Sept. 18, 2021
1. How is decaf coffee made?
- Coffee beans have been genetically engineered to grow caffeine-free.
- Planters used artificial selection to eliminate caffeine producers in coffee plants.
- Coffee beans are treated chemically to strip away the caffeine.
- Decaf plants already existed in nature and did not require any intervention.
Coffee beans are treated chemically, usually by soaking them in ethyl acetate or methylene chloride (also an ingredient in paint remover). This harsh chemical bath strips out both the beans' caffeine and much of their flavor. U.K. company Tropic Biosciences is currently developing a coffee bean engineered to grow caffeine-free. CRISPR coffee promises a jitter-free cup of Joe, with all the roasty goodness of full-caf.
2. Sriracha is one international hot sauce that has gone mainstream. Where did it originate?
This sauce was developed in the 1930s in the town of Si Racha. It's most often used by Thai people as a seafood dipping sauce.
3. True or false: When you hold up the conch shell to your ear, the sound you hear is actually the ambient noise around you.
True. Conch shells are great at amplifying noise. Unfortunately, the conch's status as a tasty delicacy (not to mention its collectible shell) makes it at risk for overfishing, a fact compounded by the fine distinction between the thin-lipped juvenile (which should not be fished) and the thicker-lipped adult.
4. Hot peppers contain capsaicinoids. Who might benefit from this, medically?
- People with severe seasonal allergies
- Cancer patients
- Recovering drug addicts
Capsaicinoids trigger endorphin and dopamine release, which help ease the effects of drug withdrawal. Sometimes people get addicted to hot sauce because of those dopamine releases.
5. The Dalai Lama famously said, "I believe that the purpose of life is _________."
- To better yourself
- To be happy
- To be honorable
- To live it
According to the Four Noble Truths taught by Buddha, our existence is mired in suffering — emotional suffering, psychological suffering, physical suffering. The only way to free yourself from this suffering and obtain happiness is by ridding yourself of the source of all suffering, which is desire and attachment. Sounds easy, right?
6. In the phonetic alphabet (Alfa, Bravo, Charlie), what word represents "W."
The phonetic alphabet has changed over the years. Learn where the phonetic alphabet came from and how it evolved into the alphabet we know today.
Missed checking a previous week's quiz? We've added the answers to a bunch of those, too, below.