Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

June 13, 2024

Denmark recalls Instant ramen noodles because they are ‘too spicy’

Filed under: Humor,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 7:18 PM

I have always thought that the food in most western countries was insufficiently spicy and in some places felt like they just boiled the food before serving it. This was a great problem for me during my years in the US till I discovered Mexican food and I have similar issues in other western countries as well.

I was surfing the web earlier today and found this news article that talks about how Denmark is recalling three flavors of instant ramen noodles because they were too spicy and it made me laugh. Even better was the response from the company (emphasis added by me):

We understand that the Danish food authority recalled the products, not because of a problem in their quality but because they were too spicy,” Samyang told the BBC News. “The products are being exported globally. But this is the first time they have been recalled for the above reason.”

The recall note states:

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration says that the amount of the chili pepper extract in one pack of 3x Spicy & Hot Chicken, 2x Spicy & Hot Chicken, or Hot Chicken Stew “is so high that they pose a risk of the consumer developing acute poisoning.”

“If you have the products, you should discard them or return them to the store where they were purchased,” the agency implores

Considering the folks there think a dish spiced with just pepper is too spicy this is not too surprising but is funny. I wonder how the MTR Ready to Eat Meals would fare over there. My guess is that it would face similar issues unless the spice level was reduced drastically.

Source: Boingboing.net: Instant ramen recalled for being too spicy

– Suramya

June 6, 2024

IndiGo Launches Female Friendly Seat Selections

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 12:01 PM

Travel can be a pain for women because there are enough idiots in the world who will take the opportunity of a woman seated next to them to make them miserable for the entire flight by making unwelcome advances etc. IndiGo recently launched a program to try to address this issue. If the ticket is being booked for a female passenger then the system will show them the seats that are already occupied by women. This allows the passenger to book a seat that is next to a lady passenger. I first noticed this when I was checking in Jani for her flight. The below screenshot shows what it looks like:


Female Friendly seat selection option

I think this is a good move but as with all things there is an easy way to game the system so men can ensure they are seated next to a lady. Basically, I need to open two windows. In one window I would search for a flight ticket pretending to be a lady passenger. Since the payment is not required till after we do a seat selection I get to see which seats are occupied by women. Then I cancel the process and start a fresh one with the actual passenger details picking a seat next to a lady.

There is no easy way to detect and block this. One option would be to allow the seat selection only after making the payment for the ticket but that would mean folks would have to make a second payment for the seat selection as most of the options are paid ones, which would not be a user friendly experience.

Even with that, this is a good move and should help make the flights more comfortable for women.

Source: NDTV: IndiGo Launches Female-Friendly Seat Selection Option. Here’s What It Means

– Suramya

June 5, 2024

New transparent film lets in more light than glass while preserving privacy by blurring the view

Filed under: Science Related — Suramya @ 10:14 AM

In the ancient days we constructed our homes out of natural material such as clay, mud, wood etc and it had the advantage of keeping the house cool during the summer and warm during the winters. Unfortunately, due to the lack of appropriate materials these houses either had very small windows or used material that wasn’t clear making the insides of the houses a dark & gloomy place. This all changed once we had the technology to make glass windows cheaply and quickly. All of a sudden we could put in windows that allowed sunlight into the house without letting the wind inside. It was a game changer for housing.

Now all our houses have glass windows, some even have glass doors etc. Now we have a few different problems. Namely that glass is transparent and having large windows creates a privacy issue where folks can see inside the house. Hence we use curtains, frosted glass, window tinting etc to address this issue. Secondly, Allowing in ambient sunlight raises a room’s temperature requiring additional cooling for the room. This is a big enough problem that there is a thriving market for reflective glass, and window tinting. But there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have designed an ultrathin film that when stuck over a regular pane of glass diffuses 73% of incident sunlight, creating a more comfortable and private indoor environment while simultaneously blurring the view through the window. In tests it was found that the film cooled ambient temperatures by as much as 6-degrees Celsius.

The team has successfully tested the film in outdoor tests in the KIT campus and their research has been published in the journal Nature Communications. The technology is still in early stages and it remains to be seen if it can be commercially produced but it does look quite promising. I am looking forward to more developments in this field.

Source: HackerNews: New material looks like frosted glass but lets in more light than a window

– Suramya

June 4, 2024

Thoughts on Book Clubs and reading

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 8:43 PM

As folks who know me know I read a lot of books. To give you an idea of what I mean by that, I read 209 books in 2023 and my goal is to read 365 books in a year. In 2024 I have read 99 books so far. (I am way behind in my reading this year due to various reasons)

A little while ago folks in my apartment complex started a book club and I was invited to join since I read a lot. Book clubs are interesting but I never saw the appeal because of multiple reasons. First, I read fast enough that by the time others in the club would finish a book I would be in my 4th or 5th one. The second issue is that I don’t particularly like dissecting a book and look for hidden meanings or life lessons etc in it. Lastly, in a lot of these clubs they seem to be more interested in hanging out/gossiping rather than book readings.

I have no issues discussing books but doing it in a structured way takes the fun out of it. Also not a lot of folks read the kind of books I do so that’s another issue I face. In the next meeting over here someone is actually preparing a presentation on the 3 Body problem and that just sounds like work to me. Personally when I meet with like minded folks I exchange book recommendations rather than the content of the books. That could also be because I mostly read fiction whereas a large majority of folks who are part of these clubs seem to prefer non-fiction books that can actually be dissected and have a lot of data to discuss.

As I mentioned in a previous post I have never been a part of any of the fandoms and I am glad that I didn’t. The issue with discussing books is that folks get too invested in it and that just takes the fun out of it.

However, all that being said I am glad book clubs exist as they give a way for people to connect and learn about books they might find interesting. Anything that gets people more interested in reading is great in my mind.

– Suramya

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