From the Frying Pan

Physicist needed! I think that’s the profession I need; someone more observant, smarter and able to use both sides of the brain at one time. I’m so weak in my left brain that I need brain exercises. Maybe that’s what dumbbells are for (sorry).

I know, usually in this blog I’m beating up on the fashion industry…taking issue with buttons, zippers, pajamas, that sort of thing.

But to show my versatility, today I’m about physics. I very respectfully ask for the assistance and knowledge of science. I like science. It’s logical, unlike the fashion industry. Ok, so here’s the experiment I need help with. Ready? Go.

Materials used:2015-01-26 09.48.03

  • 1 very heavy iron skillet – well seasoned, not warped.
  • 1 gas stove
  • Food
  • 1 favorite broken spatula…I don’t think it would work the same if I fixed the handle. See!

2015-01-26 10.53.17

Inquiry: Why does oil or eggs or anything liquid roll towards whatever else is in the pan at the time, yet if nothing is in the pan, it rolls to the middle.

Day 1. Placed about a cup of onions and mushrooms, maybe some tomato slices, s&p and some incidental herbs on one side of the pan to cook. Put oil (avocado – good at high temps and heart healthy) on the other side ready to receive eggs that have been pre-scrambled to make an omelet.

Oil – put oil on the opposite side of the pan. It immediately travels through the center and beyond, reaching the veggies on the other side.

Eggs – did the same thing.

Day 2. Place same amount of mushrooms and onions on the opposite edge of the pan from the day before (thinking maybe the pan is warped).
However, same results.

Day 3. Place veggies around the edges of the pan, halfway around.
This time I put the oil in the center of the pan. Ha! I was going to trick it!!
Now here it is folks. Watch this!

Put oil in the middle of the pan and it travels to…guess where? To the veggies! Not to the other side where there is a ton of free space but to the veggies! Exactly where I didn’t want it to go.

I thought of this whole dynamic as some kind of social experiment. Instead of seeing the way extroverts move around a room to control it, we use oil or eggs. Does this mean that food is extroverted and migrates to other foods? Maybe eggs feel they will survive better in a group situation than on their own? Maybe they can’t stand being in a room, I mean a frying pan by themselves and go stir crazy (ha, get it?). Maybe there really are extrovert foods that like to comfort others(thus the term “comfort food”). Definitely some kind of social psychology going on in the iron skillet.

I will admit that it wasn’t a completely controlled environment. I mean I wore a scarf two out of three days and the dog was at my feet licking the floor at least one of those days. Okay, for real, variations were few but here they are: tomatoes one day, peppers the next. Turmeric (for my brain) all three days, but a variety of other spices might have slipped in from one day to the next. And it was 45⁰F outside the first few days and 32⁰F the last day – but that was outside not in!

So now, I ask all geeks (or any of you with a much more logical mind than mine): Why?! What am I missing? Remember, I like science. I welcome all thoughts and won’t make fun of any ideas.

My conclusion? Cereal.

2 thoughts on “From the Frying Pan

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