can combust these bags and recover thermal energy for power generation. So it is OK to put those in the garbage bag. Unlike some other countries where the bags clog the garbage landfills.
You mean they just burn them right? The miracles of the Swiss waste incineration technology! As a small landlocked country much better to release the dioxins into the atmosphere where hopefully prevailing winds will carry them westwards over the airspace of neighbouring countries. Much better than clogging landfills in your own territory.
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  #687  
Old 08.07.2008, 10:28
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Zurich city has a few special bins for plastic bags.
If you mean these at the glass and metal recycling stations, I think they're just there to reduce the mess that people leave.


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You mean they just burn them right? The miracles of the Swiss waste incineration technology! As a small landlocked country much better to release the dioxins into the atmosphere where hopefully prevailing winds will carry them westwards over the airspace of neighbouring countries. Much better than clogging landfills in your own territory.
You make it sound like landfills couldn't pollute the air and water of neighboring countries. Switzerland has had its share of problems with old landfills. Nowadays waste incinerators use a system that is capable of filtering dioxins, and I don't even know if dioxins originate from burning plastic bags.
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  #688  
Old 08.07.2008, 13:05
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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You make it sound like landfills couldn't pollute the air and water of neighboring countries. Switzerland has had its share of problems with old landfills. Nowadays waste incinerators use a system that is capable of filtering dioxins, and I don't even know if dioxins originate from burning plastic bags.
Some old quarries behind my last house in the UK had been used for landfill. Before it was closed and reclaimed as farm land, every fence and bush down wind from it was smothered in plastic bags, and several fresh water wells in the area dried up. It really had been a mess.

Back to Switzerland, the local waste disposal centre here had an open day a few years ago. I regret not going as I think it would have been interesting.
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  #689  
Old 08.07.2008, 13:54
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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You mean they just burn them right? The miracles of the Swiss waste incineration technology! As a small landlocked country much better to release the dioxins into the atmosphere where hopefully prevailing winds will carry them westwards over the airspace of neighbouring countries. Much better than clogging landfills in your own territory.
The prevailing breezes blow from west to east! So our Western neighbors are not affected. If ever, most of Switzerland gets airborne filth from France and Spain. The Tessin gets it from the North Italian industry and traffic.

No need to worry about the dioxins. That is very carefully monitored in Swiss incinerators.

Dioxin is formed at a certain flame temperature range. The incineration temperatures must be sufficiently high to disintegrate the dioxins. The control systems ensure the higher temperatures. Moreover, the emitted combustion gases are treated including filtration.

Breathe easy Nev!
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  #690  
Old 10.07.2008, 19:16
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Why do flies always circle around in the center of a room?
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  #691  
Old 10.07.2008, 19:24
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I'm not a scientist but.....because a room has four walls? They can't fly in a straight line in any direction or splat!
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  #692  
Old 14.08.2008, 12:54
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Time for a new question...

Why do some people sweat like pigs when eating spicy (scharf) food, whereas other people don't? It's not as though it's a practice thing - I've been having spicy food a couple of times a week for the past few years and I still sweat sometimes...
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  #693  
Old 14.08.2008, 13:29
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Re: Ask a Scientist

In short, because spicy foods excite the receptors in the skin that normally respond to heat.

The long answer is here:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=...hat-eating-spi

en guete!
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  #694  
Old 15.08.2008, 07:18
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Yeah, but why does it affect people differently?

Some people react if there's even the slightest bit of heat in their food.

Other people barely notice at all... eg one of my friends used to have pretty much a whole bottle of Tabasco sauce in her Bloody Marys, and used to regularly clean out bars of their Tabasco sauce...

I love Thai/Malaysian food and gobble it down, but I can't seem to build up a physical tolerance to the heat, no matter how regularly I have spicy food...
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  #695  
Old 15.08.2008, 09:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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But seriously, how do dogs sense fits?
Probably the same way my cats know when I'm sound asleep (leave me alone) or going to wake up (walk on me, scratch my face and miewl till my eyes open). They must "hear" a change in our breathing patterns and/or heart rate before we're conscious of them ourselves.
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  #696  
Old 16.08.2008, 04:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Question:

When the Big Bang happened and by the time the plasma condensed, all the mass of the entire universe was concentrated in an incredibly small space.

Surely this would have caused a black hole?

So does this mean we are all really on the inside of a black hole? You can have something that looks like a black hole from the outside, yet the physics of an expanding/accelerating universe persists within it?
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  #697  
Old 16.08.2008, 05:46
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Why is tidal movement only detectable on a large scale ?

dave
I don't think this was ever answered fully. I assume you mean why do oceans have tides, whilst a lake or your beer doesn't?

Here's one way of looking at it:

The Earth and Moon orbit each other about a common axis. This means the Earth experiences a centrifugal force, flinging everything that is not firm and solid, ie. the oceans, to the side away from the Moon. So now we have the one tide.

But the side of the Earth facing (and therefore nearer to) the Moon experiences a greater gravitational pull than the side away from the Moon. The oceans are therefore pulled up towards the Moon on the near side.

And there we have it: a spherical(ish) Earth, but egg-shaped oceans.

The "hard" part of the Earth settles in the middle of these two bulges and, whilst it rotates once every 24 hours, it pushes the coasts of the continents against these bulges, resulting in tides.

So if you work out the different gravitational pulls on the near and far side of the Earth to the Moon, and do the same for the Earth to the Sun, you'll find the Moon's tidal influence is 4 times greater than that of the Sun, despite the fact that the actual direct gravitational pull of the Sun is MUCH greater than that of the Moon. This is purely because the Moon is much closer and the comparative differences in distance measured over the Earth's diameter to the Moon is greater than to the Sun.

If you were to spill your beer out of the international space station, it will settle into a ball and it would have a gravitational bulge, too. But bearing in mind that the Earth's tides are only a few feet over a diameter of 10,000 miles, measuring the tidal influence on your ball of floating beer is going to need precision instruments.
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  #698  
Old 16.08.2008, 06:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

As I emember the whole COLD FUSION issue was debunked and never reporduced and so being widely discredited, does not occur... Pons and Fleischman (now I know some German I understand his namefinally!). But occassional reports ocur re excess heat production that has been interpreted as support for cold fusion. I dunno, it would be great had it occurred, I rememebr reading about it in Science and telling my friends that this was the breakthrough the world needed... too bad
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  #699  
Old 16.08.2008, 09:11
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Question:

When the Big Bang happened and by the time the plasma condensed, all the mass of the entire universe was concentrated in an incredibly small space.

Surely this would have caused a black hole?

So does this mean we are all really on the inside of a black hole? You can have something that looks like a black hole from the outside, yet the physics of an expanding/accelerating universe persists within it?
First of all, there is nothing 'outside' the universe by definition (see clarification further on), so it is meaningless to speak as such and to describe properties of the universe based on this point of view. Regardless, the physics of an expanding/accelerating universe is not consistent with that within the time horizon of a black hole. Finally, the big bang you mention is exactly what you refer to: all the stuff in one incredibly small place (infinitesimally small in this case), from which the universe 'exploded'. You may want to VERY CASUALLY think of the big bang as the violent opposite of black hole formation; I only use this analogy to nudge your perspective.

But I think if I could slightly massage your question ... right after the big bang, the universe was still small, so conditions should have been ripe for black holes to form WITHIN the universe. In fact all over the place. So why don't we see black holes all over the place. I am not an expert in the field or participating in cosmological research anymore, but I am sure inflation is one explanation. Or maybe we just haven't observed all the black holes to-date. Astronomy is still young in this respect.

Inflation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_inflation

Now back to 'nothing outside the universe'. Some current theories propose that our 'universe' may be one of many different causally disconnected domains as a result of inflation after the big bang. Some even go further and posit that the laws of physics may be different in the different 'universes'. This concept is not to be confused with parallel universes from quantum mechanics (many worlds interpretation) [introduced by Everett; recently given new push by Deutsch and others].

There are some good articles in New Scientist on this stuff. Unfortunately you need a subscription to read most of the articles on-line.
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Old 16.08.2008, 15:20
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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First of all, there is nothing 'outside' the universe by definition
Wait wait!

What I meant was, if our sub-universe is "in" a black hole, there is a further universe outside of our black-hole universe which is also expanding and yes, might have other black holes (unlikely I'd say since I understand from Alan Guth the early universe was very smooth. But that's irrelevant to my question).

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Regardless, the physics of an expanding/accelerating universe is not consistent with that within the time horizon of a black hole.
In the beginning (by which I mean AFTER the initial hump described by Guth and AFTER condensation of the plasma into baryonic matter), all that needs to be fulfilled is that the escape velocity of the mass of the matter gathered exceeds the speed of light. Voila, massive black hole. And that condition was surely fulfilled the moment things "settled down"?

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Finally, the big bang you mention is exactly what you refer to: all the stuff in one incredibly small place (infinitesimally small in this case), from which the universe 'exploded'. You may want to VERY CASUALLY think of the big bang as the violent opposite of black hole formation; I only use this analogy to nudge your perspective.
I did originally say "when the plasma condensed".

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But I think if I could slightly massage your question ... right after the big bang, the universe was still small, so conditions should have been ripe for black holes to form WITHIN the universe. In fact all over the place.
Precisely my point. Although I posited one single black hole, ours, and that it is the universe we experience. But, OK.

Thanks a lot for your reply.
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