May 22nd, 2007

marcus 2013

Natural vegetable crisps

Question for my UK veggy / vegan friends (congrats on the Mars thing, incidentally), and for anyone else interested.

We have a vending machine at work that sells "Snapz" crisps, which are basically thinly sliced dried vegetables. One of the varieties is beetroot, and I've just tried extracting the natural colour and using it as an acid/alkali indicator, as you can with normal beetroot. It turns out to work really well, and is much easier than the original experiment. The technical details? Add boiling water, soak for a minute or two, and pour off the liqud. You now have a dye that's red with acid, yellow with alkali, and doesn't stink of pickled beetroot or red cabbage (which is the other one we sometimes use).

That's all well and good, but what I really want to do is extend it by adding more varieties of vegetable crisp and get more indicators, so that we can do some sort of class investigation. I've tried carrot and it doesn't work - the dye isn't an indicator. And the vending machine only has those two and apple with various flavourings.

So what I'm looking for is some other sources for natural crisps - can't believe that carrot and beetroot are the only ones available. Any suggestions? Needs to be sold in the UK, of course, and if possible reasonably cheap. What I don't want is potato with flavourings, apple with flavourings, etc.


Killer app

When I bought my iPaq I wasn't 100% sure I'd find it useful. But I've downloaded a Sudoku program, and some ebooks, and some other bits I think will be useful or fun. And tonight I found the killer app, the program that has to be ample justification for owning it.

Step forward.... Pocket Clanger Theremin!!!!

Yes, you play it with a stylus or your finger, not an antenna. But apart from that it has all the features of a theremin, and a nice picture of Tiny Clanger on the playing area, Controls for delay, feedback, frequency range, etc., and sounds REALLY weird. Fun for all the family! And freeware too!

I don't seem to have a clanger icon, so Smurfette will have to do.