frank7

Vote on the New Frank n. Foode™!

Friends, Readers, Kickstarter Backers, lend me your eyes and look at these ears! As you know, we raised enough money in our Kickstarter campaign to make 500 Frank N. Foode™ plushies, and 250 Hawai’ian Papaya plushies. I’m pleased to announce that the first drafts of these plant plushies are ready for the public eye, and we want to know what you think about them! Also, it is time to vote on which of our blogger supporters will win a Silver Bullet Frank plushie! 1st Draft of the New Frank N. Foode™ The original Frank design was challenging to reproduce. I know that from making it several times myself. Plus, the ear buttons and husk fabric are no longer available, and several other features would need to be  translated into a new medium to be durable and still look good. So the task we set out for Gann Memorials was daunting.

The Cost Of Precaution

The graph above shows the relative production of these major US row crops comparing the years 1993-1995 (just prior to the introduction of biotechnology enhanced crops) and 2008-10 (the most recent available data which covers a a span which comes 12-15 years after biotech.  Soybean production has expanded 47% in this time-frame while corn is up 58% (far more than the quantity now being diverted for biofuel).  Both of those crops are predominantly planted to “GMO” varieties, while the various segments of the wheat crop remain non-GMO.  Until 2004 it looked as if North American growers would also get to plant biotech wheat, but a vigorous campaign led by Greenpeace succeeded in blocking the technology.  Many major European and Japanese grain buyers were concerned about potential consumer push-back (based on Greenpeace efforts), so they made a coordinated threat to boycott all North American wheat exports if any commercial GMO wheat

Why popcorn pops

Popped corn Photo: D3 San Francisco, flickr (click to see photo in original context Popping corn, or anything else, all comes down to pressure. Pop-corn has a particularly impermeable pericarp (the corn kernel’s shell), so as it is heated, the water inside the kernel vaporizes into steam and the starch turns into something close to a liquid. Eventually the heat creates enough pressure to split the pericarp and the starch of the corn kernel bursts out, resolidifying into the distinctive shape of popcorn. If there is even the smallest hole in the pericarp, the steam can escape from the kernel as it’s generated so the pressure never builds up enough to explode the pericarp — the reason some kernels will fail to pop in every batch. The explosive build up of steam is also the reason tea kettles need to be able to release steam while they’re used to boil