10 tricks you didn’t know you could do with your food.
The internet went from showing food recipe videos to alchemy in less than a decade. There’s going to be a quick video on how to make the philosopher’s stone from tomato sauce next week.
I WANNA DRINK THE TRANSPARENT SODA
leave milk out unrefrigerated in your house for 2 days
Some days ago, my sibling sent me this video out of the desperate hope I could provide the catharsis of seeing it torn to pieces. It has now been coming on 72 hours, and only now have I recovered enough to be able to do much of anything but scream, “WHAT?!” and “NO!” at the screen.
We had a long discussion about what in the twelve hells this video even is. A surreal, dadaist parody so obscure that our brains aren’t operating on enough levels to comprehend it? The Instagram lifehack equivalent of those terrifying procedurally-generated animated Youtube videos that farm ad revenue by playing millions of times to babies whose parents left the iPad on autoplay? A coded message designed to activate the combat programming of brainwashed cyborg sleeper agents? A post that slipped through a wormhole from an alternate dimension where the laws of reality are different? An emanation of a vast and alien chaos god?
I cannot bring myself to confront the claims in this video in the order they are put forth without losing my will to live after the first one, so I will start with the least crazy and work my way up.
Bananas to ripen things: More or less true. You’ll sometimes see advice to cooks to store underripe fruit in a paper bag with one piece of overripe (but not rotten) fruit to ripen it more quickly.Misrepresentations: It will probably take longer than overnight to ripen something as green as some of those tomatoes, and it doesn’t have to be a banana.
Coca-cola and milk: The coke is more acidic than the
milk and curdles it, resulting in solid globs of milk protein which
settle out. The brown dye in the coke sticks to the milk protein globs,
leaving the excess liquid more or less clear.Misrepresentations: The video has been enormously sped up, which the editing does not make clear; the reaction takes hours.
Ketchup to clean metal: To my mild surprise, this is actually a thing (though you could just make a paste out of salt, flour, and vinegar and scrub with that and not get ketchup stains on everything)…Misrepresentations: …for cleaning copper and bronze. Which the jug shown in the video is not. The acid in the ketchup might take some of the tarnish off, say, aluminum, but at that point you might as well just use vinegar.
Sparkling water omelet: Omelet souffles are a thing.Misrepresentations: You… literally do not need the sparkling water… you can just beat the eggs until they’re fluffy…
“Warm water clears wax from fruits!”: This is a mysterious and arcane procedure called “washing.”Misrepresentations: I don’t know what the hell they even did to the video on this sequence but as a person who has washed many apples in warm water, it does not look like that and the thin layer of edible wax applied to make them look good in the grocery store does not come off that easily.
Sprite to clean earrings: Again, this will take tarnish off some metals just due to the acid, but…Misrepresentations: DO YOU WANT GROSS STICKY EARRINGS AND EAR INFECTIONS? JUST USE VINEGAR WATER. Also, “dirt” is not a kind of molecule. (Incidentally, if the earrings are silver, there is a vastly better method that actually reverses the tarnish instead of removing it.)
Insta-freeze bottle: This is a real thing…Misrepresentation: …which absolutely will not happen if you follow their instructions, because a) they neglect to mention an important caveat (the water needs to be purified/distilled) and b) 5 minutes is not long enough for a water bottle to supercool. If you google any of the myriad videos and articles of people doing this trick, you’ll see numbers like “3 hours in the freezer” or “40 minutes in a salted ice bath.”
There is video of the trick working. Either that footage was taken from someone else, or they knew how to do it, did it, and then deliberately lied about the time for no apparent reason.
Putting a broken plate in milk for two days magically fixes it: To my immense surprise, they didn’t make this one up; the idea is that the milk protein casein can form into a plastic at high temperatures and bind to the ceramic. Googling it turned up some hobbyist potters commenting that they’d used it to salvage things that had cracked slightly in the kiln.Misrepresentations: Once again, they’ve misrepresented the method: everything I saw talking about how to do it said to boil the milk and then soak for an hour, not leave it out for two days like an offering to the pixies. And most of what I saw reported about it also said it only really works on hairline cracks, not full breaks, and doesn’t hold up long-term because the real structural damage isn’t repaired. And may leave a faint and persistent odor of boiled milk.
Just use superglue.
“Reveal the genetic memory of the honeycomb”:
This is the kind of gibberish predicated on so many nonsensical assumptions that unpacking it would be more trouble than it’s worth. Plus, well, I can barely see anything with the low video quality, but what I can see of the vague blur doesn’t look much like a honeycomb in the first place. Suffice to say:
“Honey looks like a honeycomb” isn’t even in the ballpark of what’s generally meant by “genetic memory,”
what’s generally meant by “genetic memory” is also complete hooey, and
fluid dynamics is weird and swirling a thick, viscous, water-soluble liquid with a layer of water on top is going to do weird things.
But at least that I could potentially attribute to ignorance rather than deliberate intent to deceive, unlike…
Hot coals and peanut butter
This is the reason it’s taken me this long to post this. Every time I think about it my soul starts to leave my body. It’s such a mind-boggling level of bullshit that every time I’ve tried to put words around an explanation I’m quickly reduced to staring at the screen and mouthing “No” to myself in a voice of quiet despair, because I can’t even figure out where to start.
Well, okay, I guess I might as well start by saying I think their… let’s say inspiration on this was articles about scientists who made diamonds out of peanut butter and carbon dioxide. …With a press that’s designed to recreate the conditions of the earth’s mantle, and which is prone to exploding. So, you know, not something you can do in your kitchen. Unless you have one hell of a kitchen.
You can see the direct links to this in the nonsensical claim that this “works” because peanut butter contains carbon dioxide. (It doesn’t, particularly. It’s crushed peanuts mixed with oil. You know what would have a lot of carbon dioxide? The fire you pulled that glowing lump of charcoal out of.) It also mentions “pressure” when no particular pressure is involved, presumably because we’ve all heard about turning coal into diamond under heat and pressure.
Chemically speaking, there’s very little to make that crystal out of except carbon, unless you want to posit a mass migration of all the sugar molecules in the peanut butter to the center of the coal. And “carbon crystal” = “diamond,” and do you think if it was that easy to make diamonds they’d be that expensive?
I will guarantee you that crystal is a lump of quartz they covered in black crud and then peanut butter to pretend it was the charcoal.
But, of course, all of that is irrelevant, because by reblogging this at all, even to performatively despair that the internet does not seem to have come all that far since the days of Infinite Chocolate, I’m playing into their hands. Lifehack clickbait has done this forever- they deliberately seed in wrong or awful advice because people will share that to say how stupid/wrong it is. They led with complete insanity to get attention, and I gave them eyeballs on the video watching this, and I’ll be giving them more from writing this.
Maybe I’ll stick to the chaos god theory. It’s less depressing.
I apologize for being stupid enough to believe that video so reblogging the breakdown of why it was wrong.
Why you shouldn’t believe everything on the internet.