Jonathan Fallon

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How many beers are left in the keg? Is the beer at the “perfect temperature”? Don’t look to the kegerator for answers. The kegerator is an idiot.

A startup company called “PicoBrew” is looking to change that with a smart kegerator that they’re funding through Kickstarter. Dubbed “KegSmarts”, the machine is equipped with an OLED display and a microprocessor that serve to maintain craft beer temperature, track freshness, display details about style and alcohol content and, of course, let you know how many servings remain. KegSmarts also lives up to its name by offering a social mapping feature that can suggest other craft beers available nearby while also notifying your friends when you’ve installed a new keg.

A $250 single-tap DIY version is available for those who want to retrofit the smart component to existing kegerators, while the complete KegSmarts will set you back $899 (or $1,099 for double-tap). Needless to say, the Kickstarter campaign has been a huge hit, and as of this writing, the company has already surpassed it’s $100,000 goal with 25 days to go.

Check out the project video after the break…

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Scientists finally got around to answering the most important question in human history: how many licks DOES it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

The test was recently conducted by a team of researchers from New York University who first submerged a piece of hard candy in a water current to gauge the flow’s effect on shrinkage, then calculated the amount of time required to melt one centimeter of a Tootsie Pop. The results showed that roughly 1,000 licks would be required to liberate the Tootsie Roll center from its hard candy prison.

It took 850 licks in this real world trial, so the results appear to be fairly accurate.

The test also had a more practical application, which involved helping chemical and pharmaceutical industries better understand how materials dissolve.

(NPR via Consumerist)

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If you’re a fan of comic books, you can now put fighting words like “KAPOW!”, “BIFF!”, “ZAP!” and “BOOM!” to use in the form of 5mm clear perspex coasters from Etsy seller RubbertoeReplicas.

These expressions of mayhem will reflect your fandom and help protect your furniture by putting the smack down on unwanted water stains. However, they cannot defeat the powers of the dishwasher – so they can only be cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge.

Product Page: ($40)

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Way back in 2013 we brought you news of a Kickstarter campaign for Periodic Tableware, which surely got the attention (and dollars) of science fanatics who wanted to give their kitchens a chemistry theme. Now the collection is available to own for everyone.

Currently the selection consists of a Beaker Rocks/Highball Glass, Erlenmeyer Decanter/Flask Martini Glass, Infinity Invertable Wine/Martini Glass, Laboratory Beaker Wine Glass, Laboratory Shot Glasses and a Vacuum Flask Cocktail Shaker Set. Each piece is hand assembled in a Shelton, Connecticut factory which is actually open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays.

Hit the jump for additional pics.

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Artist Yulia Brodskaya recently liberated empty pizza boxes from their nearly unbreakable association with filthy cars / bachelor pads by transforming one into a quilled paper butterfly. The corrugated masterpiece was created for Thuisbezorgd.nl (a Dutch online food ordering site) and, if actually used, will probably be as big a hit with ants as with art lovers.

Hit the jump for a close up.

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In addition to being an excellent source of vitamin B6, the perfect instrument to show scale, and innuendo’s best friend, the humble banana is also a blank canvas for biodegradable art. Artist Stephan Brusche has created a series of creative banana works that range from the lighthearted to the downright impressive.

Check out some additional examples after the jump.

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Once the lid is removed from a Japanese ice cream called “Panapp”, you are greeted with four indentations where the product was infused with sauce. Occasionally, the process leaves a smiley face shape that ice cream artists have been transforming into grotesque scowls that only get more menacing as melting begins.

As seen in the examples after the jump, the faces will likely reflect your moods as you work your way closer and closer to the bottom of the container.

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If you’re planning a trip to wine country, you’ll need to come up with a strategy for transporting bottles home in your luggage without decorating your entire wardrobe with an expensive mix of fermented grapes and shattered glass. Enter the WineCruzer, a specialized wine case that meets all TSA transport and shipping regulations and protects your investment from UV ray damage, heat spoilage, and contamination.

It also looks like something an assassin would carry weapons in.

The cases are available in a variety of sizes, accommodating from 2 to 24 bottles while also offering convenient features such as wheels and handles.

Product Page: (Prices Vary via CM)

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McDonald’s is now offering extremely limited edition 500ml bottles of its Big Mac special sauce with 100% of the proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House Charities. The first of 200 is currently up for grabs on eBay and as of this writing has 135 bids and sits at the totally incomprehensible price of roughly $18,000 US. This may be because all the proceeds are going to charity, but for some it also could be based on the description, which states that the sauce will make everything, from leftovers to Hungarian Goulash, taste better.

If you can’t afford the high price tag, you could try and get one of the 600 25ml tubs of the sauce that will be sold in certain locations around Australia for only $.39. Meanwhile the rest of us will be forced to buy a ton of Big Macs and scrape the sauce into a bottle.

Or, you know, use one of the endless clone recipes that can be found on the Internet.

(eBay / Independent via Eater)

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Armed with a donut mold and a dream of deliciousness, The Vulgar Chef recently pushed the cheese envelope by creating Cheetos Crusted Mac n’ Cheese Doughnuts.

The process began by cooking the mac & cheese and then pouring it into the mold. The mold was then placed in the freezer and allowed to cool for several hours. Next, the “donuts” are dunked into an egg wash and coated with crushed Cheetos before being fried for about a minute at a low temperature.

There doesn’t seem to be any word about the flavor, but if they taste as good as they look, they will be a threat to diets everywhere.

(via Foodbeast)