Friday, December 11, 2009


NYT unveiled its annual column highlighting ideas, notions and discoveries...  Some of them were quirky like this study that talks about the skull cracking potential of empty versus full beer bottles...

Full bottles shatter at 30 joules, empties at 40, meaning both are capable of cracking open your skull. But empties are a third sturdier. Why the difference? The beer inside a bottle is carbonated, which means it exerts pressure on the glass, making it more likely to shatter when hitting something. Its propensity to shatter makes it less sturdy — and thus a poorer weapon — than an empty one. As for the ubiquitous half-full bottle, if you hold it like a club, Bolliger says, "it tends to become an empty bottle very rapidly." Now that we have scientific proof of the skull-crushing potential of glass beer bottles, should breweries switch to softer materials, like aluminum or plastic? Bolliger says he hopes not. "Beer," he says, "just tastes better out of glass."

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